MANILA, Philippines - Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno has warned of possible vote-buying and cheating in the October 25 barangay elections.
Speaking during the launch of Sen. Aquilino Pimentel's Good Governance Center at the University of Makati on Friday, Puno said electoral fraud means the most deserving candidate may not necessarily win, and the one who can buy votes may end up getting elected.
Puno said one of the biggest problems of the 21st century is the large gap between the rich and the poor, which has also affected governance.
The fact that many sell their votes due to poverty is a sad reality in the Philippines, he said. "Huwag na nating isara ang mga mata natin sa mga nakaraang halalan."
Puno said it's unfortunate that while the Philippines was the first country in Asia to be granted the right to vote, "we have not been able to exercise it properly."
However, he added the Filipino people must always keep the faith and "cling to the power of hope."
Former Sen. Aquilino Pimentel said the objective of his Good Governance Center at the University of Makati is to fight corruption, so that the country will have more responsible leaders.
He said the center will be offering courses on good governance for barangay officials, which will teach them their roles, functions, and good governance in general. Courses for other public officials will soon follow. -- report from Timi Nubla, ABS-CBN News