84 arrested for vote buying in Metro a few days before election day – Eleazar

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Authorities arrested 84 persons allegedly carrying out vote buying activities in separate police operations in five cities of Metro Manila, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director, Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, said Sunday.

Eleazar said that of the 84 persons arrested, 60 were from Makati City, 17 in Muntinlupa, six from Quezon City and one from Malabon. They were nabbed Friday night and Saturday, respectively.

He said the operation stemmed from information received by the operatives regarding the ongoing vote buying and selling in the area.

Operatives proceeded to the area to verify the veracity of the report.

Upon arrival, suspects were caught in the act of vote-buying and
selling. Immediately, operatives informed them of their violation and
effected the arrest.

Eleazar said the arrested suspects and seized evidence were brought to NCRPO Regional Special Operations Unit (RSOU) office for proper disposition.

The suspects will face charges for violation of Section 261 (a) in relation to Section 262 of the Omnibus Election Code (Vote Buying and Vote Selling), he said.

“This may serve as a warning to all other candidates and supporters na huwag naman ganitong bastusan ang dating na nangyayari sa atin”, Eleazar said.

“Clear ang instruction ng Chief PNP natin at ng Comelec, in fact nag-create ng Special Task Group headed by CIDG but in the case of NCRPO, all the 38 police stations include in five district, I have given direction and directives to all of them, lahat mag trabaho (everyone should work) to run after those involved in vote buying”, Eleazar stressed.

The five districts covered by the NCRPO are the Manila Police District (MPD), Quezon City Police District (QCPD), Northern Police District (NPD), Southern Police District (SPD), and Eastern Police District (EPD)

As for their enforcement of the liquor ban, Eleazar said police have arrested 186 violators so far in Metro Manila in 67 police operations.

Of the 186 persons, the QCPD nabbed 106, followed by MPD and NPD with 25, SPD with 23 and EPD with seven.

He said the ban on alcoholic drinks took effect last Saturday and will be lifted on Tuesday.

Lawmen will continue conducting operations against liquor ban violators for as long as it is in effect, Eleazar said.

The Metro Manila top cop said 16,000 policemen will be deployed to secure Monday’s polls.

“This (personnel deployment) is not just in polling centers or canvassing areas but also to maintain our anti-criminality efforts,” he said. “There’s no room to be complacent, the criminal elements might strike anytime, anywhere basta may opportunity sila.”

He also said that the NCRPO continues to implement the gun ban and checkpoint operations all over in Metro Manila until the last day of the election gun ban on June 13.

Eleazar also directed his five district directors to “always ask directives from the Comelec” on possible security problems they will encounter in voting precincts.

“I have guided all NCRPO police officers to act in accordance with their mandate and conscience — to be above political affairs, to be fair, judicious and determined so we can uphold the integrity of the elections,” Eleazar said.

“Arrest those who violate the Election Code, charge them and pursue their cases in court — that is my order to all our police officers. As such, I am requesting all candidates and stakeholders in this coming election to exercise prudence and fair play,” he added.

He added that the PNP has put all its units in Metro Manila on full alert.

“Full alert means the highest level of readiness in all police offices and units and all personnel should be accounted for 100 percent,” Eleazar said.

“All leaves are cancelled, except for those that are emergency in nature. All of our policemen are present in their different offices or stations,” he added.

Meanwhile, as the country celebrates Mother’s Day ahead of the election day, Eleazar has assured the public that the NCRPO will ensure safety and security of places.

“As we celebrate the Mother’s Day, we expect that families will flock to malls, amusement parks, restaurants, and other places of entertainment and leisure. Your NCRPO police officers will be nearby, in case you will need police assistance. We would like to remind the public to be wary about would be criminals who will take advantage of the occasion. Report these suspicious people immediately to your nearest policeman or station,” said Eleazar.

“The NCRPO acknowledges the roles and sacrifices of all the mothers out there. My snappiest salute to all of you. Happy Mother’s Day to all,” he added. (PNA)