One of the most peculiar events that occurred in our political system just recently is the first ever automated election on May 10, 2010. It was acceptably successful! However, the worst of it was that the poor masses were profoundly attracted into it. They were like lambs sent to a slaughterhouse while their fickle voices remained being drooped limply because the vote-buyers are trumpeting the money sound in high roving pitch, and many were dipped into it with a few who tried to refuse but were forced to yield because of some threats, and poverty!
The election of officers to hold public office is the normal course in a political exercise in every three or six years cycle in our country. Hopefully by October this year, the barangay elections will be held and most of the people are now preparing to field their own officials. The conduct of election simply exemplifies the urgent need of finding a leader whom people can trust for their welfare. They need a leader who can inspire all and work to achieve the endless search for political stability, progress and development. But when the votes are rigged and a number of people manipulated the results to whoever is the benefactor, then, the result does not reflect the true sentiment of choice by which the voter have exercised in electing. Thus, we can view the results as indignantly false, or blatantly, a hoax. And I believe that in whatever situation it may come, a hoax government cannot surely sustain the welfare of the people or even turn around against evil deeds that circumstances offer.
I consider my only vote as pure as my beliefs, and the principles by which I applied and was given the privilege to exercise it is far more important than my mortal obvious discernment. My exercise of vote is sacred and it’s my accountability to my grandchildren’s children. And whoever manipulated it or allegedly rigged it, finds that no matter what value of money spent to either earn it or nullify it, only reflect the corrupted view that dilutes both the mind and spirit of the people which becomes an indelible curse to them.
These things happened because people allowed it, and of course, when good men refuse to act to stand fit in protecting their votes, and instead neglect or allow evil men to manipulate it, it is possible that their action is a sheer aberration; and we can blame the system of education and many others of such irresponsibility. However, in spite of it all, it’s still the people who choose and not those who tempted to buy them.
I would inquire: Why would anyone sell out their only vote?
This is a query that lots of the people can simply answer with one accord: “I’m poor. I need the money. By this amount, I could buy good food for my family. Who else can help?” Others may say also: ”It’s people’s season and the only time when people are emerging as powerful than the candidates themselves. So, seize the opportunity while it lasts.” And these people added: “ it’s people’s money after all and we are entitled to receive what is due to us.”
If these mindset and false notion have already been an embed into the minds of the electorates, what more can a government do when it would exist as a hoax?
I hope this would not be so. But, it seems that the people are counting the years when elected officials are performing or not performing well, and when elections come, they suppose that they should try to earn out of such exercise of right and privilege. And I believe that the aftermath effect of this is far more tedious than the whole process of election. We should not be surprised when there will be rumors of impeachment or coup d’etat in the highest echelon of governance that will plot the behavioral road map for a bigger change in government as is usually instigated by some irresponsible soothsayers and doomsayers in the bureaucracy who are seemingly enjoying the cause of their convoluted predictions.
The recent development of election protests swarming the COMELEC is an indicator of instability on the part of the candidates as well as their supporters. They won’t accept defeat when there are rooms for protests; and this was spearheaded by a masked man who claims to be working in the COMELEC and have personal knowledge about the alleged cheating being drawn out of PCOS machines. This whistleblower timed his straw of cheat allegations when all around the archipelago are celebrating the success of the automated elections. The over excitement is now dumped with anger among defeated candidates. They would like to discredit the claims of the COMELEC and SMARTMATIC that it was a success.
One wonders how some of these congressmen were able to obtain memory cards which should have been retained inside the PCOS machines. And I laughed when the congresswoman answered, “it’s my problem and it’s your problem…” Even then, the Chairman of the inquiry body blown out his temper while the SMARTMATIC President was still answering his questions. Such behavioral public outburst only indicate how congress has become an arena of hatred and mistrust. The principle of innocence unless proven guilty has become a voice of vindictiveness, and many people are drawn to believe which can trigger political instability and waste of money!
By this event, it reminds me of the words of renown Gordon B. Hinckley: “By its very nature, true leadership carries with it the burden of being an example…If values aren’t established and adhered to at the top, behavior down the ranks is seriously jeopardized and undermined. Indeed, in any organization where such is the case---be it a family, a corporation, a society, or a nation--- the values being neglected will in time disappear.”
Although such public outburst has become an apparent show of madness because of the feeling of being cheated, I still believe people in congress to be honorable men of high standards. The only thing that they forget is the prudent exercise of authority being a mandate of the people, thus, requires wise and even decorum as they manifest doing their duties and responsibilities. We cannot blame the congressman who did an outburst because it only exemplify the very nature that we all have.
But even then, I should like to express that this event on the first automated elections is a new beginning to examine the law that covers our election. These swarming protests only indicate a living democracy, and this process is only a part of the whole innovative efforts to make the next elections the better exercise of the rights of suffrage, and we expect that these challenges will be a new mount for COMELEC to overcome and succeed.
I believe COMELEC has done its very best to show to the world that Democracy is alive in the Philippines!