Straight Talk by Roy Moraleta
Straight Talk

The contradictions in Philippine politics

Aug 12, 2021, 12:31 AM
Roy Moraleta

Roy Moraleta

Columnist

I CERTAINLY don’t want to see this coming in a presidential contest.

But several times more did I see recently on social media posts of a senator who is now a self-proclaimed presidential wannabee who has a penchant for flaunting his wealth. If alone there is no other modest way of expressing generosity, the guy himself would extravagantly give away blue bills regardless of literally hundreds, even thousands, of people crowding around him in long extended queues. However noble and beneficial the recipient public finds the act, it wouldn’t escape scrutiny of probing eyes who will be quick to judge him of his interest and motives specially so that he’s got the stature of national leadership – a Senator at that.

Should the extravagance of the man continue and get extended to a wider scope nationwide, of what name shall one describe it if not one “subtle political stratagem”? Anyway, let the good Senator be responsible for his actions. But what he does is no different from local politicians who often pride the same ludicrous extravagance during highly significant and politically calibrated occasions.

In Leyte, except for the mayoralty, SB membership in towns and cities, and district congressional leadership posts, the higher elective positions in the provinces – governorship, SP memberships remain impervious of political positions to a popular local vote-buying practice prevalent during elections. You don’t get to buy directly votes for governor, vice governor, and board member like what a candidate for mayor or councilor would do in a city or town, and or congressional representative wannabee in a district would die of doing – spend by the millions by directly buying and soliciting votes house to on the eve or day/s before election day. Not that governorship is the least expensive of the post to run for in a local election. It could be another way around if the candidate wishes to get a firm hold of political affluence over towns and cities under its political territory. Make no mistake, they may not directly buy votes, but they spend the most. Believe me. Candidates for board members are free riders who would but worry about their little personal campaign logistics. Other than that, they are already sure winners. These Leyte political dynamics more or less have some semblance, if not at all similar in other Philippine provinces.

The same thing is true for national positions. The presidential, vice presidential and senatorial positions remain yet impervious to the pervading vote buying dynamics in the local politics, at least by now. And hopefully, the good senator who certainly has the means to be as generous to practically all voting Pinoys, or the Marcoses who are presumed heirs of the controversial Marcos wealth, would refrain from doing so if alone the pervasiveness of electoral fraud that has long tainted Philippine politics be significantly restrained and not sustained instead for his and their penchant of benevolence.

At least by now the basis on which Filipino voters choose their president, vice president and senators is not money. Its inconsistency to local political dynamics, which has become grossly commercialized, is in the best interest of the greater public. Hence, it should remain that way.


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