Ex-Agusan Board Member seek automatic clemency of voters who will tell all the public about vote buying, selling
by Ben Serrano
November 3, 2010
Sta. Josefa, AGUSAN DEL SUR -FormerAgusan del SurProvincial Board Memberand National Liga of Barangay Captains ofthe Philippines Vice President Rey Quijadaasked President Aquino today to grant automatic clemency of voters who will tell all the public that he or she was bought or she received vote-buying money.
Quijada who have been Barangay Captain for Barangay Poblacion here for 15 years toldthis writer in an exclusive interview that without automatic clemency offered to would bewitnesses in thecriminal offenselike vote-buying or vote selling, the law declaring vote buying ascriminal offenseas provided by theOmnibus Election Codewould like just be an ornament in Philippine books ofelection laws.
“We might as well erase it because since these laws against vote-buying and vote-selling were enacted, no one has ever been prosecuted or jailed so far and the COMELEC who is constitutionally mandated to implement these laws seemed to be helpless, inutile”, Quijada said.
Quijada said under his proposal which he included in his letters sent yesterday to President Aquino and COMELEC chairman Jose Melo and COMELEC commissioners, “voters who will manifest in public that he or she was bought will be automatically givenexecutive clemency”.
“On the other hand, politicians who will complained they have been coerced by voters to shell out money duringelection daywill also be given protection program by the government, in that way, both giver and receiver, will have a day in court” Quijada said.
Quijada said that corruption in Philippine Governance system started day one on election day.
“The moment politicians will shell out money P500, P100 or P1,000 to voters o spend more than what is required by law that politician will surely steal government funds through kickbacks in government projects or peddle influence by flexing his powerful political muscles over government agencies” Quijada said.
Quijada also said that government officials in national andlocal government officesif found guilty in conniving corruption with corrupt politicians must also be jailed in maximum possible penalty.
“Stealing government funds deprived people especially the poor of everything from lack of food, health and education services and other government services thus it is greatestcrime against humanity”, Quijada added.
“I used to be a candidate myself but I have vowed to my family that I will no longer be a candidate for the rest of my life. However as a member now of the sovereign people who our beloved President acknowledged in his inagaural speech as his boss thru his famous words - Kayo ang Boss ko-, I will use all my talents and whatever I have and know to help put order and sanity to our electoral process that’s why I am writing this letter request to you Mr. President urging clemency to voters who will tell al the public about vote-buying and selling” Quijada in his letter said.
He said he was challenged to activate and organize movement for sanity in PhilippineGovernanceafter reading a news article about alleged rampant vote buying and vote selling that dominates Caraga politics for decades now
He admitted there is truth in the news report saying in his barangay alone duringOctober 25Barangay and SK polls such malpractices were rampant.
Quijada served Agusan del Sur as Provincial Board Member from 1086 to 1988 then from 1994 to 1997 and served as Barangay Captain of Barangay Poblacion in Sta. Josefa town in various years for 15 years.(-30-)
For reference; Ex-Board Member Rey Quijada cel no. is 09193095259