After vote-buying, graft watch is in order

By NESTOR B. RAMIREZ May 15,2018

RAMIREZ

Amidst rampant allegation of vote-buying from both the winning and losing candidates, there is not much that we can do unless somebody will come forward with hard evidence to pin down vote-buying winning or losing candidates as the case may be.

Despite rationalization by many quarters that it is okay to accept the money offered by candidates as long as you continue to vote who is dictated by your conscience, I still stand my ground that it is wrong and should be stopped.

But due to poverty and coupled with practicality and the thought that everyone is doing it anyway, the temptation to accept the money is so strong that those who were successful enough to decline the offer are seen as deviant of the society.

Despite the crooked norms that are now accepted by many, I still have reasons to continue believing in humanity for a quite number of reasons like people are naturally good and if shown the correct stimulant they can respond positively showing that they are capable of good deeds.

It is now unrealistic to go after those who distributed envelops during the election as it is so stringent to reverse the fate of proclaimed winners but there is still a very big chance that we can prevent them from recovering the money they spent in buying votes.

What we can do as a citizen is to be vigilant as those who won through vote-buying will surely desire to recover their investments by stealing from the government’s coffers through commission and other forms of graft and corruption in the implementation of projects.

I am appealing to well-meaning individuals in the community to have a watchful eye on every project that would be implemented by winning barangay officials who won in the election through vote-buying because they will cleverly recover what they invested.

I am posing a challenge to Mr. Alvin Duazo who is a national finalist for the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) to continue the project he started among the Sangguniang Kabataan aspirants in the municipality of Consolacion where he gathered them in a town hall inspired meeting to present their different platforms.

I would publicly challenge Mr. Duazo who is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJR) with the degree of B.A. Communications to organize graft watch team in the barangay level in the entire province utilizing his Investigative Journalism (IJ) skills to prevent corruption in the barangay.

We don’t need a big number of participants in this undertaking because one dedicated graft watcher in each barangay is enough to make the change happen because we have several government regulatory bodies that can conduct full-blown investigation like the Office of the Ombudsman,

Department of Interior and Local Government and can even report misbehavior directly to the Office of the President through Hotline 8888.

The task ahead of us is herculean but not impossible as long as we continue to be vigilant.

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