This article was originally published on the website of GMA News (www.gmanetwork.com) last 3 May 2016 <http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/564768/news/nation/study-says-vote-sellers-cannot-be-dismissed-as-mere-bobotante>. A video of the interview with Dr. Lisandro Claudio can be found at <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YggtJbW0Zew>.
Study says vote-sellers cannot be dismissed as mere ‘bobotante’
by Joseph Tristan Roxas, GMA News
Voters who sell their votes cannot, as a whole, be dismissed as mere “bobotante,” a professor of the Ateneo de Manila University said Monday citing a study by the Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC).
“Ang nakikita namin kadalasan alam ng mga tao na vote buying at vote selling yun,” explained the IPC’s Prof. Leloy Claudio on GMA News TV’s “News To Go” on Monday. “In other words alam nilang galing sa kandidato yun at may ine-expect na kapalit pero ang nakita namin na ang pagtugon nila sa proseso na yun ay iba-iba.”
“Isa lang ang napansin namin across the board, na lahat ng mahihirap na nagbebenta ng kanilang boto pinag-iisipan yung prosesong yun. Para sa amin hindi mo sila matatawag na bobotante dahil lang nag-e-engage sila sa vote-selling at vote-buying,” Claudio said.
The IPC study found that citizens sold their votes because the believed that the compensation they received was either: biyaya or grace, rightful money, earned money, accessible money, and dead money.
Claudio said voters who received “biyaya” felt beholden to the candidate and they are inclined to pay the gift back in some way.
In rightful money, voters perceived the money they received as something owed them because the government failed to provide them services. They can also see this merely as the money they paid in taxes coming back to them.
“Mayroong awareness ng pagkukulang ng gobyerno at in certain ways ito yung protesta nila sa mga pinagkaila sa kanila,” Claudio said.
Voters think of earned money, meanwhile, as the fruits of their labor by campaigning and volunteering for a certain candidate. Accessible money is just easy money for people brought into campaign rallies dubbed as “hakot” supporters.
“If you think of it as biyaya, usually may utang ng loob ka iboboto mo yung kandidato. Pero kung tingin mo doon ay rightful money, wala ka na pakialam. Kung ang tingin mo doon ay pinagtrabahuhan ko to, akin ‘to,” Claudio explained.
Claudio noted that most “hakot” supporters did not vote for the candidate who gave them money. “Kung ‘hakot’ ka, nakatanggap ka ng pera, trabaho lang. Walang personalan. Ang intertesting doon, yung mga taong tingin nila ganoon ang vote buying, hindi nila binoboto yung kandidatong nagbigay sa kanila ng pera,” he said.
Claudio did not explain the dead money classification.
Elements of poverty
Claudio added that their study found that the poor vote was a thinking vote, even as the poor are aware that they are engaged in vote buying and vote selling.
The IPC classified four kinds of poverty in choosing the respondents of the their research. They spoke to urban poor in Quezon City, rural poor in Camarines Sur, conflict poor in Zamboanga, angd disaster poor in Tacloban City.
Claudio added that most respondents were beneficiaries of the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
The Ateneo study found that the respondents in all the categories would chose a candidate based on the candidate’s principles and concern for the poor. —Joseph Tristan Roxas/DVM, GMA News