WHILE the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to prove cases of vote buying in Baguio City and Benguet, politicians and the poll body joined hands during the launching of the anti–vote buying campaign.
Comelec Cordillera Regional Director Julius Torres, with Benguet Provincial Election Officer Nicasio Jacob and Baguio Election Officer John Paul Martin, spearheaded the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the pledge of commitment signing at the University of the Philippines.
“We express our gratitude to all our partners that heeded to our call of helping make the 2019 midterm election better. We want to achieve an honest, orderly, peaceful and vote buying free midterm elections this May since we have experienced this in previous elections,” Torres stated.
Martin pointed out with the election period already started, the poll body can now apply appropriate rules and regulations covering the activities of the candidates.
“The voters must be educated on the various forms of vote buying for them to help identify violators of the law and not to condone such illegal actions. Our purpose is to generate awareness and encourage voters to actively campaign against vote buying and other election anomalies.” Martin explained.
Comelec added everyone deserves an honest, orderly, peaceful, fair, inclusive and transparent election, and with a multi–sectoral partnership, aside from assuring an intensified campaign against vote–buying, network and strengthened voter’s education advocacy would be widened.
Affirming their support to the anti–vote buying campaign were government line agencies, police and other non-government organizations such as the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), Integrated Bar of the Philippines – Baguio Chapter and several Baguio civil society organizations and officials of various student organizations in the different colleges/universities in the city.
Several local candidates and political parties also attended the event to affirm their support for the anti–vote buying campaign.