Excuse of vote-buying won’t wash-A A +A
Monday, October 28, 2013
THE controversial Precinct Count Optical Scanner (PCOS) machines were nowhere in sight yesterday as we reverted to manual voting in the barangay elections. Let’s see what the election losers will blame this time.
I suspect it’s going to be vote-buying again. This is a curse that has refused to be exorcised, a permanent presence in our electoral system, not unlike barnacle in a derelict.
Friends have reported that P20 paper bills virtually stopped circulating last Friday but came back with a vengeance on Sunday. They suspect that candidates hoarded small bills and used them in vote buying which went in full swing the day before the elections. I protested that P20 was too small, in fact, insulting but they replied, not when it is for the position of barangay councilor.
So even candidates for barangay councilors are also into vote-buying now. The cancer that used to afflict only one organ has spread to all parts of the body. And we all know what happens next, after metastasis.
The excuse of vote-buying won’t therefore wash as almost every candidate’s hand is soiled. In a perverse sense, the election is still decided by the will of the people choosing whose P20 to keep.
To the losers-–and today, there are more than 13,000 of you in Cebu alone-– I mean no offense but I hope you will find wisdom in the following words of comfort from Gilbert Woolbright, Walk and Talk’s resident wit: Kun swerte, swerte gyud; kon pildi, pildi pud.
Instead of complaining to colleagues against what they imagined was our bias for Councilor Margot Osmeña, certain politicians allied with Mayor Mike Rama should start studying what makes the former an interesting interview subject.
We had Margot as guest on Frankahay Ta! last Friday to discuss the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) issue and she must have done a great job pushing her agenda, it made some people uncomfortable. Trouble was they also foamed at the mouth that we were favoring Tommy’s wife.
The funny thing was that Margot herself wasn’t exactly friendly when she called early Friday morning. In fact, she was complaining about what we wrote in this corner that day: that the mayor had them trapped on the CCMC question.
“It’s not fair,” she said, because it gave the impression that the mayor had to set a trap in order for the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) councilors to cooperate in rebuilding the city hospital. “We are concerned that the city’s residents should get medical care.”
As I was on my way to the station at that time, I asked her if she was willing to be interviewed. She said yes. Her challenged Bisaya notwithstanding, Margot was able to put her message across more than adequately.
They are ready to work with the mayor on the CCMC and other issues, she said. In fact, they can begin work on the hospital now because they have the money. “Ask them to submit the POWE (program of works and estimates)”.
The comments from listeners were favorable. She was “bubbly,” a young college student observed.
Today, we hope to have Mayor Mike as our guest on our radio program. We will give him exactly the same treatment that we gave Margot and all the others whom we have interviewed. We will not be discourteous. That is not our style. We make our guests comfortable. It’s up to them to put their message across and thrive or better still, flourish.
We have no biases, only manners. If some politicians cannot understand that, woe unto them.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 29, 2013.