The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is rallying to amend the law against vote buying, noting that the illegal act is a “modern cancer of our democratic way of life.”

During the Senate subcommittee on finance hearing on Thursday, Senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel III asked if the poll body believes that vote buying destroys the electoral outcome. He also asked Comele of its plans to address this.

“It’s now the modern cancer of our democratic way of life. As far as the Comelec is concerned, we need legislation. We need to amend Section 261-A of the Omnibus Election Code on vote buying,” Comelec chairman George Garcia told senators.

That section of the 1985 law deems vote-buying and vote-selling as electoral violations.

“We need to redefine vote buying. We need to include the new forms of vote buying where you can send cash not necessarily face-to-face or physically. You can send cash using a cellphone or the modern way,” Garcia said.

Garcia also asked the assistance of Congress in pushing for a “more severe penalty for vote buying.”

The poll body said before that it was investigating around 1,000 vote buying complaints during the May 2022 elections.


Ronald Espartinez