If there is evidence, the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) will investigate members who committed electioneering and other violations of the election law during the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls, said party president, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III.
Pimentel urged Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Martin Diño to provide evidence against the officials.
Diño earlier said that 100 members of the House of Representatives intervened in village elections by trying to influence their constituents to vote for their favored candidates.
If the DILG gives us the evidence, we will investigate, said Pimentel.
Vote buying was rampant in the barangay and SK elections, with reports of vote-buying reaching up to P1,000 bills.
The Omnibus Election Code prohibits vote buying by candidates, with violators facing prison terms of one to six years and disqualification from holding public office.
Diño claimed that the congressmen, as well as around 1,000 local government officials and thousands of barangay officials, resorted to vote buying to secure turfs “in preparation for the 2019 elections.”
“If they control the barangay captains, of course, they control the entire barangay,” the DILG official said.
“It’s better that we make examples of these people, so that in the election next year, the same thing won’t happen again,” he said.
In Davao del Norte, a congressman did not use crisp peso bills in the vote-buying.
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. win in their barangay. Alvarez also violated the non-partisanship of the Barangay/SK election thro
The group said Alvarez engaged in vote-buying with financial rewards to barangay officials if his chosen candidates ugh 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 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.
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.