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The PNP will form a vote-buying monitoring team.

MANILA, Philippines — In preparation for the May 9 national and municipal elections, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will activate its monitoring squad to help the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in combating vote-buying.

“We will activate our own PNP monitoring team to assist the Comelec with the vote-buying allegations.” The team will include members from regional headquarters to municipal stations, and we will work closely with the Comelec on these reports. In a TV interview on Friday, PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said, “We will be aiding the Comelec in filing proceedings related to claims of vote-buying.”

She stated that all systems are operational in regards to the number of police officers who will be deployed for the national and municipal elections, as well as their logistical needs down to the police stations.

“Our air, land, and sea capabilities have already been deployed,” she said, “, particularly in those places that were identified and listed as election areas of concern.”

Comelec Commissioner Aimee Ferolino, chairman of Task Force Bigay, issued a memorandum directing law enforcement agencies to vigorously enforce the statutory prohibition on vote buying and vote selling.

The act of vote-buying and vote-selling is punishable as an electoral offense under Section 261(a) of Batas Pambansa Bilang 881, also known as the Omnibus Election Code (OEC).

Meanwhile, due to security concerns, 24 municipalities and four cities have been placed under Comelec’s jurisdiction, according to Fajardo.

Abra, Pilar, Maguindanao, Buluan, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Datu Piang, Mangudadatu, Pandag, Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Sur, Marawi City, Maguing, Tuburan, and Malabang are among the places under Comelec administration.

As of May 4, there have been 14 confirmed election-related violent events, according to Fajardo.

She claims that this is lower than the 133 and 60 poll results from 2016 and 2019.

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