OVER P12 million was seized in the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) campaign against vote buying or selling for the 2019 national midterm elections.
From January 13 to May 14, the PNP recorded 225 incidents of vote buying that resulted in the arrest of 356 persons, while 85 others eluded arrest and eight minors were rescued.
PNP spokesperson Colonel Bernard Banac said the area with the highest number of arrested persons was in Metro Manila, while the area with the highest amount seized was in Caraga with P8 million.
The other areas with the most number of vote buying incidents were in Northern Mindanao, Ilocos Region, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (Barmm) and Central Luzon.
Banac said the confiscated money was submitted to court as evidence for criminal complaints filed against the suspects.
But Banac said no one has ever been convicted of vote buying, which is punishable by one to six years imprisonment.
He said it was only during the 2019 elections that the PNP strengthened its operations against vote buying and selling activities.
Earlier, PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde admitted that allegations of vote buying are hard to prove. (SunStar Philippines)