Commission on Elections Commissioner Ma. Grace Cielo Padaca yesterday warned candidates and voters against vote-buying or vote- selling pointed out that the penalty is disqualification from voting and from running for elective posts and imprisonment for six years
Padaca said in a phone interview, that the COMELEC en banc will take stronger measures against massive vote buying all over the country.
She asked the public and the media to increase their vigilance against fraudulent acts before or on the day of the elections and to report to their election officer and police if they find vote-buying activities.
Padaca said the COMELEC has readied itself ensure a peaceful, credible, honest and orderly polls.
She said the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines have been certified by the System's Laboratory Inc., an international certifying agency, and this underwent a review for six months.
Padaca said the source code of the machine for now cannot be made public unless there is a go-signal. She also advised the voters not to be swayed by election money.
Each voter is protected by the Voter's Secrecy law which provides that when somebody votes, the COMELEC has to put a ballot secrecy folder to protect the voter's choice from being seen by either the watcher of the teacher, she said.
All votes cast go directly to the PCOS machines and all ballot boxes are safely sealed with masking tape signed by the election inspectors, Padaca said.
She also advised voters not to put indelible ink on their index finger before the election day or they will not be allowed to vote.
Padaca also warned voters against the circulation of fake bills because the ones who will be penalized will not be the candidates but the person caught red-handed with them.
Since election day is fast approaching, the voters can check their precinct through their website at www.comelec.com so they will know their precinct ahead of time and things will be orderly, she said.
All you have to do is just type your full name and birthday to know your precinct, Padaca added.*CGS