A citizens’ movement on watch for electoral fraud is filing charges of vote-buying, a violation under the Omnibus Election Code, against House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in relation to the Barangay/SK election on May 14, 2018.
The group said Alvarez engaged in vote-buying with financial rewards to barangay officials if his chosen candidates win in their barangay. Alvarez also violated the non-partisanship of the Barangay/SK election through the support of certain candidates by Team Aldu, his personal political machinery.
Alvarez, the secretary general of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino/Lakas ng Bayan (PDP/Laban), has also publicly said that the ruling party would provide support to candidates in the Barangay/SK election.
The Davao del Norte-based group said it is coordinating the filing of the charges against Alvarez with the National Movement for Free Election (NAMFREL), the election watchdog authorized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
The group also said it would file a complaint against Alvarez with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) which said that it will investigate lawmakers involved in the vote-buying.
DILG Undersecretary Martin Diño said that about 1,000 elected barangay captains are facing suspension and disqualification from office for violating laws and Comelec rules, including vote-buying.
Diño said they are also building cases against 100 lawmakers, who he said made a mockery of the electoral process by meddling in the non-partisan election.
The citizen’s group, which requested anonymity in the meantime as its legal panel prepares the charges, said it would identify itself when it files the charges with the Comelec and the DILG.
Vote-buying is among prohibited acts under the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines (Batas Pambansa Blg. 881). The Comelec says politicians and political parties should stay away from the non-partisan Barangay/SK election.
The group said Speaker Alvarez not only engaged in vote-buying but also meddled in the non-partisan election by offering rewards to barangays where candidates for barangay captain of “Team Aldu” win.
Aldu is an acronym taken from the first two letters of Alvarez and Dujali. Dujali is Vice Governor Alan Dujali; Alvarez is Speaker Alvarez who is running for reelection as congressman of the First District in the 2019 mid-term election.
Dujali is running for Governor under the banner of the Alvarez Wing of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino/Lakas ng Bayan (PDP/Laban).
Team Aldu is the political machinery of Alvarez and Dujali.
The group said among its evidence are audio and video recordings of an assembly of First District barangay captains and barangay councilmen called by Alvarez held at the Tagum City campus of the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP).
In the assembly ahead of the May 14 barangay polls, Alvarez said he would give P2 million worth of projects to the barangays where candidates under Team Aldu would win. Alvarez also said he would give to the barangays P70 million worth of medical assistance.
In addition, the group has another damaging evidence in the local weekly paper Mindanao Sun Chronicle, which published Alvarez’s act of vote-buying as a front page story in its issue of May 2018.
The group said it would also submit as evidence a screenshot of a post in the Facebook account of Team Aldu (https://web.facebook.com/teamaldu/) about Alvarez’s vote-buying.
Below is the full text of the Mindanao Sun Chronicle story and the post in Team Aldu’s Facebook account:
Speaker Alvarez mohatag ug P2M proyekto sa mga barangay nga modaug ang TEAM ALDU kapitanes; Dugang P70M gialokar sa medical assistance program
Mohatag ug P2 milyones kantidad nga proyekto si House Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez ngadto kada barangay sa Distrito 2, Davao del Norte diin modaug ang mga kandidato pagkakapitan nga nagasuporta sa Team ALDU (Alvarez-Dujali) nga pagpanerbisyo ug adbokasiya alang sa maayong panggobyerno, karong umaabot nga piniliay.
Kini ang subling giseguro ni Speaker Alvarez sa usa ka pakighinabi sa media niadtong miaging adlaw.
Ang P2 milyones nga congressional fund igahin ngadto sa proyekto nga mapili sa nagmadaugon nga Team ALDU kapitan.
Ang Distrito 2 sa probinsya maingon nga nag-ilaid sa kawalay proyekto sa nga barangay nga gipondohan sa Kongreso gikan pa sa 2016 tungod sa giingong kapakyasan ni Kongresman Tony Boy Floirendo sa pagkuha ug congressional fund tungod kay nagpunay kini ug absent sa mga session sa Kongreso base sa attendance niya on record.
Busa dakong hagit sa katawhan nga suportaran ang nga Team ALDU candidates alang sa nga proyektong pangkalamboan sa mga barangay sa Distrito Dos.
Sa laing bahin, gi-anunsyo pod sa Speaker nga siya mialokar na pod ug dugang P50 milyones nga pondo para sa Davao Regional Medical Center sa Tagum City ug dugang P20 milyones nga pondo para sa Southern Philippines Medical Center ug para kini sa medical assistance program sa Team ALDU sa Distrito Dos ug sa Team Alvarez medical assistance program sa Distrito Uno.
Kahinumduman nga una nang mialokar ang Speaker ug P50 milyones para sa medical assistance program sa duha ka Distrito karong tuig 2018. Isip Speaker aduna siyay gahom sa pagbadyet ug pag-alokar ug congressional fund alang labi na sa nagkalisud ug proyekto nga mga legislative districts sa nasod. (MSC/CM)