Comelec asked to probe alleged vote-buying by Roxas, Poe camps

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(File photos) (L-R) Former Interior Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, Greco Belgica, and Sen. Grace Poe

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Senatorial candidate Greco Belgica on Tuesday (May 3) filed a petition before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to conduct an investigation on the alleged vote-buying incident involving Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe.

Asked about what prompted him to file the petition, Belgica said he wanted Roxas and Poe disqualified from the presidential race for vote-buying.

“Para himukin ang imbestigasyon sa vote-buying na nakita sa kampo ni Secretary Mar Roxas at Grace Poe. Hopefully imbestigahan ng Comelec for potential disqualification,” Belgica said.

[Translation: To ask for an investigation on vote-buying by the camp of Secretary Mar Roxas and Grace Poe. Hopefully, Comelec will investigate this for potential disqualification.]

Belgica said the video showing LP members giving away envelopes that went viral on social media is enough proof that LP violated Comelec's rules and regulations.

In an interview, Belgica said he also has witnesses who can prove that Poe’s camp also engaged in vote-buying during their campaign in Baguio City, where some people were asked to wear white and attend Poe’s rally in exchange of P500 allowance.

“Sa video envelopes were given out. People shouting ‘Mar Roxas tayo.’ Kay Grace Poe naman allowance tig-500. Nobody's bringing it to court. I'm tired of corruption.”

[Translation: In the video, envelopes were given out.  People are shouting ‘we’re for Mar Roxas.’ For Grace Poe, P500 allowance for each (supporter). Nobody's bringing it to court. I'm tired of corruption.]

Belgica added people should be wary of candidates who buy votes.

“Isa lang po sasabihin ko sa mga kababayan- yung mamimili ng boto, magnanakaw sa gobyerno,” Belgica said.

[Translation: I only have one thing to say to our fellow countrymen- those who buy votes will steal from the government.]

Belgica admitted he is a supporter of presidential survey frontrunner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte — but did not say he was doing this for Duterte.

Poe: That's not vote-buying

Asked about the incident in Baguio where supporters wearing white were allegedly promised to get paid P500 each, Poe has this to say: "First of all, hindi naman vote-buying ('yon)." [First of all, that's not vote-buying.]

Poe said she would not get into that kind of activity and she's not a respondent in the petition.

"Hindi naman ako respondent doon. Sinasabi lamang niya 'yon," Poe said. "Sana naman mag-iingat din sapagkat inaalagaan ko rin naman ang reputasyon ko tapos basta na lang sasabihin ako 'yung gumagawa 'non?"

[Translation: I'm not the respondent. He's only saying that. I wish he would be more careful because I'm protecting my reputation, then here he is saying I'm doing those things?"]

Poe also said she doesn't have the funds to buy votes.