Why do Filipinos keep voting for crooks?

What’s in Filipinos’ heads everytime they go to the polling booth on election day? That’s the million dollar question every politician wants the answer to. For that matter, it’s the question that’s flumoxed political analysts for decades. And it is specially relevant now that much of the Executive and Legislative branches have been revealed for what they are — a bunch of crooks.

Philippine politics: A tiring cycle of voting for crooks then protesting their actions while in office
Philippine politics: A tiring cycle of voting for crooks then protesting their actions while in office
Why are the folks who inhabit Malacanang and Congress a bunch of crooks? Two words: pork barrel. Pork is money (incarnated in various forms over the decades) set aside by Malacanang for the purpose of bribing legislators. Thus, pork is the single biggest reason why the Philippine government is crooked — because it is the common criminal denominator underlying both the executive and legislative branches of the Philippine government.

Whereas, the three branches of government under Philippine-style “democracy” is, by design, supposed to keep one another in check, pork is what greases the conflict-of-interest that is the Malacanang-Congress tandem of thievery. Without pork, Congress would have no reason to kiss Malacanang’s ass. Without pork, politicians would find a reason to seek a seat in Congress that is a lot more noble than the opportunity to play Santa Claus by funneling chunks of the national budget into their constituents’ trivial “projects” and, of course, into their personal bank accounts.

Most important of all, without motivation to kiss Malacanang’s ass and with a more noble regard for their respective seats in Congress, members of Congress would be able to focus on aspiring to what being a legislator is really all about — crafting laws that are in the nation’s best interests.

Are these key principles that speak to the badness of pork hard to understand? Obviously they are — which is why the Philippines, at the moment, is engaged in a monumental “debate” over the fate of pork. Despite various rulings by the Supreme Court, on specific flavours of pork, pork allegedly still exists in this year’s proposed national budget.

Why then do Filipinos continue to vote for people who like their pork?

Some say that the answer to that question is complicated. For me it is simple. Filipinos keep voting for pork-chomping crooks because they do not know how to think. Rather than choose politicians on the basis of what they stand for, what national issues they consider to be paramount, what positions they take on controversial topics of national consequence, and what plans they have to change the Philippines’ wretched situation, they go to the polls equipped with a dismal understanding of the consequences of their choices.

Worst of all, Filipinos do not really understand what legislators do and what their role is in government. They think it is the job of legislators to fund and execute projects. That is not what legislators are supposed to be doing. The job of a House Representative and a Senator is to represent their constituencies in an overall collective effort to create laws and keep improving upon existing ones. Everything legislators do, whether it be conducting hearings, inquiries, and “probes”, schmoozing with their constituents, or meeting with members of the Executive branch should all be undertaken in aid of legislation. Nothing else. To do their job, legislators do not need pork.

Again, quite simple, really, but evidently a vast notion that is hopelessly beyond the grasp of the average Filipino mind.

And so come 2016, Filipinos will again go out and vote equipped with nothing more than their stunted intellectual faculties. For the politicians bidding for the lucrative offices on offer in 2016, it will be like fishing from a barrel. No need for a vision for the Philippines, no need for a roadmap to prosperity, no need for a platform. All they need are corny slogans, tired old catchphrases, and a good head for the medieval demons that haunt their constituents’ psyches.

What Filipinos will get the next election is the same government they have today, and the same one they had before the current one, and the one before that — a comfy den of crooks all feasting on pork.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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36 Comments on "Why do Filipinos keep voting for crooks?"

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Amir Al Bahr
Member

Filipinos also keep voting for crooks because their thinking is “what’s in it for me?”. As long as Filipinos keep asking for freebies and dole-outs from their politicians, these will continue to be funded by pork.

It’s, as you pointed out, politicians playing Santa Claus on an oblivious electorate.

john c. jacinto
Guest

Indeed, why are the Marcoses back in power? They would make the Binays, Estradas, and Revillas look like beggars in terms of money looted from the public coffers.

THOM HRDY
Guest

STOP THIEVES!!!

Wait they are all thieves, so who ya gonna call? Not Ray Parker Jr. coz he dead Mon!

DIO
Guest

Indeed, why are the Aquinos and their allies are still in power? They, along with the oligarchs are also not just thieves but also murderers as well.

HYPOCRISY much? 😀

Jad
Guest

99.9% of politicians are Crooks!
You just have to choose the lesser evil.
Marcos’s are not perfect.
Admit it or not,
Ferdinand Marcos is the only president who
put Philippines to its highest status.
The rest that succeeded just rob the country to its fullest.
I’d rather have Marcos (particularly BB to continue his fathers legacy)run the country than any of them bastards waiting for their turn to get their filthy hands in the country’s coffer.

kaloy
Guest

What is the motive for someone to seek public office?

Is it to serve the public interest?

Is increasing the salary of the public official enough to eliminate corruption?

I believe that people do not really understand the difference between the role of a congressman from a governor.

Jigs
Guest
As I have said before, many Filipinos still don’t know the main functions and responsibilities of their leaders both in national and local level. This is the reason why they keep putting those undeserving politicians into office just because they are giving alms to the poor or simply by having a smooth eloquent warm conversation with them while smiling as a simple pseudo sign of being a good managers. Since not all Filipinos are aware of the local government code and the mandates of constitution, it is now time to educate the electorates about the role of their leaders. A… Read more »
kaloy
Guest

@jigs

you raised a good point.

The question now is: Who is mandated to educate the voters regarding the concept of government? COMELEC? Political parties?

And if so, why is there no massive and intensive voter‘s education?

No plan? No budget?

medy ramos
Guest

Thank you, Jigs! Finally, someboby came up with something with more sense. Let’s just find a way to educate our countrymen! Is there a way we can mobilize young people to be engaged in this endeavor? Can we pose a challenge to them to rise in their own communities and lead this movement? We are not lacking in leaders, we just have to motivate them and point them in the right direction.

medy ramos
Guest

We are a population of 97.7 million and for the life of me there is not ONE HONEST, INCORRUPTIBLE politician that we can find to lift us out of this misery. Very frustrating!

Sea Bee
Guest

Waiting for a father figure to lift us out of our misery is part of the problem. We are the intelligentsia. How many of us are involved in community activism? In school boards? in working for progressive candidates? Or do we just sit in our ivory towers and wring our hands? GRP is a good start. Where do we take it from here?

medy ramos
Guest

Seabee, you hit the nail on the head. Yes, how many of us just sit in judgment and not do anything. GRP, do something to incite people to get involved!

Kurt
Guest

Problem is the ones who strive to make a difference are ridiculed and shamed at best and murdered at worst. It’s simple crab mentality at work.

Don’t want to be a negative Nelly, but that’s how things are in the Philippines. Have to do something about ridding that toxic attitude first.

Thomas Jefferson
Guest
Why do Filipinos keep voting for crooks? 1. Because many love political carnivals/circuses and because they are ignorant unschooled and gullible. Oh yeah they love song and dance numbers. 2. Because many love vote buying and are corrupted by the corrupt politicians. 3. Because many love doleouts like CCT and Pantawid including cash doles before, during and after elections. 4. Because there no local or national debates that will allow smart choices for the electorate to choose. 5. Because the COMELEC is part of the problem! 6. Because of political patronage! 7. Because many of the people are deceived by… Read more »
Thomas Jefferson
Guest

Its more like window dressing, a handsome/pretty face a false facade, a defective psyche, amoral etc. Most of the people are sold to politicians who act more like showbiz personalities. Glitz attracts people without brains… get?

Thomas Jefferson
Guest

“A crooked politician is like a swimming artificial lure used in deep sea trolling. Many fish strike the lure…” -Anonymous

THOM HARDY
Guest

WOW, you are a genius.

Although being ‘ammoral’ is a good thing in politics…as morals are often mis-used to justify all sorts of hideous acts!

Hyden Toro
Guest

I am a Filipino…and I still cannot understand why people vote these Crooks into public offices. Erap Estrada, the convicted plunderer is elected as Mayor of Manila…Manila is supposed to be the intellectual HUB of the country…

Either Filipinos are mostly mentally retarded; or they don’t care…”Bahala Na” attitude…Garbage in, Garbage out…We got Garbage in public services..

Yawn
Guest

Why do Filipinos keep voting for crooks?

Because everyone on the ballot paper is a crook

VLAD
Guest

@ YAWN, You are correct again YAWN ! Right as rain !

THEY ARE ALL CRIMINALS, each and every one of them…BAR NONE !

interxavier
Guest

This begs me to ask these two simple questions… should everyone still have the right to suffrage? Or should they prove it first?

m.o.
Guest

>> What’s in Filipinos’ heads everytime they go to the polling booth on election day?

Absolutely nothing at all. All the average politican has to do is fill it with nonsense of his own choosing. Add 500 pesos, and the spell is complete.

Jaja
Guest

@ interxavier: good point. With so many Filipinos doing the way they do, I am more of the belief that the right to suffrage shouldn’t be given to just any Tom, Dick, or Harry. I think people have to prove themselves worthy of that right.

interxavier
Guest

A good topic for a future article from GRP. @benign0 😀

ChinoF
Member

From the Facebook group, I posted:
1. Mass media, like the crime hero movies of the seventies, help the people see crooks as heroes.
2. Crooks are actually among the elite of the country, so they have much control, even over the government institutions.

ChinoF
Member

Forgot this point:
3. The Philippine jologs media are actually targeting the middle class, not the poor. In order to de-power the middle class and help make them poorer, because it affects their habits and decisions.

THOM HARDY
Guest

Cos they get paid to vote for them,DUH!

Marc
Guest
That’s not only the issue here. Because of the 1987 constitution, it does not limit any citizen esp uneducated showbiz personality to be in politics. The main job for legislators is to write laws, how the hell can a uneducated citizen who was voted to office esp in the senate able to write laws? Equal rights? Ya right. But you still have to be qualified. Surgeons could not perform heart surgeries unless they have a medical degree and years spent as an intern. Many politicians like Miriam Santiago spent decades understanding the constitution. In a blink of an eye, a… Read more »
Nigel
Guest

and watch out for Ai Ai, who has publicly expressed her undying loyalty to Binay……yukk?? eewww?? PWEH!!!!

Hyden Toro
Guest

Binay looks stupid…like the mentally retarded Aquino…

shilo
Member
@ benign0: “Worst of all, Filipinos do not really understand what legislators do and what their role is in government.” It’s not that Filipinos “do not understand what legislators do”, it’s really because majority of them don’t care to understand. It’s too tedious for their lazy and parasitic mindset. First of all, what is the sense of loyalty to most of the new generation of Filipinos? MONEY! Evidently it can be observed in most of the peoples’ daily way of life and thinking. During election times, voters’ accepting bribes from politicians is common in community conversations. During rallies/demonstrations, most people… Read more »
interxavier
Guest
From the 1987 Constitution on Article V: Suffrage… “Section 1. Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law, who are at least eighteen years of age, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year, and in the place wherein they propose to vote, for at least six months immediately preceding the election. No literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage.” Hmm… “No literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage.” There’s your problem. It’s like… Read more »
andrew
Guest

hindi pa ako bumoto sa buong buhay ko. kung boboto ako pero hindi naman confident sa lahat ng kandidato eh wag na lang. sayang lang oras ko.

Jaja
Guest

I think Araling Panlipunan classes should stop the discussion on history in the upper years of secondary high school and instead prepare the youth to become better voters by giving them an honest situationer on what’s really happening. Plus they should be educated regarding their responsibilities as voters and as citizens. They should also be educated in the functions of government agencies, officials, etc. That way they could possibly come up with better decisions about who to vote when the time comes for them to exercise their right to suffrage.

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