TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Police said they have not received reports of vote buying yet amid the 2018 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in Cagayan Valley region.
In a press conference on Monday, May 14, Chief Superintendent Jose Mario Espino, regional director of Philippine National Police (PNP) Cagayan Valley, said he had not been informed of vote buying complaints from thousands of barangays in the region.
“Wala tayong na-receive as compared na napa-news na there is vote buying. So far, in PRO2 we have not received for any information that there is vote buying, sa barangay and SK,” Espino said.
This was despite reports of vote buying movements in Tuguegarao City a night before the election day.
A source, who requested for anonymity, said a political group in Barangay Ugac Sur in this city have been allegedly roving around with a notebook, where they list down voters who received P200.
The source said the group’s candidate for barangay kagawad and treasurer are the ones going around in their community.
Another source said a group of candidates were also involved with vote buying in Barangay Caritan Centro. They allegedly distributed P200 for every voter.
‘Formal complaints must be filed’
According to Espino, voters who monitored vote buying acts must file a formal complaint to legitimize the complaint.
“Ang sabi naman natin, ang sabi rin ng Comelec as I have heard sa news na it’s not enough to take pictures or videos. There should be complaint,” he added.
Espino said they could not include social media reports in their reports since it could be used as propaganda tool against any candidate.
“Hindi ‘yung pinapakita lang, na eto pictures, kasi anybody sabi nga ng Comelec could do that sa social media. We need a definite report from the community,” he said.
He also urged them to file a complaint as the election period has yet to end. Northernforum.net