Last-Minute Vote Buying in Davao Oriental

May. 14, 2007

By Mai Gevera

Though no longer new in a province that publicly exhibited vote buying, supporters of candidates distributed their last draw of campaign goodies before election started at 7am.

The Philippine National Police arrested, a certain Rey Diez who was inside an L300 van with plate number XJH783 distributing packed rice at 4:30 am in Barangay Sudlon, Mati.

Diez refused to name the source of the distributed rice as he awaits for formal investigation.

However, some recipients claimed that they were told to vote for gubernatorial bet Corazon Malanyaon in exchange of those bags of rice.

The PNP called for a further investigation on the said matter before apprehending concerned candidates.

– more –

May 14, 2007 ARENA FORUM Page 7


Another distribution of 10 sacks of rice was seen in Purok Gemelina, also in Mati at about 5 am.

Running candidate for the vice-governor seat Joel Almario filed a complaint in the Comelec at around 10 am after he saw a group of minors outside a polling center in the Mati National Comprehensive High School distributing candies attached with a sample ballot while the voting proper has just started.

The chocolate candy has a sticker with the names of two candidates Eyra Luisa Irigo-Santos and Erlinda Irigo.

Sixteen-year-old Francis Maymad admitted that he, together with other hired minors, were tasked to distribute such ballots with candies for a cost which he refused to disclose.

Basta giingnan lang mi nga bayaran mi kung manghatag mi aning balota karong adlawa. (We were just told that we will be paid if we distribute these ballots today), he said.

Commission on Elections municipal officer Ali-Acbar Sangcopan claimed entertained the said complaint, however, forwarded it to the police station as the Comelec is said to be concentrating on the voting concerns.

Sangcopan, on the other hand, clarified that it is the first complaint filed over to the Comelec although it has already received informal complaints on vote buying.

We ask the civilians to be vigilant and brave enough to report election anomalies especially vote buying so we could formally investigate such matter together with the concerned offices. he said. (PIA XI/Mai Gevera)

comments powered by Disqus