TARLAC CITY, Tarlac (Oct. 29, 2023) — The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has warned candidates for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) 2023 on vote-buying as it intensified its Committee on Kontra Bigay which was launched last month.
Tarlac province has 930,647 regular voters and 302,657 SK voters in tomorrow’s BSKE.
The COMELEC defines vote-buying as the act of giving, offering, or promising these in exchange for votes:
- money or anything of value
- any office position or job
- franchise or reward, public or private
- expenses directly or indirectly
- to extract expenses from any person, association, corporation, entity, or community.
This is done to persuade anyone or the general public to vote for or against any candidate or to withhold his vote in an election.
The COMELEC also stressed that giving money through digital or online banking transactions or any mobile wallet applications can also be considered vote-buying and vote-selling.
The agency stated that carrying more than P500,000 in cash is forbidden five days before the BSK elections on Oct. 30. Those found with such an amount, particularly after the start of the campaign period, will face penalties.
Meanwhile, vote-selling, or the act of selling votes, involves “the asking or receiving, directly or indirectly, of any expenditure or promise of any office or job, public or private, for any of the aforementioned reasons by any person, association, corporation, group, or community.”
Under the Omnibus Election Code, the prescriptive period for an election offense is five years from the date of commission.