Members of progressive groups on Tuesday sued Quezon City congressional candidate Rose Nono Lin and several others for alleged vote-buying under the pretext of ‘ayuda’ (cash aid) or scholarship.
A total of 30 people from Koalisyon Novalenyo Kontra Korapsyon and Alyansa ng mga Mamamayan ng Bagbag lodged the complaint before the Commission on Elections (Comelec), claiming to have witnessed the “massive vote buying operations,” a CNN report said.
“Even before the filing of respondent Lin’s certificate of candidacy and beyond March 25, 2022, when the official local campaign period started, respondents undertook a concerted and coordinated scheme to buy the votes of tens of thousands of Novaleños,” the complaint stated.
“Even now, the vote buying scheme continues in one of the many headquarters,” it added.
Lin’s16 co-accused were only as her “close associates” in Barangay Sta. Lucia and Barangay Novaliches Proper. The complainants said some were barangay councilors while others were private individuals acting as “barangay coordinators.”
Comelec Commissioner George Garcia vowed the poll body will immediately issue a subpoena to proceed with the preliminary investigation into the allegations.
“We will afford due process to all, and we will not allow our judgment to be swayed by publicity or popularism. Ours will be guided only by the evidence presented and the law applicable based on the given facts,” he said.
Comelec earlier warned that cash distribution by candidates, even in the form of “aid,” will be considered vote-buying once the campaign period starts, although it noted a complaint is needed to prosecute violators.
The congressional candidate is the wife of Lin Weixiong, identified as the financial manager of controversial government supplier Pharmally.
She herself has been linked to the Pharmally controversy.