That, dear karikna, is not the number of yellow shirts I have purchased. I surmise not even Noynoy Aquino has that many in his wardrobe. Two hundred pesos is the current rate in the vote-buying operations for the first congressional seat in this province. I have firsthand information that two of the strongest contenders for the post have started special operations as early as the first week of April.
With a strong grip of barangays in Laoag City, one candidate operates through barangay officials who hold a list of registered voters for each household. Upon payment, a recipient is asked to sign beside his/her name.
Another candidate, who promises a fresh brand of politics, seems to find difficulty veering away from the dark shadows of his old man. His camp, however, has a more legal way of doing things. They give allowances of two hundred pesos to every volunteer. This seems acceptable because candidates really have to take care of their volunteers. The problem is that just anyone and everyone can be a part of their payroll. All that you have to do is go to their headquarters and fill out a form. The result: some barangays would have hundred, if not thousands, of barangay coordinators. If this is not circumvention of the law, what is? Same pig, different collar.
While it does not shock me anymore that this happens in every nook and corner of the archipelago, it disturbs me that it’s not only the poor who accept dirty money from politicians. Almost everyone now does, and this includes my friends who are professionals, and even those who live comfortable lives. God, I even have friends who are involved with the election watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting who admit to ‘selling’ their votes. Continue reading “200”