Voting and CJ Sereno
IAM not a lawyer but only a former English teacher and it seems clear from my reading of the Constitution Article XI Section 2 that the CJ can only be removed by impeachment. Secondly, missing some SALN is a technical fault. The purpose of SALNs is to see if the government official has illegally enriched herself. From the SALNs submitted this can already be seen. Thirdly, our system says that an accused is innocent until proven guilty. Have they given CJ Sereno her day in court?
Vote buying is the bane and destruction of our democracy. It is basically in the lower levels such as in the barangay elections that it occurs. Because there are people who will accept and people who will buy, vote buying is enormous. As someone who was decrying it protested, vote buying will go on as long as they can get away with it. But what can the rest of us who see its destructive potential do? We have preached about it. We have laws against it but it still goes on and even increasing tremendously. Can we make the penalties enormous enough for people not to try it? And can we enforce it? Or are we to accept that this is something we cannot do anything about but rail against it. There seems to be no moral suasion that we can do to stop vote buying.
Secondly, is it possible for religious groups to refrain from ordering their adherents to vote for their chosen candidates? This is part of the separation of Church and state.
Voting means to choose one between two or more potential choices. In the warm personal blood of the Orient, most of us take it as an insult if they are not chosen in an election. Unlike the more cold and impersonal Westerners who can take not being voted without implications that they were insulted. When two relatives run for office, they at least do not talk to each other for years. It is a personal insult to contest a position and not have your friends vote for you. It may even be worse than that. They come to hate each other and become violent. Somehow Westerners can take it in stride to lose in a ball game and in many contests. Voting then can make enemies of friends of relatives. Not being chosen is taken as an insult.
But voting is necessary especially in a democracy. But that vote must be free. And there are many ways in which it is tainted. A vote that has been bought with a bride or a threat is not a free vote and unacceptable. In this country, vote buying is still rampant. And as long as votes are bought, there is no true democracy. But maybe we do not need a true democracy. Other forms of government may be just as good but we have sworn that our system will be the democratic system. It is just as good any other or may be better.
But there are ways to subvert it. One of them is by bribes. And as long as vote buying is rampant in this country, we cannot get the benefits of true democracies. We should have some other form of government but not democracy. For bribes vitiate democratic voting. There are people who buy votes and people who accept bribes because we have not made it not possible. We need to enforce our laws.
Again I am not a lawyer or a politician but a citizen who wants our Constitution followed in a democratic country.