SAN Juan City mayoral candidate Vice Mayor Francis Zamora denied Monday that he engaged in vote-buying activities as claimed by his rival, incumbent Mayor Guia Gomez, who is seeking her third and final term as city mayor.
Zamora said he did not authorize anyone to buy votes for him.
“If they accuse us of vote-buying, we can tell them that we don’t need to buy votes because the outpouring of support of the people of San Juan has been very overwhelming as evidenced by our series of political rallies, house-to-house campaign, parades and the miting de avance,” he said in a statement.
“We are not that stupid to use our headquarters as a buying station of votes. This is a desperate move of the Guia camp,” Zamora added.
The camp of Gomez earlier claimed that they received reports that the Zamoras – her erstwhile friends and political allies –were buying the votes of her supporters for P5,000.
“According to my sources, they [Zamoras] are doing this [vote-buying] in the guise of seminars. They have a lot of money because they have a mining firm,” Gomez told reporters. “They’ve been doing all the [political]dirty tricks.”
Gomez’ son, Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, said their political rivals started the alleged vote-buying weeks ago.
Ejercito added that their opponents had two schemes in place — voters who are identified as political leaders of her mother will be given P5,000 and have their index finger marked with indelible ink, while families loyal to the Estradas will be given P20,000 and were told to have a summer outing.
The senator also claimed that the Zamoras gathered constituents who are beneficiaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) at their headquarters and were given P2,000 cash and rice.
The Estradas and Zamoras have been allies for so many years, but their relationship ended early last year when the latter accused the former of dumping them to give way to Councilor Janella Estrada, a daughter of Jinggoy, and Jana Ejercito, a cousin of Jinggoy and JV.
Janella is the running mate of Mayor Gomez, while Jana is running for Congress against house minority leader Ronaldo “Ronny” Zamora, who is seeking his last term as San Juan City representative.