By Hilda Austria, PNA
AGUILAR, Pangasinan — Police officers and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents nabbed four persons following a report of alleged vote-buying in barangay Buer here on Sunday.
Aguilar police chief, Capt. Rommel Sembrano, in an interview Monday, said they received a report of alleged vote buying at 9:10 a.m. to which they immediately responded.
“When we arrived at the barangay hall of Buer, congressional candidate Raul Sison, who reported to us the alleged incident, accosted the four persons along with the money and election paraphernalia,” Sembrano said.
A sum of PHP443,000 composed of different denominations, sample ballots and candidates’ flyers were recovered by authorities.
Sembrano identified the suspects as Clarisse Sanchez, 34, Marilyn Dela Cruz, 25, Rico Almazan, 25 and Denver Bejar, 29, all residents of Bugallon town.
“They were turned over to NBI in Dagupan City as the case to be filed against them is being readied,” he said.
Sembrano added that three Buer barangay officials including the barangay captain and two barangay councilmen were invited by NBI for questioning or custody.
Meanwhile, re-electionists Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino III and 5th district Representative Amado Espino Jr., denied their involvement in the alleged vote-buying incident.
The confiscated election paraphernalia bore the names and photos of Governor Espino and other local candidates.
“We vehemently deny all the allegations stated in the said photo or video. This incident is clearly another example of their dirty tactics in an attempt to besmirch our name in a last-ditch effort to destroy our candidacies in the upcoming elections,” Espino said in his press statement.
He added that their lawyers are looking into the issue and are preparing for appropriate legal actions they deemed necessary.
“There is also a news circulating that I was arrested and disqualified. This is not true. As of the moment the provincial election supervisor said no candidate in Pangasinan is disqualified so far. Our fight continues for our love for and for the progress of the province,” Espino said. (PNA)