Cops file vote-buying case vs bet's supporter in Pampanga | Inquirer News

Cops file vote-buying case vs bet’s supporter in Pampanga

Ecija, Cordillera, Ilocos bets also face raps

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Philippines—Police in Candaba, Pampanga, on Saturday filed a case against a mayoral candidate’s coordinator who was caught giving out money to villagers in the town in exchange for votes, a prohibited act under the Omnibus Election Code.

The case against Apolinario Cruz which was filed at the provincial prosecutor’s office sends a strong signal that the police are serious in the campaign against vote buying, said Senior Superintendent Oscar Albayalde, Pampanga police director.

Albayalde said it was the first such case in the province. Old-timers in the Pampanga police reckoned this to be the first vote-buying case filed by the police in at least 20 years.


Cruz, 51, was caught in the act of handing out white envelopes, each containing three P100 bills, to several voters in Barangay Mangga at 11 a.m. Friday, a police report said.


The two bags he carried, printed with the word “Busog,” contained 44 white envelopes with the same amount of bills.

Superintendent Jhoanna Rosales, provincial operations chief, said Cruz denied knowing Reynaldo Capati Sagum, who registered the alias “Busog” in his certificate of candidacy.

Cruz said the bags were just passed on to him.

Sagum could not be reached for comment on Saturday although he was not implicated in the case.

Election offenses under OEC are punished with imprisonment of not less than a year but not more than six years.

In Nueva Ecija, police arrested a village chief in the Science City of Muñoz for distributing 2 kilogams of rice to residents inside the Bical barangay hall on Friday.


Superintendent Crizaldo Nieves, Nueva Ecija police director, said Bical village chair Felomino de Guzman, 60, was arrested by Superintendent Peter Madria, city police chief, who led a team of policemen that raided the barangay hall following complaints from some residents.

De Guzman, reports said, is a supporter of one of the mayoral candidates in the city. Seized from the barangay hall were five sacks of rice and a weighing scale.

Nieves said the police had received reports of massive vote buying in different towns in Nueva Ecija on Saturday. He said long lines of people were reported waiting for their turn to receive money from campaign leaders of candidates. The amount being given ranged from P500 to P2,000, he said.

In Baguio City, a rival of reelectionist Mayor Mauricio Domogan has asked the Commission on Elections to disqualify the mayor for vote buying, citing an online video involving the distribution of money to government scholars.

In his complaint, mayoral candidate Jose Molintas of the Liberal Party cited a March 17 assembly where Domogan and re-electionist Baguio Representative Bernardo Vergara “gathered people from Baguio City for a meeting and distribution of allowances to alleged scholars of the BMV-MGD (Bernardo M. Vergara/Mauricio G. Domogan) Educational Financial Assistance Program.”

The meeting was recorded and uploaded over the social networking site, Facebook, where the two officials allegedly told the audience to vote for them in exchange for P7,000 in allowances reportedly given to each scholar, Molintas said.

He said Vergara and Domogan also solicited the participation of several village chiefs and their council members in their campaign, which is prohibited because village leaders are prescribed by law as nonpartisan during elections.

Molintas also accused Domogan of using a government property as his campaign headquarters. He was referring to the campaign office of the Timpuyog ti Baguio at a section of Burnham Park.

In Ifugao, reelectionist Rep. Teodoro Baguilat Jr. filed a disqualification case against his rival, former Rep. Solomon Chungalao, also for vote buying, citing membership cards distributed to supporters which doubled as “discount cards.”

Baguilat said a youth leader, in an affidavit, had testified that Chungalao’s discount cards granted card holders access to gasoline for motorcycles, computer services and grocery items.

The Inquirer tried but failed to reach Chungalao on Saturday.

In Ilocos Sur, Kristine Gapusan, a mayoral candidate of Sta. Maria town, filed a disqualification case against incumbent Mayor Edgar Florendo at the Comelec’s Manila office for allegedly giving money to supporters. The alleged vote buying was recorded on Youtube (

Ilocos Sur Representative Ryan Luis Singson, who is running for governor, and his brother, former Rep. Ronald Singson, who is reclaiming his old seat, belied the latest disqualification case filed by Liberal party gubernatorial candidate Roque Verzosa Jr., who accused them of vote buying.

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Ryan called the filing of the case as a “desperate move” by his opponent. Ronald said the pieces of evidence submitted by Verzosa were “very weak.” Reports from Tonette Orejas and Anselmo Roque, Inquirer Central Luzon, and Frank Cimatu, Leoncio Balbin Jr. and Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

TAGS: Elections, News, Regions, vote-buying

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