10 suspected vote-buyers arrested in Cavite

Mara Cepeda

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10 suspected vote-buyers arrested in Cavite
(UPDATED) Cavite gubernatorial bet Jonvic Remulla says the suspects are mere poll watchers who were arrested while distributing the travel allowance of their colleagues

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:  

  • Teresita Marjes
  • Irene Morales
  • Elsie Alano del Mundo
  • Jayson Alab
  • Rex del Rosario
  • Jose de Leon
  • Gregorio Tamio
  • Michael Omedes
  • Joselino Villa
  • Jowel Sale 

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.

– Rappler.com

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.

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.