Random Thoughts

Consequences of vote-buying

By Leonardo Micua 

THE vote-buying frenzy reportedly taking place in many areas, especially Dagupan City, could be regarded by some people as a blessing in disguise.

The reality check showed indolence and laziness of some who would rather line up even under scorching sun for a few hours, than work using their brawn bodies and presto, they get their share of the cake.

This is  happening in many areas with just a few days before the election, where vote-buying is now prevalent. A tricycle driver, instead of taking his daily grind commuting passengers, would rather just park his unit in one stretch of the road and falls in line at a designated  vote-buying center.

A source told us that in one voting center, they were handing P600 pesos. The crisp note with the face of Ninoy is allegedly coming from a mayoralty candidate and the other note with the face of  the late President Roxas is reportedly coming from his running mate.

Ha, ha, ha. How cheap! These fellas must really have plenty of money to spend for positions that they are running  that would pay them no more than P100,000 as month legally..  

With that amount of salary,  where do you think they hope to recover the huge amount they spent during the election? Of course, it is from the coffer.

They will have no compunction of stealing the money of the people. Worse, they have no programs and projects that would benefit their constituents but why should they care? Their constituents already received their share of the cake…they got their money for their votes.

What about their fellow tycoons who contributed a lot of money to their campaign chests? Well, that’s the  problem. Surely, the indebted candidate would find ways to compensate with  contracts that are disadvantageous to the government. Or, perhaps to award a piece of property of the government for their business ventures for a lifetime. This is possible.   

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Please take note that it is only during election season when there are fast bucks being dangled around. No wonder, it is like a fiesta these days in many places. People seem to be dazzled by the glitters of money, that is why even on a hot noon day, they line up in vote-buying centers for cash.

Can we blame them? It is only during election time that candidates come to them on bended knees and to dole out cash. This is now the culture of the Filipinos every election. .

This frenzy for little cash seemed to show that the campaign of the church for moral recovery, particularly to turn their backs on the glitters of cash in vote-buying, seems to be failing.

Let us see if the people have really matured, if their final discernment made them vote for the more deserving candidates, those who served them well non-stop.    

As Art Valenzuela, the veteran pollster, said that there’s no sure guarantee that vote-buying will ensure one’s victory in the election. It is still accomplishments and performance that the people will vote for.   

On the question whether a non-candidate can be charged for vote-buying if caught doling out cash to people for votes, election lawyer Atty. Emil Marañon may have the answer .

Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code states any person who gives, offers or promises money or anything of value, gives or promises any office  or employment or franchise or grant, public or private, or makes or offers to make an expenditure, directly or indirectly, or cause to be made. . . shall be guilty of an election of offense.

Yes, a non-candidate can be charged for that election offense.

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