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Horrifying reality: Vote-buying acceptable even to educators

12:03 AM May 18, 2016

VOTE-BUYING is illegal. However, we know that it was prevalent during the last elections. I was so vocal on my Facebook account about the hypocrisy of people clamoring for change even as they accept money from candidates in exchange for their votes. Where do these people get the chutzpah to ask for change while doing something that clearly effectively pushes change farther away from our reach?

Seething with frustrations, I was brought back to reality by a colleague who reminded me that vote-buying has been practiced “since time immemorial.” He was practically telling me that we can’t do anything about it; that it’s the tradition and it’s OK to accept election money. His statement sent shivers down my spine not because I didn’t know the history of vote-buying but because I could not believe that a university professor could say this in a public forum like Facebook. Since when did his high ideals and morals perish?

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It is so disappointing to know that there are professors who see nothing wrong about vote-buying. Worse, in these elections, many of my friends, including from other universities, even looked forward to receiving election money. In Mindanao, we call it “ulan-ulan” (rain) because it really rains money during elections.

We also saw elementary and high school teachers personally queuing up in selected locations to get their share of election money which ranged from P500 to P2,500.

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What is happening to our schools and universities? It is obvious that the practice of vote-selling and vote-buying have compromised teachers and professors, supposedly moral compasses and bastions of righteousness. So sad!

In whatever form, vote-buying per se is both illegal and immoral. The proposition that it has become embedded in our culture horrifies me because it is an acknowledgment that it has become “our way of life.” That is a dangerous belief!

Educators get vested with the stature of authority because of their expertise in their respective fields and their moral ascendancy. If they continue to sacrifice principles in exchange for a small amount of election money, then they do not deserve a place in the academe, a bastion of principles, morals, idealism, ethics and excellence.

The fact that we have morally bankrupt educators should alarm the whole educational system. It’s about time all schools and universities revisited their raison d’etre and truly lived (not just for accreditations) their vision, mission and institutional values.

There’s still hope. Idealism always reigns supreme.

—FARELL MURALLON-RELACION, political science instructor, Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental [email protected]

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TAGS: Elections, letter, opinion, vote buying
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