Press Release
February 18, 2013


Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan has challenged the Commission on Election to go after vote-buying politicians.

"The COMELEC must create an anti-vote-buying task force whose sole mandate is to pursue disqualification cases against vote buying politicians," the Liberal Party senator said. "I am certain that even if only 10 cases of vote buying prosper and lead to disqualification before election day, it will send a clear signal for the rest of the nation and will create a major dent in the anti-vote buying effort. No candidate would want to have a case hanging over his head while campaigning."

Pangilinan also stressed that the COMELEC must work hard to disqualify vote-buying politicos before election day and not after, adding that if the Commission does not act swiftly on such cases it is in effect condoning it.

"It is a known fact that, all over the country, politicos buy votes under the guise of solicitations. The lack of action on the part of the COMELEC all these years on rampant vote-buying has made the practice ingrained. They have for the longest time turned a blind eye and deaf ear on vote-buying. No one has been disqualified for this prior to election day. Hence it goes unabated, and we end up electing and proclaiming officials who won because of impunity and who, despite breaking the law, would go on breaking the law once in office.

"This vicious and corrupting cycle must end," the lawmaker stressed.

Pangilinan added that honest candidates will need the help of the COMELEC in order for them to win in an election.

"The principled and the incorruptible candidate will never resort to vote-buying. When confronted with the shameless vote-buying machinery of the corrupt politician, the only recourse of the honest candidate is to have these politicians disqualified by a proactive and courageous COMELEC."

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