PNP promises mechanisms vs vote-buying through cash transfers
File photo shows Filipino voters participating in an election.
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PNP promises mechanisms vs vote-buying through cash transfers

(Philstar.com) - June 14, 2021 - 11:02am

MANILA, Philippines — With the 2022 polls drawing closer, the Philippine National Police will meet with government agencies to discuss safeguards against vote-buying in the age of cashless transactions, its chief said Monday. 

In a statement sent to reporters, Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said that mechanisms will be created to prevent vote-buying through online banking or cash transfer mobile applications. 

The phenomenon of vote-buying is prevalent in the Philippines, where President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019 called the practice an "integral" part of elections.

READ: Vote buying an integral part of Philippine elections — Duterte

"This is not unlikely to happen because cashless transactions have become commonplace especially now that there is a pandemic. People who plan to persuade the public to sell their vote can really think of this," Eleazar said.

"Monitoring vote-buying activities in the 2022 elections will really be a great challenge to us but I assure the voting public that we will put in place safeguards against this practice," he added.

In 2019, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting claimed that incidents of vote-buying worsened compared to the 2016 polls, adding that the vote-buying rate of some candidates is at P500 per voter or at P5,000 for a family with 10 voters. 

"Let us also remember that politicians who buy votes do not have good intentions for the people and only their self-interest is being protected," he said in Filipino. 

READ: Poll watchdog: Vote buying worsened this year

The PNP chief also urged the public not to take part in the practice and called on voters to report any information they may have on online vote-buying. 

Earlier in May, Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez said that the coronavirus pandemic would not hinder the 2022 elections. 

"Comelec can suspend elections or declare a failure of elections when it becomes impossible to hold free and fair elections," Jimenez said on his personal Twitter account.

"Legally there is no violation of the ban on premature campaigning and electioneering,” he also said, but added that what they are doing “should not be rewarded."

with a report from The STAR 

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