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Comelec moves to prevent vote-buying by candidates

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday issued a resolution controlling cash withdrawals starting on Wednesday until the May 13 mid-term elections to prevent vote buying by candidates.

Resolution 9688, the Comelec said, was issued to ensure honest and credible elections next week.

“To prohibit the withdrawal of cash, encashment of checks and conversion of any monetary instrument into cash from May 8 to 13 exceeding P100,000 or its equivalent in any foreign currency per day in banks, finance companies, quasi-banks, pawnshops, remittance companies and institutions performing similar functions. However, all other non-cash transactions are not covered,” the resolution said.

It added that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and other financial agencies of the government are urged to implement the resolution and should ensure strict compliance with it.

“To prohibit the possession, transportation and/or carrying of cash exceeding P500,000 or its equivalent in any foreign currency from May 8 to 13. For this purpose, all cash being transported and carried exceeding such amount shall be presumed for the purpose of vote-buying and electoral fraud in violation of the money ban,” the resolution

To implement the ban, the poll body said, all existing Comelec checkpoints all over the Philippines are directed to conduct 24-hour money ban checkpoints, in addition to gun-ban checkpoints.

It, however, said the provision shall not apply to farmers, merchants and other persons similarly situated traveling to and from Manila or other business destinations in the ordinary course of their business upon presentation of proof of their occupation and the transaction that generated the cash exceeding the threshold. 

“The NBI [National Bureau of Investigation], PNP [Philippine National Police] are directed to conduct surveillance and intelligence operations to counter vote-buying and if necessary, entrap vote buyers and vote sellers,” the Comelec said.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said violators of the resolution face charges for election





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