‘Vote-buying incidents’ reported in Pampanga towns

VOTERS LIST. A voter search for his name and precinct number among the voters list posted outside the Juliana Elementary school in the City of San Fernando. (Chris Navarro)
VOTERS LIST. A voter search for his name and precinct number among the voters list posted outside the Juliana Elementary school in the City of San Fernando. (Chris Navarro)

HOURS before the election day, alleged vote-buying incidents were reported by policemen in separate municipalities in Pampanga.

In San Simon, the camp of re-electionist Mayor Abundio Punsalan Jr. accused his rival in the mayoral race, incumbent Vice Mayor Leonora Wong of participating in vote-buying practice.

As early as Wednesday, May 4, Punsalan said a job order employee of the local government identified as Donabelle Parungao filed a report before the local police against the camp of Wong.

“Hanggang ngayon (Sunday), bawal na ang pag-meeting ng mga tao pero tuluy-tuloy ang pagdagsa ng tao sa headquarters ng kampo ni Wong,” he said.

SunStar Pampanga tried to seek the comment of Wong on the matter but he declined as of posting.

San Simon chief of police Major Jessie James Domingo said the blotter “was properly put into record and was referred to the local election officer for proper guidance.”

“On the part of PNP, rest assured na inaaksyunan namin lahat ng election-related complaint based on the guidelines of the Comelec and the proper protocol,” Domingo said.

Some residents from Sto. Tomas town were allegedly involved in another vote-buying incident.

The incident allegedly transpired in a private compound in Barangay Dela Paz in nearby San Simon town.

In the investigation report provided by San Simon chief of police Major Jessie James Domingo, their office received an information on alleged vote-buying incident in a private compound allegedly owned by a certain Mr. Pineda on Bangkal Street, Barangay Dela Paz.

Upon receipt of the information, Domingo said joint personnel of Pampanga Police Provincial Office and San Simon police proceeded to the venue to confirm the veracity of the report.

The police team found out that many people gathered in the venue.

The crowd, however, started dispersing upon noticing the police mobiles of responding officers, Domingo said.

During the incident, Domingo said they were able to assist 38 individuals who were within the area during the incident.

Upon questioning, it was learned that the individuals were reportedly all residents of nearby Sto. Tomas town.

One of those who were assisted, allegedly a resident of Barangay Moras Dela Paz said they were picked up by a private vehicle in their area with a promise of receiving cash.

“Sinundo po kami ng sasakyan, ang sabi bibigyan kami ng pambili ng bigas at ako naman, natutuwa na may pambili ng bigas, sumama ako,” she said.

Asked if she knows who will give the cash, she said: “Doon daw po sa lugar ni vice mayor.”

She failed, however, to name who is the vice mayor she was referring to.

Sto. Tomas town only has three candidates for vice mayor, namely, independent bet Jansen Lingat, former Councilor Jhong Naguit, and re-electionist Vice Mayor Matias “Bong” Pineda.

Pineda, whose surname is the same with the one mentioned in the police report, denied any vote-buying activity involving him or his camp.

“Hindi totoo ‘yan. Walang vote-buying sa side ko,” Pineda said in Kapampangan during a phone interview with SunStar Pampanga.


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