Priest slams 2016 polls’ ‘corruption culture’

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The faithful took part in a non-stop prayer vigil for the 2016 Elections at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles. (Photo: Msgr Meliton Oso)

JARO, Iloilo City, May 10, 2016 – The coordinator of an accredited election watchdog denounced “the culture of corruption” that reigned in this city during the political campaign period for the May 9 local and national elections.

“Vote-buying and vote-selling is the cancer of the electoral process in our country and is a slap on the face on our faith as Catholics,” stressed Msgr. Meliton Oso, archdiocesan coordinator of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) for Iloilo.

He said he personally observed voters queuing to receive “handouts” or “envelopes”, allowing themselves to “be bought by corrupt politicians.”

According to the priest, political parties were shelling out Php1,000 per voter to make them vote their ticket straight.

“I was in central and northern Iloilo and it was reported to me that candidates and party list groups were giving out Php500 per voter. I was also informed that Php3,000 per family was given out in the guise of scholarship programs,” the priest added.

“The worse thing in this year’s elections is that it is now the people themselves who expect to be given ‘handouts’ in order to vote for the candidate of choice,” bemoaned the priest, noting the electorate’s moral degeneration.

Some 54 million registered voters headed to the polls yesterday, May 9 for the local and national elections. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas / CBCP News)

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