Random Thoughts

Ongoing systematic vote-buying

By Leonardo Micua


HERE’s our advice to voters already reached by coordinators of certain candidates already implementing a systematic vote-buying scheme: Accept the cash and still vote for the candidate who you think can do much more for your locality.

We are sharing this advice because of reports that some candidates, through their minions, have already started doling out cash to voters systematically. Hahaha… These  candidates still believe that adage: the early bird catches the first worm.

It is still a few months away before the start of the campaign period but reports have it that people armed with “claim tickets” are now lining up in designated “claim” centers located in one of Dagupan City’s southern village. Rumors are rife that each ticket entitled ticket holder to collect cash (from P500 to P1,000) which, according to my source, was just the  first salvo. More to come.

I recall one candidate who lost in the last election or his camp who distributed door-to-door computer-generated stubs that had the name of the voter, his or her official address and other data that one suspected were taken from Comelec files.

The “beneficiaries” naturally welcome such a bonanza since it doesn’t happen every day. Many people are now awash (temporarily) with cash to spend for the holidays. In other words,  “happy days are here again”, thanks to the ‘generosity’ of the candidates.

We should begin to be wary of the systematic vote-buying that is already taking place. Something is definitely wrong. Candidates who have nothing tangible to offer in public service resort to vote-buying during early stages of the campaign.

Who are these candidates? Guess!

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The fast rising town of Mangaldan is really a town to watch. It is now the model in progress and development not only in the fourth district but also in the entire province as well. 

Now literally bursting at the seams, Mangaldan continues to grow like any metropolis with traffic gridlocks felt from morn to sundown. Many of its hardy people toil in their respective work places even up to the wee hours in the morning.

It is now actually like Dagupan that no longer sleeps. In fact, if  you walk through the crowded downtown area of Mangaldan or on board a jeepney, you might think you have not left Dagupan because of the bumper-to-bumper situation along its main thoroughfare. 

With Mayor Bona at the helm, Mangaldan will certainly go far. 

Take note! Big Metro  Manila companies supplying consumer goods for Pangasinan have already relocated their warehouses to Mangaldan. New and bigger warehouses are in fact now being built left and right of the Dagupan-Mangaldan road.

This is a big boon to Mangaldan. I recall that it was the late democracy icon Mayor Benigno Gubatan who foresaw that his town will one day transform into a home of big warehouses when the only warehouse located in Mangaldan was Nescafe’s.

From what we saw, Bona Parayno is definitely following the steps laid down by the late Mayor Bening who pulled Mangaldan through from the very rough times of yesteryears. 

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For the information of the younger Dagupeños, the city is only one of the few places where one can find the monument of Andres Bonifacio, founder of the Katipunan.

Bonifacio never set his foot in Dagupan or in any part of Pangasinan, but he and his fellow freedom fighters were honored with a monument installed at the then town plaza of Dagupan. Bonifacio is in that monument situated at the northwestern end of the city plaza, standing side by side with the other heroes: Emilio Jacinto and Apolinario Mabini.

Philippine history taught us that Bonifacio was executed by the Magdalo forces of General Emilio Aguinaldo, who became the first president of the Philippine Republic by virtue of his declaration of independence at Kawit, Cavite  on June 12, 1898.

History also said that at the end of the revolution, the remnants of the Spanish forces  under the command of General Francisco Ceballos, who made a last stand at the Dagupan church, were brought to the adjacent Dagupan plaza as prisoners of war after they were flushed out following days of fighting by the victorious forces of General Francisco Macabulos, then Aguinaldo’s military commander for Central Luzon.

In the five-day epic Battle of Dagupan, one Filipino leader from San Jacinto, Don Vicente Prado, employed a tactic that enabled Filipino freedom fighters to crawl near the heavily defended Dagupan church – rolling banana trunks.  This, according to the late Restituto Basa, foremost historian of Pangasinan, led to the Spanish defenders’ surrender.

It was in the same plaza where Vicente Prado, who was later appointed politico-military governor of Pangasinan, was executed by his American captors by hanging him when he refused to swear allegiance to the star spangled banner and instead spat on it.


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