An open letter penned by Krizette Chu of Manila Bulletin and admin of the FB page KLC Happy Thoughts and Cellphone Repair soliciting the legal opinion of the so-called Lawyers for Leni on the issue of vote buying and vote selling which has been making the rounds lately.
Chu was obviously taking a swipe at Leni Robredo who met with the Kasambahays recently and during the open forum, one of the kasambahays asked for advice on how to deal with the issue of politicians giving money in exchange for votes.
Lagi kong sinasabi, tanggapin niyo kasi galing sa inyo ‘yan. Pera ‘yan ng taumbayan. Pero iboto mo kung ano ang nasa konsiyensiya mo, Robredo said. [GMA News]
Chu cited the Omnibus Election Code, specifically Section 261 stating vote-buying and vote-selling are violations and punishable with imprisonment, disqualification from public office, deprivation of the right to vote and fines.
You may read Krizette Chu’s open letter to Lawyers for Leni now.
Dear Lawyers for Leni
Please enlighten me, an ignorant ordinary citizen.
Did VP LENI Robredo, herself a lawyer, encourage vote buying and vote selling, and tell Kasambahays to commit a criminal act?
Are vote selling and vote buying criminal acts?
According to the Omnibus Election Code, it is illegal to sell your votes to a candidate as much as it is illegal to buy the votes of voters. Vote-buying and vote-selling are violations under Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code and can be punished with imprisonment, disqualification from public office, deprivation of the right to vote and fines.
But as you can see, in her meeting with Kasambahays, the Vice President told the kasambahays who asked her what to do if someone offers them money for their vote to accept the money (kasi sa atin din naman galing yun) but vote according to their conscience.
For your reference.
Your legal knowhow which you brandish about to scare people will be very helpful to us citizens asking if the VP encouraged or allowed or what word should we use—permitted— ordinary citizens to break the law.
Kaming mga free data people poor people, as common sense we say this to each other. But she cannot—as a lawyer and VP—say this to us.
Thank you very much for your advice
Screenshots from the Twitter of Philippine Star
As of this writing, Chu’s open letter has generated 7,700+ reactions, 1,500 comments and 1,900+ shares in just 3 hours and counting.