Former Puerto Princesa mayor Edward Hagedorn has filed vote buying complaints before the City Commission on Elections (COMELEC) against incumbent Mayor Lucilo Bayron, 13 members of the Kuridas Team, and other allies.
In the complaint he filed on May 13, Hagedorn named the respondents as Lucilo Bayron, Nancy Socrates, and the 12 members of the Kuridas, namely Rolando Amurao, Nesario Awat, Jimmy Carbonel, Elgin Damasco, Herbert Dilig, Henry Gadiano, Matt Mendoza, Victor Oliveros, Michael Tan, Roy Ventura, incoming 3rd Legislative District House Rep. Gil Acosta Jr., and supporters named only as John and Jane Does.
Hagedorn, the president of the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS), claimed he has “a well-supported complaint attached with statements by witnesses, videos, photos, and voice recordings of public addresses.”
He accused that the vote buying activities happened in Barangays Bagong Silang and Luzviminda.
Girlie Pacamarra, acting city election officer, told Palawan News on Wednesday that she has heard of a vote buying case involving a party-list group, but did not divulge details.
This is the first time that someone filed a formal complaint about vote buying, Pacamara said.
“Ito kapag na-file namin doon sa legal department, mag-aantay na kami ng order galing doon sa taas… oo, i-a-ano (file) ko within the week. Kasi sila talaga dapat ang mag-a-aksyon niyan. Kapag mga ganitong bagay kasi lalo na kung mga legal matters, ang mga non-lawyers ay mag-i-endorso sa mga lawyers lang [sa aming legal departmet]. Tapos kami lang ang taga-gawa kung ano ang iniutos sa amin,” she said.
She also said that Hagedorn told them that his camp will also file the same vote buying complaint directly to the poll body’s legal department.
Pacamarra pointed out that the process is “very costly” that is why many complainants are discouraged to pursue cases.
“Kasi ano ‘yan, kapag common [na tao] ‘yong ano (complainant) meron din siyang ano, [kakayahan financially], kasi gagastos ka rin niyan,” she said.