MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has appealed to the public not to sell their votes as the idea of vote buying through electronic means looms in the 2022 national and local elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said that the public should not sell their votes even if the offered amount is big, warning them that they will eventually suffer should the candidate get elected.
“Don’t sell your vote,” Jimenez said partly in Filipino in his Twitter account (@jabjimenez), noting that those who would sell votes are not being wise.
“No matter how huge the amount you will receive in exchange for your vote, it will be guaranteed that you will pay more for it once the candidate sits in a government post,” he added.
Jimenez’s statement came after Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar warned the public against possible online vote-buying, pointing out that some politicians may try to take advantage of e-wallets to buy votes. ?
“Not to sound alarmist, but I think the general is correct. We’ve been saying this as much for the longest time, or since the people started using e-wallets, we have seen that potential,” Jimenez said. ?
Admitting that this possibility is keeping the Comelec up “late at night,” he stressed that the problem should be addressed as a common responsibility by all government agencies. ?
Jimenez also reminded the public that they only have until Sept. 30 to register for next year’s polls.