Vote buying foiled in a poor GK village

Gamu, Isabela—Vote buying is not fair, a poor man living at a Gawad Kalinga village here declared.  

Servando Pascua, 40, a resident of Purok 6B of Barangay Linglingay in this town, said he knew the consequences of his confession to the police authorities that he received money from a candidate’s cohorts.

“After seeing with my own eyes that vote buying is happening in my neighborhood, I asked helped from other people to do something,” Pascua told the Manila Standard.

A photograph of the flyer showing the name of Gamu councilor candidate ‘Sonny’ Boy Caro, the other candidates endorsed for various positions, and the P1,000 bill as payment for the voter’s vote in the May 13 elections. Abe Almirol
Randy Gannaban, 44, and his daughter Melody, 18, also residents of the Gawad Kalinga Village here, joined Pascua in seeking help after they had proven that money is indeed being given away in exchange of a commitment to vote for a candidate.

“We lined up at around 8 a.m., and true enough we were given [money],” the younger Gannaban said.

A commotion took place after other candidates campaigning nearby learned about the vote-buying at the house of a certain Marina Cabauatan, prompting elements of the Gamu Police Station to respond.

Police invited Sonny Caro, a candidate running for Sangguniang Bayan, along with Edna Tungpalan, Marina Cabauatan, and Myla Lumilan to the station for questioning.

The three whistleblowers were also brought to the station, where police investigators took their statements. Pascua said they turned over the cash and the leaflet given to them to the police as evidence.

Police Staff Sgt. Rodel A. Pagulayan, Chief of the Investigation Section, refused to be interviewed by members of the media who visited the Gamu station after the incident circulated on social media. He said a formal report will be released in the following days as “investigation is still going on.”

As of press time, it was learned that Gamu police already released Caro and company, pending the filing of a case in court.

Topics: Vote buying , Gawad Kalinga village , Gamu , Isabela , Sonny Caro , Sangguniang Bayan
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