Cheating? Fraud?
TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag (The Freeman) - May 24, 2019 - 12:00am

In election after election in the Philippines, whether for important national positions or for something comparatively less competitive as chapel officers, the results are more often than not greeted with allegations of cheating and fraud. And maybe all processes of selection are indeed tainted with anomalous practices.

And that is why it has become all so funny and sad at the same time. For while allegations of cheating and fraud have become more frequent and widespread, the alleged acts more amazing and complicated, the number of people aspiring for positions at the heart of all the cheating and fraud has grown exponentially larger.

Never have more people been more freely willing to submit themselves to the tainted electoral processes than in recent years. We are all so eager to jump into the polluted lake that we are actually training our young people, through the youth councils or SKs, how to swim early.

So rapacious in fact is this desire for positions that entire families are taking the plunge, conveniently forgetting or ignoring all the allegations of cheating and fraud that characterize the system they are willingly joining until they lose and then start whining about how they were cheated and how fraudulent the system has become.

At the start of the election season, every aspirant joyfully announces his or her intention to join. He or she hires campaign staff, strategy experts, and publicity geniuses. Press conferences are called, press releases are churned out, hacks are paid, ads taken out, jingles are composed, t-shirts and posters are printed, noisy motorcades are held.

Why, even Masses are offered, on the presumption that God is even willing to become a willing participant. In other words, there is so much willingness to join and trust the system. There is so much pride even. Just look at all the candidates getting their pictures taken as they proudly hold their newly-filed certificate of candidacy.

And then they lose. And they start bitching and bellyaching about how flawed and corrupt the system is. Maybe a law should be passed requiring all candidates, upon the filing of their certificates, to sign a waiver that since they apparently trust the system, they would abide by the results regardless of how they feel about it. In a word, they must shut up. Zip.

For it is getting tiresome and ridiculous, these allegations of cheating and fraud. This is not to say no cheating and fraud occur. Man was born in sin. Man is a sinner. As a result, his endeavors are prone to be tainted, if he can get away with it, the severity measured only by how his character had been shaped. But if you join the system, be part of it. Grin and bear it.

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