Even before the candidates’ campaign for Election 2022 began, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) warned on Thursday of possible rampant vote-buying using new technology.
According to Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez, they do not rule out the possibility of the country’s vote-buying system becoming advanced through e-wallets or electronic money transfers.
Jimenez admitted that they have no control over the issue of sending money using such e-money transfers.
“Kami din sa Comelec, nakikita namin yung posibilidad n’yan (vote buying gamit ang electronic money transfer), particularly nung nagsimula yung pandemya. Talagang nakita naman natin, maraming gumagamit ng money transfer na mga e-wallet,” said Jimenez.
“We’ve been giving it some thoughts also. Pero kasi, talaga namang walang control ang Comelec sa usaping electronic transfers ng pera eh,” the official added.
Jimenez believes that the only thing they can do is contact the companies that offer e-money transfer services, iron out what can be done, and prevent politicians from using it in vote-buying.
Comelec, PNP warn vs e-money transfer vote-buying in Election 2022
“Ang pinakamagandang approach d’yan is to talk to the platforms themselves. Hindi naman Comelec lang ang nagsasabi n’yan. Nabanggit na rin ‘yan ng PNP chief.”
Recently, PNP Chief General Guillermo Eleazar himself said that vote-buying through cashless transactions is possible.
“Hindi po malabong mangyari ito dahil nakagawian na rin po ang cashless transactions, lalo ngayong may pandemya. Talagang maiisip ito ng mga taong nagpa-planong manghikayat sa publiko na ibenta ang kanilang boto,” said Eleazar.
“Monitoring vote-buying activities in the 2022 elections will really be a great challenge to us. But I assure the voting public that we will put in place safeguards against this practice,” he added.
According to Eleazar, they will also start working with stakeholders such as the Comelec to place mechanisms against vote-buying using electronic money transfer services.
The Comelec once again warned those who will sell and buy votes in the election.