Then and now-A A +A
By Max Sangil
Saturday, August 18, 2012
IT IS a little more than a month when candidates will troop to Commission on Elections offices and file their certificates of candidacies. That will be October 1 to 5, in case you don't know. There are only few days left of August, and comes the BER months. Magastos itong eleksyon na darating. What does that mean? It means only the moneyed can run for public office in this country.
Gone are those days when voters elect only the good and the best. I remember when I was a student in University of Sto Tomas and on occasions I go to congress, which was near Manila city hall, I watched our congressmen debate on issues. Congressional districts elect only the brightest. Most are articulate and eloquent speakers.
Our present congressmen and senators today will pale in comparison vis-a-vis the members of the upper and lower chambers of yesterday. In the early sixties the country had Lorenzo Tanada, Soc Rodrigo, Ambrosio Padilla, Ferdinand Marcos,Lorenzo Sumulong among others in the senate.
And in a roll call at the House of Representatives, you will names like Jorge Abad, Floro Crisologo, Manuel Cases, Antonio Raquiza, Leonardo Perez, Rogaciano Mercado, Juanita Lumanlan Nepomuceno, Emilio Cortez, Justiniano Montano, Jose Laurel, Felix Fuentebella, Manuel Soza, Salipada Pendatun, Vincenso Sagun and Salih Ututalum answering the roll. Those are the days.
Not in a long shot that the electorates among the vulnerable sector ill ever vote for the right candidates. Most often than not they are “bought.” The moneyed candidate, even if he is a 'bobo' can win as long as he is willing to purchase voters.
How do one win if he has an unlimited treasure chest? Simple. He will place thousands of families as either street leaders or poll watchers. He can ready the payroll two months before election day, plus a cavan of rice each family for the period. The basis of his listing is the Commission on Elections voters registration list. In one street, if the household has 9 or 10 registered voters with the same surname, then that is better target.
It defies logic why anyone will spend say P100 million for a government job that will carry only a salary of P50 thousand per month. He cannot hope to recover that in a three-year period. Use your imagination, how will he recover that and even making a huge profit.
Vote buying already cascaded down in the barangay level. In a large barangay in an urban area, a candidate has to prepare millions If he wanted to be in contention. A far cry from yesteryears when barrio lieutenants, that's what they were called then, rendered public service without renumeration.
Happy birthday to Levi P. Laus, big boss of the Laus Group of Companies (LGC). He celebrated his birthday August 17. He can be described as a hardworking, persevering and highly optimistic individual... August 18 is my late mom, Apung Batik's birthday. She is in heaven now always watching and caring for me... August l19 is my friend Capas Mayor Antonio TJ Rodriguez' birthday. He is a well loved mayor, cause he too is hardworking.
Coming from a buena familia of the town, he remained humble despite being born to wealth... I bid welcome to good friend Engineer Rico Guilas as he assumed as caretaker of let Pampanga Engineering District.
My first request to you my friend is to speed up filling the potholes and overlay asphalt on the FVR mega dike road. The road is in a sorry state.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 18, 2012.