Highlight: Amid false reports about election fraud surfacing on social media, Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Arthur Lim warned overseas Filipino voters and netizens that such fraudulent claims and social media posts are a violation of the Omnibus Election Code, and thus can be grounds for the Comelec to file a criminal case.
On Wednesday, April 13, Lim stressed in a news conference that the Comelec “has the power to conduct preliminary investigations“ on dubious claims of election fraud, but the court will ultimately determine and decide upon their veracity.
“Itong netizens na nagpapalabas ng mga false report, ang epekto niyan, ina-undermine nila ang electoral process, (These netizens who perpetrate false reports undermine the electoral process).” Lim said.
Lim, being the commissioner in charge of overseas voting, is alarmed by recent posts on social media pertaining to alleged election fraud overseas.
One of which is the photo of a ballot taken in Singapore, where the names of Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II and vice-presidential candidate Leni Robredo appear to be highlighted in yellow.
Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez has earlier discredited the photos, saying the highlighted ballot is fake, along with other social media posts he presented to the media on Tuesday, April 12.
Lim said that the Comelec is now tracking down the perpetrators behind the false claims, and that their law department “will conduct an investigation, and if there is probable cause, the law department will recommend to the en banc the filing of criminal cases.”