The fall of Caluag and Morales

The fall of Caluag and Morales

The barangay elections are over. Come December 1, it will be fresh mandate for those re-elected and the newly elected. The recent BSKE elections wasn't without surprises. It's still being talked about till today. Two of the biggest were the defeat of former Barangay Captain Melchor Caluag, husband of incumbent City of San Fernando Mayor Vilma Caluag. Maybe he wasn't much an inspiring speaker and despite the promises of easy access by the village people in city hall and the pouring of meaningful projects in Dolores, the defeat.

The other one was that of former Mabalacat City Mayor Marino 'Boking' Morales. In the case of Morales, many are of the opinion that he should have retired long time ago after his defeat in a vice mayoral race. Now his attempt in Dau barangay elections was too much for the voters to take. What a way to go! For my Cumpareng Boking, that must be his last plunge . In the case of Caluag it sent a signal that the mayorship of the San Fernando is up for grabs in 2025.

In some other areas, there has been a lot of talk about vote buying. Methinks it is already a part and parcel of our electoral system. Those who have money have the advantage as against those who rely on their credibility and credentials. All things being equal, a large campaign chest is likely to win . I am no Nostradamus but I can predict that the 2025 mid-term elections will go down the wire as one of the most expensive elections for candidates. 'Muran pera coya', retired newsman Bert Basa said.

Let me say this again. If only majority of the voters elect those who are the deserving and not selling their votes, our country is better off than what it is today. Every elections a candidate should raised enough money to finance a campaign. There's a Commission on Elections’ ruling on overspending. Frankly everyone, then and now, never followed the set expenses for candidates. Why? Because it is not practical. If a candidate will strictly adhere to Comelec rules he may wind up on the losing end. Examples: In a campaign a candidate should only spend five pesos per voter. A mayoral candidate and anyone vying for a one-on-one position can’t last even on a P10 million budget. In a congressional race P100 million is peanut, small amount to sneeze at by a moneyed reelectionist.

Even at this point, even it's still more than a year for the official campaign period starts some candidates are already digging on their pockets and some groups are already knocking on their doors. Those who are in the 2025 race are already known to the public and they are now fair games. In the early years elections were held in November and a candidate can file his certificate of candidacy on the last hour. Today eight months of exposure as a candidate will really hurt the pockets.

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