Wednesday, 13th December 2017
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Jose Rizal for Barangay Captain

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Jose Rizal for Barangay Captain

 

Ralph John Mijares

By Ralph John Mijares

 

 

 

 

If Rizal were alive today and he would run for barangay captain, will he win?


This is what my Rizal teacher asked on the first day of class.


Most of my classmates answered “yes” as they cited Rizal’s positive traits. However, one begged to differ. He said that the El Filibusterismo writer would not win because he would not bribe voters unlike some candidates nowadays will.


My teacher said “he (Rizal) would be too good (of a person to win since he would not bribe anyone)”.


What my brilliant classmate did not know is that one candidate here despite giving a lot of free stuff during the campaign period lost.


I am not mentioning his name, the position he ran for, and the barangay he belongs to. The loss is already a tough moment/lesson for that man. His defeat proves that there is still hope for our country because there are people who are smart enough to know that their liberty to choose who they want in charge does not come with a price.


Some of you guys might wonder why some candidates spend a lot on campaigning and bribery for a position wherein you only get paid P 1,000 monthly if you are a barangay captain and P 600 monthly if you are a Sangguniang Barangay member.


According to the Department of Budget and Management website, Christmas bonuses in form of cash, insurance coverage, free hospitalization in government hospitals and can get P 5,000 (at a maximum) from barangay funds if confined in a private hospital and there is an extreme emergency, free tuition and matriculation fees in government schools in the area including two of their legit and dependent kids during their stint in office, conferment of civil service eligibility depending on the number of years of service done for officials who completed their respective terms of office, and it also serves an advantage in getting appointed to any government position once the official’s term ends.


In this writer’s opinion citing from Jorge Cariño’s Kampanyaserye report a few weeks back, the common reasons why people still go for barangay posts would be to serve the people while for others and to have the chance to gain power and influence in one’s own community.


My own guess would be that being a part of the barangay authority would be a stepping stone for bigger plans in politics.


These reasons however, are not rational enough when it comes to buying votes.


Neither would be the fear of getting defeated by the “more generous” candidates because they provide incentives either in cash or in kind. Not all trends are worth following, my friend. If jumping from bridges without harnesses becomes a trend, will you ride on the wave, too?


By the way, for the fools who sold their votes to the demons that be, progress does not come with P500 or free stuff from the candidates who will only be there for you when they need votes and will abandon or steal from you in secrecy once they are in office. Keep it up, fools.


You are complaining about how tough life is now in your community. Well, ask yourself, is it not your fault? You are enraged with the graft and corruption that might be going in you town, city, or this country (well, with the P10 billion scam, it is obvious). Did you realize that you might have contributed to that?


Think about it.

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