If Ninoy were alive...
April 14, 2007
"...we no longer need elections – we need voting auction, where the
highest bidder, the highest giver can be the winner-take-all."
He would have disallowed his
picture to be printed in the P500 peso bill, with a matching mysterious
"hinampiling" look that invites as much attention as interpretation.
But that is not really the sad
part. The P500 bill has become the standard by which voters' prices have been
based during elections Philippine version. This is the saddest and the worst
thing that happened behind the circulation of the P500 money. And we are not
talking here about the fake ones.
Ninoy must have been turning
in his grave, fuming mad and gnashing angry as he can be. Who would have
thought his immortal words "The Filipino is worth dying for" being paraphrased
into "The Filipino is worth buying for" – and using the denomination bearing his
image at that? This is not only adding insult to injury, this is adding a heap
of injuries to a bowlful of insults.
Look, we are not stupid to
deny present realities. Candidates – ALL candidates – are giving money anyway
like there's no tomorrow. If one is hypocrite enough not to accept his/her
share from both camps (the billing is said to be starting at P500 per voter,
then P1,000 the other side responds, then P1,500 the first group counters, and
so on) the money goes to the leader, or to the one who distributes it. So
receiving the "election fund" was just a matter of a lesser evil, for somehow it
cannot affect "whom I vote for", right?
Wrong – on three counts. At
the very start the money was given with a clear motive: to buy your vote so
your decision can swing their way. If such was the case then we no longer need
elections – we need "voting auction", where the highest bidder, the highest
giver can be the winner-take-all.
Second: is that how cheap
your right of suffrage has been so lowly downgraded? Then you are a traitor to
yourself, irresponsible to the highest order.
Third: you desecrated the
photograph of Ninoy. If Ninoy were alive he would have cursed the "trapos"
giving money and the willing "selling" recipients. We should be ashamed for
The Parish Pastoral Council
for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) has been trying to prevent any vote buying scheme
from happening. This, of course, is like hoping against hope, a challenge
accomplished only in lip-service than in deed. Yet it stands to reason that at
least the PPCRV has managed in all these years to raise the awareness level of
voters. While the "hinampiling" remains the primary criteria, some votes have
been considering the issues, the platforms involved.
More to the point, many voters
believed that candidates must pass the critical 3 C's: competence, character,
and commitment, although quite a number would not do away with the forth c –
cash. Still, it is not an exaggeration to say that Ninoy's "impossible dream"
for an informed voter can be realized one day into the near or far future.
Ninoy valued his life to
the point of dying for it. In like manner, conscientious voters should value
their votes to the point of rejecting cash, and dying to say NO everytime money
is offered or given.