In Focus SIGN OF THE CRUZ by: Danilo P. Cruz

Vote-Buying in the Philippines

[by Danilo P. Cruz]

NO MATTER how optimistic the opinion of some of our people may sound, most know that things are not going well in our electorate if a large group of voters are ignorant and does not have the degree of economic well-being that will permit them to look beyond the problem of their next meal. And everyone knows that the situation has become very bad indeed if among these voters could easily be swayed and corrupted by politicians who promise anything and offer doles, handouts, jobs and anything in-between.

These “dirty” professional/traditional politicians or “trapos” will shall always have with us not unless we expose, ignore and shame them. Thus, while the democratic structure of the government is maintained, it is largely without substance because of lack of economic and social infrastructure for a real democracy.

The results of the past two elections had gradually become less and less the wise and free choice of the people in a really democratic process. There has been a gradual intensification on the manner these politicians influence and control the vote.

The real, long-term solution to vote-buying stands on two closely inter-related grounds, the first being the development and nurturing of an independent middle class. The second is that of education. I don’t just mean the three “R’s” (reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic), though that is quite a substantial part of it.

Take it from Reggie Miller formerly of the NBA, you don’t go to school, you won’t have a shot. He actually said “college,” but never mind college, just mind elementary and high school. We don’t have that, we’ll always be prey to vote-buyers, political charlatans, false economic prophets and religious crackpots like you know who. ###

DIYARYO MILENYO is a free and independent online media outfit that publishes events happening in the local communities and current issues that matter to the public with local, national and global implications. DIYARYO MILENYO is composed of volunteer journalists and community writers scattered in various parts of the Philippines. They report the news right and where it happens. It adheres to the standards and ethics of journalism. It imposes strict rules against attacking someone. Strictly adhering to publish good news only.

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