Bills! More Bills! And some coins, too!

The images above are of all the cash I received from the local candidates for this year’s presidential elections.

Except for the 100-peso bill that came earliest.

Also, I still don’t know what to do with these… Like I said before, “I am not so certain if I can take spending it.”

On a side note, I got a total of 950 Php from 12 local candidates…

I Got Inked

It wasn’t very easy…

Before my yesterday ended, I set my phone’s alarm clock to 5:00am.

So, this morning, it woke me up at that time but I snoozed until 5:30am. I meant to do so.

I got up from bed and prepared.

At 7:00am, I went to the elementary school to check for my name. Yes, I didn’t check for my precinct beforehand.

I wasn’t very surprised not to find my name in the list. However, I still tried to check if it was just some sort of mistake.

I went to my aunt’s house, very certain that’s she’s got a list cuz she’s the barangay captain, to verify.

My name was indeed in the list. So, why can’t I find my name in the voter’s list posted at the elementary school?

The mistake was the BEI’s. I am listed in 26B. However, they posted the first two pages of the list for 26B with the pages for 26A – my name’s on the first page. I knew it was alphabetically arranged so I didn’t check every page.

Anyway, when I learned about that, I thought I was ready to vote.

Thing is, the PCOS machine at the precinct wasn’t working. At least, not yet.

I left the school to check on my parents. I stayed at our place until my mother was able to get ready.

When I came back, at around 8:15am, there was already a line of about 20, 30 people in our precinct. They said that the PCOS machine just started working.

So, yeah, I waited in line with the sun shining so bright. Yes, there’s no waiting area and we all had to stand and wait in line.

At around 9:00am, we noticed more people cutting in line.

Then, suddenly, there was this woman in front of me who was yelling, “Don’t cut in! There are people here waiting!”

And I was like, “Yeah, right. Like you didn’t cut in yourself.” But I didn’t tell that to her cuz I know that people will just call me very disrespectful and I was almost pissed that I didn’t want any trouble.

After 48 long years of waiting, I was able to get inside the precinct, did some signatures, got my ballot, marking pen, and ballot secrecy folder, shaded some ovals, cast my votes, got congratulated by a PCOS machine, returned the marking pen and ballot secrecy folder to the BEI, did some thumb marks, and got inked.

The PCOS machine also told me that my ballot was the 71st ballot that was cast.

I got out of the precinct at 10:07am. And glad to.

One thing, I was very uncertain about my ballot. The ink from one page got through to the other page. I really thought that the PCOS machine will reject it. I’m glad it didn’t.

A Sudden Dilemma

I have been looking forward to this year’s elections – both for the chance of getting to vote for the first time and the first set of election money that I am gonna receive. I had no doubt about it. It happens every time – every elections, that is, voters receive money from candidates.

Though, I have also told myself that I will not vote for any candidate who will give away cash just to get some votes.

Still, I made plans for the money.

But now that I think of it, given that I have received my first bill, I am not so certain if I can take spending it.

And every bill that I’m still gonna receive. Well, I can say so because this afternoon, someone stopped by our house to tell my mother that another candidate is giving out money.

He said that the candidate was in another zone earlier, giving out the money, but now that candidate has come to our zone to give out the money for our zone.

Also, during dinner, my mother told me that someone else came by our place to tell her that he is the one holding the money. I don’t know when they are gonna give that one out.

And, as for my dilemma, I am not so sure what to do with the money.

Dropping [in our barrio] Succeeds

The image above is a picture of the 100-peso bill that was lying in my table when I arrived at our place yesterday.

It’s a very stiff one – the kind we call “fresh from the bank”.

My mom told me that it is from the dropping in our barangay that finally succeeded after a previous failure last May 3, 2010.

It came with some sort of voter information sheet that looks like this:

Sorry about the quality. The images are taken by my netbook – an EeePC 701.

Local Candidate Drops First Bomb

May 3, 2010

The morning air was filled with news about a dropping from a local candidate for a congressional position.

The news said that the dropping will be at the house of a candidate for town councilor at 12pm.

Being me, I waited for the time while observing the people walking by the streets.

I had a hunch that at around 11:30am, people will start going about to try to get first in line.

And my hunch didn’t fail me. At around 11:30am, people from the seaside, the barangay street being beside our house, started walking to the main highway.

I needn’t wonder or ask where they are all headed. I knew where they were going – to the house of the candidate for town councilor for the dropping from the congressional candidate of their party.

And to confirm it, I asked one of them. They were not very silent about it. They openly said that they were going to get their share.

I asked my aunt, a neighbor of the town candidate who was in our place that day, how much was going to be ditributed per voter. She told me that a dropping happened the day before that day from the same party. It happened at a barangay near the town proper. She said that, Php 100 per voter was supposed to be distributed but the so-called “leaders” of the candidate clipped it to Php 50 per voter. She wasn’t certain about the amount for out barangay.

That day was also the birthday of my father, Belated Happy Birthday, ‘Tay., which is why my aunt was in our place and a few more people. It was some sort of a small gathering.

The talk during the drinking-part of the celebration centered around politics, the upcoming elections, and, of-course, the dropping.

As we were celebrating, people were still walking, headed to the drop site. Some of them, greeting my father while they pass by.

My aunt was even telling me, “If you’re not so shy, you’ll be there and get your share.”

However, being me, I couldn’t dare to such a place – crowded with people, eager to get their share of something.

At around 1pm, we saw people already headed back. We thought they already got their share. Apparently, they haven’t.

More people came back empty-handed. The afternoon ended and we didn’t hear
of anyone getting a share.

When the night came, I asked my mom what happened. I don’t deal with drunk people really well so, I left the table and got myself a fill of the TV. She told me that the reason the money wasn’t distributed was that the “leaders” were holding on to the money and didn’t seem to want to distribute it.

If you haven’t gotten it yet, I was talking about vote buying here.

On The Petition to Do a 100% Parallel Manual Count for the 2010 Presidential Elections

I stand firm on my decision not to support this outrageous petition.

Outrageous might be a very strong word but that is how I can see it for a few good reasons.

First, the automation of this year’s presidential elections was supposed to be an improvement over the previous system of elections that this country was using.

How is doing a 100% parallel manual count supposed to help in that improvement?

Wouldn’t that be just a waste of time?

Or, if the 100% parallel manual count was approved, then what’s the point of going through all this trouble just to realize the automation?

If it will be done, either the manual count will be the waste of time and effort or the automation will be the waste of time, money, and effort. Take your pick.

Second, the resolution that made this automation possible stated that there will be a manual count – not 100% but on a system of random sampling.

Random sampling has been a proven to be an effective way of representing data from a bigger body. That should be sufficient in this case.

Third, it has been proven, time and time again, given the past few elections, that there will always be a party which will not trust the results of the elections – the elections which made use of the manual counting system.

We have seen a few controversies, like the “Hello, Garci” scandal, that has been destructive to the trustworthiness of the old manual counting system.

Even in our town, a small one at that, there have been some people who have attested to have been tasked of creating fake ballots with the names of the people who have paid them to do the job.

Exactly, what made the proponents of this petition think that an old system which has been proven to be very vulnerable to cheaters will help make a new system become trustworthy?

And last, it is a given that people will always believe in whatever they chose to believe in.

No matter what kind of counting we do, there will always be people who will not be satisfied.