THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has set up a powerful inter-agency committee to go after vote-buyers and vote-sellers, drawing cheers from the Filipino people, notably the electorate.
The creation of the Committee Kontra Bigay (CKB) is ample proof that the poll body is out to hit hard at these election law violators, who are considered as “internal threats to democracy.”
Comelec Commissioner Ernesto Ferdinand Maceda Jr., a son of the late Senate President Ernesto Maceda, said the body is a permanent group. not just an ad hoc committee.
“What used to be a task force, an ad hoc committee in 2019, is now a standing and permanent committee of the Comelec,” according to the highly-articulate election commissioner.
The poll body also set up the Committee Kontra-Bigay Complaints Center, which is operational from 8 a.m. to 5 pm. until October 28. It will be on a 24-hour operations October 29 to 31.
The public can now report complaints to the CKB through hotline numbers 02-8559-9947 or 02-8567-4567 or through email address [email protected].
Commissioner Maceda said designated CKB member-government agencies have the power to arrest, investigate and prosecute violators associated with acts of vote-buying and vote-selling.
These acts include possession and distribution of money, cards or campaign paraphernalia, and long queues for distribution of discount promos, groceries, and other similar items.
CKB members include the Department of Justice, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Education, Department of Information and Communication Technology, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and National Bureau of Investigation.
Others are the Philippine Information Agency, Public Attorney’s Office, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Anti-Money Laundering Council, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Philippine Association of Law Schools and accredited citizens arms of the Comelec.
The poll body deserves the support of the public as it goes after the vote-buyers and vote-sellers.
Panahon na para makulong ang mga taong ito.