PAMPANGA

Sula: Tales of vote buying

Commentary

WITH the onset of the campaign season, many if not most voters are looking forward to some sort of a financial windfall in the days and weeks ahead.

It’s no brainer.

If the recent barangay elections were enough to go by, bribe money will rain like crazy in every nook and cranny in your politically-crazed neck of the woods.

But voters are hereby cautioned: manage your expectations.

This early, some voters already feel a letdown from some candidates locally.

One provincial bet, for example, is said to be giving away marinated chickens, not cash, ready to be cooked and served in a jiffy. It would have been more appreciated if the candidate gave the equivalent in cash, bemoans one middle-aged housewife.

The disappointment even dipped further when the housewife found out that the chicken was not the whole stuff but just pair of legs.

So will the voter go for the candidate?

She will keep her options open until a better deal comes along. Maybe a whole chicken and cash perhaps.

In the last barangay elections, she remembers quite well that the winner gave as high as P1,000 per meeting. Maybe more, she speculated, had there been no rumors circulating around that time that the coordinator helped himself with the moolah.

Lately, a mayoralty bet has been giving out P500, and she wonders why. Of course, greed, whether moderate or not, is somewhat irrational. The housewife, understandably, failed to consider the scale of operations, not to mention the timing. Big money usually comes on the eve of election, as one popular politician--now in another life, thankfully-- had perfected.

There was a time when a mayoralty bet lost the election, or so the word went around, because some of his coordinators had their own formula in distributing the bribe money. Usually, they thought it was on a commission basis. So the money was not given in full to the voters.

Folks, that’s the way it is, has been for the longest time, and I am afraid, will be till kingdom come. Politics here is about money, period.

You can easily validate that by counting on your five fingers--not ten-- politicians who have not become rich or richer while in office.

Voters, as usual, remain as poor as they have been before.

Who did corrupt whom the first time is the chicken-and-egg question that every now then is the subject of a never-ending debate.

In the meantime, money buys scruples like nobody’s business.


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