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Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Reyes-Velasco Election Fiasco in Marinduque

Remove the Pork Barrel System in the Philippines and Eliminate Corruption
I attented a Filipino-American Party today here in Northern California. The most popular topic of conversation is the recent election in the Philippines. Topic number #1 is the Time magazine article stating that Filipinos are stupid for having elected a 20-year old Pinay with no experience in government with the name of Nancy Binay. The other topic was the local congressional election in Marinduque- The Reyes versus Velasco Election Fiasco. Vote buying, threat of goons and pork barrel as the main source of corruption were also discussed at the party.

Here's a sample of conversation that I recalled at the party.

Guest #1; So you are from Marinduque? I heard that the voters elected an American Citizen for your representative in Congress. Is this against the Law to run for an elected position in the Philippines if you are a US citizen?

Guest #2: Yes, I am from Marinduque. I am so ashamed of what is happening now in my Province. Gina Reyes the daughter of the reelected governor, Carmencita Reyes, garnered more than 3800 votes against the current representative Lord Allan Velasco. The Reyeses had been a political dynasty in the Province for the last four decades starting from the Marcos regime.

Guest #3: If you have been reading the Philippine News, it was published that Comelec ( Commission on Elections) had disqualified Gina Reyes as a candidate because of her citizenship and other lies in her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) regarding her date(s) of brith, names and marital status.

Guest #1: Today, I read in the news that the Board of Canvassers in Marinduque defied the decision of Comelec by proclaiming Gina Reyes as the newly elected congresswoman representative of Marinduque. Of course, Velasco protested and questioned the authority of the Boatrd of Canvassers. Since Reyes is a disqualified candidate, he should be the one proclaimed having garnered the second highest number of votes. Do you have an idea when will this moro-moro and fiasco end? Will this case go to the Supreme Court?

I joined the group and gave them my personal opinion on how to solve this problem immediately. I suggested that perhaps, the 4 years term of the representative in Congress be divided between Reyes and Velasco( 2 years each). Along with this decision there will be an equal allocation of the millions pesos of pork barrel. This money will have to be spent on a defined project. ( not to be placed in their personal bank accounts). In addition in the next election in 2016, the two co-representatives will pledge that there will no more vote buying in Marinduque or goons hired during the election campaign.

The group gave me a dirty look. I was embarrassed and went to another group of guests not discussing politics.

Here's a video of the true to life moro-moro on the Reyes-Velasco fight for Congress.

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