Alleged vote-buying incidents recorded in 4 Iloilo towns

Four alleged incidents of vote-buying were recorded in the province of Iloilo in connection with the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections this year.

These incidents, based on data from the Commission on Elections (Comelec-6), occurred in the towns of Barotac Viejo, San Rafael, Mina, and Concepcion.

There were also reported vote-buying incidents in La Castellana, Negros Occidental and Nabas and Ibajay, Aklan.

Lawyer Tomas Valera, Comelec-6 assistant regional director, said all the incidents are currently under investigation.

“We are now collecting evidence for the filing of cases against the suspects,” he said.

Buying and selling of votes, under the Omnibus Election Code, are considered election offenses.

In a report by Rappler, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said violators (buyers and sellers) “may be imprisoned for 1 to 6 years, disqualified from holding public office, and barred from voting.”

Guilty of vote-buying are those who “give, offer, or promise money or anything of value in order to induce anyone to vote for or against any candidate or withold his vote in the election.”

Meanwhile, 75 individuals have been arrested for violating the gun ban rule of Comelec, according to the Police Regional Office (PRO-6).

A total of 228 firearms, 399 ammunitions, 10 explosives and 29 bladed weapons have been confiscated.

The election gun ban took effect on April 14 and will end on May 21.IMT