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Inquirer.net : Vote buying still an offense, Comelec spokesperson insists

News & Interviews
27 October 2021

By John Eric Mendoza | Inquirer.net

MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez on Wednesday reminded the public that vote buying is still an election offense “regardless of financial situation or noble intentions.”

Jimenez issued this reminder a day after presidential aspirant and incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo told voters to take the politician’s money, but vote based on one’s conscience.

“I disagree with the notion of taking the money and voting according to your conscience. Di dapat ginagawa, at di dapat sina-suggest yan sa mga botante,” the spokesman said in a Twitter post.

“Vote buying is an election offense regardless of financial situation or noble intentions. Di dapat ginagawa, at di dapat sina-suggest yan sa mga botante,” Jimenez said.

(No one should do that, and it should not be suggested to voters.)

Robredo, while stressing that vote buying is an illegal act, told voters to take a more pragmatic approach of taking the money from politicians, — which, she said, could be taxpayer’s money anyway — but vote based on one’s conscience. She said this could also serve a lesson to politicians if they did not get their desired outcome.

“Parati kong sinasabi, ‘Tanggapin niyo kasi galing din naman iyan sa atin. Iyong pinambibili ng boto, pera din iyan ng taumbayan. Tatanggapin mo pero ang iboboto mo kung sino iyong nasa konsensya mo,” she said during an online meeting with her supporters on Tuesday.

(I have said this in the past: Accept it because it may have been from tax money. What they used to buy your votes, could be the money of the people. Accept it but vote whoever your conscience says.)