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Comelec to disqualify mayor for vote-buying

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to disqualify another winner in the May 13 elections, this time a mayor, for alleged vote-buying.

Poll chief Sixto Brillantes Jr. did not name the mayor, but said a Comelec division has resolved to disqualify the proclaimed winner due to vote-buying.

"Para hindi kami masabihan na lagi kaming nagbibiro. Kapag may sinabi kaming isang bagay, tinutuloy namin," Brillantes said Wednesday.

The Comelec would issue a resolution on it in the next few days, he added.

The new disqualification case came after the Comelec First Division disqualified Laguna governor ER Ejercito for allegedly overspending in his 2013 elections campaign. Ejercito has filed a motion with the Comelec to reverse the decision.

Brillantes refused to give hints on the identity of the mayor, but noted that the Comelec had been alerted of the money, which is already in Comelec custody, after the elections.

A look at the Comelec website shows a statement that said the poll body took custody of some P692,000 slipped in envelopes that were place inside fruit juice boxes and were allegedly used for vote-buying.

The mayor was said to be from Bulacan province, according to the statement.

The Clerk of Court, which provides legal services to the Comelec in disqualification cases, among others, said this was the largest reported sum of money allegedly used for vote-buying.

Vote-buying, defined as giving or promising money or anything of value in exchange of a vote, is an election offense and may cause the disqualification of a candidate, and a one to six year imprisonment, according to the Omnibus Election Code. -- Marc Jayson Cayabyab/KBK, GMA News