TheRepublic of the Philippines is a unitary, presidential, representative, anddemocratic republic, wherein the President is both the head of state andgovernment (Sawe B., 2017). As a democratic republic, the citizens are wherethe ultimate authority and power are derived from (Spunky Pundit, 2013).
Assuch, the people are the one who have the power to decide and appoint theofficials who will run the government. This is done through a process known asan election. Election, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, is the officialprocedure of choosing a person for public office by voting. Citizens of thenation, who are of legal age, are given a chance to vote for whoever they wishto lead the government.
Although this age-old practice was practiced since thetime of Ancient Athens and the Roman Empire, the origin of elections in thecontemporary society started in the 17th century. It is the timewhen the holistic of representation distinguishing the Middle Ages wasconverted into a more individualistic conception, one that made the individualto be the critical component that is counted. As time progressed, people whoseek full democracy favored the advocacy of universal adult suffrage. In thebeginning, only men were allowed to vote however, with the rise of advocates ofwomen suffrage, women were eventually allowed to vote as well (Gibbins R.,Eulau H.
, Webb P.D., 2015). Democracy came to be as an opposition to the beliefof the absolute rule of a monarch. As Democracy was established so did theprocess of election. Elections were held in order for the citizens of thenation to have a say on who should be the people in the government and how thegovernment should be run. The process of election is held in order to ensurethat the government is of the people, for the people, and by the people.
However, in every election that we have, issues of electoral abuse always arise,such as vote buying and propaganda issues. Thus we dive into one of the mainproblems about election: “Is our election process really fair?” In my opinion,our election process is not fair. In order to further extend ourunderstanding about the issue of fairness of the election we must look at theperspective of the opposition party as well. In the defense of the opposition,a claim that the election process is fair because of the “Republic Act 9006also known as the Fair Election Act” which is an act that aims to improve theholding of free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections through fairelection practices (PhilStar, 2013).
This act was officially approved andimplemented on February 12, 2001 under the administration of Pres. GloriaMacapagal-Arroyo. Furthermore, The electoral process also seemed to be “largelyfair” through the use of automated counting machines also known as the PCOSmachines which were used starting from the 2010 Elections. Through using thesemachines, election malpractices are prevented, which paves the way for a fairelection (Reuters, 2010). To begin with, the main reason that we even holdelections is so the people could have an equal say as to who shall be theleaders of the government should be.
Through the observations of the pastelections however, we could clearly see that our election process, in fact, isnot fair at all. First of all, in every election that we had in the Philippinesthere is always issues about electoral sabotage such as, vote buying or the manipulationof votes. For instance, the electoral sabotage case against former PresidentGloria Macapagal-Arroyo committed on or before May 14, 2007 where the three supposedly(Arroyo, Ampatuan, and Bedol) conspired and aided each other to guarantee a”12-0″ victory for the senatorial candidates of Arroyo’s “team unity” wherethey “deliberately, feloniously and illegally meddled with the provincialcertificate of canvass of votes, the reports of votes by city or municipalityand summary account of votes for the province of Maguindanao” (Andrade, 2011). Anothercase was in Guagua town, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting(PPCRV) confirmed that some ballots in Precinct 0169-A in Betis ElementarySchool were “pre-shaded “to favor a mayoral candidate.
House Minority LeaderDanilo Suarez, whose son David is running for re-election as Quezon governor,said the province’s second district, as well as Lucena City, is the center of suspectedvote-buying, with P1,000 to P2,000 being offered to each voter (Inquirer, 2013).