Bohol elections – circa 2016

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Bohol elections – circa 2016

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5-15-16BOHOLANOS TAKE POLITICS  very seriously when 85% (or 682,608 out of 798,768 registered voters) trooped to their precincts -and let their voices be heard.

This is higher than the 80% national average voter turnout- already one of the highest in the world- that drew admiration globally.

The ease of computerized election, the quickness of the electronic results, the consistency of the political surveys with  the results and -don’t you ever forget- the fidelity to duty and sacrifice of teachers- made the 2016 polls one we could be proud of as a nation.

Of course, there were sporadic episodes of pre-election violence here.  But none of which even faintly suggested we had a war zone. But vote- buying- massive- there was.

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And it is a continuing shame on our body politic. Boholanos are known to be a religious and God-fearing people- but ethics of which are thrown out of the window as bribe-giver and bribe-taker here cavorted in an orgy of illicit gift-giving.  Bohol remained one of the 5 most expensive provinces to get elected to office to.

Not that the richest and most generous politician will always be king. There are still those who took their money -and voted according to their conscience. They justified their acceptance of these bribes as “redistribution of wealth.”

In some areas, however, Money was King. It dictated voter preference in the following manner. Mr Politician had more money. Mr Politician knew the tactics of distributing money that it reached where they should. Mr Politician knew how to block money from rivals from reaching voters through the help of some unscrupulous PNP personnel (especially on the administration side) . Mr Politician knew the value of the “second wave”- the last bribe money released on election day itself.

Mr Politician is now a Public Official. Guess how he will recoup his massive expenses?

Meantime, the major reelectionist provincial officials led by Governor Edgar Chatto and Congressmen Rene Relampagos, Aris Aumentado and Arthur Yap run roughshod over their hapless rivals. Proving they had a productive last term -or their opponents did not propose any better program to the electorate, despite the ferocity of the battle.

Poverty and the drug menace, we emphasized, however-  remain the province’s main headaches.

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Henceforth, we wish all policies and programs of government be measured against one question : how will these affect the poorest of the poor? If they want authentic inclusive growth – it is a simple enough formula.

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As for drugs-we know the score. We are a drug-infested province. Seventy percent of crime emanates from drugs and most killings here are drug-related.  If the drug lords, financiers and protectors here know what’s best to stay alive- lie low now or stop the drug trade for good.

Or end up as one of the 100,000 criminals that presumptive president Rody Duterte promised to send to their graves. He will take his oath come June 30.  Better not push your luck- “migrate or disappear forever from the face of Bohol” is a fair warning.

Duterte has Bohol clout- almost 45% voted for him, higher than the national average of 40%. The vaunted Roxas-LP machinery sputtered and got him only 29%.

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We always postulated in this paper that in a presidential race – local and national politics do not always carry each other. The small local leaders want to make sure they have the largesse from the nationally elected president and administration, that’s why.

Thus, while Chatto in 2010 won as governor under Lakas, President Noy Aquino (LP) won convincingly here; in 2016, LP ‘s Chatto was reelected but PDP-Laban’s Duterte won by landslide (by landscape, as Erap says).

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Bohol , for years, has always been an administration party. Or the  Bohol officialdom would eventually wear the uniform of the party in power for practical developmental reasons.

Will this happen again? Or will they be part of a Coalition? Or a watchful Collaborator?

PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENT RODY DUTERTE

FINALLY, A MAN FROM MINDANAO,  Davao City mayor Rody Duterte is president. His amazing rise was so spectacular, he is this week’s cover story of the Time Magazine. There are only three Filipinos to have the privilege:  former president Cory Aquino and boxing icon Manny Pacquiao are the other two.

Called by Time as “The Punisher”- the likes of Duterte had been likened by former British Prime MInister Tony Blair as the emerging prototype of the new global leader.  He counts Donald Trump (though Blair fears him)  as among them.

They rage and rant against the established order-and even without a coherent economic policy- endear themselves to voters for they mirror their frustrations. Since their pronouncements are radical and harsh, media pick them up-in the case of Trump 5 times more than they say carry a sedate Hillary Clinton. Their story line sells. Media is the sucker.

But it is the Voice of the People so we must respect the ascendancy of Duterte-until he proves himself unworthy of the mandate we ushered him into power with.

The wonder of a Duterte is he won in all income classes- even had better winning margins among the richer and more educated constituents than among the poor and unschooled. He was the darling of the young- the younger, the more they rooted for Digong and his brash mouth.

Duterte was more popular more among men than among women. He has the least lead over his rivals among the Catholic voters, the most lead among Muslims and INC. In a million INC voters with 80% turnout, Digong got at least half a million INC votes.

Duterte our 16th president has been like no other before him. But is our sworn duty to give him a chance at redemption (for unbelievers) and fulfillment (believers).

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