COMELEC says vote-buying is still an election offense

The topic of vote-buying is back in the minds of voters here in the Philippines mainly due to the recent statement made by a certain politician (for reference, click here and here) running for President next year. This prompted the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), which is already busy processing voter registration applications with the October 30 deadline approaching, to remind people that vote-buying is still an election offense and clearly punishable by law.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news report. Some parts in boldface…

Vote buying is an election offense regardless of financial situation or noble intentions.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Spokesperson James Jimenez issued this reminder on Wednesday, Oct. 27.

He also disagreed with the advice of Vice President Leni Robredo for voters to accept the money but vote according to their conscience.

“I disagree with the notion of taking the money and voting according to your conscience,” Jimenez said on Twitter.

He added:”Di dapat ginagawa, at di dapat sina-suggest yan sa mga botante (It shouldn’t be done, and shouldn’t be suggested to our voters),”

Last August, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon warned those who will try vote buying via the electronic payment system in the May 2022 polls that this can be traced.

“This is a warning to politicians, know that you’re going to be found out,” she said.

Vote-buying is defined as any person, who gives, offers, or promises money or anything of value, directly or indirectly, in order to induce anyone or the public in general to vote for or against any candidate.

The above report ended stating that as an election offense, vote-buying means getting yourselves penalized with 1 to 6 years imprisonment, the removal of your right to vote, and disqualification to hold public office.

For added insight about vote -buying here in the Philippines, posted below are some of GMA Network’s news videos from the past related to the said issue…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this newest development? Does Leni Robredo inspire you to engage in vote-buying? Are you willing to follow Robredo’s advice knowing that vote-buying is clearly illegal? If you are a registered voter, are willing to sell out to the highest bidder when it comes to the May 2022 national and local elections?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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