A Catholic archbishop has advised the electorate to vehemently refuse vote buying, which he branded as a ‘mark of the devil’.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan urged the voters to help end vote-buying by not selling their votes.
“Vote buying is a mark of the devil. It puts a price on the person of the voter,” Villegas said.
“It is even worse when the vote buyer puts a price on their votes and tempts the poor,” he said.
The former head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines noted how politicians are baiting the poor during elections.
“During elections, the poor are like fishes looking for food. But instead of feeding them, the politicians put out bait as vote buyers,” Villegas said. “They fed the poor, but they also hooked them.”
The archbishop also lamented how vote buying destroys the heart of democracy and the people who make up the nation.
“When a fish is made boneless, it cannot grow anymore. It flails. Democracy flails if we don’t destroy vote buying,” he said.
Villegas made the statement as he lamented vote buying has already started in the guise of giving “ayuda” (assistance).
“This is not early assistance. This is early corruption. They are working hard to bait poor people. It has begun,” he said.