MANILA — The Commission on Elections said Tuesday it received 2 complaints of vote buying following the creation of a task force that sought to curb the election offense.
Commissioner George Erwin Garcia said one of the complaints was filed by the group Kowalisyong Novaleno Kontra Korapsyon against Rose Nono Lin, who is running for congressional representative in Quezon City.
Lin was also investigated by the Senate in relation to the alleged misuse of the government's pandemic response funds.
"I was informed about the filing. One of the first cases after the activation of the the task force," said Garcia, who did not discuss the details of the other case.
For the poll executive, these complaints will serve as a warning to those engaged in vote buying.
"These initial cases are the beginning of everything, a warning to one and all that we have an awakened citizenry with the highest sense of maturity," said Garcia.
"However, presumption of innocence should never be compromised as mandated by the Constitution," he added.
Garcia underscored the importance of submitting evidence, particularly photos and video.
"We will immediately issue the subpoena to immediately proceed with the preliminary investigation. We will afford due process to all. And we will not allow our judgement be swayed by publicity or popularism. Ours will be guided only by the evidence presented and the law applicable based on the given facts," he said.
The poll body earlier formed an inter-agency task force headed by Commissioner Aimee Ferolino, which would investigate and prosecute cases of vote buying and selling.
Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code prohibits vote buying and vote selling, and offenders face possible jail time, and loss of the right to run for public office and to vote.
— Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News