The same old story PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 May 2018 13:46

LOOKING IN

BY ROD BALBON

Since the time I started voting, the complaints remained the same: killings, ballot snatchings, massive vote buying, confusion in the voters’ list, lack of qualification, non-residency, non-registration, non-registration, and exceeding age limit especially those SK candidates. And to think that all these happened and experienced not just in national elections but also during Barangay and SK elections. When can we Filipinos have a clean, orderly, honest, and peaceful election in the country’s more than 42,000 barangay units in the country?

The Comelec, which is in-charge of conducting these very important political exercises must explained fully why these things still happened up to now and have remained unsolved for many decades now.

The holding of barangay and SK elections are very important events in our scheme of governance in maintaining a sound system of barangay administration in the country. It has been postponed twice for five years for reasons that were purely political and unconvincing. Originally established by then President Ferdinand Marcos in 1975, the barangays, being the smallest government units of the country’s cities and municipalities, replaced the decades-old barrios. The purpose was to establish a stable system of local government that would provide representation and government access to every Filipino family and citizen. President Marcos’ intention was to keep it vibrant and responsive to evolve into self-sufficient entities.

But when President Cory Aquino took over, she abandoned the President Marcos’ vision and replaced all local government officials in the country with her cronies. The man who worked and designed the Local Government Code to serve as Marcos’ replacement scheme, Senator Nene Pimentel, has destabilized instead of stabilizing the electoral barangay system and made it unworkable that we are now experiencing.

Personally, I am against the wisdom and practicality of holding a barangay and SK election. Its conduct is a huge waste of money that can use for other important social services. It is also a waste of time and effort for our government to conduct it. It only encourages political dynasties that will control local politics. The holding of SK elections, as well, does not prepare our young people for political maturity, serious involvement, and leadership. Young candidates are copying the illegal and notorious manner of their parents and political idols on how to cheat and win an election. Very early in their teens, they are already taught the ways how to be corrupt to win in an election.

But all these electoral confusions are further broadened by the headless Comelec that cannot simply check and clean the roster of voters every three years before an election. What is this office doing during the three year hiatus? It seems that this office is ran by dumb and incompetent employees since up to now it can’t come up with a clean and unquestionable list of voters. During every election, we can hear that it has erased names of registered voters, who can’t find their names in the poll rosters, while the names of dead and transferred voters remained in the list. This office must be totally revamped and manned by honest and principled employees who must know how to make an unquestionable and credible list of voters.

I can only imagine when we shift to a Federal system of government. We will then be breeding political dynasties and political warlords out of these local elected officials. It will then be more problematic and troublesome.