“Padre, makasala ba gihapon ko kung modawat lang ko ug suhol sa kandidato apan dili ko muboto niya?”
The question is so timely given that this year’s election is just around the corner. When I was asked this question last Monday, I could not help but share here my answer to the query; thereby breaking my years of silence in this column.
Many believe that political candidates who would buy votes this coming elections can be taught a good lesson if we just take their “offer” of cash or kind but do not actually vote for them. Beware! This is also tricky!
Firstly, when you accept the “offer”, you condone vote buying. You reinforce the candidate’s corrupt mentality that Filipino voters can be bought. Instead of eradicating this evil, you breathe life into it.
By accepting the “offer”, you also contribute to the promotion of the culture of corruption. Why would candidates buy votes if they cannot get a return of their investment a hundredfold? And how would they do that? Through corruption.
Do you sin by accepting the “offer”? Yes, because you cooperate with the evil of vote buying and corruption by contributing to it. But what if you don’t actually vote for that candidate? Worst! It brings us to the second point.
Even your good intention of teaching that corrupt candidate a lesson by not voting for him doesn’t justify your act of condoning vote buying. Instead, you simply and actually promote another evil.
Accepting the “payment” and not giving the exact merchandise is just like selling double-dead meat. It’s an injustice. It’s called dishonesty, which is as shameful as vote buying and corruption.
Exposing them to radiation therapy kills cancer cells. Alternative medicine also suggests depriving them of their natural diet. In fighting against the cancer cells of vote buying and corruption, I think we need to employ both strategies.
If we really want to eradicate the evil of vote buying and corruption, we need to expose them, then, reject them. Or, vice versa!
Cogito, 12 April 2016