The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) reiterated its policy against vote buying within areas under its control during elections.
CPP chief information officer Marco Valbuena in a statement Thursday said the New People’s Army (NPA) prohibits politicians from engaging in vote buying within so-called revolutionary areas during the conduct of “reactionary elections.”
“Vote buying is one of the starkest manifestations of the rotten electoral system of the reactionary government. In the countryside, it reinforces and takes advantage of feudal social relations and perpetuates patronage politics that favor the ruling classes,” Valbuena said.
Valbuena’s statement is in obvious reference to Vice President and presidential aspirant Leni Robredo’s earlier advice to voters to receive monies from politicians wishing to buy their votes but to choose according to their conscience nonetheless.
Robredo’s comment received flak and trended online.
The Commission on Elections said it is both illegal for candidates to buy votes and for voters to receive them.
Valbuena said the CPP and NPA’s prohibition of vote buying in areas they control is aimed at ensuring that election campaigns are conducted in an orderly manner and not used to sow violence and terror among the people.
“Vote buying is prohibited in the revolutionary areas because it is typically accompanied by intimidation or coercion. It furthermore tends to sow disunity and bickering among the people with some receiving more than the others,” Valbuena explained.
The CPP spokesperson warned that politicians who will be caught in the act of vote buying will be apprehended and reprimanded.
“Monies will be seized and immediately turned over to the local organs of political power and reported to higher territorial governmental organs. These will be used to augment local funds used for socioeconomic programs for the benefit of the people,” he said.
Valbuena added that political parties and candidates who wish to conduct election campaigns in the revolutionary territories are also not allowed to bring firearms or have armed bodyguards, including military and police escorts or their own goons.
“This is to prevent them from subjecting people to armed intimidation, as well as avoid armed encounters during their campaign sorties,” Valbuena said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)