Do not tell me you’re not voting tomorrow. Do not tell me you’re not voting because the candidates are of the same corrupt color and that voting won’t make any difference. If you don’t vote, there will just be millions more who will vote for the same dimwits who make the current flawed system. So yes, even if you vote for the right candidates, there will be thousands, millions more who will fall for money and popularity and elect the kind of politicians that make this vicious cycle of politics in our country go round.
You’re vote doesn't make a difference. Who said voting was a one-shot cure for our society’s cancer? Voting was never the end—it is the start. Because after you vote, your responsibility doesn’t end; you know have a greater responsibility of ensuring that the officials who won would make good on their election promises of representing the people’s interests and executing projects for the common good. By voting, you cast in your hands the task of pressuring your public officials to excel in their jobs. If you don’t take on this responsibility, you’re vote is but a worthless piece of paper.
In this last part of ELECTION EXTRAVAGANZA, you’ll learn about the background and legislative platforms of four candidates in my endorsement list. Hopefully, this would be a fitting conclusion to this three-part series I started.
RAMON “JUN” MAGSAYSAY JR.
Initially, the ninth person in this list was Marwil Llasos. However, I gave it a thought over night and I realized that if I picked him, there will be two candidates from the religious sector in my list already (the other being Bro. Eddie Villanueva). While Llasos’ educational background and law experience makes him qualified to run for a Senate seat, I believe he needs more legislative experience. If he had served as first as city councilor of Daraga City or as board member of his district in Albay, I might give him more chances.
Anyway, I am putting my money on Jun Magsaysay mainly because of his experience. During his two terms in the Senate, he legislated bills that enable our country to be in keeping with the changing trends in finance and electronic commerce—the E-commerce Act and the Anti-Money Laundering Act. Being a former soldier, he also made great strides to improve social service for soldiers and their families through initiation of an off-base housing program for soldiers and passing of the New AFP Base Pay Law. As for agriculture, he passed and amended the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act and encouraged youths to take on jobs in agriculture through the Young Farmers Program he initiated. He also called for a Senate inquiry into the controversial Fertilizer Fund Scam under Undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante.
This soldier and public servant hasn't faded yet. He still has a lot of rounds to fire, so let’s give him that last shot by electing him for another term.
Forget the surname or the fact that he’s using his father’s image as a strategy to earn votes. Let’s address her as Mrs. Llamanzares and let’s focus on her credentials rather than her family’s image.
With a degree in Political Science and Development Studies and an impressive record of leading incredible reforms the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), Mrs. Llamanzares has the calibre neither her nor Nancy Binay didn’t have. And with a pro-women, pro-children, and pro-poor platform—a platform she has already proven during her work in the MTRCB, Mrs. Llamanzares could prove to be a excellent addition to the rank and file of women already serving in the Senate. It would be great to see a powerhouse cast composed of Defensor-Santiago, Legarda, Cayetano, Hontiveros, and Poe, if the last two women are both elected. Grace Poe is one woman you shouldn’t underestimate.
This guy has some unfinished business that’s worth giving another look into. If only disgraced former senator Miguel Zubiri didn’t steal his Senate seat from him, he would’ve proved to be an excellent statesman. But somehow, that theft was more of a blessing in disguise for Koko as it gave him a crusade worth fighting both in and out of the Senate and made us look up to him for his stand against cheating.
I want to see what more Koko can do aside from being a dashing crusader against electoral fraud. Is he just the statesman bent on putting to justice the person who stole his Senate seat from him or the fair and impartial lawmaker determined to reform society through excellent legislative work? Let’s give him that chance to show the kind of statesman he really is.
I wanted to tip the scales by electing Bro. Eddie Villanueva as senator. We’ve got commies, leftists, right-wingers, members of political dynasties in this list—why not a leader of a religious group? From the many times I’ve watched him in “Diyos at Bayan”, he has proved himself a visionary just like Senator Gordon but with a moral perspective. Villanueva could prove to be the moral compass the Senate of the Philippines needs.
This is list is a cornucopia of personalities, competencies, and platforms. I’m very much satisfied with the way this list is in keeping with the principle of plurality. If only all these candidates could win, we’ll have a colorful Senate open to all the exciting possibilities and results. In the end, this is just an endorsement; don’t let it influence you, but rather encourage you to look into the candidates even closer. It’s your vote, not mine. Take pride in claiming your vote by exerting an effort to prepare for it.
Nevertheless, regardless of who wins, the crusade doesn’t end with casting our votes. The end of election season is just the beginning of our society’s arduous but courageous task.
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“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
― Abraham Lincoln
Photos courtesy of GMA News Online and the Philippine Star