May 9, 2016 will forever be engraved in my memory. It was election day here in the Philippines and as a first time voter, imagine how stoked I was about this event!
Filipinos will have a chance to cast their vote and contribute in molding a country for the next generation, by choosing the rightful leaders that will lead Philippines into greatness.
So, let me dish out all I have to say about the elections.
Voting Method: Automated Since 2010!
I’m in doubt about the new voting system ever since it was introduced in the country in 2010.
In my opinion, I think that because the election is now automated, it is much more easier to manipulate. It’s vulnerable to hackers and greed-infested politicians who will do everything just to be in power.
Now, I’m not saying that we should go back to the medieval methods of counting votes or the mano-mano system. I’m just saying that the results will not be 100% honest.
Cheating/Vote-Buying/Survey Manipulations/Black Propaganda
Overseas voters are the first ones to vote every election. Which is proven beneficial to everyone since flaws can be detected early and the people organizing the election can fix it before cramming on the actual day occurs.
Well, what do you know, a few days before election, overseas voters began complaining about changes in their voting receipt. For example, they voted for Candidate A but the result showed that they’ve voted for Candidate B.
Cheating allegations began and complaints came flooding in. Everyone who was watching the news then became suspicious and aware of how dirty and crazy politics can be here in the Philippines.
Let’s not even start with how ridiculously vote-buying is purely appreciated by many electorates. One of our houseboy even went home to their province just to get the money showered to them by power-hungry politicians. And let’s not talk about vote-buying here in Manila because it’s so rampant that even during election day, a lot of people were still handing out copies of who to vote for with a sum of money along with it. Disgusting, needless to say.
Survey results were also slammed by a majority of people accusing it of being manipulated by politicians who want to boast high survey ratings to the public. Now, I find this allegation unnecessary and attention-seeking. Why? Maybe because survey results are just based on the opinion of 1,500 or more people—not the entire population!
We cannot also end election without some black propaganda being released by one candidate to attack another. And where would they release this? Social media, of course!
Given the supreme power of social media in connecting us, being it another source to update ourselves with real-time occurences, imagine how many opinions can be changed once you release negative issues about your rival in politics!
From accusations of hidden wealths, incomplete reports of SALN’s, to extravagant lifestyles, the list just doesn’t seem to end. And us, being the hypocritical opinionated public, will say that we don’t want that kind of person to rule us—funny thing is, we’ve elected an actor as our president once!
Releasing negative issues against your opponent for the sake of relevance and to be a some kind of show-off, is a deceitful and dirty tactic to bring opponents down, but when you really want that position, what can’t you not do?
The Commission on Elections declared that voting will begin at 6 A.M and end at 5 P.M. News that morning began with stories of how some voters camped out of their respective voting places, and of course, the media followed the presidential and vice presidential candidates, where they voted, what time and who were they with.
Voting was somewhat peaceful, until the VCMs or Vote Counting Machines started to cause problems. One province reported that their VCM was constantly having paper jam issues and another stated that VCMs would not accept ballots. It’s really a bad day for technicians.
But everybody have seemingly forgotten that this is a national election, which means millions and millions of Filipinos are casting their votes—which also means that human error cannot be avoided.
For example, Kuya Ogie, our neighbor went early to his assigned precint but he was informed that he already casted his vote. I mean how can that happen when a picture is printed beside a voter’s name?! And also, why are the BEI’s not asking for identification cards from voters to prove that they really are voting as themselves?
I’ve seen a lot of problems, they may be minor to some, but if it would be fixed, it will cause a major change in our voting experience.
Social Media War.
I think that’s what happened after every voter has done his/her part. Of course, like the modern society that we are, we go to social media to share our experiences and share selfies/picture of our fingers with indelible ink to show that we have voted.
A lot have transpired over social media that it actually is concerning. You can see how shallow this generation is when it comes to making arguments, and how easy it is to gain their favor. How? Just be good-looking or have someone from your family that’s good-looking. Let millenials feast on you or them on social media—and you might just wake up with a lot of supporters wanting to give you a government position.
As shameful as it is, we cannot escape this reality where we value looks more than our country’s future. It is no ones fault for this is a result of societal views on beauty that have been passed on from generation-to-generation.