Sen. Bato: Vote buying is illegal; accepting bribe then voting for another bet is 'estafa'

Published October 27, 2021, 6:40 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Presidential aspirant Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Wednesday branded vote-buying as “illegal and immoral.”

“That is illegal and immoral. First, receiving the bribe money is already engaging in vote buying which is a violation of law therefore, illegal,” Dela Rosa said in a statement.

“Secondly, accepting the money and voting with your conscience which is voting for another candidate other than the bribing candidate is akin to ‘estafa’ therefore, immoral,” the senator added.

Debates on vote-buying took off after Vice President Leni Robredo, another presidential candidate, said in an interview that Filipinos who are offered money in exchange for their votes should just accept the money but vote for their preferred candidate.

She clarified her remark later saying that she never condones the act and was just poitnting to realities on the ground.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez, however, maintained that vote-buying is still an election offense.

Dela Rosa agreed saying the person who were offered bribes should report the incident to authorities.

“The better advice is not to accept the money and report the vote buyer directly to the police,” the former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief said.