Agriculture Secretary urges President Duterte to start a crackdown against vote buying

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Secretary Manny Piñol of the Department of Agriculture introduced excellent ideas to President Rody Duterte as a way to arrest corruption in government, he recommended that President Rody Duterte need to end vote buying in elections.

As stated by Secretary Piñol the major obstruction in President Duterte’s campaign to reduce corruption in government and public administration is the process of buying votes at the time of elections in the entire country.

The Secretary of Agriculture mentioned that it appeared to be that “guns, goons and gold” were merely employed by politicians gunning for primary political positions such as mayor, governor or even congressman although not any longer, within the last barangay elections on Monday, he was shocked to learn of enormous vote buying.

The professional North Cotabato Governor, Secretary Manny Piñol has also been alarmed after he discovered that what makes things a whole lot worse is the fact that even the candidates for the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), apparently the training ground for the country’s upcoming political leaders, have also been infected by unclean politics taking their leaders to beach parties prior to the elections.

Here’s the Full Post of DA Secretary Manny Piñol:

“To arrest corruption in govt.

PRES. DUTERTE MUST END
VOTE BUYING IN ELECTIONS

By Manny Piñol

The biggest stumbling block in President Rody Duterte’s campaign to minimize corruption in government and public administration is the practice of buying votes during elections all over the country.

It used to be that “guns, goons and gold” were only employed by politicians gunning for major political positions like mayor, governor or congressman.
Not anymore. In the last barangay elections on Monday, I was surprised to learn of massive vote buying ranging from P500 to P2,000 per vote, not to mention the rice and canned goods which come along with the money.

What makes things worse is that even the candidates for the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), supposedly the training ground for the country’s future political leaders, have also been contaminated by dirty politics bringing their leaders to beach parties prior to the elections.

I heard of stories of a candidate for barangay captain spending P2-M in a village of about 1,000 voters with an annual budget of less than P10-M.

This barangay official will receive a remuneration of less than P30,000 per month or P720,000 for the next two years.

So, how in the world could he recover the P2-M he spent for the elections?

This perverse political culture has led to a new electoral strategy called “Last Touch” where local elective officials would hardly implement projects during the years they are in office but save the budget to buy votes at the last minute in the next elections.

The result is a cycle of political corruption where voters sell their votes knowing that they could not expect anything from the politicians and candidates willing to splurge money because they could just recover it by not implementing projects for their constituents.

It is a pity that not many of our political leaders foresaw the severity of the practice of vote buying in the last barangay elections.

Perhaps, the massive vote buying that marked the previous elections should serve as a warning to our leaders.

Unless the law against vote buying is strictly implemented and enforced in the 2019 polls, this country is going to be swallowed by the black hole of corruption from which there is no escape.

#StopVoteBuyingNow! #JailSellersBuyers!

(First photo shows me and my daughter, Dr. Maria Krista, in front of the Paco Elementary School in Kidapawan City after we voted on Monday. Second photo taken by Niño Jesus Orbeta of the Philippine Daily Inquirer shows voters with money they received during the elections in Metro Manila.)”

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