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There are various ways of studying voting and elections. One possibility is to
analyze voting and elections in relation to the position taken by the candidates on relevant
issues or in relation to campaign organizations and events. Such a study involves looking
into party and/or candidate platforms and speeches, focusing on campaign strategies and
machinery build-up. Trends, in this way, can be established by examining changes in the
election results over time.
This approach, which may be called “journalistic” analysis because it is often used
by media in its election coverage, delves more into the intricacies of campaign
organizations and events. Reporters focus on the number of votes garnered by certain
candidates in areas that define social groupings such as the urban poor and workers’
communities or the middle class subdivisions. They describe candidates’ strategies,
organizations and personalities.
But there are limitations to this kind of approach. It always assumes that
machineries and election events really have significant impact on individual voters.
It does not mean, however, that analyzing campaign machineries, candidates’
personalities and election returns are useless as sources of information to understand
voting behavior. But individual voting can best be understood by studying directly
individual electorate either through qualitative research methods such as the
focusedgroup interviews or participant-observation or through quantitative method

Effects of Vote Buying in the Philippines

It is common knowledge that once you enter politics you are ready to any
eventuality, especially when it comes to funding. Money always play a major role in
bringing about the chances of winnning of a candidate. Popularity per se is not enough to
assure the vote of the electorate especially in local politics. Although the COMELEC has
already set guidelines and rules regarding the expenditures of the candidadates for each
voter, more often than not, they exceed much more than the set amount. Corruption and
dishonesty is deeply rooted in our political system, so as the mentality and attitudes of
the electorate. Before and during election period, voters flock to headquarters and leaders
of politicians to take advantage of the situation: to ask for favors, influence and even
money in exchange for a promise of vote. Vote buying become institutionalized in our
political system. Those politicians who have money can device a program to identify and
to assure that his or her money will be transformed into votes. This situation is more
evident in local elections where wealthy political clans are ruling. They organized leaders
in every barangay to identify possible voters to be bought. To make sure, they furnish a
copy of voters’ registration in COMELEC in the area, so as to identify a potential voter to
buy or to corrupt the mind of the undecided.

Forms of Vote Buying

Money is the common type of material that the candidates use in order to buy
votes. But vote buying not only takes the form of money. It can be other forms of material
offers. Schedler (2002) and Schaffer (2002) made a list that summarizes the different
kinds of offers into three categories.

The first and the most common form is payment. A payment is an amount of money
paid. Schedler (2002, p.4) described it as a “commercial relationship in which partners
trade equivalent values.” The citizen trades his vote in exchange of money. The act of
accepting money denotes that there is an indirect agreement between the giver and the
receiver of the payment.

The second kind of material offer takes the form of gifts. A gift is something that is
given out of free will without paying something in return. In the context of vote buying,
accepting a gift does not give you the responsibility and obligation of voting the giver.

The last kind is in the form of wage. A wage is a amount of money paid in exchange
of services rendered. Like gifts, it does not require any obligation to the candidate.

Factors Affecting Vote Buying

According to Schaffer (2002), there are three factors that affect the strategies of
the candidates and the perception of the voters toward vote buying. These are
socioeconomic, institutional and political factors. The first factor both affects the
candidate’s strategies and the voter’s perception while the last two factors affect mainly
the strategies of the candidates.

An empirical analysis of vote buying among the poor: Evidence from elections in
the Philippines

Recent literature suggests that the poor are more likely to be targeted for vote
buying and to sell their votes. However, there is limited empirical analysis on the patterns
of vote buying among low-income voters. This paper attempts to fill this gap using a
survey conducted in Metro Manila, Philippines after the 2016 elections. Data analysis
shows that vote buying among the poor is indeed very common, but the incidence varies
depending on the vote buying type. The most prevalent form uses more benign goods
such as food and clothing, but offers of money is still reported by more than a quarter of
respondents. Different vote-buying types also have different correlates, including some
socio-economic factors, suggesting that it is a finely targeted activity. In addition, money
vote buying is predominant in tight elections, but buying votes using non-monetary offers
is more common when there is a clear winner even before the election. Most of those
who were offered accepted the goods or money, but only about two-thirds voted for the
candidate. In addition, evidence suggests that the good or money is not the deciding
factor in voting for the candidate. This supports the premise that vote buying is just part
of a bigger effort by politicians to build clientelism and patronage among his/her
constituencies. Dependency and loyalty is merely punctuated by election-related
transfers, rather than an effort to completely change votes.


“Ang pagbili ng boto ng mga kandidato ang pinaka-mabalasik na paglabag sa

omnibus election code. Dahil ito ay bawal at sinumang mapatunayang gumawa nito ay
mananagot sa batas.” (Llopis, 2018). Ang naturang pahayag ay bunsod sa isinagawang
provincewide advocacy campaign kontra-vote buying ng mga empleyado ng kapitolyo.
Ayon kay Llopis kung ang isang kandidato ay bumibili ng boto ay may posibilidad na
babawiin niya ito sa pamamagitan nang pagkamal sa pondo ng kanyang nasasakupan
kapag siya ay nanalo na. Aniya, sana ito ay hindi panandaliang kampanya lamang kundi

Pahayag ni Archbishop Cruz (2016), “Mahihirap, walang tunay na kalayaan sa

halalan sa Pilipinas.” Ayon sa Arsobispo, dahil sa matinding kahirapan ay napipilitang
kumapit sa patalim ang mga mahihirap at tanggapin ang bayad o pera kapalit ng kanilang
mga boto tuwing halalan. Natitiyak nito na hindi tunay na nadarama ng mga mahihirap na
botante ang kanilang pambihirang kapangyarihan sa Demokratikong bansa na mamili at
magluklok ng karapat-dapat na lingkod bayan sa pamahalaan. “The poor are not free,
poverty and democracy are not co-existent.. if you are poor,you are not free in a sense
that you cannot vote for whom you like precisely because there is money for those who
are willing to pay, you know the 3Gs Guns, Goons and Gold, hanggang ngayon naman
magkakasama pa yan, come on let’s be real..” pahayag ni Archbishop Cruz sa Radio
Veritas. Batay sa isinagawang survey ng Social Weather Station o SWS sa pagtatapos
ng taong 2015, nananatiling 50-percent o katumbas ng 11.2-milyong pamilyang Pilipino
ang nagsabing sila ay mahirap na kadalasang biktima ng vote buying at vote selling
tuwing halalan. Patuloy namang pinaiigting ng Simbahang Katolika ang Huwag Kang
Magnakaw Campaign batay sa Ika-Pitong Utos ng Panginoon, kung saan maituturing na
pagnanakaw sa dangal at kalayaan ng bayan ang pagbebenta ng boto at pagbili ng boto
ng mga kapuspalad na Pilipino.

(The Freeman, 2018). Widespread vote buying across the country has marred the
Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections last Monday. Reports said some
candidates dangled as high as P500 per voter to secure victory.

The Commission on Elections even noted that the most prevalent offenses in the
elections was vote buying. A candidate alleged to be buying votes cannot be disqualified
but can be ousted from his post once proven guilty.

But buying votes during election is not already news. It has long been the tradition in this
country for decades. It is the surest way to win in the elections and has long been the
practice of politicians, especially those traditional ones, as they bid to perpetuate
themselves in power.
 Essays, UK. (November 2018). Effects of Vote Buying in the Philippines.
Retrieved from https://www.ukessays.com/essays/politics/an-analysis-of-

 http://www.cagayan.gov.ph/news/pagbili-ng-boto-pinaka-mabalasik-na-
paglabag-sa-omnibus-election-code-pa-llopis/ By Maynard Guzman, Provincial
Information Office Published 01:17 PM, April 23, 2018

 (Letran, 2016). Mahihirap, walang tunay na kalayaan sa halalan sa Pilipinas.


 (Canare, Lopez, Mendoza, 2018). An empirical analysis of Vote Buying among

the poor: Evidence from elections in the Philippines.

 (The Freeman, 2018). Vote Buying. https://www.philstar.com/the-