Comelec launches complaint center vs. vote buying, selling

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 8) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) officially launched on Friday its committee against vote buying and vote selling for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE), as it also opened its complaint center to curb such illegal activities.

Comelec Resolution No. 10946 created the Committee on Kontra Bigay (CKB) and established the "Kontra-Bigay Complaint Center" which will receive reports on incidents of vote buying and vote selling.

"During the 2022 elections, we received 1,226 reports of vote buying...The International Alliance of Election watchdogs said that vote buying in the country is our biggest election flaw," Comelec Chairman George Garcia told a press briefing.

"Ang going rate raw kada boto ay ₱100 hanggang ₱2,000, mababa yata," he noted. "At tanggap ng marami na ang election daw ay paraan upang kumita."

[Translation: The going rate is supposedly ₱100 to ₱2,000, which seems quite low. A lot of people accept that an election is a way to earn money.]

According to Comelec, one can report incidents through exclusive communication channels, email, and social media, like Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and Twitter.

The Kontra-Bigay Complaint Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Aug. 28 to Oct. 28, but it will be operational 24 hours a day from Oct. 29 to 31.

According to the Omnibus Election Code, vote buying involves giving money or anything of value, promising any office or employment and other offers to induce anyone to vote for or against any candidate or withhold his vote in an election.

Comelec said that vote buying and vote selling can now be done through digital or online banking transactions, or with the use of any mobile wallet applications.

Warrantless arrest for violators

The Comelec said that any law enforcement personnel may arrest a violator without a warrant of arrest. The person may be arrested while committing or attempting to commit the election offense.

The poll body also said it would disqualify candidates who will be involved in vote buying.

It also assured that the agency will offer protection to those who will report violators.

"In the unfortunate event that minors or children will be used in the commission in vote buying or vote selling schemes, then we also have a procedure for handling a child in conflict with the law under Section 45 of this resolution," said Glinis Tamondong, CKB Head of Secretariat.

The public may report violators through the CKB hotline numbers, (08) 8559-9947, (02) 8567-4567, or through their Facebook: Kontrabigay, Instagram: kontrabigay, Twitter: Kontra Bigay, or via email at