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TUESDAY, September 27, 2022
Filipinos voters go on shopping spree after cash windfall

Filipinos voters go on shopping spree after cash windfall

SUNDAY, May 15, 2022

For two straight days after the presidential elections, many popular mobile phone brands were sold out as residents from the towns of Tagbina, Barobo and Lianga in neighbouring Surigao del Sur province went into a shopping frenzy.

Agusan del Sur, The Philippines - They practically stormed the three malls on Tuesday and Wednesday, openly joking about their windfall from the vote-buying spree involving some politicians running for congressional and provincial posts.

A salesman at a mobile phone store said his shop had sold at least 180 units of Vivo and realme brands in the two days following the polls.

He said many other mobile phone stalls in the mall also experienced brisk sales until the items ran out.

Most of the brands in demand cost between 6,000 and 7,000 pesos (3,900 and 4,600 baht) per unit.


Apart from mobile phone stores, other commercial establishments including restaurants were crowded on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Toto Banas, the owner of a meat store, said his supplies were sold out by noon.

According to Macario Angelia, a resident of Lianga, rival camps in his province were buying votes at 2,500 to 3,500 pesos per voter.

He said more cash went around as Election Day was approaching, with some candidates handing out an extra 500 peso note, also called “tili-tili” or “drizzle” to each voter.

One candidate in this town gave out 1,200 pesos in four batches, which voters jokingly called doses, the first two being primary and the last two being booster doses.

Another candidate gave out 1,000 pesos each to voters.

Cause-oriented groups monitoring the elections said this was the first time that votes were bought with such amounts.

Waiting in line

In Zamboanga del Sur, voters were offered 3,000 to 5,000 pesos in exchange for voting an entire local slate from governor to municipal or city councillors.

The distribution began on Saturday, two days before Election Day.

Many put up with about five hours of waiting in line for their “ulan-ulan” from one camp, and then they would queue in another political camp the next day.

But police in the provincial capital of Pagadian City thwarted a vote-buying operation on Election Day itself, seizing 50,000 pesos in cash in a raid at the Pavilion Building of the provincial government in Barangay Dao.

According to their report, the 50 1,000 peso bills confiscated by the police came with sample ballots of re-runner Governor Victor Yu and his local slate. But nobody was arrested in the raid as the people inside the building fled when the police arrived.

On the eve of Election Day, police in Dumingag town, also in Zamboanga del Sur, raided a health centre in Barangay Dulop, arrested two women and confiscated bundles of envelopes which contained cash amounting to 1.93 million pesos.

Major Mark Gerome Nebria, Dumingag police chief, said each envelope had 2,500 pesos in cash. Also seized from the suspects was a list of voters with their precinct numbers.

Philippine Daily Inquirer

Asia News Network

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