MANILA — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said authorities recorded 245 vote-buying incidents and have arrested 28 people so far.
Of 245 vote-buying incidents between Jan. 1 and May 9, 25 were validated, 2 were under investigation, 4 were referred to prosecutors, while one was pending in court, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año told President Rodrigo Duterte.
"Patuloy pa rin tayong naghahanap ng mga ebidensiya sa iba pang mga vote buying incident. Sa ngayon po ay 28 ang ating naaresto at 13 pa ang kasalukuyang pinaghahanap," Año said in a taped meeting that aired on Thursday.
(We are still looking for evidence on other vote-buying incidents. For now, we already arrested 28 and we are still looking for 13 more people.)
ONLY 16 ELECTION-RELATED INCIDENTS
Año said authorities validated only 16 election-related incidents from Jan. 9 until May 9. The election period runs until June 8.
These incidents were recorded in Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, and Cordillera Administrative Region, he said.
There were 133 election-related incidents reported during the 2016 national elections, Año noted.
Out of 27 incidents reported on Monday that killed 7 and injured 33, only 6 were verified to be election-related, he said.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it was still verifying other reports coming in.
"Lubhang mababa po yung 16 na nai-record natin ngayon at ito ay maia-attribute natin sa magandang, mahaba, at maagang paghahanda ng security forces sa pakikipagtulungan na rin ng ating mga kababayan lalong-lalo na ng ating mga kumandidato," PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said.
(The 16 is significantly lower, which can be attributed to the early preparations of our security forces and the cooperation of our compatriots and the candidates.)
"We can say na overall ay naging generally peaceful naman po ang conduct ng ating elections nitong Lunes, maliban of course sa naitala nating incident particularly diyan sa Mindanao area," she said in a separate briefing.
(We can say that overall, the elections were generally peaceful on Monday except of course on the incidents reported in Mindanao.)