In plush Makati village, 13 suspected ‘flying voters’ held
For “flying voters” in upscale San Lorenzo Village in Makati City, one vote was worth P500.
Ace Perez, a tattoo artist of Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, told the Makati police on Monday that a woman had persuaded him to go to Barangay (village) San Lorenzo to vote in exchange for P500.
Perez was among the 13 people who were brought to the Makati police headquarters for questioning after they tried to cast their votes in San Lorenzo where former chair Joshua John Santiago was challenging the incumbent, Ernesto Moya.
“A woman asked us to board the bus from Caloocan to Magallanes. They said they would pay us P500. What we had to do was show her our forefingers with indelible ink,” Perez told the Inquirer after giving a statement to a police investigator at the Makati police headquarters.
Delia Rosal, a resident of San Lorenzo, said the vote-buying and the existence of flying voters were discovered after security personnel of the barangay caught five people loitering at the village premises before noon.
Security guards later found out that the five men were nonresidents of San Lorenzo who had planned to cast their votes in the village.
Asked if he already received the payment, Perez said he was not able to vote “so the money was gone as well.”
“Now we don’t have the money to get on a bus to Caloocan,” he said.
Annie Felix, a resident of San Lorenzo, said many flying voters might have managed to vote.
Around 10:30 a.m., eight people were arrested for fabricating Commission on Elections (Comelec) IDs.
The IDs confiscated from the eight suspects were obviously fake when compared with the original ID issued by the Comelec, lawyer Vic Fornier, a San Lorenzo resident, said.
“Most of them admitted that their IDs were made at Makati Cinema Square,” he said.
Senior Supt. Manuel Lukban, Makati police chief, said the eight were charged with falsification of public documents at the Makati Prosecutor’s Office right away.
Meanwhile, after checking the database of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting at the help desk in San Lorenzo, Maria Luisa Reyes found that six people, whom she didn’t know, were registered to vote using her address.
“Another resident, Edgar Alingas, had the address 1 Balmoki Street when there is no such address in San Lorenzo. How are these possible?” Reyes told an election supervisor.
She was advised to file a complaint in the Comelec office in Makati.
Felix noted that the Comelec’s list of San Lorenzo’s registered voters was tainted with at least 900 voters who reported vacant lots and abandoned houses as their addresses.
“We have already asked the Commission on Elections in Makati to remove the nonresidents from the list. We can’t allow outsiders to rule our elections,” Felix, a former nurse, told the Inquirer.
During his visit to San Lorenzo, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. promised to look into the allegations of flying voters and vote-buying in the village.
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