A Church-based electoral campaign has been launched in an attempt to curb vote-buying.
Unlike other clean election drives undertaken by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), the “One Good Vote” initiative focuses on convincing people in the barangay, sitio and family level to ensure that the polls credible.
“’One Good Vote” focuses on one critical aspect of the election: Vote buying,’ PPCRV co-founder Henrietta de Villa said during the launch of the initiative on Thursday.
She said “One Good Vote” is different from other programs where the PPCRV is involved.
“It is specialized, it is people driven,” de Villa said.
Under the program, PPCRV will identify one sitio or sub-village in every province where the One Good Vote program will go all out in its voters education drive.
She said unlike the top to bottom approach the PPCRV had employed in the past, what will be implemented is the reverse. She said voters education will concentrate on a certain sitio where similarly reform-minded voters will engage other people who will take part in the elections and thereby educate them on the need to ensure clean polls.
The PPCRV has been involved in the electoral process for 24 years but de Villa lamented that while “many things had changed” vote buying and vote selling remains.
She said that instead of buying individual votes, vote buyers and sellers now informally contract entire families or clans.
The PPCRV said vote buying is one reason why it is difficult to rid government of corruption.
“Vote buying has enabled the proliferation of political dynasties and controlled territories, it has strengthened the stranglehold of the so-called 4Gs, which is Guns, Goons, Gold and Greed,” the group said.
The Philippines will hold its next general elections in May 2016. For de Villa, this is the right time to elect good leaders and reform the way people vote.