Zambo del Norte gov, 5 others charged for vote buying

MANILA, Philippines - Zamboanga del Norte police filed charges of violation of elections laws against Zamboanga del Norte Gov. Rolando Yebes for alleged vote buying.

A statement sent to media by the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Sunday, May 12, said the Dipolog City police station received a report of massive vote buying inside a beach house owned by Yebes on the morning of May 8.

They arrested Maila Hinotan-Laput, Carmelita Ramirez-Perez, Cleofe Mendoza-Ogoc, and Maria Bayron for supposedly facilitating vote buying. Confiscated from their possession were 5 sample ballots and P15,000 worth of paper bills.

During the arrest, Chady Yebes, son of the governor, arrived with 3 companions and tried to prevent police from transporting Mendoza-Ogoc to the police station.

The PNP said charges of violation of Batas Pambansa 881 or the Omnibus Election Code were filed against those arrested, including Governor Yebes and his son Chady, who is facing an additional charge of obstruction of justice.

Meanwhile, Naga City police nabbed two persons last May 10 for receiving money from an unidentified group inside the farm of Jojo Villafuerte, a nephew of Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte, in Barangay Cararayan, Naga City.

The PNP PIO said police recovered from Marife Parcero and Dionisio San Buenaventura cash amounting to P500 and one sample ballot with shaded names of some national and local candidates.

Parcero and San Buenaventura have voluntarily given their statements as witnesses which were sworn to and subscribed by them before the Naga City Prosecutors Office, pending the filing of appropriate case. -

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