AS the election season draws near, the Philippine National Police (PNP) bared plans to come up with mechanisms to prevent vote buying through online banking or cash transfer via mobile applications.
PNP Chief General Guillermo Eleazar said the PNP would start holding dialogues with concerned agencies in its effort to help ensure the safety and credibility of the 2022 national and elections elections.
“It is not far-fetched that this will happen because cashless transactions has become a practice, especially now that we have a pandemic. People who would convince the public to sell their votes would really think of this,” the PNP chief said.
“Monitoring vote-buying activities in the 2022 elections will really be a great challenge to us, but I assure the voting public that we will put in place safeguards against this practice,” he added.
Eleazar said the PNP would start reaching out to concerned agencies, including the Commission on Elections, so that mechanisms will be put up and created to counter vote buying through electronic money transfer services.
“We will come up with mechanisms on this,” he said, as he urged the public to help in policing the upcoming elections.
The PNP chief urged voters not to engage in irregularities as well as to report if they have information about individuals using this form of electoral fraud.
Vote buying and vote selling are violations under Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code.
“I urge the public to be vigilant and report to authorities if they have information on vote-buying done through online platforms,” he said. “Help us in keeping the elections clean and orderly.”
Eleazar reminded the public that politicians who will buy votes have nothing to offer for the country, but are only after their own personal interests.
The PNP chief said that once those who have bought votes are elected, they would work at nothing but recover the money that they spent in “buying the electorate.”
Voter online registration
Meanwhile, the Commission on Elections revealed that aspiring voters will now be able to accomplish voting registration forms through their phones under the new mobile application of the Comelec.
The poll body will be launching on Tuesday its new Mobile Registration Form App in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said the app would provide a more convenient way for people, who may to register via online, but have no access to computers or the Internet.
“This will save time, effort and money that will otherwise be spent on going to a computer shop to download and print the form, or getting the form at the local Comelec to fill it out manually,” Casquejo said in a news statement.
The poll official, however, to be able to register online, registrants would still have to go to Comelec offices to complete other requirements.
“A QR [quick response] Code is generated upon successful accomplishment of the form [through the app]. You must save the QR Code on your smartphone, and afterwards, you may visit your local the Comelec office to have your QR Code scanned and your biometrics taken,” he added.
He noted those who will make use the app must comply with the following conditions: Open the mobile app, and tap “Get Started;” Select the desired type of application and tap “Proceed;” Input all the necessary personal information; Confirm your personal information by ticking the checkbox. 5. Tap “Generate QR Code” and “Save” to save it in your phone gallery. Bring a valid ID upon visiting your local Comelec office for QR Code scanning.
Casquejo said the Mobile Registration Form App is downloadable through the link, bit.ly/MobileFormApp.
Since its soft launch earlier this month, the app is now in use in 500 cities and municipalities nationwide, including National Capital Region, Cebu City and Davao City.