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PPCRV alarmed by ‘wholesale vote buying’

Evelyn Macairan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) yesterday asked law enforcement agencies to conduct entrapment operations and arrest those behind vote-buying activities in the country.

This developed as the PPCRV expressed concern over reports that some candidates now buy votes per barangay or locality.

During the celebration of the election watchdog’s 24thanniversary, PPCRV chairman Henrietta de Villa said that while the election system has evolved from manual to automated, vote-buying continues to be rampant.

“The Commission on Elections (Comelec) should be stricter in the enforcement of the law and enforcers should make apprehensions to sow fear in the hearts of those who are engaged in vote-buying,” De Villa said. “Unfortunately, they only apprehend the henchmen and not the masterminds.”

She said enforcement agencies should have political will and start conducting entrapment operations.

De Villa added that nowadays, apart from the perennial election problem on the use of guns, goons and gold, authorities also have to deal with the greediness of candidates in their desire to win.

She said candidates are buying votes wholesale “maybe because the price of the vote of an electorate has gone up and it has become so tempting.”

“Some of our coordinators reported that in some barangays, the price is P1,000 per head or P5,000 per family. This means that if they will buy the votes of 1,000 voters, they will be spending P1 million. Just imagine that,” De Villa said.

She hinted that in some instances, barangay leaders may even be acting as facilitators in vote-buying activities of some politicians.

“They know those who are willing to sell their votes,” she said.

The prices may vary depending on how heated the rivalry is between candidates, she added.

De Villa said rampant vote-buying is an indication of two things: the erosion of moral values and the lack of political will of the country’s enforcers.

In line with this, the PPCRV launched the “One Good Vote” campaign aimed at convincing people not to sell their votes and to be careful in their selection of candidates.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., SMART Telecommunications and Talk and Text gave free TnT SIM cards to PPCRV volunteers taking part in election monitoring.

 

 

 

ACIRC

BUYING

COMELEC

DE VILLA

HENRIETTA

ONE GOOD VOTE

PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL

PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE CO

RESPONSIBLE VOTING

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND TALK AND TEXT

VOTE

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