By Chito Chavez
Even after the conclusion of the mid-term elections, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año still urged the public to continue reporting cases of vote-buying incidents in the recent polls.
Año enticed the public to perform their patriotic duties to weed out the undesirables who time and again have destroyed the free will of the people.
This can be done by filling up the standard complaint form and submitting it, together with other pieces of evidence, to the nearest Commission on Election (Comelec), Philippine National Police (PNP), or National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) offices.
Although glitches are unavoidable, Año said the polls were generally peaceful, echoing the Comelec position that the results of the elections were not affected by voters counting machines (VCM) that malfunctioned.
He cited the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the “entire DILG family’’ for their invaluable contribution that led to the orderly conduct of last Monday’s mid-term elections.
“As the nation and LGUs move forward and embrace a new beginning, I assure the people that the DILG’s Local Government Academy (LGA) is ready to provide capacity development programs of winning local elective officials through the continuing Program for Newly Elected Officials (NEO) to prepare them in effectively discharging their duties and responsibilities,’’ Año said.
The DILG chief also recognized the fine job of the Task Force Kontra Bigay composed of the Comelec, DILG, PNP and NBI for their “concerted effort to confront head-on the menace of vote-buying in our country’’.
He asserted the arrest of hundreds of perpetrators is an important step in reducing if not eradicating this clear affront to our democracy.
“I congratulate the Comelec for its decisive leadership and we look forward to working with them in future elections in the strict implementation of our election laws,’’ Año noted.
“For this achievement, I congratulate the PNP led by Police General Oscar Albayalde and the 181,775 police officers who performed election duties for a job well done. I also wish to commend the more than 500 Comelec-deputized police officers who took the place of teachers as Board of Election Inspectors in various precincts in need of back-up poll workers. Your service to the nation made possible the success of this very important democratic exercise,’’ he said.