Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Monday said voters should not make poverty an excuse to sell their votes in the 2018 barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK or Youth Council) elections.
The elections were held on the same day, May 14.
“Unang-una, bawal po iyong magbenta ng boto. Pangalawa naman po, nagiging dahilan na lang po iyong kahirapan, alam naman natin na matalino naman iyong Pilipino kung sino iyong pipiliin nila [First, it’s illegal to sell votes. Second, we’re only making poverty an excuse but we know our citizens are smart enough to know who to vote for],” Go pointed out in a radio interview.
He said he believes Filipinos are smart voters and even if they accept the money given by “vote-buyers,” they most likely will still vote for another candidate.
“Matalino iyong mga Pilipino, malay mo tinanggap lang nila, hindi naman nila binoto iyon, pero para sa akin not valid reason iyong kahirapan para ibenta natin iyong boto natin [Filipinos are smart, it’s even possible that they accepted the money but voted for someone else, but for me being poor is not a valid reason to sell your vote],” Go added.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier reported widespread vote-buying and disinformation campaign in several areas in the country a few days before the conduct of the barangay and SK elections.
Reports said voters were being bought by as much as P3,000 per person.
Despite these reports, the Commission on Elections said the elections were “generally peaceful” nationwide.
Go, meanwhile, assured that the administration under President Rodrigo Duterte is doing all it can to alleviate poverty in the country.
“Ginagawa po lahat ng gobyerno ni Pangulong Duterte at sa abot ng makakaya ng kaniyang gobyerno na maiahon ang Pilipinas sa kahirapan [The government under President Duterte is doing all it can to alleviate poverty in the country],” he said. PNA