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Comelec validating vote-buying reports in Central Luzon, Western Visayas

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday said it has received reports of vote-buying in Central Luzon and Western Visayas.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said they are still validating the reports of vote-buying from the two regions.

We have Samar, Region 6, vote buying incidents. And we have vote buying incidents somewhere in Central Luzon as well," Jimenez said.

In a separate interview on Balitanghali, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Martin Diño said they have received reports of vote-buying in Bulacan, Cavite, Parañaque City, Marikina City, Antipolo City, Pasay City, Davao, Davao Oriental, Dipolog, Siquijor, and Ilocos region.

Diño said these reports are all documented.

Aside from vote-buying incidents, Jimenez said majority of the problems monitored related to the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections so far are "benign."

He reported that the Comelec is having trouble communicating with its election officers in the towns of Bacolod-Kalawi, Binidayan and Masiu ni Lanao del Sur province due to cell site problems.

He said they are also looking for a way to communicate with their officers in Tawi-Tawi, particularly in Turtle Islands.

"Nagsi-synching with the Turtle Islands in Tawi-Tawi, but we are forcing our communications with the AFP, so we should be able to give an update for Tawi-Tawi, for Turtle Islands, later in the day," he said.

Jimenez said so far the Comelec's command center can fully communicate with their officers in Ilocos regions,  Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

"As far as the other regions are concerned, the reports are still coming in," Jimenez said. "The situation in those regions are nominal, they're okay."

In Metro Manila, he said polling in some precincts in Muntinlupa City started late because some poll watchers showed up without valid IDs and some board of election tellers and watchers arrived late. —Anna Felicia Bajo/ALG, GMA News