Philippines: VP Leni Robredo Campaign – Statement of VP Leni’s Spokesperson Atty. Barry Gutierrez on the Easter Sunday Press Conference on Several Other Candidates (17.04.2022)

Phillipines: Lead IM Pilipinas figures – Press Statement on “Isko” Moreno (17.04.2022)

Opinion: Isko Moreno lacks courage too

You cannot blame a person for accepting the money due to the hardships of life today. But the Filipino is intelligent. They know who is the leader who truly cares for them and who are the fake ones. Politicians cannot underestimate human understanding. The Filipino is intelligent”Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso (Gabriel Pabico Lalu – ‘Moreno: Money can’t sway Filipino voters, but can’t blame them if they take it’ 27.10.2021, Philippine Daily Inquirer).

Yesterday, we saw that the Liberal Party Presidential Candidate Leni Robredo didn’t go ahead and settle the score of bribing voters. Now, the Manila Mayor and Aksyon Demokratiko Presidential Candidate Isko Moreno is no difference.

It is a reason why its a battle of mediocrity. Especially, when these supposed to be good candidates are selling themselves so cheap. Yes, Pacquiao is doing his bidding and ”Bong Bong Marcos” is trailing on the end in concerns with the bribery, which is currently going on. Yes, we should expect differently from people who wants to stand-out and be different then the current regime.

Isko Moreno clearly is a set-for-life politician when he speaks like this. His career as a actor is long gone. When his trading waters like this. It is trying to be bright, but still selling himself short. Instead of taking the easy stance, as everyone should. He deflects and hope nobody gets concerned.

How can you expect to fight corruption, graft and plundering cases? When you accept a informal bribery in the midst of campaigning? Why would we believe you then? When you cannot do it now ahead of the highest office?

Voting bribery and the means to an end. Only shows the willingness of politicians to misuse their office and their finances for personal gains. They are willing to trade away all policies and standing for a quick trade-off. Where they hope they can give an incentive to secure another term or get into office. It is not noble or righteous. Just a breach of contract between the citizens and their representatives. Which is why it should be easy to blatantly state: “It is wrong and nobody should do it”.

Alas, the politicians and the Presidential Candidates know the money is good for the citizens. Who is getting additional funds in the troubling times. Alas, the citizen is getting a small portion of the vast funds some people have access too. However, it is not for long and only for one cause. It is not like these funds will be open or could be applied through government schemes. No, these funds are just for one purpose and that is to secure an office. Therefore, the means to an end is more important than actually doing what is right.

Isko Moreno and Robredo could have stood for something. They could have shown some courage and character. Instead, this mediocre response and willingness to bend… is just disgusting. Your either for a practice or against it. It is either illegal or it’s justified. The bribes cannot be seen as both. That is just how the world works and the same should be for these candidates too.

Isko Moreno just show his cards and his ways. Not that I have faith in him either. His the next sort of Duterte’esque politician. He just wants to prolong the government programs and call it a day. Isko Moreno isn’t a game-changer and that’s proof with his belief here. Trying to play patriotic over a bribing voters. That says it all, really. Peace.

Opinion: Robredo – getting bribed or not to get bribed… that is the question

I have said this in the past: Accept it because it may have been from tax money. What they used to buy your votes, could be the money of the people. Accept it but vote whoever your conscience says. Don’t just vote because you think you would be indebted to them after receiving the money. For me, accept the money, but vote based on your conscience. We should arrest them because that’s wrong. But now it’s easy. Because today, we have apps like GCash, right? We have those, so vote buying would be easier” – Vice President Leni Robredo (26.10.2021).

The current day OVP and Liberal Party Presidential Candidate in the up-coming election in 2022 Leni Robredo. She has clearly taken a stance now. This trying to be popular and really politicking. In one way… she is against it, but still says people should accept it. That’s where I’m failing her on it.

Robredo needs guidance if she wants to be different and sincere. Than she should flat-out say the bribing voters is wrong. That this usage of funds, plunder and whatnot shouldn’t exist in the first place. This is a misuse of the state reserves and making the candidacy expensive. That’s because everyone needs their cut and their peso’s. It is also striking that it is commercialization of politics. Buying voters and giving them a short-term gains for a vote. Just like some come with soap, rice and whatnot too. It is the same, but that is it really.

Robredo isn’t tricking anyone with this. Let’s “accept the bribe” but not be “swayed by it”. Take the “free” money but don’t expect any sort of justification for it. Yes, the politician and the candidate cannot see what the voter does. However, the reality is that the citizens and the local communities will know who took the pesos. This is why the candidates are doing this. Because, they know which families and barangay’s where they will take the money. Therefore, they know who will most likely vote and be “swayed” into voting for someone.

It is not like Robredo doesn’t know this. It is a pay-off for a service. It is a bribe and no matter what size the bribe is. It is still a bribe and blatant misuse of funds, especially if this is taken from the state coffers. That shouldn’t happen in the first place and why should the citizens accept that? Why receive that? Aren’t they validating and participating in the illegal transaction?

If that is all true. Than the citizen shouldn’t take the money. They are on the receiving end and could be liable too. However, we know that the citizens cannot all be criminal and part of conspiracy to corrupt the system. Nevertheless, the politicians doing this is catering to the culture of this and they know the expectations too.

This is embedded and this is why she speaks of it in this way. Trying to influence, but also downplay the significance of it. Alas, there is the problem. She should be vocally against it. If you are against corruption and bribes. It should be a simple stance. The pork-barrels and the plunder cases is a worry for a reason. The same should voter-bribing be. No matter what method you use or sort of scheme of giving operations you have. It is still a way of paying-to-play and buying a favour. That is really it.

The peso’s is becoming more important than what sort of policies, political program or what gut-feeling you have. The politician can instead become a winner, because they are the ones who pays the most. They are the ones who are giving enough peso’s to make a difference. Because, everyone will hear the talk of the vast amounts and what sort of pay-off that is coming their way. The political allegiance will either get decent pay-off or a budget Jolibee menu.

Robredo should have just said: “I am against it and it’s a ghastly tradition. We are better than this and the COMELEC should disqualify anyone who does this or participate in it. Bribes is never acceptable and shouldn’t be in campaigns”.

Instead she went into mediocre tea territory. Robredo acted soft and meagre …. not having a stance worth mentioning. This is really it. We should expect more from her, but this is disappointing. The pesos are clearly more powerful than anything else. Peace.

CCEDU claims the “electoral process was compromised” during the Kamuli By-Election!

The recent by election in Kamuli district has gotten a lot of flack for their evident ways of transgression against honoring the ballot and liberty of all parties to take part. Especially the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), as the National Resistance Movement (NRM) won the race, but the reality is that the win cannot be seen as honorable one, as the Kamuli District was more than one place found evidence of questionable behavior of the state.

80% of Election Day officials had arrived at the polling stations by 6:30am, only 20% had not. It is important for polling day officials to arrive on time because then the polls start on time” (CCEDU, 2017). When the CCEDU finds out that 20% of the Officials not showing up at the polling stations, show the lack of integrity and wish to really care for the voters. Like there are not really any justification to explain the lacking tolerance of the voters, when the persons who are checking and securing the ballots doesn’t show up on time. When one in 5 doesn’t care for showing up when the polls start.

“77% of observers reported no intimidation, harassment or violence during voting against any other persons, but 3% observers reported intimidation of election officials, party agents and observers and 13% reported intimidation against voters” (CCEDU, 2017). That there was reports of this and the police force was involved was clear by many reports, not only by the FDC. THe intimidation was found by 13%, which is a giant group of voters. As one in 10 was intimidated during the election, something that shouldn’t need to happen as the ballots should be able to be casted in peace. The 3% of intimidation of election officials, party agents and observers, is also to much and proves the irregularities of these polling.

“ The unauthorized persons inside polling stations during counting and closing, 68% observers reported they saw the police, 3% saw the army and 37% saw no one” (…) “97% of Observers reported that there was no intimidation, harassment or violence during counting, but 3% reported intimidation of electoral officials and 3% intimidation of party agents” (CCEDU, 2017). That most of the observers saw the Police and the Army was not unexpected, as the reports of intimidation stems from that.  But that there even was intimidation of any kind during the counting proves that the system is not fair.

Main conclusions from CCEDU:

“CCEDU observers recorded a number of malpractices that were orchestrated by supporters of FDC and the NRM. At about 12:00pm there were allegations of voter bribery, by an agent of Hajjati Wetongola at St Mark Primary School. The election was also characterized by incidents of violence and a voter wanting to vote in the name of another person. However, our Observer at Kyabazinga Senior Secondary Polling Station, was able to notice the anomaly and raised it with the authorities, who arrested the young man before he would vote as John Mawanga. All these issues mean the quality of  the electoral process was compromised. CCEDU was also concerned about the high number of unauthorized persons within the polling stations and noted that quiet a number of people were denied a chance to vote. The Kamuli by-election registered a voter turn-out of 51%. On the whole, the general management of the process was commendable with all polling stations commencing voting before 8:00am. It is also commendable that increasingly, more party agents are observing the electoral processes from beginning to end. Party agents have the ability to promote the integrity of electoral processes by raising a red flag on electoral ills” (CCEDU, 2017).
So a compromised electoral process isn’t what the Kamuli District deserves, neither the voters, as the incidents from both FDC and NRM in this sort of affair wasn’t justified, even as the Ruling Party was the Main denominator together with the Security Organizations, like the Police and Special Forces Command. That shouldn’t be needed during an election, when the public should expect something else. They should expect that the government facilitate the election without any intimidation and any sort of acts against the FDC. They shouldn’t have to go this far for a victory, but they did, because they do not know how to win without using force. Peace.  

Kamuli By-Election filled with excesive Police and Voter bribery!

The Kamuli by-election today has been marred with Police being besides men who give away 2,000 shillings to the ones going to the polls. The Police Force has created chaos in and around the Polling stations as the voters are targeted to be bribed, as well as the National Resistance Movement (NRM) has even at some polling stations tried to campaign at the booth.

The proof of neglect of honest campaigning came after the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate Proscovia Salaamu-Musumba we’re arrested right after she cast her vote. This is the proof of how malicious and little caring about the justice and honoring the ballot.

Because the Police Force has already been on the tail and securing the NRM cars driving around and giving away bribes to the public. Also Hon. Francis Gonahasa and Kasiono Waddiri has also been arrested by the Police during the election in the district. So the Police are really targeting the FDC and their leaders. As they are claiming and seeming justified voting bribery that is going on.

Just as of yesterday, the NRM and the Police was clearly making sure the result would go in their favor as the Armed Personnel Vehicles of the Police came in the numbers of 16. To make sure the district would be controlled by the NRM. So if Rehema Wetangola wins this race, it is not on her merit, but on the rigging machinery of the NRM.

The reason for today’s exercise:
“The President was addressing NRM supporters yesterday as he campaigned for the NRM’s flag bearer, Hajat Rehema Watongola at Kamuli district headquarters in Kamuli Municipa Parliamentary by-elections. The by-election followed the nullification of Rehema Watongola’s 2016 victory on the premise of lack of academic qualifications by the Court of Appeal. In a petition filed by FDC’s Salaamu Musumba, court heard that Watongola did not possess the required minimum qualification to contest for a parliamentary seat” (Museveni Neera, 11.04.2017).

So even if the Courts says the NRM candidate does have the qualification needed by law, she is still running for the second time on the same merit, as her new qualification has been showed to world as her husbands education. Therefore, the rigging is already administrative and not only by buying the ballots in the sub-counties of Kamuli. The NRM cannot at this stage win an honest election it seems.

The reality is that the car of the FDC candidate was also thrown stone on. So the NRM has done everything in their power to undermine the opposition candidate and her candidacy, as the election has been marred with issues, instead of being peaceful exercise. All of these reports proves that the NRM has no interest in the will of the people, but more the will of the Police. Peace.  

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