By Martin Sadongdong
Police General Oscar Albayalde, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, bared Monday that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has prepared the necessary documents and pieces of evidence to file charges against 10 alleged vote-buyers who were caught in Bacoor, Cavite.
“Based on what I know, the case will be filed by the CIDG today [Monday],” Albayalde told reporters at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City on Monday morning.
The suspects identified as Teresita Marjes, Irene Morales, Elsie Alano, Jayson Alab, Rex del Rosario, Jose de Leon, Gregorio Tamio, Michael Omedes, Joselino Villa and Jowel Sale are facing charges for violation of Article 22, Section 261, paragraph (a) (vote-buying) of the Batas Pambansa Blg. 881 or the Omnibus Election Code.
The 10 suspects were accused of bribing residents at Barangay Zapote 5, Bacoor to vote for Cavite Provincial Governor Jonvic Remulla Gobernador and Vice Governor Jolo Revilla, the CIDG-Calabarzon said.
However, Albayalde could not confirm whether Remulla and Revilla were included as respondents in the case.
“So far, I think it’s just the 10 suspects. [Remulla and Revilla’s inclusion in the case] will depend on the appreciation of the court,” he said.
Albayalde said they acknowledged the alibi of Remulla and Revilla that the suspects were only dispersing the travel allowance of the governor’s campaign watchers when they were accosted by CIDG personnel on Sunday.
“That is their alibi. In our part, we base [our case] on what was presented by the investigators,” he said.
According to the CIDG-Calabarzon (4A), they caught the suspects while in the act of buying votes after a concerned citizen tipped them of the incident.
Remulla, however, said that his watchers were merely distributing the travel allowances among themselves for a seminar or training when they were apprehended by the CIDG personnel.
Revilla, for his part, backed Remulla’s claim and added he did not need to buy votes as he was running unopposed.
Meanwhile, Albayalde encouraged the public to document cases of vote-buying if ever they encounter one.
“The participation of the voters will play a big role. They have to report it to us and we need evidence like what happened in Cavite,” he said.
“If you have a video footage which shows the exchange of money, that’s good. It’s because if the incident is covered by a video, the ones involved could no longer deny their participation in the crime,” he added.