THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) will go after candidates — whether winners or losers — who have been accused of vote-buying on election day, according to an election official.
“We have received more than a thousand complaints on vote-buying from our task force and we will chase after all candidates involved,” Election Commissioner George Erwin M. Garcia told CNN Philippines on Wednesday.
“We were just busy with the preparations for the proclamation ceremony today, but we will go after them, even if these violators have been proclaimed already.”
Comelec proclaimed the 12 winning senatorial candidates on Wednesday afternoon after processing 172 out of 173 certificates of canvass.
Senator Aquilino L. Pimentel III told the same program on Tuesday that he had received massive reports of vote-buying on May 9.
“I received reports of massive vote-buying, there was a sample ballot with an attached bill and then those who want to make sure even add small printouts with their names,” he said.
“I have heard this many times, but I think the amount is getting bigger,” Mr. Pimentel added in Filipino.
Election Commissioner Aimee P. Ferolino, who heads the election body’s task force against vote-buying, told a press briefing on Saturday they received at least 100 complaints with credible evidence.
Mr. Garcia warned candidates that those who will be found guilty face disqualification and a sentence of up to six years in prison.
Meanwhile, the planned proclamation for the president and vice president by May 27 or 28 remains on track as the Senate has received 87% or 150 of 173 election certificates and returns as of Wednesday morning, the legislative body said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez and Alyssa Nicole O. Tan