Campaign materials are scattered on the pavement in front of Baseco Elementary School in Manila on May 13, 2019.
AFP/Noel Celis
P12M vote buying money seized in midterm polls, says PNP
( - May 16, 2019 - 9:03am

MANILA, Philippines — Authorities confiscated more than P12 million from vote buying incidents across the country during the May midterm elections.

Data from the Philippine National Police showed the amount confiscated reached P12,208,958 from 225 incidents of vote buying nationwide.

Caraga recorded the highest amount involved in vote buying incidents with P7,976,100. It was followed by Northern Mindanao with P1,125,718 recovered.

Authorities confiscated P561,000 from 17 vote buying incidents in the Ilocos region.

In the nine vote buying incidents recorded in Metro Manila, 136 individuals were arrested and a total of P541,100 was recovered.

The Commission on Elections earlier warned candidates proven to have engaged in vote buying may be fined, jailed and disqualified from holding public office for committing this election offense.

But on election day, President Rodrigo Duterte said that vote buying is an “integral part” of elections in the country, as he claimed that everyone has engaged in the practice.

“That’s why vote buying is a complex issue. It can take many forms… for as long as the Philippines remains to be a poor country, for as long as the feudal system exists lalo especially in rural areas aggravated by the communists… We are becoming poorer and poorer,” Duterte said in Filipino. — Gaea Katreena Cabico


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