By ASA T. MADALE
May 12, 2019
MARAWI CITY: In view of the conduct of May 13, 2019 Mid-term National and Local Elections today, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), in partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), has created the TASK FORCE KONTRA BIGAY for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting vote-buying and or selling as defined in the Omnibus Election Code.
In an urgent memorandum dated May 9, 2019, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan E. Malaya enjoined all DILG Regional Directors/DILG Field Officers and other concerned as to the information dissemination on the role of the DILG under the Task Force.
Malaya emphasized that the objective of the Task Force is to put in place a mechanism to aid an ordinary citizen to initiate a complaint on vote-buying or selling.
Malaya cited that to ensure smooth effective implementation of the order, primary responsibilities of the members of the task force were defined. The PNP/IBP shall give their full support assistance to conduct an investigation in filing cases. While the Comelec/NBI will conduct the investigation. The role of the DILG will be on information dissemination.
One of the challenges identified by the Task Force is the difficulty for an ordinary citizen to initiate a complaint against the perpetrators of these election offenses, Malaya stressed.
Malaya elaborated that there are attached sample forms of the complaint by any prospective complaint and same shall be uploaded in the DILG website for easier access of all offices concerned are advise to make copies available within their areas of jurisdiction.
The verified complaint supported by affidavits or any other pieces of evidence shall then be filed with any of the following offices, namely, Law Department of the Comelec, Offices of the Election Supervisors or Election Officers, Comelec Regional Directors of Provincial Election Supervisors and State Prosecutors, Provincial Prosecutors or City Prosecutors, Malaya said.
Malaya appeal to members of the Task Force, saying “in order to to provide greater assistance to the voting public, all DILG officers are requested to coordinate with their counterparts in the Comelec/PNP, NBI and IBP Chapters to localize the partnership under this task force, this can be done by issuing press statements in your respective jurisdiction to cause widest dissemination of the objectives of the Comelec program, Malaya added. (ATM/RSP)