Vote buying reports increase, arrests are low
MANILA, Philippines - Reports of vote buying continued to arrive on election day, May 13, but only 14 arrests have been made as polls closed at 7pm.
Of the 14 arrests, 6 are from Cebu, 4 from Dipolog, 2 from Agusan del Sur, and one each from Iloilo and Cotabato.
In Iloilo, Brgy Captain Arbues Gonzaga was arrested for vote buying on Sunday, May 12. He was caught sorting 39 envelopes each containing P300 and a sample ballot.
According to Team PNoy, the ballots belonged to gubernatorial candidate Rep Ferjenel Biron and other United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) candidates.
According to Liberal Party (LP) secretary general Mel Sarmiento, “It is a brazen attempt to thwart the will of the electorate.”
Biron is running against incumbent Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. of the Team PNoy.
House to house vote buying
From Negros Occidental, Fretz Villanueva informed Rappler about the distribution of money to households in San Carlos. Each family member who is an eligible voter received P150 together with a sample ballot.
Villanueva narrated: “My grandparents were even told na kapag nagkamali daw sila ng na-shade-an na name, i-shade nalang din daw yung iba pang names para maging invalid yung votes nila.” (My grandparents were told that if they shaded the wrong name, they just shade other names, which means shading more than the required number making the vote invalid.)
The money came from Team PNoy and Team Unity, a local partylist.
Rappler also received reports of massive vote buying in Caloocan City less than 3 hours before precincts closed. According to reports, the amount ranges from P300 to P1,000.
While reports posted through social media and those delivered by concerned citizens abound, the actual number of arrests are still staggering. - with reports from Bon S. Cabiles, Ladylove Baurile and Fretz Villanueva/Rappler.com
Visit #PHvote, Rappler's coverage of the 2013 Philippine elections.
Get to know the candidates through our comprehensive profile pages.
Fretz Villanueva is a Rappler Mover.