Election and everyday fraud: every citizen is to blame for allowing it to happen

Filipinos seem tired. For some reason they just want to move on from the election. Maybe the campaign jingles have proven too much to bear and any further exposure to them after the 10th of May just might make them go crazy. Despite reports of massive election fraud from members of the local and international community, majority of Filipinos don’t seem inclined to do or don’t even want to know anything about them. It is sad to note that even other presidential candidates and their avid supporters have given up so easily just because the Commissions on Elections (Comelec) and Noynoy’s media cohorts were quick to declare the election a success. This is unfortunate because our duty as citizens does not end on Election Day.

A comment from newbie here at AntiPinoy.com has compelled me to write about this uniquely Filipino attitude. I still don’t know what to call it but I want to try and examine why we have become a nation full of people plagued by apathy. Here is a copy of Palebluedot’s comment about her experience as a whistleblower:

working for a local government some time ago, i discovered an accounting officer stealing annual insurance dividends from other employees through fake signatures. in my capacity & with my co-employees’ prodding, i blew the whistle by warning all employees. the media had a feast about it at first. but at the end of the week, the issue disappeared from any parts of the papers or segments of the radio/tv programs, all my co-employees cowered in silence – ignoring me as if i have some dermatological problems, & the legal officer placed my proofs, literally, at the bottom of his thick files (saw him took it from the bottom when i last consulted him) then asked me what i want to achieve when it was just a small issue.

aftershock discoveries:

(1) the accounting officer bribed the media outfits to keep mum about it (reports i received from her officemate),

(2) the mayor (who ran recently under the yellow banner) and his legal officer, and some councilors who were
also victims do not want to tackle the issue (because they were actually “nangungutang sa accounting officer kung nasho-short sila at ang pamilya nila sa pera”),

(3) clamor from the victims to stop making the issue a big deal because they were affected mentally, besides they have already received from the accounting officer the dividends stolen from them (the proof)

(4) some concerned co-employees warned me that the accounting officer’s husband (mayor’s goon) is threatening to silence me

(4) so-called friends telling me: “pinasukan mo yan, problema mo na yan!”
so, i went to ask a priest (thinking he can lead me to “daang matuwid”). his answer: “she only stole a small amount from you, why shaken the status quo? just forgive her, as jesus forgives those who crucified him.”

after-aftershock:

i was so terrified that i packed my bags and decided to migrate to another land.now, i am working part-time for a service provider (an avid noynoy aquino supporter) whose means of getting customers is to give gifts or write checks to institutions’ managers so that their clients will avail solely of the services provided by us, as well as, “force” them to promote the idea that the competition is corrupt.

this is just a small illustration of the corruption surrounding one small dot. how much more in the macro level?

Indeed this is what goes on in the micro level and what happens in the macro level is definitely worse. The Filipino people’s preference for turning a blind eye to impropriety is what’s preventing our country from moving forward. It is turning the Philippines into a nation of cheaters. The irony is that we cry foul after a bad deed is done but we ignore the deed as it transpires. It seems we don’t want the inconvenience of having to deal with the fallout of reporting a crime in progress.

Instead of commending people for their bravery in coming forward, Filipinos turn against the whistleblowers, making them look like they are making mountains out of molehills. People who are seen supporting the whistleblowers are considered “sore losers”. This discourages people from doing the right thing. This is so baffling to say the least. I wonder what made our society this way? Could it be that we are so scared to lose our friendship or relations with other people? We don’t have to be afraid to be labelled a party pooper every time we need to report an illegal activity because vigilance against crime is what will actually foster an environment of trust in our society. If we know that illegal activities are not tolerated, we can be assured that people will be honest with their day-to-day activities.

We shun people who go out on a limb to expose corruption or any form of malpractice, but what we need to do is to help promote a society in which it is possible to speak out without reprisal about corruption, dangers to the public and environment, and other vital social issues. We should also help those who speak out in this way to help themselves because they may be scared and harboring doubts too.

It is understandable for people to want to move on from all the election brouhaha. Initially, I myself believed in what our mainstream media reported, that the election was a success. It’s actually far from it. Like I mentioned in my previous blog, apart from the whistleblowers that came out, the International Observers Mission also reported that the election was far from being fair and honest because of the occurrence of blatant irregularities which involved among other things, thugs hired by certain candidates to intimidate voters as well as cheating involving the automated machines itself on or before Election Day.

Lately, the clamour for the truth about the election results is slowly gaining momentum with signature campaigns going around petitioning people and calling for justice for those who were cheated out of the election. But they are a very small group of people and unfortunately, members of Philippine media who are obviously pro-Noynoy are also trying to drown out efforts by concerned citizens asking Comelec to come up with the truth. They write articles that make it look like Noynoy Aquino’s proclamation is already in the bag even if the issue hasn’t been resolved.

As blogger Benign0 wrote in a recent blog, Inquirer columnist Artemio Panganiban is boldly claiming that Noynoy’s win was due to a “rolling a tsunami of votes that could not be stopped by cheating, computer glitches, human errors, carelessness and logistical lapses.” This is another one of those cheap stunts instigated by the media to condition Filipino minds into thinking that everyone else cheated while Noynoy’s win was an honest one. This, despite reports to the contrary. Mr Panganiban might be inhaling something he shouldn’t be. Otherwise, what he is doing is a classic case of someone turning a blind eye to the irregularities that transpired on Election Day.

Honestly, I do not know how some Noynoy supporters can actually say that they and Noynoy himself have integrity when they do not want to get to the bottom of all the allegations being thrown at them. Comelec officials themselves are pretending that everything went smoothly. It’s no surprise because they don’t want to be accountable for the failure that could have been prevented had they upheld their duties.

Presidential candidate Nick Perlas has issued a letter warning people to be more discerning about what the media is reporting. This is an excerpt from his letter:

Beware and Overcome Media Manipulation
Nicanor Perlas
21 May 2010

Readers beware! If you want to get the truth regarding the recent national elections, go beyond what you get from the mainstream media. Do your own research. Check the facts on the ground. Ask what your friends experienced. Connect the dots yourself. Come to your own conclusion. In this way, you will protect your mind from being manipulated by unseen powers that lurk behind the country’s media establishment.

Immediately after the May 10, 2010 elections, the Filipino public was brainwashed with stories about a stunningly successful election. ” ‘Birth pains’ of poll automation over”. “Fast count stuns nation”. “Stocks surge as markets cheer successful elections”. “Villar conceding proves Comelec credible”. “Take a bow, Filipino voters”. “US, EU praise RP for elections; peso, markets buoyed”. “Comelec proves critics wrong”. “Filipinos carry on love affair with PCOS machines”.

It’s a good thing that a presidential candidate such as Nick Perlas is not ashamed to be labelled a “sore loser”. For this is not about not being able to concede or accept defeat. This is about creating a society where cheating, dishonesty or fraudulent activity is not tolerated. How do we expect our public officials to be accountable for their actions when we let them get away with fraud? This has to stop and we should start by calling for the truth about the recent election.

Filipinos seem tired for some reason. Maybe it’s all that heavy traffic and all the bureaucracy they have to deal with day in and day out that are results of the mediocre services they get from their public officials. They are so tired that they avoid the inconvenience of getting to the bottom of how the country is continually run aground by the same public officials and some members of Philippine society as well. For some Filipinos, it is much better to ignore wrongdoings and to simply turn a blind eye and pretend that things are okay. For lack of a better word, I’ll stick to calling this phenomenon “nagbubulag-bulagan” for now. Some people don’t realise that they cannot move on until there is closure.

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19 Responses to Election and everyday fraud: every citizen is to blame for allowing it to happen

  1. RainSantiago says:

    I think the fact that the majority of the voting population would rather think short term rather than what’s going to happen to there own family, kids, grandchildren and so forth for the next 6 years is the kind of shortsighted convoluted thinking that’s not helping our nation progress.

    I definitely agree that instead of rewarding people with honesty when they blow the whistle, we instead punish them and don’t give them the proper protection from those political animals that would rather silence them and find them being dumped into Manila Bay.

    I’m sure Koala Boy or Robin or what his name is may have the right intentions but he also has to consider that his life is in danger from these political animals that want him dead.

    • ilda says:

      Yes, Filipinos in general do not think long term. They don’t want to bite the bullet now and reap the rewards later on. No one wants to be considered “K-J” or be a party police because they don’t want the fun to stop. That’s exactly what’s happening now with the election results. I have a feeling some of the presidential candidates themselves don’t want to be labeled sore losers that’s why they are not very vocal about the allegations of fraudulent activities.

      Other countries have legislation that protects whistleblowers and they also have support groups to help them cope with the consequences. That’s exactly what we need. We can’t continue shunning people for doing the right thing.

  2. RainSantiago says:

    I’m sure with certain Presidential Candidates if there is hard proven evidence that cheating really happened they’d be up in arms right now, but given the way COMELEC and Smartmatic has been behaving is very sly and cunning in the canvassing hearings combined with the pomp-pomp support of the yours truly the Yellow Media, I honestly will not get my hope’s up on the smoking gun of fraud/cheating.

    It’s upsetting that we shun this Koala Bear or Robin about what he has to say, I guess people don’t realize that certain politicians like I said would rather see him dead just to protect there status quo at all costs.

    • ilda says:

      I just wish that these guys spoke out on the day itself. Their move looks quite suspect because they developed a conscience after the deed is done. And unfortunately, the Philippines is still like the wild,wild west where people are gunned down by hired goons for doing the right thing. We don’t even know if the cops are part of the villains. Nevertheless, the authorities should investigate witnesses to find out it if what the are saying is true or false and prosecute those who are lying to prevent a similar scenario in the future.

      BTW, welcome to AntiPinoy RainSantiago

      • brianitus says:

        Hi, Ilda.

        There lies the problem. Why didn’t they come out on the day itself? If personalities like Koala boy were doing “sales calls” on potential clients before the elections, why weren’t they stopped?

        It’s all weird.

      • ilda says:

        Hi Brianitus

        There should be a law against false witnesses. They should be prosecuted. I don’t understand why the authorities are not going after these morons and the people behind them.

  3. benign0 says:

    I don’t know the full details but it seems the process post transmittal of a voter’s ballot (or the data within it) into COMELEC custody seems to be much improved over the past.

    However, the cases of fraud and impropriety before and while the ballot is in a voter’s custody remain prevalent.

    What does this mean?

    For me, it means that as the actual PROCESS of handling, counting and tallying of the votes improve (much of which remains within the scope of responsibility of the COMELEC), the real issue becomes more apparent — that much of the impropriety has to do with how voters DEAL WITH the “persuasion” tactics of those nefarious elements before and during the time they cast their vote.

    Sure, there is intimidation, vote buying, and snatching. But that is more of a general law enforcement issue that falls within the jurisdiction of the police and other conventional law enforcement agencies. The really big outrage here is how people are quick to point fingers at the COMELEC but not at those agencies that are responsible for order outside the COMELEC’s jurisdiction.

    As always, it comes down to Da Pinoy. Law enforcement agencies not doing their job? Perhaps it’s simply because we are renowned for TOLERATING such incompetence and lack of accountability.

    Unfortunately: all roads lead back to the REAL issue.

    • J.B. says:

      Law enforcers were actually privy to cheating during the days of manual counting. The speedy actually solve many of the scare tactics they did in the past.

      One of the most terrible crimes they did in the past that happened somewhere in Southern Luzon was the case when teachers continued counting in the nights and police elements burned all of them inside the buildings alive.

      • Paolo says:

        I can think of one old adage to condense this way of thinking:

        “Ang magnanakaw, galit sa kapwa magnanakaw.”

      • J.B. says:

        It’s case to case basis.
        Galit lang sila kung natalo or nalugi. If in case the share or profits are mutually beneficial, hindi sila galit.

      • ilda says:

        “Ang magnanakaw, galit sa kapwa magnanakaw.”

        Sorry, but is this in response to JB’s account of teachers being burned alive while counting the ballot sheets?

  4. RainSantiago says:

    In layman’s term the country is still dictated upon, “Guns, Goons and Gold”.

  5. Paolo says:

    It’s an extension of the actions done by cheats.

    A cheat will do the same course of action a fellow cheat will do. If one is not averse to taking innocents, then the fellow reciprocates in kind.

    Sorry if I confused you, ilda.

  6. ilda says:

    Just read the below news today. DND chief says there was cheating but also says we need to move on…gees talaga..walang mangyayari sa bansang Pilipinas:

    DND chief: Cheating, voting machine ‘deficiencies’ took place during polls

    Cheating and voting machine “deficiencies” took place during the Philippines’ first ever nationwide automated elections last May 10, but poll results should be “respected” for the country “to move on,” Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales said on Wednesday.

    “I believe that cheating happened. I believe that… There (were) deficiencies in transmissions. There (were) manipulations in the elections. There (were) fake ballots in the last elections,” Gonzales told reporters at the national military headquarter in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Wednesday.

    He added that he has “started collecting evidence” of poll fraud, so that the “truth would be established,” but expressed no intention to bring these evidence to the courts.

    “It may not stand up in court, but we have to find the truth. We owe it to our people to show what really happened in the last elections,” he said.

    The defense chief likewise declined to identify the parties behind attempts to alter results of the May 10 polls, saying that making such a comment will already be “partisan.”

    Gonzales, who said a week before the May 10 polls that election officials, the police and the military were bribed to rig the poll results, also came to the defense of losing candidates who question the outcome of the elections.

    “The big problem is that when you lost and [you are] complaining, you will be called ‘sour-graping.’ I am listening to the losing candidates because I think there is truth to some of the things they are saying,” he said.

    Despite claims of election fraud and technical deficiencies, Gonzales urged the public to “respect” the results of the May 10 polls for the good of the country.

    “The result of the election should be respected for the nation to move on. At the same time, we should identify the deficiencies in the past elections, study them and correct them for the next one,” he said.

    The defense chief likewise expressed confidence that the Congress, acting as the national board of canvassers to tally votes for president and vice-president, can proclaim the country’s top two leaders before June 30. – ACC, RJAB Jr., GMANews.TV

  7. Tessie Millan Mora says:

    We’ve become a nation of apathetic people. We are joiners, not movers or shakers. We just like to cruise along, go with the tide and simply pray. Sure prayers helps a lot. Still faith without work is dead. When the powers that be were all hell bent to put their candidate into Malacanang, the media were having a field day raking in money via the ads that were nauseating to say the least. And did the COMELEC even try to stop the onslaught of mind conditioning? That was unfair to the other candidates who had less money for TV ads? So many whys with no answers. They did it because they were cock sure that the public will not raise hell. And if it did, it would be a whimper. They were right. Where is the public outcry, we may ask? Well, you must have the starlets and bimboys to gather enough crowd to make a case. The line between politics and show biz is a hair’s breadth. That’s what we are now. A nation of telenovela watchers. So the blame is on us, all of us really.
    In another vein, why can’t the public servants be content with their salaries? Why do they have to take bribe money that they didn’t earn for the job that they are supposed to do? What have we become as a people? It must be difficult to get out of the basket, for the effort will mean work. And it must be comforting to be in the basket full of crabs.

    • ilda says:

      @Tessie

      Yes, the situation appears hopeless especially during election. I was having a heated discussion about this with a friend actually. He was trying to give some lame excuses for why some people did not even bother to register before or vote on Election Day. He was saying something like, “well, because some people need the money, they couldn’t afford not to work and register or they would rather work on Election Day. And some would rather go to the mall to spend some time with family because they don’t believe in any of the candidates anyway.” So in short, majority of Filipinos would rather cater to their need for instant gratification. If they sacrificed a few hours of their time to register or vote, it would make a big difference to their future.

      It seems Filipinos cannot see beyond their day-to-day activities. They have no vision for the future. They would rather waste their time on Farmville and Mafia Wars or telenovelas instead of educating themselves on how to solve poverty in the country. Filipinos are a marketers dream come true. They will buy everything the media and advertisers sell them. It’s a pity the media doesn’t sell the idea of being more engaged in the welfare of the Philippine society.

  8. Pingback: Election fraud did not just happen in 2004, it happened in other elections too! | Get Real Post

  9. Pingback: Filipinos need to develop a sense of shame or guilt « Get Real Post

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