Corrupted Values on Vote-buying


Photo courtesy of Democratic Audit, Daniel Go

Presidential aspirant Leni Robredo and Bishop Socrates Villegas have gone on record as saying that voters should take vote-buying bribes offered to them despite going on to vote a different candidate later on. The late Jaime Cardinal Sin had also said the same thing before.

I hope that people with a true sense of decency also have the common sense to see the ridiculousness in this.

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Supporters of the above-mentioned people will argue, but voters will do that anyway! That’s practical! Why condemn such an act? Let them do it!

But in both true Christian and secular values, that act is dishonest.

First, why take the bribe at all? When you take the bribe, you signify a promise to vote for the candidate. Denying this is a foolish exercise of illogic. And isn’t accepting bribes wrong at all? Perhaps the people above don’t realize that what they’ll do will have an effect of sanitizing all other forms of bribery.

Second, if you take the bribe and vote for someone else anyway, isn’t that lying? So not only do you take bribes, but you lie.

The right answer would be to never take the bribe at all.

I wonder if the politician and church people mentioned here are thinking that any way to give to the poor should be acceptable, even if the means used is sinful by their own standards. Basically, the end justifies the means for them, with the willingness to make compromises to their values. If they do, that would be rightly identified as hypocrisy.

I find it both appalling and amusing that Catholic religious authorities (though I believe there are others who are actually facepalming) are encouraging corrupted values. Either those religious authorities are confused about their own values or, as some articles on this blog and many others have said, are willing to twist their own values in support of their own agenda, which the Catholic Church after all has done in its long history. Or both.

This makes me even more glad to have embraced “Protestantism” a long time ago.

12 Replies to “Corrupted Values on Vote-buying”

  1. If Rizal is alive today, he’d be disappointed to find out that these modern-day Damaso are still trying to hold the neck of Juan Dela Cruz one way or another, with Leni as their frontline puppet. Catholic Church should’ve been banned in the Philippines when the country was freed from the Spaniards, all priests executed the same way they executed thousands of indios for over 3 centuries.

    1. Unfortunately when the Americans liberated us from the Spaniards in 1898 they didn’t BANNED Catholicism in the Philippines. They’d retained it as a respect on “religious freedom” of the Filipinos at that time in spite that how those Catholic Church had brainwashed, abused and tricked to the natives during the Spanish colonization in our country for 333 years. The Americans had no balls on it, probably if either the British or the Germans or even the Japanese had liberated our country instead of the Americans in the 1st place before 1898 and our country would be different. And yes, the Brits, Germans and the Japanese had almost colonized our country before but they’d failed to do it, the Brits and the Japanese was too weak to defeat the mighty Spanish Armada when Spain was once a superpower country in the world during the Age of Discovery and Colonization from the 16th-18th centuries while the Germans was too late to invade our country in 1898 and they’d surprised that the Americans had taken it when they’d entered the Philippines.

  2. If we are to criticize the idea of accepting bribe, the proper way to do it is focus on the criminal act itself, the alleged violator/s and cite the law violated to support our position. Clearly, We cannot do that on the persons (Leni & the bishop) involved on the issue at hand because they are not the one doing the buying/selling.

    Yes, they’re cajoling people to do an illegal act and we should hold them accountable for that but that’s no bribery. An accessory to commit bribery, maybe? If so, we have to put up a new provision in the election code to deal with that in order to incriminate the two.

    In the meantime, I’m afraid they will continue to enjoy preaching the – ‘Tanggapin ang bayad, boto kay Leni agad!’ line. : )

  3. Sorry, pahabol.

    It’s like a breath of fresh air! The first write up in a very long while that contains no name of a person in its title. Congrats & salamat! : )

  4. Even the Protestants like Evangelicals or Fundamentalists for example has a lot of bad actors, too. Christian sects are chaotic always.

  5. “The right answer would be to never take the bribe at all.”

    Sadly, at times we have to distinguish. ‘Never’ is a heavy word for the poorest of the poor to impose on one’s self if it means not going to eat a meal for days if not weeks. There is a quote that we can apply in this situation. It says, “An empty stomach is not a good political adviser”. : 0

  6. Even if they made vote buying permissible, I doubt if people would vote for someone who just hands them money or whatever. People are more complicated. Pacquiao is out there giving out money, and Comelec is just chillin’.

  7. “Second, if you take the bribe and vote for someone else anyway, isn’t that lying? So not only do you take bribes, but you lie.”

    Lying is actually irrelevant on the issue because it is not the main point of argument. The point is bribery is wrong/illegal. If you accept bribe and vote differently, with a lie or not, it is still wrong/illegal.

    Another case in point but we hardly touch on is, if you were paid NOT to vote but you voted anyway. That falls on the same category but the lie there is also immaterial. : )

    1. I just thought that accepting the vote-buying is a double whammy. But anyway, being poor does not make accepting the bribe right in itself, as Benign0’s recent article said. Being poor is no excuse to do wrong. If you kill or steal to feed yourself, you still do wrong and must still suffer the consequences. That would be an application of Lev. 19:15 – You must not pervert justice; you must not show *partiality to the poor* or favoritism to the rich…

  8. Vote buying will always be here, if there are elections…but , to sell your vote, is another things…
    Encouraging people to take the money is not right…

    1. “Encouraging people to take the money is not right…”

      I agree on that but we’re also aware that it’s not a ‘fits all’ kind of thing. People who are much below poverty line, the marginalized, will have a hard time understanding such axiom. : (

  9. Bribes are complex transactions. Ironically, bribery (as a form of cheating in society) is a dishonest practice that somehow presumes the recipient to be honest enough to follow through with the expected action. It involves a level of trust as in a contract. Accepting a bribe is a semi-formal handshake.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if these crooked priests advise their flock to accept the politician’s bribe, donate the amount to the church, and vote for the opponent instead.

    The cousins of bribery would be giving tips/gifts/kickbacks and extortion. These are all forms of grease (pampadulas) to get others to act or perform in accordance to one’s wishes.

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