Comelec urged to disqualify Cavite guv for alleged vote-buying

MANILA � A Bacoor City resident on Monday asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to disqualify reelectionist Cavite Governor Juan Victor "Jonvic" Remulla in the May 13 mid-term elections for alleged vote-buying activities.

In her petition, Efepania Sunico claimed that the incident of vote-buying happened during Remulla's political campaign rally last May 4 in Barangay Zapote V, Bacoor City in Cavite.

To stress, this instant petition seeks to pursue the electoral aspect of vote-buying -- that is to disqualify the respondent for his abhorrent acts, said the petition.

The Honorable Commission is implored to enforce the mandate of the Constitution for it to act on the matter at hand and to eventually disqualify the Respondent as gubernatorial candidate for the Province of Cavite, it added.

Sunico said that before the event, Remulla's camp allegedly told the crowd to queue for the distribution of wristbands/paper bracelets and that those who will attend the rally will get a reward later on.

It bears to note that the giving by the respondent of wristbands with a promise of reward is a clear act of vote-buying-- equivalent to giving material consideration to influence the voters of Cavite to vote for him, she said.

Moreover, the timing of the release of the paper bracelets is suspect as the same was made prior to the campaign rally purposely with the objective of enticing the voter's attending the same and inducing the latter to vote for the Respondent, the petitioner added.

She alleged that after the rally, those wearing the paper bracelets were later told to queue and will be given their Remulla shirts and brown envelopes each containing PHP200.

Clearly, the giving out of PHP200 bills as reward were made purposely to influence them into voting for him in the coming elections, she said in her petition.

Remulla is seeking his last term in the upcoming polls.

Under the Omnibus Election Code, vote-buying is an election offense, wherein an individual gives, offers, or promises money or anything of value in order to induce the public to vote for or against any candidate.

An election offense carries the penalty of one to six years imprisonment, removal of right to vote, and disqualification to hold public office.

Source: Philippines News Agency