This photo taken May 13, 2019 shows early voters looking through the list of precincts at Sta. Ana Elementary School in Manila City. Toledo IV
On election day, lawyers urged to give free legal aid
Kristine Joy Patag ( - May 13, 2019 - 9:31am

MANILA, Philippines — On the day of 2019 midterm poll, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines urged Filipino lawyers to render free legal aid to help secure honest elections.

IBP Vice President and President-elect Domingo Egon Cayosa, in a statement posted by News5, called on “all the IBP Chapter Presidents, Officers and volunteer lawyers all over the country to render free legal aid to ensure honest, orderly and peaceful elections.”

Cayosa urged its more than 40,000 members to “actively help against vote-buying,” as stated in the cooperative arrangement between the IBP and the Commission on Elections.

“We do this civic duty in a non-partisan manner in keeping with the non-political nature of IBP and to maintain its integrity and independence,” he added.

Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin has earlier ordered executive judges and clerks of court of second- and first-level courts to remain at their post on election day to “resolve all election related cases brought to them ‘with utmost caution and dispatch.’”

Over 18,000 seats, ranging from local councils to the Senate, are at stake on the May 13 elections.

Polling precincts across the country officially opened at 6 a.m. Monday. Voting hours will be until 6 p.m.

FOLLOW: Live updates: Senatorial election in the Philippines | Live updates: Metro Manila local elections

On the day before the midterm polls, the Philippine National Police reported that at least 147 people—most hailing from Metro Manila—were arrested for buying and selling votes.

PNP spokesperson Col. Bernard Banac said most of the violators were either caught red-handed while accepting money in exchange for their votes or handing out cash to voters in favor of some candidates. — with report from News5/Greg Gregorio, The STAR/Emmanuel Tupas

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