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Vote-buying most common irregularity during BSKE

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
Vote-buying most common irregularity during BSKE
A recent survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) found that vote-buying was the “most commonly witnessed irregularity” during the local elections in October last year.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Although a large majority of Filipinos were satisfied with the conduct of the recent barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE), almost three in every 10 people said they either personally witnessed or heard about vote-buying in their areas.

A recent survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) found that vote-buying was the “most commonly witnessed irregularity” during the local elections in October last year.

Some 13 percent of the respondents said they personally witnessed vote-buying in their areas, while 15 percent said they heard or read about it.

Seventeen percent were unsure if vote-buying happened, while a majority or 55 percent said it did not happen.

The survey was conducted from Dec. 8 to 11, with the results released during the 2024 SWS Survey Review held at the Asian Institute of Management last Thursday.

Other irregularities observed by the respondents included bribery in exchange for not voting (two percent witnessed, five percent heard or read), harassment of voters (two percent witnessed, five percent heard or read), flying voters (two percent witnessed, three percent heard or read), cheating during vote-counting (one percent witnessed, four percent heard or read) and violence on election day (one percent witnessed, two percent heard or read).

Based on the survey, 82 percent of the respondents were satisfied with the overall conduct of the BSKE, with 40 saying they were “very satisfied” and 42 percent saying they were “somewhat satisfied.”

Only 11 percent were dissatisfied, while seven percent were undecided.

Top news events

The BSKE also emerged as the most followed news event in the last quarter of 2023, with 65 percent saying they monitored news reports about it.

It was followed by the monitoring of prices of commodities for the Christmas season (58 percent) and the armed conflict between Israel and Hamas (49 percent).

Other top news events at the end of last year included China’s installation of floating barrier at Panatag Shoal (47 percent), the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine (46 percent), the United States’ support for the Philippines on the West Philippine Sea row (43 percent) and the 2024 budget hearings, including the confidential funds of the Office of the Vice President and the Department of Education (36 percent).

Filipinos also monitored news about the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China (34 percent); former president Rodrigo Duterte’s criticism of the House of Representatives (33 percent); the granting of bail to former senator Leila de Lima (33 percent); the fatal shooting of broadcaster Juan Jumalon during a live broadcast (30 percent) and the cases filed against former US president Donald Trump (19 percent).

The SWS fourth-quarter survey had 1,200 adult respondents and a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent.

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