Millions of Filipinos are counting down to the 2022 national elections most especially now that we are in the middle of a pandemic and we desperately want to have a new administration. There are a lot of pressing issues and problems that remain unsolved that is why there are always protests and clamor on the streets and even on social media. Filipinos have been making noise years ago and they badly want better governance that is why they are pleading the youth to register in Comelec and vote for those who really deserve to be in the position. The only way out they could see is the upcoming elections, hoping that after all that happened in the previous years until today, Filipinos already had their eyes opened and the majority will do the right thing to make the tables turn.
However, the Philippine election is known for being tainted with anomalies and corruption. For how many decades, vote-buying is still pervasive even though many Filipinos know that this unethical practice impedes the democratic process. Although promises are meant to be broken, many of our fellowmen still fall for the scheme of vote-selling wherein they will accept money in exchange for voting for a particular list of candidates. With this, their right to suffrage is not being practiced because their vote is actually under the influence of money. Hence, the politicians who have the deepest pockets are more likely to win because they could manipulate people’s choices through their money.
The question is… “Dapat Mo Bang Ipagpalit Ang Boto Mo sa P1,000?” The short answer is NO and here are some of the many reasons why you shouldn’t.
1. Vote-buy now, bawi later
For sure, all of us are aware that they will not buy the people’s vote just because they badly want to be in the position to wholeheartedly serve the public. Buying the votes of people is like an investment. Once they win, all the money they have spent during the elections will surely be taken back and most of the time they reap more than what they sow. They will not run in the position and would desperately want to win if they do not have their self-serving agenda. If they are truly honest leaders, from the very start, they would have chosen to win with integrity.
2. It tolerates corruption
While it might also be true that they could make significant contributions and could help ease the lives of people, we cannot take away the truth that corruption also comes into the picture. We cannot consider them as completely truthful leaders if they played dirty politics. It is hypocrisy if they would claim that they are honest when actually, they just won because they manipulated the electorates to sell their vote.
As citizens, we are also responsible for this practice because we tolerate it. Many voters are still into vote-selling and until today, this dirty game seems to be part of the norm already in our country. Although we cannot blame all the people most especially the uneducated who are probably being taken advantage of, this practice still makes vote-buying acceptable and typical because many Filipinos are embracing it.
3. We’re robbed of the chance to have competent and honest leaders
This is the worst thing that could happen to us if ever the candidates who buy votes win. We Filipinos are already sick and tired of politicians who are openly showing how dishonest, manipulative, and crooked they are. We are all wanting to have leaders who really have hearts in serving people and who will never take advantage of their power for their personal gain. If we want to get away from a twisted and unjust system, shading the deserving names in our ballots would be one of the very first steps. Let us give chance to those who could change the game.
4. It stirs a notion that winning is based on money and not on good qualities
If we will not stop selling our votes, then bribery during elections will always prevail. We are so furious every time we will hear news about corruption and injustices but what we fail to see is that many uneducated voters who chose to vote for the wrong ones are also victims. This is why we must strengthen our movement to educate Filipino voters so that we will no longer settle for less once the election starts. Although it is challenging, we should never get tired of influencing voters to choose those who are really qualified and not those who have pockets full of cash.
5. An amount that lasts for days is equivalent to years of suffering
Haven’t we suffered enough? Grafting, swindling, and exploiting will continuously prevail in our twisted political system if we will keep on electing leaders who are only running for the position just to give way for their fraudulence. We are working hard to make a living and have no choice but to pay taxes but it is too infuriating to think that public funds are not fully spent for the people because there many under-the-table transactions. The Philippines is one of the most corrupt countries in Asia and corruption is the major reason why there are still millions of poor Filipinos. If we turn our backs against vote-selling, we will gain more than a thousand pesos plus several years of good governance. Selling our votes makes us an ‘enabler’ of poor governance and corrupt government so let us break this unethical practice for the sake of our people.
Once we chose the right leaders, it will surely make our country and lives better. More Filipinos will suffer and those self-serving leaders will continue to be in power if we will once again let them reign in the position they do not deserve. Let us not vote for the same people who already made our lives miserable in the past few years. They have been torturing us for a very long time and the 2022 elections will be another chance to overthrow a bad government. Filipinos deserve better so let us not trade several years of our lives being under an abusive administration in exchange for a few pennies.
Do all of these harms are worth the P1,000 that they are giving to people in exchange for their votes? Nah, not even close.