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On the early campaign, vote-buying, negotiation, and poverty

Election campaign period for local candidates in the May 9, 2016 elections as allowed by law kicked off Friday, March 25 but like in previous elections, and many other rulings in the Philippines, this law is violated.

Candidates have already started wooing votes since last year with all sundries of tricks and quirks.

In Lanao del Sur and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), tarpaulins, streamers, posters and all forms of print (and even broadcast) propaganda are already on the streets, seen and heard.


Look at the trees and houses and vacant lots and areas in the highways and suburbs, and everywhere, you will find these eyesores. (Eyesores because they didn’t attract the sight, at least mine.) The propagandists don’t even mind to think of Comelec’s designated areas for these basura (waste).

The law does not allow such early campaigning and hanging or posting campaign paraphernalia on undesignated areas. But people are placing their paraphernalia everywhere and I have to see or hear yet any candidate-violator prosecuted or convicted of this violation.

Of course, this is in the Philippines, and perhaps, it is time to and agree and give-in to those who say Pabayaan mo iyan, Pilipino kasi, di marunong sumunod ng batas.

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This early, buying out candidates is already an over a cup-of-coffee subject.

Somewhere in the Basak district, one candidate for mayor is negotiating an opponent to give up and in return will be paid tens of millions of pesos.

Well, that may not be an exclusive of that candidate. There are also brewing negotiations to buy out opponents.

Also in Basak, candidates have already started buying votes with the amount ranging from P5,000 to P10,000 per vote..

Whether this is fair or not, it no longer matters. It is certain that after elections, poverty as officially announced will remain the lot of the Maranaos because they sold their future in advance for a nickel. Worst, they sell their right and dignity.

For me and for those who think our country is stinking (este sinking) it is also painful to think that the Maranaos are no different from the other Pilipino communities and tribes, and to think that Ang mga politikong Pilipino ay hindi marunong tumupad ng pangako kasi mga sinungaling.”

But then, “So what!!!!”

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“Poor? How comes you can only see latest cars and Manila-grade residential houses in Lanao del Sur?”

That is a question I always hear from some friends. They said how can they be poor when you see them sporting latst branded cars and live in mansions or condo units and they control many business in the buy and sell?

Of course, that is not true. It is not true that you can only see latest cars and Manila-grade houses in Lanao del Sur. Just take pictures of Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao, compare them and you will clearly see the difference: that Lanao del Sur is still behind that another poor province.

We all know that there are no agricultural products exported, no big business establishments like malls, no hotels, no factories etc. How can Lanao del Sur be rich?


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