Corruption is not an inherent element in a society. It is planted and cultivated. It is a product of choices—our choices.
All those money-hungry politicians did not put themselves into those positions. They are incapable of doing that alone. They need a voting mass—a clump of followers who are as self-interested as they are. They need a tail that is capable of swinging against foes and crushing threats blindly on their command, with very little compensation needed. The worst part is, even with their end on the losing side of the bargain, the ‘tails’ accept this deal.
But tails can be cut-off. And the politicians know that. Hence, they go by the mile to ensure the loyalty of their people. They promise them momentary pleasures, a chunk of their pork or a bit of their time, for their votes.
But it is far more than just votes that these people pay. They also surrender their intellect, their privilege to vote those they deem worthy, their heroes—their freedom. They surrender their hope for a better government, for a better Philippines. They surrender their big dreams, their future. They surrender their children, the future generations—all for a few pennies, for a few promises, for a few well constructed lies.
But we cannot blame them. With the current state they are in their lives, survival is their highest priority. Poverty is whooshing around all the narrow alleys of the country. They have mouths to feed, numerous children to educate, to earn for them in the hopeful future. They pay their future to fund their present, consciously or unconsciously.
But this is not an article that will defend the decisions of these vote sellers. This is to point out who is to be rightfully blamed.
It is not just them we should be worried about. Apathy is as lethal as vote buying. Neutrality is irrelevant in politics, if not destructive even.
There is a portion of the good non-vote-selling population that do not deserve to be free from criticism. Turning down the tempting deals of the vote buyers is only part of the long and enduring process of change. A right vote must be exercised. Wasting it is no different than voting wrong. Although they are not helping these evil politicians in their agenda directly, they are also betraying the already losing numbers of the intelligent voters indirectly by not voting at all.
Apathetic people abandon their right to suffrage. They abandon their right to freedom—again, not as different from the blind voters mentioned above. They are abandoning their opportunity to be ‘heads’ of the system. Being an ‘or’ in this battle versus heads and tails is far from heroic. They have the opportunity to face the enemies head on, to contribute in beating their opponents’ growing numbers, but they choose to sit idly by.
Voting nowadays is not even as tedious as it was during the old days, yet apathy is still rising. We are losing cravers of change. We are losing revolutionary individuals with big dreams.
According to online sources, Jose Rizal died at 35 yrs. old, Gregorio Del Pilar at 24, Antonio Luna at 33 and Emilio Jacinto at 23. Our heroes spent their youth fighting for our country. Where are we spending ours?
What activities are we so busy about that we forget or deliberately abandon our rights? Our future?
To the few who are beyond these, to those wholly patriotic, to those who know their responsibility and capability, to all those who are exercising their votes this coming 2016, on candidates they deemed worthy, despite all the temptations thrown at them—thank you. Thank you for going the extra mile in saving our country.