Authorities have arrested more than 80 individuals in Metro Manila for their alleged involvement in vote buying and selling, National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Guillermo Eleazar said on Sunday.
In an interview on Super Radyo dzBB, Eleazar said the arrest of the election offenders were made during the implementation of Task Force Kontra Bigay with the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Eleazar said that since Friday, the task force has launched operations in four areas in Metro Manila—Malabon City, Muntinlupa City, Quezon City and Makati City.
"Sa ating bilang ay mahigit na 80, almost 100 kung 'di ako nagkakamali [ang naaresto]. Sa Malabon ay isa, sa Muntinlupa ay 17, 26 sa Quezon City, at dito naman sa Makati kagabi ay 60. So bale, 86 na ang nahuli natin na involved buying and vote selling," he said.
The arrested individuals are currently held in the respective police stations in their areas and they may face charges before the Office of the City Prosecutor.
Under the Omnibus Election Code, vote buying and vote selling are considered election offenses and are punishable by imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years.
Eleazar said that aside from referring the cases to the prosecutor's office, they will also be forwarded to the Comelec for appropriate action.
In Makati City, Eleazar, along with Southern Police District director Police Brigadier General Eliseo Cruz and Makati Police chief Police Colonel Roger Simon also inspected bars and convenience stores to see if these establishments follow the liquor ban which took effect beginning 12:00 a.m. Sunday.
Some establishments were able to show exemption from the liquor ban issued by the Comelec, but Eleazar said this means they can only sell liquors to foreign customers.
No Filipino was caught drinking banned liquors during the inspection. —Erwin Colcol/KG, GMA News