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Robredo Remarks on Voters Accepting Money Better Left Unsaid, Comelec Says

Still, she can't be charged for it.
by Erwin Colcol
Just now
Photo/s: Courtesty of OVP

Vice President Leni Robredo's remarks on accepting money from politicians is better left unsaid, but carries no criminal liability, Comelec said Thursday.

Election laws only apply to aspirants of elective posts once they are declared official candidates and the campaign period has begun, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said. Neither has started when Robredo said people could accept money and still vote with their conscience.

Robredo's remarks are "not something that should've been said" but she cannot be held criminally liable for it, Jimenez told CNN Philippines.

The official list of candidates will be released by December, and the campaign period for national candidates will begin on Feb. 8, 2022.

Robredo later clarified that she did not condone vote buying and called on authorities to strengthen their efforts to stop the illegal act.

Jimenez said acceptance of money in exchange for votes, regardless of who the person ends up voting, is an election offense.

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"Hindi na kailangang umabot sa puntong bumoto ka ayon doon sa pinagkasunduan niyo kasi pwede mo naman siyang traydurin. Pero ang offense is receiving the money, pagtanggap nung binigay sayo kapalit ng boto mo," he said.

"The law says it's prohibited to except money. Why are we telling people that it's okay to accept money?" he added.


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Senatorial aspirant Larry Gadon called on the Comelec to investigate Robredo on her statement and disqualify her from the presidential race.

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Jimenez said Gadon's call would mean that Comelec would have to investigate all other candidates and personalities who made a similar remark, including former Sen. Bongbong Marcos.

"It's really a question of what you believe as an individual. If you think it's a good idea, then say so. But I disagree. As far as the Comelec is concerned, that is against the law," Jimenez said.

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