Rice, eggs used to buy votes — Albayalde

RICE and eggs, not only crisp P20, P50, P100, P500 and P1,000 bills, were used to buy votes in the last May 13 national and local elections, Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde said yesterday.

According to the PNP chief, his men confiscated 62 sacks of rice and 22 trays of eggs which had been used for buying votes Monday last week apart from the total P12,208,958 recovered in anti-vote-buying operations across the country.

He said that a total of 225 incidents were recorded with 356 persons arrested and eight minors rescued during those operations. “We thank the public for engaging our call to actively report vote buying and selling incidents which was a big help and gained for the PNP positive public response in the light of our effort against this illegal act,” Gen. Albayalde said.

However, the PNP chief said that lack of cooperation from the arrested vote-buyers and sellers for sure will hamper their investigation and their effort to trace the sources of vote-buying money.

“Walang umaamin sa mga arestadong suspects kung saan galling ang pera. Yan ang isang problema,” he said.

Gen. Albayalde issued the statement after conferring awards on top officers of the PNP who rendered invaluable services in their effort to ensure the holding of a safe, secure and fair election.

“I have conferred awards to 18 members of the Command Group and Directorial Staff, DIPOs, CIDG, and QCPD representing the 149,830-strong PNP who rendered invaluable services in securing the 2019 National and Local Elections as members of Security Task Force and implementing the Omnibus Election Code and other election laws leading to the arrest of vote buyers and sellers,” he said.

Given the PNP Medalya ng Katapatan sa Paglilingkod was PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa who was also the overall commander of the PNP National Headquarters Task Force SAFE 2019.

Given the PNP Medalya ng Pambihirang Paglilingkod  were PNP Deputy Chief for Administration; Lt. Gen. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., PNP Director for Personnel and Records Management, Director Lyndon G. Cubos;  PNP Director for Intelligence, Brigadier General Timoteo G. Pacleb; PNP Director for Comptrollership,  Maj. Gen. Jose Maria Victor DF Ramos;

PNP Director for Investigation and Detective Management, Maj. Gen. Elmo Francis O. Sarona; PNP Area Supervisor for Northern Luzon, Maj. Gen. Eric Serafin G. Reyes; PNP Aera Supervisor for Southern Luzon, Maj. Gen. Erickson T. Velasquez; PNP Director for Police-Community Relations, Maj. Gen. Benigno B. Durana Jr.; PNP Area Supervisor for Visayas, Maj. Gen. Rolando B. Felix; PNP Area Supervisor for Western Mindanao, Maj Gen. Daniel G. Macatlang; PNP Area Supervisor for Eastern Mindanao, Maj. Gen. Alfredo C. Valdez; PNP National Election Monitoring Action Center head, Brig. Florencio G. Ortilla; Lieutenant Colonel Ricky P. Neron; Major Neil G. Cruzado; Lt. Col. Alex DJ Alberto; and Chief Master Sergeant Luisito A. Maninang.

Gen. Albayalde said that as of 6 a.m. yesterday, they had deployed a total of 149 PNP personnel to secure the special elections in Barangay Dicamay Uno in Jones, Isabela.

“Until now, we are not lowering our guard yet and all election security measures will be similarly implemented in the succeeding days and weeks until the official culmination of the election period on June 12,” he said.

The official said that Jayson Leano, a 27-year old resident of Barangay Sta. Isabel in Jones municipality, surrendered to the Jones Municipal Police Station following the arrest of a cohort identified as Rodel Pascual, 34.