Silently, while the proclamation of the senatorial and partylist group winners was being awaited, a long line of men and women formed early this week to collect millions of pesos from their sponsors, each eager to recoup their investments in the recent 13 May midterm elections.
There had been separate gatherings — two so far and two too good — where money flowed back into the pockets of congressmen being wooed by their principals for the speakership race.
It is the season for another round of vote buying.
The first was for loose change, when a paltry could buy votes in the neighborhood and send corrupt lawmakers to Congress.
But “transactional politics” play well into this next round, where not only cash was given but promises of perks and business opportunities, too. And we believed these congressmen were here to serve?
Welcome to the real world of Philippine politics!
One hopeful met his peers who came with open palms. Each of them was given P500,000 and they left with big smiles.
The next day, another hopeful called the same set and upstaged his billionaire rival by giving away a million pesos to each of his audience. And they applauded his generosity without asking where the sponsor’s money had come from.
Now, congressmen are waiting for more calls, as there are a few more salivating for the House leadership, hoping the cash flow won’t stop.
It looks like there would be none coming anymore, however.
The other hopefuls know which among their peers have been bought.
And the 18th Congress has not started yet.