Jonvic Remulla gives cash prize in a UniTeam rally; insists no rules were violated

Cavite Governor Juanito Victor “Jonvic” Remulla Jr. publicly handed out cash prizes to campaign attendees of the political rally of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte in Barangay San Juan, Dasmariñas City on Tuesday, March 22.

In the video, Remulla was seen giving out P5,000 ‘cash prize’ to 2 people who got the highest cheers from the crowd in a singing showdown, and P2,000 to another campaign attendee while waiting for the arrival of the Marcos-Duterte tandem. According to  a report released by Rappler, the governor gave out a total of P28,000 to 9 audience members who stood up on stage and entertained the crowd. Just 20 minutes after the incident, Duterte arrived at the venue while Marcos Jr. came after 50 minutes.



In an interview with members of the press, Remulla denied the vote-buying allegations and insisted that he did not violate any campaign rules as the official campaign period for local positions is yet to start on March 25. The governor, who is seeking reelection, also clarified that giving cash prizes was not affiliated to Marcos Jr. and the UniTeam members as no candidates for the national election were present yet, even though the stage and venue were decorated with UniTeam posters. 

Hindi pa ako kandidato until the 25th, wala naman si BBM doon eh. Not until the candidates arrive was it a violation,” Remulla claimed.

According to Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code, “any person who gives, offers or promises money or anything of value […] in order to induce anyone or the public in general to vote for or against any candidate or withhold his vote in the election shall be guilty of an election offense.” However, COMELEC has not yet issued any statement regarding the incident as of press time.

While the poll body is yet to address the issue, former COMELEC Commissioner Luie Guia tweeted, “if one is giving money to voters to induce them to vote for or against a candidate, not necessarily the giver, then that is clearly vote buying under Section 261 (a) of the Omnibus Election Code.”



Guia also added that this violation may be a ground for the disqualification of the candidate under Section 68 which states that, “any candidate who, in action […] having given money or other material consideration to influence, induce or corrupt the voters or public officials performing electoral functions shall be disqualified from continuing as a candidate.”

Remulla has publicly expressed his support for the Marcos-Duterte tandem in the past, vowing to deliver 800,000 votes from Cavite as the second highest vote-rich province in the Philippines after Cebu. Earlier this month, his brother and Cavite 7th District Representative Jesus Crispin ‘Boying’ Remulla asserted that campaign attendees and volunteers of the Robredo-Pangilinan rally in General Trias on March 4 were paid P500 each to attend the campaign, but did not present any evidence. 

This is a developing story.

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