Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Concerted effort needed to combat digital vote buying

AN OFFICIAL of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday, June 18, 2021, said it would take a concerted effort by multiple agencies to fully prevent digital vote buying for the May 2022 elections.

In a television interview, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the poll body is not capable of single-handedly preventing digital vote buying.

"Addressing this issue isn't something that anyone of our agencies can do by itself. It will have to be a common effort by all agencies," said Jimenez.

He said they have long recognized this as a potential election problem due to the emergence of online cash transactions.

"We've been saying this as much for the longest time, or since the people started using e-wallets. We have seen that potential," he said.

"Especially with the onset of the pandemic, many transactions have moved into online transactions. That's obviously keeping us late at night," added Jimenez.

Vote buying is defined as politicians offering voters with cash, food, or anything of value in exchange for their votes.

Jimenez said the bottomline remains the same.

"Don’t sell your vote. No matter how big you will receive in exchange for your votes, it is guaranteed that you will pay them more once they are already seated in power," he said in a Twitter post.

He said even the idea of taking the money but still voting for your choice is not acceptable.

"Dear patriots, you’re not being clever; you’re not being edgy; and you sure as heck are not being wise when you advocate selling your vote and voting for who you really want. The ends do not justify the means," said Jimenez. (HDT / SunStar Philippines)


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