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Beware of vote-buying, but …

A word of advice from Commission on Elections spokesman James Jimenez: guard against vote-buying but exercise prudence when documenting such acts. The public was helpful in documenting vote-buying and other violations in the May elections and in Monday’s barangay polls, citizens are again expected to be vigilant. But the poll official warns: take it easy with

Oct 25, 2013

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A word of advice from Commission on Elections spokesman James Jimenez: guard against vote-buying but exercise prudence when documenting such acts.

The public was helpful in documenting vote-buying and other violations in the May elections and in Monday’s barangay polls, citizens are again expected to be vigilant. But the poll official warns: take it easy with those cameras.

“Although we are very cognizant of citizen journalism, delikado ‘yung nakakita ka ng tao, pi-picture-an mo (It is dangerous to just take pictures of people you see),” Jimenez said. “Kung kaya nilang kunan nang patago, good. Subukan nila. (If they can take pictures discreetly, good. Let them try — but never at the risk of their own safety.)”

A common practice during elections, giving away sample ballots with money attached is against the law. Still, such acts are but “small fry,” Jimenez said.

Ang talagang object ng ating attention, ‘ika nga, ay ‘yung malawakang attempt at vote-buying (The real object of our attention is the large-scale attempt at vote-buying).”

Jimenez also reminded voters that the barangay elections are manual and votes are to be written by hand. “Kung katulad ko kayo na pangit mag-sulat, mag-ingat (If you’re like me whose handwriting is illegible, be careful).”

He cautioned voters about the danger of election inspectors misreading their votes. “Sayang ang boto natin (Our votes will be wasted),” he said.

In the cases of candidates with the same surnames vying for the same position, Jimenez said that voters have to write the whole name down.

If the voter indicates only the surname, it will be counted in favor of the incumbent, he said, citing the principle of “equity of the incumbent.” He said that it is one of the reasons why incumbents have a better fighting chance during elections. — Vince Nonato

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