Manila Bulletin : Vote-buying an election offense, says Comelec spox

27 October 2021

By Leslie Ann Aquino | Manila Bulletin

Vote buying is an election offense regardless of financial situation or noble intentions.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Spokesperson James Jimenez issued this reminder on Wednesday, Oct. 27.

He also disagreed with the advice of Vice President Leni Robredo for voters to accept the money but vote according to their conscience.

“I disagree with the notion of taking the money and voting according to your conscience,” Jimenez said on Twitter.

He added:”Di dapat ginagawa, at di dapat sina-suggest yan sa mga botante (It shouldn’t be done, and shouldn’t be suggested to our voters),”

Last August, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon warned those who will try vote buying via the electronic payment system in the May 2022 polls that this can be traced.

“This is a warning to politicians, know that you’re going to be found out,” she said.

Vote-buying is defined as any person, who gives, offers, or promises money or anything of value, directly or indirectly, in order to induce anyone or the public in general to vote for or against any candidate.

It is considered an election offense, which carries the penalty of one to six years imprisonment, removal of right to vote, and disqualification to hold public office.