ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY, Philippines
People milled around the commercial center of Ipil, the capital town of Zamboanga Sibugay, a day after the May 9 national and local elections on a spending spree after some cash windfall from political candidates vying for the different posts.
A restaurant owner said his store sales were doubled on Tuesday, May 10. It went even higher on the following day.
“People have lots of money,” he observed.
Mobile phone stores had their shares of brisk sales, too.
One mobile phone store had sold 30 units of androids on Tuesday alone.
Money had flooded even three days before the elections day, starting from “talisik” (rain shower or drizzles) of P50 from candidates running for councillors and provincial board members.
Bigger amount went around a day before the elections from politicians aspiring for top municipal and provincial positions.
Mario, a Zamboanga Sibugay resident, had his name listed from both political groups.
Each one in his family had received a total of P3,000 or a total of P12,000 on the day of the elections for his family of four.
“That is a big sum for us,” he said in dialect.
Reports of vote-buying reached the local police, but none had been apprehended.
Lyndon Lanojan, a political campaign volunteer of a national candidate, lamented: The election is useless.
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With money going around, greasing hands of voters, it is not farfetch that it will also change the decision whom to vote for.
Elections are always like that, said Austero Sumalinog, provincial chair of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).
“It is difficult to catch the vote-buying or vote-selling on the act,” he said. (Antonio Manaytay)
This story is supported by Internews under the Internews Philippines Story Grants 2022.