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Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines
April 21, 2013 issue
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Poor vulnerable to vote buying!


As the May 13 polls draw near, the so-called madlang pipol are bombarded to all sorts of election-related stories bordering on the incredible. The most common object of discussion is about the certainty of vote buying to attain victory in the elections. There’s no quarrel to that. The incredible kind delves on the possibility of a particular candidate winning the position he/she is aspiring for even if on record he/she has a hard time convincing a mother-in-law- to vote for the relative. We admire those who consigned their victory to the good graces of the Lord rather that defend all together on their own vote getting capability. As to this BGlante, we can only say, may the best man win. At any rate, our thesis in today’s issue is how the poor are becoming vulnerable targets to the posturing of candidates whose motivation is to win the vote, by all means, fair or foul.

We know for a fact that since time immemorial, vote buying has become de riguer every election day. The coming one is no exemption. In fact, if reports in the field are to be believed, the electorate is treated to a spectacle of vote buying to the highest bidder.


We don’t have to state the obvious. Isn’t it clear that the closer the fight, the chances of a “flower dance” in vote buying is in order just to clinch triumph at the polls?

Actually, our own take on vote buying has something to do with an information we gathered last week that the opposition is using as a vehicle to deliver its message a fast-selling tabloid in circulation daily in the province. While we are not questioning the wisdom of the choice where the opposition chooses to deliver its message, our argument is that is not the poor the supposed target audience it wishes to convince to vote for a particular candidate? We are taking into consideration the paper’s cover price of P5.00/issue. At the risk of being branded as insecure, we venture this prognosis that if this is the case, then the opposition makes the wrong target in using the tabloid as vehicle of choice to deliver the message made up of the candidates’ platforms, credentials and other particulars for the particular segment of the voting population.

The poor as moving target of the tabloid? For all intents and purposes, the poor are the kind of voters who need no explanation of platforms of candidates. To our mind, the only language the poor understand, is “I vote for you, but how much are you paying”. To the initiated to the ways of Bohol elections, the way to a poor man’s heart, is how much is the going rate. Going back to the choice of the tabloid, we would like to believe that using it as a weapon of choice to convince the poor is not only a useless exercise in futility but it misses the wrong target. After all, it’s still the poor who are most vulnerable to vote buying. So, why bother? The votes of the poor are for sale, anyway.

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