CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga — Sixty-six persons were arrested for alleged violations of the election period liquor ban as well as vote-buying and coercion in Central Luzon, amid a generally peaceful elections in the region.
Four, including a minor, were arrested after allegedly coercing a supporter of reelectionist Mayor Gonzalo Moreno in Barangay Bucot in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija at about 6 p.m. Sunday.
Major Jaime Ferrer, town police chief, identified the four suspects as Gilbert Valencia, 42, of Barangay Poblacion West 3; Carlito Trinidad, 52, of Barangay Sto. Rosario; Rodney Santos, 20, and a 17-year-old minor, both of Barangay La Purisima, all in this municipality.
They allegedly accused Bucot resident Agnes Hermano, 52, of planning to buy votes for a certain local candidate and asked her to go with them. Seeing a policeman nearby, Hermano shouted for help. The suspects were then arrested.
Aliaga is one of eight towns in Nueva Ecija which were declared as election hotspots.
At the same time, Central Luzon PNP director Brig. Gen. Joel Napoleon Coronel said 54 persons were rounded-up in different entertainment and fun houses in separate areas in the region since the start of 24-hour liquor ban during the election period.
“We make sure that the electoral process will be orderly kaya ayaw natin na mayroon mga mga botante na nakainom o kaya ay lasing na magtutungo sa polling places,” said Coronel in a statement.
Another eight were arrested for alleged vote buying.
Those arrested for alleged vote buying included a 71-year-old farmer who received a P100 bill in exchange for a local candidate’s vote in Tarlac City, as well as seven others who reportedly tried to distribute money in exchange for votes for a local candidate in Sto. Tomas, Pampanga.