Vote-buying complaint filed vs Biñan, Laguna officials

Published June 23, 2022, 6:52 PM

by Jel Santos

A “vote-buying” complaint was filed against Biñan City, Laguna Representative Marlyn “Len” Alonte-Naguiat, Mayor Walfredo “Arman” Dimaguila Jr., and Vice Mayor Angelo “Gel” Alonte before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday, June 23.

Complaint-Affidavit

The complainants were identified as Michael “Mike” Gerard Thomas Ponce Yatco, Audrey L. Amoroso, and Christopher R. Santos.

Comelec Spokesperson John Rex C. Laudiangco confirmed that the complaint-affidavit against the aforementioned officials was already filed.

“Yes[,]we have received it today po. It will be evaluated for possible docketing po,” he said in a message sent to the Manila Bulletin.

In a press release to reporters covering the Comelec, it was noted by the camp of the complainants that they have at least “33 witnesses aside from video footages and photos that will prove their allegations against the respondents.”

The complaint stemmed from the accounts of several local residents who went to Yatco, a congressional bet, to narrate the numerous cases of vote-buying and other election-related crimes that they witnessed weeks before and on the day of the May 9 polls.

Quoting their witnesses’ testimonies, Yatco’s counsels said the respondents had allegedly committed vote-buying in at least 14 out of 24 barangays in the city.

“Their vote-buying activities were systematic. They used the PCVL (Posted Computerized Voters’ List) or other lists created for other programs of the local government such as the ‘Pamaskong Bayong’ program to identify whose votes would be bought,” they said.

These registered voters would be given colored stubs of the main respondents’ political team, LABARKADA, with barcode or QR (quick response) code, they further said.

“They (registered voters) were then made to attend in what they called voters’ information barangay caucuses or invited over the principal respondents’ residences or some other places,” the lawyers of the complainants said.

“After that, they would be told to proceed to a nearby place where they would present the stubs or sample ballots for signature and claim the initial amount to be given to them,” they alleged.

Moreover, they said, these colored stubs and sample ballots would then be required to be presented on Election Day for the voters to allegedly claim the last wave of payment.

The lawyers of the complainants said they have also included in the complaints at least 82 others led by Dimaguila’s mother and siblings.

 
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