33 vote buying cases reported in Cordillera

Editorial cartoon by Josua Cabrera

DESPITE the 33 cases of vote buying in the Cordillera Administrative Region, the election was generally peaceful, according to the Regional Emergency Monitoring Action Center (Remac) of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Cordillera.

Remac head Police Colonel Homer Penecilla said 33 cases of vote buying in the region were recorded, with 25 reported cases coming from Abra, six in Kalinga, and two in Baguio City.

"Upon receiving complaints of alleged vote buying activities by our police personnel, they immediately responded in the areas where the complaints were received and after conducting the necessary validation, it turned out to be negative but we still encourage our electorates to report such activities and we will immediately do the necessary measures," Penecilla said.

While the region's election was generally peaceful, Remac noted most of the problems encountered by the different precincts are defective scanners and malfunctioning SD cards and vote counting machines (VCM).

In Benguet, Provincial Police Office Director Lyndon Mencio said the province remained peaceful with no election-related incidents recorded in the 13 municipalities.

"In Benguet, we are still the most peaceful and orderly when it comes to the conduct of the elections in the country. As of our latest monitoring, all the glitches in the preparations of the VCMs and the ballot boxes were already settled and everything was set in place. The 332 voting centers in the 13 municipalities servicing around 227,033 voters opened on time," Mencio said.

At the City Emergency Monitoring Action Center (Cemac) of the Baguio City Police Office, Acting City Director Police Colonel Allen Rae Co said the country's Summer Capital also had a peaceful and orderly elections.

Co said Cemac's Quick Reaction Teams was propositioned to immediately react to any eventualities in the different polling centers in the city.

"We continued to conduct rounds in the 290 polling places in the city so that we would be able to provide immediate support to them. We also conduct security to all our tourists destinations on Election Day for our tourists and citizens who visited these areas," Co said.

The acting city director also clarified the alleged release of a post on social media by a police substation regarding the disqualification of the Makabayan bloc as party-list.

"I haven't heard about their posting regarding this matter, however, I have been seeing a post on social media but I do not know the truthfulness to that post but I would have to check on this matter. They might have been swayed into posting this which according to my understanding was not verified," Co said.

Vote buying activities have also been reported to the Cemac, which immediately conducted an investigation, but it turned out to be negative.

Aside from this, malfunctioned SD cards and VCMs were also reported.


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