By Raymund Antonio
As election day draws near, Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to fulfill its duty to ensure honest and clean midterm elections on May 13.
“Inaasahan natin na dahil iyong Comelec iyong implementing arm na kailangan nagpapatupad ng ating mga election laws, tututukan ito, kasi pinakamahalaga na hindi lang malinis iyong eleksyon, pero talagang alam ng mga tao na wala silang dapat ikatakot,” she said in a media interview.
(We expect that, because it is the implementing arm of our election laws, the Comelec would focus on it. The most important is not only the elections are clean, but the people knows they have nothing to fear.)
The Vice President, who is the leader of the opposition, made the call in Nueva Ecija following reports of vote-buying and other election offenses a week before the midterm elections.
Robredo was asked about the video that circulated online that purportedly showed official ballots have been pre-shaded with ultraviolet ink for certain candidates.
Just recently, the Comelec took notice of the inspection conducted by the Philippine National Police at its Baguio City warehouse containing the vote-counting machines and other election paraphernalia for next week’s polls.
“Nag-promise sila na iimbestigahin pa din. Iimbestigahin din iyong pagpasok ng police personnel sa isang warehouse sa Baguio, na bawal iyon dahil kailangan mayroong Comelec official na present, hindi yata nasunod,” she said.
(They promised to investigate it. The entry of police personnel in a warehouse in Baguio will also be investigated, that is illegal because a Comelec official should be present, but it is not followed.)
The country’s second highest official asked the Comelec to address the problem of vote-buying during elections. She said the practice of vote-buying must stop.
Vote-buying has consistently been among the top elections violation documented by the Comelec. Under the Omnibus Election Cide, vote-buying is an election offense.
“Iyong pinaka-bothersome dito iyong rampant talaga na vote-buying, na sana mahinto na ito. Kami, kinakampanya namin na lalong bumibili ng boto, lalong huwag iboto, para mahinto na,” she said.
(The most bothersome here is the rampant vote-buying, which I hope would stop. We campaign not to vote for candidates who buy votes so it would stop.)
“Kasi kung iyong mga bumibili ng boto hindi naman nananalo, ito iyong pinakamalaking deterrent para hindi ito maging kultura,” Robredo explained.
(Because if the candidates who buy votes would not win, this the biggest deterrent so it won’t become a culture.) #MatalinongBoto2019