Former PPCRV chief wants more vote buying convictions 

Former PPCRV chief wants more vote buying convictions 

Borongan City residents cast their votes during the recent barangay elections. ALREN BERONIO

By Roy Lagarde

May 21, 2018

MANILA

With vote buying continuing to be a top election violation, an erstwhile head of a Church-based poll watchdog group is calling on authorities to secure more convictions.

Henrietta de Villa, former chairperson of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), argued that too often persons engaged in vote buying or selling don’t get convicted.

“Catching and convicting a big fish for vote buying would be a dramatic deterrent,” she said.

The group had earlier revealed there has been a tremendous increase in the incidence of vote buying in the recent barangay and youth council elections.

De Villa said it is “so sad and hateful” that many politicians are neck-deep in the practice of vote buying.

“Instead of decreasing, it even increased,” she said, noting the need for intensified voters’ education.

De Villa also lamented that among those who won in the elections are individuals included in the government’s narco-list.

“It’s a sad commentary on the voters’ conscience— lacking in conscience,” said the country’s former ambassador to the Vatican.

“[The] barangay being [a] small unit but basic form of governance, voters in the community should know who are involved in prohibited drugs and how evil this is and [its] effect on people, especially to the youth,” she added.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said 60 barangay officials who won fresh mandates in last week’s polls are among the 207 village officials tagged in the government’s narco-list.