Village chair files vote buying complaint vs. ex-Zambales gov

IBA, Zambales -- A barangay chairman in Palauig town on Sunday filed a complaint against former governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., who is again seeking the post in this election, for alleged vote buying.

In his sworn statement to the provincial office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) here, Noel A. Landero, chair of Barangay Bato, related that he was visited by Association of Barangay Chairmen (ABC) president, Eddie Aurelio, along with former barangay chairman Nel Rico, an alleged supporter of Ebdane, last Saturday.

He said Rico told him that they would meet with Tony Alves and Johnie Anoba, both incumbent councilors of Barangay Bato, so they could have a little talk.

After the two village officials arrived, he claimed that Aurelio immediately handed them a small box and said: “Ito straight Ebdane (Here, straight Ebdane).”

“Pagkatapos iabot ang kahon, agad na silang umalis at kami naman ay nagtungo sa loob ng aming bahay. Agad naming binuksan ang kahon, nakapaibabaw ang mga sample ballot ng buong tiket ni ex-governor Hermogenes 'Jun' Ebdane bilang governor at pababa sa kanilang mga kandidato sa pagka-mayor hanggang mga konsehal sa bayan ng Palauig (After handing out the box, they immediately left and we, on the other hand, went inside our house. We immediately opened the box. On top are sample ballot boxes that indicate the whole ticket of ex-governor Hermones 'Jun' Ebdane as governor and under them were their candidates for mayor up to councilors of the town of Palauig),” Landero said.

“Nang aming iangat ang mga sample ballot, laking gulat naming nang tumambad sa amin ang may dalawang bundle ng PHP500. Bukod dito, may laman din na mga brown envelope nang aming buksan ay may tig-PHP500 at flyer ng Marino Party-list (When we lifted the sample ballots, we were surprised to see two bundles of PHP500. Aside from that, there were brown envelopes with PHP500 each and a flyer of Marino Party-list),” the barangay chair added.

He said the box that was given by Aurelio contained a total of PHP169,500.

Landero said he immediately went to the Comelec provincial office here to report the incident.

He filed a complaint against Ebdane and other officials listed in the sample ballot for vote buying, in violation of sections 261 and 262 of the Omnibus Election Code. (PNA)

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