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Really, Vice President Binay? You Want Us To Accept Bribe Money And Lie?

What a crazy world we live in
by Anne Mari Ronquillo | Feb 24, 2016
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This week in WTF politics, we chanced upon a video of presidential candidate Jejomar Binay urging residents of Iligan to accept bribe money this election season.

His statement goes, "Pag kayo ay inabutan ng pera sa mga darating na araw, at tinitiyak ko na gagawin sa inyo, tanggapin po ninyo."

He further elaborates, "Pera po ninyo yan. Naghirap kayo kasi hindi ginastos yung pera. Ilagay ninyo yung pera sa inyong bulsa. At bumoto kayo sa inyong kursunada...lalo na kay Binay at Honasan."

Is our current vice-president suggesting that the people accept money from vote buyers because the people, in fact, need it?

It could have been taken out of context and could perhaps be a "you had to be there" moment, but obviously Binay is implying that vote buyers are using government money that should have been spent on projects beneficial to Filipinos in need.

This message could be viewed as Binay's crafty way of hitting back at his rivals and exposing their dirty tricks, considering he himself has been on the receiving end of corruption accusations of late. But however earnest and wronged he projects himself to be, this is still just bad advice. What we really want, after all, is for massive vote-buying to end. Encouraging people to pocket tainted cash from other candidates (then unsubtly urging the crowd to vote for him and his running mate instead) does nothing to curb it.

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Perhaps this best explains why he has always fancied himself an innovator. Binay is trying to inconspicuously swing voters to his side, painting himself as some weird kind of Robin Hood who wins the heart of the public while someone else dispenses the gold. The only thing worse than a thug is a thug who doesn't want to get his hands dirty.

By telling people to accept the money like it's an unofficial tax return, he is helping perpetuate a culture of ignorance among the very people who need to be educated.

The funny thing is that Binay has been saying this for a good while now. 

Binay is not a popular candidate, especially as far as voters with access to the Internet and social media are concerned. But according to the United Nations, only a third of Filipinos have online access. We do not know what more than half of the electorate is possibly thinking or who has their popular vote. Binay is said to have a strong presence among the poor as seen from his pandering campaign materials.

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His campaign style is nothing new. If anything, it's eerily similar to Mar Roxas' Mr Palengke gimmick a few years back in which we saw Mar trying his best to slum with the common folk. Binay, meanwhile, claims that he knows what it's like to be poor. He's made himself relatable to the poor so he can be someone they can listen to. And now that he has their ears, he's talking about bribery like it can be a positive thing. What a message to send to the impressionable poor, and more importantly, the impressionable youth. 

Binay’s platform is all about alleviating poverty and he has also insisted that it is in fact poverty, not corruption, that needs to be addressed with utmost urgency. We’ve got to hand it to him, though. The guy's consistent and sounds willing to overlook, even encourage, corruption just to address poverty. "Pera po ninyo yan. Naghirap kayo kasi hindi ginastos yung pera. Ilagay ninyo yung pera sa inyong bulsa."

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What a crazy world we live in.


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