By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Sunday that it is not encouraging the public to arrest among themselves suspected vote-buyers and sellers.
Police Major General Mao Aplasca, PNP Directorate for Operations, said a citizen’s arrest puts a high risk on the lives of the witnesses.
Instead, he said the public should just report any incidents of vote-buying and selling to authorities who are more capable and equipped to effect an arrest.
“We encourage reporting of vote-buying incidents. Ang paghuli na sila lang, ‘di namin ine-encourage ‘yon kasi baka malagay sa peligro ang buhay nila,” Aplasca said.
He cited a case in Ilocos (Region 1) where several concerned citizens supposedly arrested among themselves suspects in vote-buying.
“In Region 1, may nangyaring ganoon pero nakarating agad ang pulis so na-turn over sila at ang evidence,” Aplasca added.
As of 6 p.m. Sunday, the PNP-National Election Monitoring Action Center (NEMAC) said 155 suspects were arrested due to vote-buying and selling while 10 more have escaped.
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has the most number of arrests with 108. It was followed by the Calabarzon Police Regional Office (PRO-4A) with 25; Western Visayas (PRO-6) with eight; Bicol (Region 5) and Soccsksargen (Region 12) with six apiece;
Ilocos (Region 1) with four; Mimaropa (Region-4B) with three; Cagayan Valley (Region 2) and Northern Mindanao (Region 10) with two each; and Cordillera (PRO-COR) with one.
The PNP is open for reports of suspected vote-buying and selling cases.
The PNP-NEMAC hotlines are 0916-330-9158 and 0947-520-7864.