Voters on online community urged to report vote buying, suppression incidents on May 9

April 26, 2022 - 7:57 PM
Illustration by Mohamed Hassan via Pixabay

A Reddit user called on the members of an online forum to report incidents of vote buying and voter repression on May 9.

The user referenced a popular meme of Lisa Simpson, a character in the American cartoon “The Simpsons” series, on this call.

It was shared on the subreddit r/Philippines on Tuesday, April 26.

“For the better of the republic,” the user said.

In the meme, the text on Lisa’s presentation reads: “On May 9, I’m calling all Redditors to report in this subreddit about vote-buying and voter suppression.”

Another text was added below it. It says: “Let’s gather evidence against corrupt practices in the Philippines.”

It should be noted that while the national elections will start on May 9, absentee voting is conducted beforehand.

Overseas absentee voting has been ongoing since April 10. It will close on the same day as in the Philippines—on May 9.

Local absentee voting, on the other hand, is set to start from April 27 to 29.

In the discussion section, the uploader clarified his or her purpose for the post after it was downvoted.

“Gather evidence for justifying another people power revolution. Edited. Why am I downvoted? Aren’t corrupt practices and vote manipulation endanger the integrity of our democracy?” the user Reddit said.

Some Reddit users, meanwhile, pointed out that vote-buying is already rampant in their localities.

“May 9? Laganap na sa local elections namin. May wampipti sa mga councilor at sb. May 1-5k para sa mayor. Tapos small towns lang yan. Hindi malalaking city. Lol,” one user claimed.

“An official came to our home to ask which mayor my parents will be voting this year so they can pay in advance, wth happened to this country?” another user said.

Vote buying and vote selling are considered election offenses under the Omnibus Election Code.

The code’s provisions were further summarized under the Commission on Elections’ Resolution 10730, as follows:

“It is unlawful for any candidate, party or any person to give or accept, free of charge, directly or indirectly, transportation, food and drinks, or anything of value during and within the five hours before and after a public meeting, or to give or contribute, directly or indirectly, money or things of value for such purpose.”

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez previously shared tips on what the public can do if they spot such cases.

Jimenez listed the following:

  • Document the vote-buying activity safely.
  • File a complaint. This does not include posting pictures of the incident on social media.
  • Pursue the case “to the end.”

Despite these legal measures, forms of vote buying are still rampant in many parts of the country.

READ: What Filipinos can do when they encounter vote buying this campaign season