The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) has warned Pangasinenses against patronizing vote-buying, saying it breeds corruption, which will eventually lead to greater poverty.
In a virtual forum hosted by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Pangasinan on Thursday, PPCRV media officer Marlo Artacho urged residents to not vote in exchange for any amount of cash or goods.
“According to our intelligence, vote-buying in Pangasinan reaches PHP5,000 to PHP10,000,” he noted.
He said if the residents would sell their votes, they would not have the right to question the elected official anymore because they were already paid.
“This (our vote) is our dignity. This is where we are of equal footing with one another,” he added.
He stressed that “Pangasinenses are not for sale.”
PPCRV will again participate in the elections on May 9 as a watchdog with over 12,000 volunteers in the entire province.
The group is still accepting more volunteers.
Meanwhile, Pangasinan Police Provincial Office (PPPO) deputy provincial director for operations Lt. Col. Ferdinand de Asis said, “We encourage the residents to report with evidence if there are vote-buying incidents in their localities.”
He said the PPPO will deploy about 3,224 personnel to the polling precincts to ensure peace and order during the elections.
De Asis added that two policemen would be assigned to each polling precinct.
However, some polling centers, especially those in hard-to-reach areas, will each have three policemen assigned, he said.
“They will be stationed outside the polling precincts and are not allowed inside,” he noted.
De Asis further said 23 quick response teams across the province would respond to any incident that might arise.
“There are also the civil disturbance management teams, special weapons and tactics units, mobile force companies, and provincial medical units,” he said.
During the forum, the Department of Health 1 (Ilocos) focal person on the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Dr. Rheuel Bobis, reminded the voters to follow the minimum health protocols.
Source: Philippines News Agency