LUPANG PANGAKO, PAYATAS, QUEZON CITY — Orlando Wong lives in the shadow of the huge dumpsite here, and there are times that he and his family can’t eat because of the stink of the place. But Wong, 42, is surprisingly optimistic about his future and that of the country. “The Philippines,” he says, “is going to walk the path of growth and development.”
THE POOR, who make up the bulk of Filipino voters, have been blamed for the sorry state of electoral politics and the low level of election discourse. Pundits, analysts, and media commentators say that because of poverty, many voters are vulnerable to patronage, vote buying, and simplistic messages. The masa vote is popularly perceived to be dumb, unthinking, and prone to manipulation.
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