Once found guilty of vote-buying, winning candidates can be unseated—Comelec

Published May 22, 2022, 5:46 PM

by Jel Santos

Winning candidates can still be unseated from their posts once found guilty of vote-buying, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Sunday, May 22.

Comelec Commissioner George Erwin M. Garcia (JEL SANTOS/MANILA BULLETIN)

Comelec Commissioner George Erwin M. Garcia said there are currently some winning candidates who are facing disqualification cases due to alleged vote-buying.

“Nagyon po, ang tanong, mahahabol niyo pa ba sila kahit sila ay nanalo na? Ay opo naman (Now, the question is that can we go after them? Yes we can),” he said during an interview with DZMM.

He noted that “provided the [vote-buying] cases were filed before [Election Day, May 9].”

Since it is a disqualification case, the Comelec commissioner said that the winning candidate who was found guilty of vote-buying will be replaced by his successor.

“Halimbawa kandidato [ay] for mayor, na-disqualify dahil sa issue ng vote-buying, na-determine naming talaga na involved sa vote-buying, tatanggalin namin ‘yung mayor at ang makakaupo ay ang vice mayor by succession po kasi ang rule diyan (For example the candidate is for mayor, he/she was disqualified due to vote-buying, we have determined he was really involved in vote-buying activities, we will remove him/her as mayor and will replace him/her with the vice mayor because the rule there is by succession),” Garcia explained.

Meanwhile, he did not name the winning candidates who have pending disqualification cases due to alleged vote-buying.

Garcia noted that Comelec’s Task Force Kontra Bigay has so far received over 1,000 vote-buying complaints through e-mail and social media.

He said around 20 summons have been sent asking those accused to answer the vote-buying allegations hurled at them.