By MANUEL L. MORATÓ
I pray for a clean and honest election
Everybody is holding their breath as to whether the midterm elections on May 13 will be an honest and clean election. If we listen to Director James Jimenez, spokesperson of the Commission on Election or COMELEC, that everything is going fine; that possible loopholes have been plugged to cheat have been remedied. That’s what he also said in the elections of 2010 and 2016, inducing us to believe in the Smartmatic machines. He defended the system to high heaven; and yet, it turned out a tsunami-like disaster.
Is Comelec error free this time? Do they believe the system for voting now? Can they now guarantee no cheating on May 13th elections? Will the Comelec be vigilant and insure us an honest, clean and free elections?
According to Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez in a press briefing as the campaign season reaches homestretch with less than two weeks left before election day, “buying and selling votes are election offenses that have corresponding penalties and jail time under the law.” “It’s an election offense. You can be jailed, you can be fined and you can be disqualified from holding public office. Both ‘yan, both the buyer and the seller.” But was there anyone jailed? Please kindly refresh our memory.
Good to hear, but I’ve never heard of anyone being caught because as I know it, and remember I ran for president in the 1998 elections for reasons of principles; and to find out how our election process works. What I gathered from that experience is something that still goes on up to now.
Before, an abled candidate explained to me when I asked him why he was not campaigning, but kept on winning. He told me, no need to go around. It’s a waste of time and effort he said.
I asked, so how do you do it? Simple, he said. I never lost an election. I give the Barangay Captain money to buy the votes and he/she delivers the votes. If it is a small Barangay, he gave 3M pesos to deliver the votes. For a big Barangay, the going rate then was 5M. I speak of almost 18 years ago. For sure, the “lagay” must have increased.
This is the problem, a problem so imbedded in our society since the Barangay was created I do not know when. For one, it bred corruption.
I personally admit that there are Barangay Captains who are honest and on the level whose only intention is to serve his neighborhood and public service. Pero bihira ‘yan. But I was personally told how the incumbent officials of the City Hall running for reelection pay these Barangay Captains to just deliver the votes.
It is more the practice of the incumbent than the candidates they are running against for the “new comers” cannot easily remove the “loyalty” of the Barangay Captain already beholden and committed to the one in power.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) must look into this.
Now DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano (former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines) would know what to do.
My candidates for the Senate are the candidates endorsed by President Duterte. It is my desire to have a less troublesome Senate prone to nonsensical arguments.
Let’s have a more cohesive and mature and understanding government in order to promote development of our nation faster.
I have a list of my own extra favorites, but I am not yet free to write all of them here.