Like Christmas, election bonanzas come early to voters

A+
A
A-

Who needs a Christmas countdown?

Not the voters looking forward to holiday presents from politicians who have formally expressed their desire to run for the House, the Senate and local elective posts next year.

Last week’s filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) could well be the start of the Christmas holidays for those expecting gifts and favors from election hopefuls, according to the campaign manager of the Liberal Party-led coalition.

Sen. Franklin Drilon on Saturday said local politicians who have firmed up their candidacies with last week’s filing of COCs are now at the mercy of their constituents who need various forms of assistance at a time nearer to Christmas than the campaign period, which does not start until the summer months of 2013.

“On the local level, this must be quite costly because as early as now, you already know who the candidates are. Eh ’di marami nang mamamasko sa ’yo (Many would already start coming to you for Christmas gifts),” Drilon told the Inquirer.

Pressure on local bets

Drilon said senatorial candidates are not that exposed to such requests from the electorate as those running for positions in the provincial, city and municipal governments and for seats in the House of Representatives.

“It’s not so much in the national level. But on the local level you can imagine the pressure on the local candidates. Their constituents would ask favors from them,” Drilon said.

Before automation

The automation of the country’s elections has made it imperative that COCs be filed before the year ends to give enough time for the screening of candidates and for the printing of their names on the ballots meant for the counting machines.

Before the recent election automation, the filing of COCs is scheduled shortly before the campaign period—way after Christmas.

Next year’s elections make the candidates gift-giving more a necessity for their political future.

“As they say, Christmas came early. But that is the reality of the situation given the very early filing of the certificates of candidacy,” Drilon said.

Drilon said those with a sizeable campaign kitty would have the advantage with the long period of time between the filing of COCs and the elections in May.

“Admittedly, those with substantial campaign funds can take advantage of the situation,” Drilon said.

With no more prohibition against premature campaigning, candidates on the administration coalition’s slate are expected to start going around the country to introduce themselves to the electorate.

Time for exposure

“On the part of the party, we will be preparing the infrastructure for the whole campaign. But individually, I’m sure the candidates take advantage of this period to expose themselves in speaking engagements and other activities in order to improve their chances of winning in May,” Drilon said.

“You cannot prevent interviews. You cannot prevent candidates from accepting speaking engagements. Whether or not you interpret that as campaigning is beside the point because until the campaign period, you cannot be charged of illegal campaigning,” he added.

Drilon said it is still too early to assess the local candidates of the LP-led coalition because substitutions are still expected until December.

On the other hand, Drilon said, the senatorial slate is as good as done.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Usi Sero

    Mga kababayan, kunin ang ipinamimigay pero iboto nyo ang sa palagay nyo makakatulong sa pagunlad ng Pilipinas. Huwag natin ipagpalit ang boto natin sa suhol nila dahil ANIM NA TAON natin pagdusahan kung hindi sila maging tapat sa kanilang tungkulin. Some of them deserve our vote and some are just there for the power and money…vote wisely!

    Tandaan sa 2013, ang pagunlad ng bayan natin ay umpisa sa atin mga botante.

  • tra6Gpeche

    Citizens of any advance country will never ask for Christmas gift or any favor at anytime, from their politicians. This is why corruption in these countries is almost non-existent. These people have too much pride to ask for handouts. On the other hand, Filipino politicians will take advantage of this opportunity to give money or something to bribe the dirt poor Filipino electorates. Filipino politicians love & enjoy seeing poor, hapless and impoverished Filipinos during election time. After election time, these Filipinos are considered irrelevant, garbage, useless and dregs by their masters…the smart, the shrewd, the rich, the shameless and the power & money hungry Filipino politicians! It is pitiful that this system of bribing the electorate has been going on every election time. The worst thing is today, it is much worst. By the way, I keep forgetting that Philippines is a third world country and most Filipino voters are of the same category! I suppose that expecting something better from these Filipino politicians and Filipino electorates would be like asking for the moon!

  • firmelilia_12LAF

    Precisely, here’s where the country’s election ills begin: bonanzas or gift-giving, public exposures and early electioneering, favors and promises, etc. Naturally, the rich but not necessarily worthy candidates who can soar sky-high with generous giveaways for image-building and vote-baits will lord it over the moneyless but honest candidates come election time. What’s worse is that these very same people are the ones who entrench themselves in power through brazen disregard of the constitutional provision against political dynastyism. Ala e, are you from the pit of Hades?
    Come on, voters, wake up!

  • jawaini

    that’s what is wrong with our electorates…layo p ng eleksyon bininta na ang mga boto nila…sinamantalahan mo ang mga politiko…babawi din sila kung nasa pwesto na….kung d natin baguhin ang pagboto natin…walang pagbabagong mangyari…so huwag na ninyong sisihin ang mga politiko…kung di ang mga sarili nyo..( ito ay para sa mga mapagsamantalng botante lamang..at mga botanteng ibinibinta ang kanilang mga boto…)

  • $14334231

    kaya huwag magreklamo kung lala kayong naghihirap (the less fortunate) dahil hindi kusang loob ang pagboto ninyo dahil binili ito….kaya kung magnakaw man sila, ito ay kasalanan niyo…mga damuho kayo….the intelligents are the ones that always suffers as they don’t sell their votes…and these are the taxpayers (like me) who winds up the aggrieved….pera namin ang ninanakaw na ibinibigay sa inyo……. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MJFXCRSCXRWPLL42QQKSINC3AQ Mamerto

    I find the “Headline of this Article” libelous to me as a voter.
    It implies that I will be receiving something as a voter…, and
    I find this objectionable and libelous.

    NOW, since the Cyber Crime Law is now in effect…,
    is the PDI and the author of this article liable for libel & other crimes, as stated in this law?

    • opinyonlangpo

      Your name is not mentioned in the article, and it never said “all voters” so you are not included if you do not wish to join the crowd.

  • opinyonlangpo

    In some cases, the gifts are forced upon to the voters handed to them from the tip of the barrel of a gun. It always happen whatever the authorities do to prevent it. There is no guarantee that it will not happen again this coming election.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94