BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Broadcaster Rey Siason is seeking the nullification of the results of the Negros Press Club elections, claiming that the victory of incoming Negros Press Club president Yves Montecillo, who won the elections last 22 January 2021, was ensured by the funding of two businessmen whom he did not name. (READ also: Vote-buying allegations mar local press club polls, ex prexy calls for probe)
Siason also called on the Club to be barred from running or even be expelled from the Club, or even resign “before more scandal is created”.
Montecillo, who ran under the New Normal slate, won against Siason for the post, while Montecillo’s running mate, El John Castaño won against Siason’s running mate Dolly Yasa.
Siason, in his letter dated 26 January to the NPC Commission on Elections and coursed through outgoing president Glazyl Masculino, claimed that there was “vote-buying” during the last polls, as he cited “information circulating” among members and in social media over the supposed P1,000 given out by Montecillo and Castaño.
He claimed that Montecillo and Castaño basically “pimped” the Club to the businessmen, adding further that he condemned what he called as “the act of prostitution” of his two colleagues.
“Is this the new normal? Vote buying? Corruption of members and betrayal of what the NPC stands for and preserved through the Club’s 85 years of existence?” he said in his letter.
Siason also cited several instances where he was supposedly approached by members of the club, who either asked him how much he was willing to give since the New Normal team is giving away P1,000 per voting member.
Siason further claimed that one member, who “requested anonymity” and “expressed [his] regret that he can’t vote for me”.
Another “young member”, he claimed, asked another past president if there is really a need to prepare P1,000 or higher to win?”
Siason also accused Montecillo of “hakot”, saying the latter admitted to ensuring the transportation of members, implying that the incoming president gathered the voters to ensure his win.
He also justified the practice and tradition of treating members to snacks, lunch, or even paying members’ dues, claiming that this is a gesture of camaraderie among members “with no pressure at all for his/her choice of candidates”.
Masculino told DNX the officers cannot issue a statement yet on the letter of Siason as the Comelec members have yet to meet.