Issue of May 19, 2019
     
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Mt. Province
 
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Evils of politics

Somebody messaged me on my radio program last Wednesday, “Father Marcs, they gave me P1,000. I got it. But, I did not vote the candidate. Is that vote buying?” I was caught unprepared for an answer. Issues on dirty politics are really difficult to answer.

We start the issue with this old dictum, “The beginning of discussion is the definition of terms.”

What is a vote? What is vote buying? What is vote selling? When did it start in Mountain Province? Who started it in Mountain Province? Who sustained it?

The last three questions are difficult to answer. Everybody will claim to be unaware. Nobody will admit it. For sure, God knows the details of history.

Human law may not be able to impose penalty on the liable person but God will. Human person may not be able to plead the person guilty but God will.

Here is my simple and ordinary definition of buy and sell. To buy means to acquire a commodity or an item through money. To sell means to dispose an item or commodity through money. Webster’s New Universal Dictionary defines the buy as “to purchase for money, to bribe, to obtain in exchange for something not necessarily concrete.” Webster’s define the word sell as “exchange of goods, services for money, to offer for sale.”

Concise Oxford Thesaurus defines buy as “purchase, acquire, obtain, or bribe.” Your vote is a good purchase for my personal agenda or hidden motive.Sell means dispose of or vend.

Vote buying logically means the purchase of votes from the electorates to ensure a win against the rivals. Buying based from the real political game and from the dictionary is bribing the people with money or promises to win people’s votes. The candidates and his machineries will work with money to twist the minds of people in their favor. Vote selling is the act by which the electorates offer their votes in exchange for something even if it runs counter with his conscience.

I am taking the word “vote” as a noun. Webster’s defines the noun vote as an “expression of a wish or opinion as to a matter on which one has a right to be consulted, the token by which a choice is expressed, as a ballot, decision by a majority, something granted by the will of the majority. To express choice by a vote.”

The vote that becomes a commodity des-troys our freedom of choice and our right of suffrage. When a vote is bought and sold as a commodity, it becomes an ordinary commodity tagged with a price. Our vote as a commodity seriously impairs our freedom of choice by a vote. Our right of suffrage is jeopardized. For human right advocates who claim to care about the rights of people, this is the place where we must first manifest our care and promotion of human rights.

Why is vote buying and selling evil? A sold and bought vote spell the start of power and authority manipulation. Moneyed politicians who won by vote buying and vote selling will certainly turn the government as a milking cow. Vote buying and vote selling are forms of dishonesty and injustice. These are the seeds of graft and corruption.

Is vote buying and vote selling good political practices? These are evil practices manifesting distrust to oneself and to the electorates. These are evil practices of cheating and dishonesty. These are moral issues that predict the face of the government and the personalities of government officials. Vote buying and vote selling are sinful political practices.

Vote buying is the practice where candidates give money to the electorate in exchange of their votes. Vote selling is the practice where electorates offer their votes to candidates for money. Both practices are equally evil and sinful. People may not be aware that these are forms of moral corruption tantamount to mortal sin, hence, a public scandal.

Going back to the question, “Father Marcs, they gave me P1,000 and I got it. But, I did not vote for the candidate. Is that vote buying?” Based from our definition, it is not vote buying. But it is a form of dishonesty and deceit. It can also fall into betrayal.

May 13 marked another milestone in the Philippine politics. Winners are happy. Losers are caught with mixed emotions. Some are conceding while the others are seemingly protesting the results. Supporters are still arguing and fighting against each other. The electorates are still confronted with doubts and still looking forward with hope for reversal.

Mountain Province in some way turned to be peaceful as ever, but deeply stained with vote buying and vote selling in its worse level. The last days before the day of the election were days of black propaganda on tarpaulins and flyers being circulated. These are saddening and alarming practices that continue to blemish Mountain Province.

The electorates were confused whom to vote because of the money they received. The fight was between the bigger and smaller amount, but just the same, the money was received. It was a choice of money and no longer a choice of avoiding evil and choosing good. This is a serious manifestation of moral decadence. If vote buying and vote selling persist, we already defined the future of Mountain Province and the kind of governance that will rule. Vote buying and vote selling are certainly not the will and ways of God. Vote buying and vote selling are ways of the evil one.

Vote buying and vote selling are transgressions against honesty, truthfulness, and justice. These are transgressions against God. People who bought their votes and people who sold their votes will be accountable to God.

Credible witnesses validated the vote buying of the recent elections in Mountain Province. I cry because church goers and church mandated organizations were instrumental in dispensing the money. The weakness however of the testimony is the anonymous witnessing for fear of social rejection and employment.

I continue to congratulate all the candidates who did not fall into the traps of the devil, vote buying and vote selling. God bless you more. Those who employed the evil means, be accountable to God’s justice. God is in charge. To all the candidates who dared the political arena without vote buying and vote selling, congratulations! God is not blind and He is not sleeping as well.

Reach me at marcsongs123@gmail.com or at 0905-165-3669.

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