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Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines
May 5, 2013 issue
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Birth of Fake Money, Death of Vote-buying


In a desperate move, certain dubious election candidates have resorted to fake money as their supposed passport to May 13 victory. They believe that if vote-buying is the only way to fulfill their ambition, they might as well cheat the means to do it in the form of bogus peso bills. In Bohol, the proliferation of fake money was first reported in the town of Carmen where stores are avoiding dealing with customers who transact with 1,000 bill. The P1K bill, being the highest denomination in circulation, has been expected to be abused by fake money manufacturers who happen to be aspirants for government positions. The Philippine National Police in Manila has sounded the alarm that indeed fake money is now circulating in other provinces in the country. So it is safe to say that this fake money phenomenon, whether or not it was conceived in Carmen, Bohol, has already spread out in areas outside Bohol.

If the reports were true, people’s appetite for quick riches or overnight opulence during elections could end up in nightmare. Imagine the infinite happiness of a voter who receives a thousand peso that turns out to be useless when he attempts to maximize its supposed purchasing power. He would sleep with that money dreaming of a sensational shopping experience after the election, but lo and behold, “pera na naging bato pa.” We do not subscribe to the notion that there is no end to vote-buying during Philippine elections. There is an end of course, but many voters don’t want to stop it from coming. Perhaps it would take a couple of new generation of Filipino voters who would abhor vote-buying like plague. Today’s brand of voters, though many are already considered reformed electorate, might still be tempted to accept few pieces of silver in exchange for their future.

Selling one’s vote is selling one’s future and that of their children. It is a mistake in which the unintended ramifications could destroy the very core of our society. The moment a voter supports a political bet despite having an awareness of the candidate’s dark past, filthy character, morbid vision, terroristic leadership approach because the voter has received financial consideration is indeed a suicide of civilization – an act of self-destruction. The worst nightmare is not when one becomes an innocent recipient of fake money. The worst nightmare is when one accepts fake money and still votes, knowingly or unknowingly, for the wrong person who would destroy our future. This is too morbid to imagine, but then again, we harvest what we plant. If voters would not listen to their conscience, then perhaps fake money would serve as their ultimate “wake-up call” that vote-buying must end.

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