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Electoral fraud should be reported by voters.

MANILA – Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Eduardo Ano called to voters on Sunday to promptly report any vote buying or vote selling activities in their communities to the appropriate authorities.

“Ireport kaagad natin if may nakita tayo na kakaiba.” If you see anything questionable, immediately report it. In a radio interview, Ano urged, “Do not hesitate to notify so that authorities can respond as quickly as possible.”

According to Ano, deployed police personnel are responsible for enforcing the liquor ban and ensuring that no election campaign activities, such as the distribution of political literature, occur between May 8 and the actual election day on Monday.

“Hindi mangingiling mag-aresto ang ating mga pulis kapagka may mga violators, kaya winawarningan na natin ano, tapos na yung pangangampanya starting today (May 8) at the same time din ano, yung mga mamimili ng boto talagang deretso o huhulihin talaga yan

In accordance with election laws, rules, and regulations, Ano has authorized the Philippine National Police (PNP) to establish Anti-Vote Buying Teams in each province and city to receive complaints and investigate suspicions of vote-buying and vote-selling.

“The DILG and PNP are making a concerted effort to assist the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the interagency Task Force Kontra Bigay in ensuring a free and fair election,” he said.

The Anti-Vote Buying Teams are also entrusted with gathering and preserving evidence, taking witness statements, and protecting witnesses or complainants by coordinating with appropriate government agencies, according to Ano.

“Evidence-based complaints ay aaksyunan at ive-verify ng PNP Anti-Vote Buying Teams at idadaan sa parehong proseso ng pagkalap ng ebidensya at idadaan sa parehong proseso ng pagkalap ng ebidensya at idadaan sa parehong proses (and will undergo the same process in gathering evidence). These will be referred to the Comelec, which has the right to bring cases of election law violations on its own volition,” he said.

He stated that the concerned organization might register complaints with the proper prosecutor’s office that are sufficient in form and substance and supported by proof.

According to Ano, the Police Regional Offices (PROs) will compile and track the status and progress of complaints filed with them and all dedicated Anti-Vote Buying Teams under their jurisdiction, including reports of vote-buying or selling, and will report to the National Task Force Kontra Bigay on a regular basis.

The PNP Regional Offices will also include a report on vote-buying and vote-selling methods and schemes in their compiled data.

Ano directed PNP regional and provincial offices, as well as city and municipal stations, to form dedicated PNP Anti-Vote Buying Teams in each congressional district, highly urbanized city (HUC), independent component city, and component city in Memorandum Circular 2022-0400.

Regional and provincial police offices, he said, should send more officers to municipal police stations that are short on personnel.

With the help of local Comelec election officers and DILG city or municipal local government operations officers, the PNP Anti-Vote Buying Teams have been directed to educate the public about their mission and contact details, according to Ano.

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