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Vote-buying, ‘indelible ink’ operations rampant in Manila, claim bets

/ 08:26 PM May 08, 2016
A Filipino woman leans over to consult her husband as they vote at a basketball gym used as a voting center during mid-term elections in Manila, Philippines on Monday May 13, 2013. The country is electing local officials from senators to congressmen and down to municipal mayors during today's mid-term elections. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Filipinos fill up their election ballots in the automated elections in 2013.  They will do so again on Monday, May 9, 2016, for the national and local elections.  But this early, allegations of vote-buying have become rampant, especially in Manila (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MANILA — The “indelible ink” operations are back, according to the camps of Manila mayoral candidates Amado Bagatsing and Alfredo Lim.

Accusations of vote buying allegedly perpetrated by rival camps were hurled a day before elections day.

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In separate statements, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Amado Bagatasing said they have received reports of massive vote buying in different areas in Manila, particularly the slum-infested Baseco compound.

Alongside vote buying is the harassment of voters to dissuade them from voting.  “Rival teams are threatening innocent people not to vote and are forcing them to put indelible ink on their fingers,” said Bagatasing.

He said citizens personally informed him of their complaints. “The last few months and weeks have been horrible, but today is the worst,” said Bagatsing. “These last few days, especially last night, leftist individuals from the camps of rival candidates have been gathering, persuading citizens, from (barangay or village) chairman, kagawad (village councilors).  Even the innocent voters were being offered large amounts of cash.”

Lim, meanwhile, said the indelible ink operations started in 2013.

“Just like what happened during the 2013 elections, the notorious ‘indelible ink’ operation is now already being ironed out in areas considered to be the bailiwicks of Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas and Lim,” said Lim.

Lim declined to name who were behind the operations but said “moneyed candidates are [sic] now eyeing the vote-rich area of Baseco and other populous barangays, so they could convince the residents to agree into having indelible ink poured on their forefingers in exchange for P3,000 each and this way, they will no longer be able to vote,” Lim said, explaining how the operation worked.

Nonetheless, Lim said the people should accept the money.

The camp of reelectionist Mayor Joseph Estrada’s camp denied allegations of vote-buying and shrugged them off.

“They are only desperate,” said Manila’s spokesperson Bambi Purisima in a phone interview.  Estrada said last week that he was expecting an easy win in Monday’s elections.  SFM

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TAGS: 2016 elections, 2016 presidential election, Alfredo Lim, Amado Bagatsing, Bambi Purisima, Baseco Compound, city of Manila, Election, election fraud, Elections 2016, indelible ink, indelible ink operations, Joseph Estrada, Local authorities, local elections, Local Governments, Manila, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, mayor, mayoral candidates, mayoral elections, Metro, Nation, news, vote-buying
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