By Aaron Recuenco
Three voters in a barangay in Odiongan town, Romblon, surrendered the money they received from a town councilor and a barangay captain who allegedly tried to bribe them to vote for certain senatorial and local candidates.
Lt. Col. Socrates Faltado, spokesman of the Mimaropa (Mindoro Occidental and Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) regional police, said the vote-buying occurred last Saturday at the house of Barangay Captain Darlene Lachica Fornal.
The three voters accused Fornal of vote-buying along with Michael Matanggihan Arevalo who is seeking re-election to the Odiongan town council.
“Based on the complaint, the barangay captain allegedly asked the three to go to her house since their names are included in the voter’s list of the barangay captain,” said Faltado.
“When they arrived, the three were allegedly given P1,000 by Arevalo and asked to vote for the people and a party-list group on the two pieces of papers also given to them,” he said.
The piece of paper contains the name of the candidates for congressman, governor and vice governor.
The second, pink-colored paper contains a complete line-up—from senatorial candidates down to the municipal candidates. All the candidates listed in the pink sample ballot with the money belong to the administration slate.
It also bears the name of a party-list group based in Bicol region.
“There was also a pocket-size calendar containing the name of that partylist group with a P50 bill stapled on it,” said Faltado.
Faltado said all the items turned over by the complainants were documented and police are coordinating with the local office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for proper action.
At least 157 people have been arrested across the country for vote-buying activities, 84 of them are in Metro Manila.