imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

IN MY EYES: Because we allowed it

I was astounded by the results of the midterm elections, fellas.

All I thought with all those learnings in school, we have learned many things. It turned out the other way around.

Most people never learned. They were not only corrupted; most of them were corrupt, too, conceding to the glitter of money ranging from P1000 to P5,000 to vote straight, so insiders say.

In a way, these corrupt people are indirectly stealing the nation’s coffers.

A politician admits:

“You can’t win by performance alone, or through relatives alone. Our political culture dictates that you have to give them money so they would vote for you. We have many corrupt electorates and they must be pleased,” he said.

 Another one says:

“If a candidate shells out P10 million for the campaign, where the hell will he get his money back? Of course, when he wins, from whatever source he could sense, even government money. Ireremedyo na lang,” he said.

I do not know what happened, too, to our millennial voters.

Did they vote for their conscience or did the just follow the trend?

Did they vote for a good government or they opted to join the traditional voters who are money-minded?

A millennial voter, a former student council president from a prominent university said of a losing candidate:

“I was expecting that this straight man would win, but he did not. He offered reforms, but he lost. He did not have the money. I heard that on the night before the elections, his opponent distributed money ranging from P2,000 to P5,000 per voter so these people will vote straight,” he said.

He continued: “My town is a mess. The roads are bad. Our economy structures are bad, too. It was a 4th class municipality when I was in elementary; it is still 4th class today,” he said.

Well, these are old stories, fellas.

It’s already like this when I was born. The position will go to the highest bidders, puera de los buenos. In other words, we are not electing who are the best; the wealthiest usually win although they do not have the brains and values to lead well.

Another big issue being discussed nowadays in the social media is this: Why did Bam Aquino, one of the primary proponents of the free college education law and Mar Roxas, the father of generics law making the price of medicine (so cheap that the ordinary citizen could afford to buy) lose? Is it because they belong to the Liberal Party?

A netizen asks: “Why did Bam and Mar lose to, of all senatorial candidates, those who have histories of corruption and still have pending graft cases? Why? I can’t understand,” he said.

To which another netizen replied: “Because these candidates are good-looking; they have the looks and they are popular. And there are those who are ignorant of their histories. E maraming tao ang ignorante at mukhang pera!”

Ah, we are still victims of traditional politics under traditional politicians.

This is akin during the time of Rizal: make the people as uneducated as possible so they won’t rise.

No more is the proverb: Get their money and vote with your conscience.

I couldn’t help but agree with our fellow electorates:

Benedict Jon delos Santos, SFDM, Quezon City: Corruption is part of the Filipino culture. Everything seems to be a continuation of the past. Dr. Rizal’s novels mirrored the evils of society, particularly corruption in government. We’ve known it from the start, but we haven’t done anything about it.

   Concepcion Gaspar, Laoag City: Corruption is endemic because it has become the rule, not the exception, in every bureau of government. It’s an established practice where officials are used to transacting business with SOP, like expecting lagay, grease money, commission, overpricing, and other shady deals. This is a chronic condition that will pervade every administration unless our leaders initiate radical change for good governance.

Louella Brown, Baguio City: Corruption seems to be endemic to the political setting in the Philippines because we have been tolerant.

P.L. Cruz, Quezon City: It is because we tolerate it. If we benefit from it, we don’t question or criticize it. We raise hell only when we don’t benefit. Hypocrites.

Charlie Benzon, Cotabato City: Corruption is now a contagious disease among our politicians due to the tolerance of the electorate.

Ed Ledesma, Iloilo City: Elementary, my dear Watson; it is because we allow it.

Cris Rivera, Rizal: People seem to have become resigned and turned callous to it. Blame our system for being selective and hesitant in resolving corruption cases of the high and mighty.

Amen and amen, fellas.

Indeed, we allowed these things to happen.