62 fall in vote-buying, liquor ban offenses in C. Luzon

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga — At least 62 persons were hauled to police stations by authorities for alleged violation of the Commission on Elections liquor ban and vote-buying offenses in Pampanga and Tarlac areas, the Regional Election Monitoring Action Center announced. 

Central Luzon PNP director Police BGen. Joel Napoleon Coronel said 54 persons were rounded-up in different entertainment and fun houses in separate areas in the region since the start of 24-hour liquor ban and eight more, who are reportedly engaged in vote-buying, were arrested before the election day. 

“We make sure that the electoral process will be orderly kaya ayaw natin na mayroon mga mga botante na nakainom o kaya ay lasing na magtutungo sa polling places,” said Coronel in a statement. 

He added that appropriate charges awaits violators, including owners of establishments. 

In Pampanga, 32 units of vote counting machines malfunctioned even before the electoral process started in at least seven polling places including Arayat, Sta. Ana, Apalit, Macabebe, San Luis, Minalin and Sta. Rita, said Provincial Comelec head Attorney Fernando Cot-om. 

Cot-om said 30 polling precincts have been affected after the VCMs encountered minor glitches. He said some VCM’s has no SD cards.

“Good thing, defective VCMs were quickly replaced and casting of votes resumed,” said Cot-om during a press briefing called by the PNP and Comelec here. 

Over in Tarlac, a 71-year-old farmer was among those arrested by the police over a P100 bill in exchange for a local candidate’s vote. Police also arrested seven persons in Sto. Tomas, Pampanga for alleged vote-buying offense. 

In Angeles City, a supporter of a local candidate was arrested by lawmen who noticed a suspicious thing tucked on his waist. A .9mm caliber pistol replica was seized when subjected to body check, said Police Colonel Narvin Mangune.