MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) nabbed 10 suspected vote-buyers in Bacoor, Cavite, who were caught with two shirts bearing the names of gubernatorial bet Jonvic Remulla and his running mate Jolo Revilla.
According to the CIDG report, the following people suspected of vote-buying were arrested in Barangay Zapote 5 past 6 pm on Sunday, May 5:
The suspects were found to be carrying shirts bearing the words "'Tapat sa Bayan, Tapat sa Usapan' Jonvic Remulla Gobernador and Jolo Revilla Bise Gobernador" on the front and "Vote WOW 169 PILIPINAS" at the back. (READ: Newsbreak Chats: Vote-buying beyond just giving cash)
The suspects were also carrying a total of P75,800 kept in small brown envelopes containing P200 bills, a plastic bag containing red wristbands, and one red notebook with a list of names.
The CIDG said the suspects were arrested for alleged violation of the Omnibus Election Code's Section 261 on vote-buying.
In a Facebook post, Remulla said the suspects were just their poll watchers who were distributing the travel allowance of their colleagues.
"The watchers are duly accredited and trained together with a reporting app attached to their smartphones. In the process of distributing their travel allowance for next week's training, they were raided and accosted and arrested with no charges," said Remulla.
The former governor said he hopes the authorities "will use their powers judiciously." But he is concerned the arrest "will be twisted" by their opponents.
"As all is fair in times of political fights, we are confident that the people will see this as a misunderstanding and that the elections will proceed with the people's mandate at stake. We are thankful that no acts of violence occurred and that our volunteers have been fairly accommodated at the CIDG headquarters," said Remulla.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story stated that Jonvic Remulla is the incumbent Cavite governor. He served as governor from 2010 to 2016.