Comelec exec to raise before en banc alleged payout incident in Marcos sortie

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 16 2022 06:21 PM | Updated as of Mar 16 2022 09:36 PM

The Commission on Elections  ABS-CBN News
The Commission on Elections, led by Chairman Saidamen Pangarungan (right) and Commissioner George Garcia, gives the media a briefing on the production of the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) at their warehouse in Sta Rosa Laguna on March 14, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) — A commissioner of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Wednesday he will raise before the en banc the alleged distribution of cash during the campaign sortie of presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr.

In a message to reporters, newly appointed Commissioner George Garcia said he will bring up the alleged incident, which has been reported by some members of the media who covered the sortie on Tuesday, in the poll body's ongoing en banc session. 

"I will make singit po this issue to our ongoing deliberation," Garcia told reporters. 

“Pamimigay sa isang sortie po,” he added when asked to clarify.

Garcia previously stood as Marcos' lawyer in the latter's election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo. He had said he will inhibit from all cases involving his previous clients.

Videos of the alleged cash distribution during Marcos' event in Nueva Ecija have circulated on social media. The videos showed supposed attendees being handed envelopes reportedly with P500 inside.

Under the Omnibus Election Code, giving, offering, or promising "money or anything of value... in order to induce anyone or the public in general to vote for or against any candidate or withhold his vote in the election" is prohibited. 

Officials from the Marcos camp, according to news reports, denied having knowledge about the alleged cash distribution and said they will look into it, with one abhorring such action.

- With report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

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