PNP to activate vote-buying monitoring team

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will activate its monitoring team to assist the Commission on Elections (Comelec) against vote-buying in relation to the May 9 national and local elections.

“We will be activating our own PNP monitoring team to assist the Comelec concerning the report of vote-buying. The team will be from the regional headquarters down to municipal stations, and we will be closely coordinating with the Comelec with respect to these reports. We will be assisting the Comelec in filing cases relative to reports of vote-buying,” PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said in a TV interview on Friday.

She said all systems go with respect to the number of police personnel that will be deployed for the national and local elections including their logistical requirements down to the police stations.

“Our air, land and water assets have already been deployed especially in those areas that were categorized and listed as election areas of concern,” she said.

A memorandum, issued by Comelec Commissioner Aimee Ferolino, chairperson of Task Force Bigay, directs the law enforcement agencies to strictly enforce the statutory prohibition against vote buying and vote selling.

Section 261(a) of Batas Pambansa Bilang 881, otherwise known as the Omnibus Election Code (OEC), penalizes as election offense the act of vote-buying and vote-selling.

Meanwhile, Fajardo said 24 towns and four cities were placed under Comelec’s control due to security concerns.

The Comelec has placed several areas under its control, including Abra, Pilar, Maguindanao, Buluan, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Datu Piang, Mangudadatu, Pandag, Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Sur, Marawi City, Maguing, Tuburan, and Malabang.

Fajardo noted that among the validated election-related violence incidents are now 14 as of May 4.

She said this is lower than the 133 and 60 recorded in 2016 and 2019 polls.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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