Over 80 arrested for alleged vote-buying – Metro Manila police

By Xianne Arcangel, CNN Philippines

Metro Manila Police Chief MGen. Guillermo Eleazar on Sunday said 84 people were arrested this weekend for alleged vote-buying.

Sixty of these were from Makati, 17 from Muntinlupa, six from Quezon city, and one from Malabon.

The Metro Manila police chief said vote-buyers have become more agressive since the automated election system has made cheating more difficult.

Dahil nga sa ‘yung technology, na gumaganda ‘yung sistema ng ating mga gamit sa COMELEC(Commission on Elections), so ‘yung dating pwedeng dayain sa bilangan, naaalis na kaya nagre-resort na lang dito sa… Balik tayo sa basic, ‘yung botante,” he said.

[Translation: Because of technology, our systems in COMELEC are getting better, so the cheating methods before have been scrapped. With this, those who want to cheat go back to the basics: the voters.]

Political analyst Ramon Casiple agreed with Eleazar, noting that vote-buying is worse now than in previous elections and that amounts offered to voters have gone up.

Casiple said vote-buying operations may peak Sunday night until early Monday morning before polling centers open at 6 a.m.

Diyan kasi usually yung baliktaran. Hindi na kasi makahabol diyan yung kalaban kaya nagkakaroon diyan ng operasyon,” Casiple said.

[Translation: That’s where the game-changers are. Opposing candidates will not be able to catch up that’s why the vote-buying operations intensify.]

COMELEC recently activated the “Kontra Bigay Task Force” to go after those engaged in buying and selling votes.

Eleazar said it will be up to the COMELEC to file appropriate charges against those arrested.

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