Complaints on all election-related violations including vote buying allegations will not prosper without evidence, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said on Thursday, April 14.
“The DOJ (Department of Justice), which is part of the task force, will dismiss it if evidence is fabricated or insufficient,’’ Malaya said in a message.
Malaya noted that the guidelines related to the May 9, 2022 election is almost done and will be issued by the Commission on Election (Comelec) after the Holy Week break.
Her added that a probable cause will always be a requirement for election-related complaints.
Earlier, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año confirmed that a number of local officials accused of vote buying were already asked to explain their sides.
"Ang ginagawa, kapag may dumadating na information sa atin, pinapadalhan natin ng notice to explain. Kasi ang pag-iimbestiga at pagpa-file ng kaso belongs to the Comelec (What we do when we receive information (election-related offenses) is we issue notices to explain. The Comelec handles the investigation and filing of cases,’’ Año explained in an interview over ABS-CBN.
Año added that the DILG helps the Comelc gather information on poll-related grievances.
“Minsan, ang dumarating, pictures lang na 'di mo alam kung photoshop lang siya (Sometimes what we get are only pictures which we don’t know if they were merely photoshop copies),’’ he added.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has already activated its Task Force Kontra Bigay, which aims to crack down on alleged vote-buying by politicians during the campaign.
Año reiterated his call to public officials never to use state resources in their election campaigns.
“Bawal gamitin ang pondo ng taumbayan, mga pag-aari ng pamahalaan sa pangangampanya (Using public funds, government resources are prohibited from being used in the campaign),’’ Año emphasized.
The DILG chief also reminded all barangay officials to stay out of electoral politics and should be non-partisan.
“They should do away from any sort of campaigning and must exercise fairness in granting campaign permits in their areas and should not use their power and influence to woo and admonish voters’’he warned. (Chito A. Chavez)