Politics, jueteng and elections

>> Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Alfred P. Dizon

Politics is a whole year-round affair in this Banana Republic. With a 3-year timetable for officials to occupy their posts, they have to practically “campaign” on a daily basis so their names would be prominent in the public eye.
              poliAside from attending the so-called KBL (kasal, binyag, libing or wedding, baptism, burial) routine, they do all sorts of things to discredit opponents in the sly.
And yes, they spend on folks to woo their votes. Where they get their money is an open secret. I remember a politico in the lowlands over some Johnny Black who told me after his tongue was loosened by the intoxicant, “Alam mo pare, hindi mawawala ang jueteng dahil mamamatay ang mga pulitiko kung wala yan lalo na sa mga walang commission sa kontrata. Malaki ang naitutulong yan sa KBL (You know, jueteng won’t stop because that is where politicians get the money for KBL, much more to those who don’t get commissions from contracts.)” 
So if you are still wondering why jueteng is still around under the guise of STL, bookies or whatever sanamagan they call it, blame it on you know who.
Even with the so-called directive of The One in Malacanang to the Philippine National Police to stop jueteng and other forms of gambling, with only a few months to the May elections next year, the multiple-headed monster won’t simply die a natural death.
There are just too many takers, according to our perennially drunk neighborhood philosopher, for the monster to just wink an eye and drown in the deep, mysterious blue waters of trade-offs.
So, in another of our sidewalk talks, he says he will commit hara-kiri if jueteng will disappear in this administration wherein kissing married women and making sipsip to the powers that be are considered a sign of masculinity and a way to get ahead respectively.
So lest we stray, being in the public eye is a must for politicians, according to our philosopher who says they have to use all sorts of gimmicks to attain these, good or bad, to endear themselves to the public.       
The internet had become a battleground for protagonists. The political foggies just have to eat their hearts out since there was none of this during their time, he says. They had only mainstream media to air their venom, he adds.
He cites the statement of Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice Wednesday branding as “fake news” the claim of defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. that he was cheated of victory in the 2016 elections.
According to Erice, such an allegation is intended to “discredit the victory of Vice President Leni Robredo and cast doubt on the integrity of our election system.”
“The camp of Bongbong is trying to burn the whole house down in order to condition the mind of the public that he was cheated,” he said.
Erice said he felt it was his duty to defend the automated election system (AES) “because this was a product of Congress.”
Erice was vice chairman of the House of Representatives committee on suffrage and electoral reforms and was a member of the joint congressional oversight committee on the AES.
He said the AES implemented by the Commission on Elections and its automation partner Smartmatic “is the best and cleanest so far in the history of Philippine elections.”
He said there was no truth to Bongbong’s claim that votes were changed to favor Robredo. “There were a total of 2.8 million election returns printed during the 2016 elections. Out of this huge amount of paper trail, not one instance of discrepancy between an ER and the transmitted election result was observed,” Erice said.
He added that Marcos’ allegation that he received zero or no votes in certain precincts “is not evidence of cheating. A zero vote for a candidate in a clustered precinct only means that the candidate didn’t get any vote in that precinct,” he said. So there goes. Go figure.
Election fever is just around the corner. The Commission on Elections  is set to resume voter registration next month for the 2019  midterm elections.
A report by the Philippine News Agency qouted  Baguio City Election Officer, lawyer John Paul Martin, as saying the Comelec will resume biometric voter registration nationwide, except in Marawi City, from  July 2 to Sept. 29, 2018 in preparation for the 2019 national and local elections.
Comelec will accept applications for new registration, transfer/transfer with reactivation, reactivation, change/correction of entry and inclusion/reinstatement of records in the list of voters.
Martin said reactivation is for previously registered voters whose voting records have been deactivated for failure to vote in two consecutive national regular elections while Transfers are for previously registered voters who wish to transfer their registration records to a different city or municipality or to a different address within the same city or municipality.
                Transfers with reactivation are for ‘deactivated’ voters who wish to transfer their registration records to a different city or municipality or to a different address within the same city or municipality.
                Inclusion or reinstatement of records in the list of voters applies  to  those who have been ordered by the courts to be included in the list of voters (inclusion), or those who have recently reacquired their right to vote after having been stripped of political rights as a consequence of a conviction.
Martin said registration shall be Mondays to Saturdays, including holidays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. He called on would be registrants to proceed to Comelec offices immediately as soon as  voter registration opens and not wait for the deadline since it would only be a 3-month period.
Would be registrants should bring a photo copy of identification cards as student, employee, postal and senior citizen. Also needed are IDs for BIR, SSS, GSIS, IBP and PRC, NBI clearance, passport and drivers license. A birth certificate is needed for change or correction of entries.
Comelec will also conduct satellite registrations during said period. Barangay officials or groups could write to local Comelec  offices to request off-site registrations.


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