MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Daily Inquirer today ran a piece that sought to explain why the Moro areas, particularly the Lanao provinces and several others in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, are prone to cheating and fraud during elections.
While the article succeeds in providing some explanation for this phenomenon — for one, the clannish political culture among Moros that experts cited in the story, which is in turn exploited by the powers that be — I’m afraid it somehow reinforced (I’m sure unwittingly) the myth that Moros are more inclined than others to cheat or steal.
I say this because the one crucial thing that the Inquirer story did not point out is the fact that the whistleblowers in the election fraud in Mindanao — in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur particularly — are themselves Moros. I’m talking about the Maguindanaoan teacher who came forward and the many Moro members of election watchdogs who have come out to document and expose the fraud.
Keeping this in mind, I think changing the way Moros vote is not a hopeless cause. Indeed, it should begin among the Moros themselves. And the signs of this happening is encouraging, regardless of the sordid machinations of traditional Moro leaders during elections. (Carlos H. Conde/davaotoday.com)2007 Elections