MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said it will work with other government agencies against possible cashless vote-buying schemes ahead of next year’s elections.
“Hindi po malabong mangyari ito dahil nakagawian na rin po ang cashless transactions lalo ngayong may pandemya. Talagang maiisip ito ng mga taong nagplaplanong manghikayat sa publiko na ibenta ang kanilang boto (It’s not impossible for this to happen because cashless transactions have become common especially now amid the pandemic. People who plan to persuade the public to sell their vote can really think of this scheme),” PNP chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement.
He said the PNP would start reaching out to concerned agencies, including the Commission on Elections (Comelec) so that mechanisms will be put up to counter vote-buying via electronic money transfer services or online banking.
“Bubuo po tayo ng mekanismo hinggil dito. Pero magiging malaking tulong po kung tayo mismo ang magsumbong sa mga otoridad ng mga ganitong gawain (We will develop a mechanism in this regard. But it would be a great help if we ourselves report such activities to the authorities),” said Eleazar.
Eleazar also urged voters not to engage in this kind of activity and report any information on this form of electoral fraud.
Vote-buying and vote-selling are violations under Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code.
“I urge the public to be vigilant and report to authorities if they have information on vote-buying done through online platforms. Tulungan ninyo kaming mapanatiling malinis at maayos ang gagawing halalan (Help us keep the elections clean and orderly),” he said.
He said politicians who engage in vote buying clearly have ill motives in seeking public office.
“Oras na makaupo ang mga ito ay tiyak na babawiin lang ang nagastos niya na ipinangbili ng inyong boto (Once they are elected, they will surely only recover what they spent in vote buying),” he added.
Earlier, Eleazar directed the police to work closely with the military in preventing communist terrorists from collecting “permit-to-campaign” fees from politicians with less than a year left before the elections.
This, after the Armed Forces of the Philippines said it will coordinate with the PNP and local government units to stop the illegal activities of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA).
Eleazar also warned politicians planning to run in the 2022 elections against giving “permit-to-campaign” fees to the CPP-NPA as this will only contribute to the communist rebels’ illegal activities.
He said the money collected by the communist rebels will definitely be used in the purchase of more firearms and other logistics to sustain the CPP-NPA’s senseless and pointless “armed struggle”.
Eleazar added that giving in to the communist rebels’ demand for money would only embolden them to continue their extortion activities. (PNA)