Vote buying, black propaganda mar elections

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BAGUIO CITY  – Baguio, Benguet and Mountain Province are known to be orderly and peaceful during the conduct of previous political exercises but unknown to many voters, the recently concluded May 13, 2019 mid-term elections was marred by massive vote buying and the use of black propaganda by moneyed politicians which now casts doubt on whether or not the results of the elections are the real voice of the people in the said places.

In Baguio City, reliable sources claimed that massive vote buying was rampant in Irisan, Asin, Fairview, Kias, Loakan, Aurora Hill and other vote-rich barangays in the city right on election day which resulted to the lopsided victory of some elected officials.

The sources confirmed that the politicians that initiated the massive vote buying established their purported coffee stations near the designated polling centers in the said barangays wherein their coordinators invited voters to have coffee and allegedly handed over to selected voters sample ballots of a congressional candidate with his whole slate with some P2,000 or P1,000 inside the folded campaign material before they will be allowed to cast their votes.

The sources questioned the police deployed in the polling centers for their alleged inaction on the blatant violation of the coordinators of a congressional candidate who always pretends to know nothing about what had been illegally done by his supporters and coordinators that was branded as electioneering.

Some photos of the alleged vote buying activities of the congressional candidate had been posted in social media which elicited negative response from the netizens and which also warrants the conduct of the appropriate investigation by the Commission on elections (Comelec).

Aside from the widespread vote buying that was done by the supporters of the congressional candidate, their financiers also secretly reproduced a black propaganda material against a city official and a department head which were distributed in populated areas in the city.

In Benguet, candidates of a political party distributed grocery items to their prospective voters in some barangays and municipalities wherein the said items were packaged that contained their names.

Sources, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, claimed that the distribution of the grocery items were done a day before and during the wee hours of the morning prior to the conduct of the elections.

In Mountain Province, the quarters of two congressional candidates were involved in massive vote buying before and during the day of the elections wherein the money that was distributed to the voters range from P500 to P1,500 per voter.

Initially, one camp started distributing money a day before the elections but upon learning of the meager amount that was distributed, the other camp started to increase the amount until the other camp was again constrained to match the distributed amount.

The massive vote buying in Mountain Province was confirmed by a post of Bangon Montañosa that called on the people to be vigilant on the corruption activities of the elected leaders of the province.