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DILG warns against use of e-payment platforms for vote-buying in barangay polls

DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos (PIA-NCR file)

MANILA, (PIA) -- The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) warns candidates in the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) against using electronic payment platforms to buy votes.

In a statement sent to PIA-NCR, DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos said there are growing concerns over unscrupulous politicians planning to exploit e-payment systems like GCash and Maya to engage in vote-buying schemes.

"Do not even think about it. We will run after you and make sure you are punished for cheating," Secretary Abalos said. 

"Candidates proven to have bought or will buy votes through e-payment platforms will be held accountable and we will work with COMELEC (Commission on Elections) to have them removed from office even if they win the count," he added.

The DILG chief said they will coordinate with the payment platforms to closely monitor suspicious activities and suspend dubious accounts. The Department will also work with the Department of Information and Communications Technology to ensure the necessary technical and regulatory support for tracking shady digital transactions.

"The DILG is one with COMELEC, BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas), and the Anti-Money Laundering Council in pushing for clean and honest barangay elections in the country," Abalos added.

Vote-buying and vote-selling are prohibited under the Omnibus Election Code and other election laws. Violators face possible criminal charges, including disqualification from running in future elections.

The DILG urges the public to report incidents of vote-buying to authorities. Citizens can help ensure the upcoming barangay polls will be honest, orderly, and peaceful.

The public can call the DILG Public Assistance and Complaint Center (PACC) at (02) 8925-0343 or report via the DILG official social pages. (PIA-NCR)

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