Rethinking Society Over a Cup of Coffee

2010 Philippine Elections: What's In It For Us?

2010 Philippine Presidential elections is fast approaching

Political ads are already shown in our television sets. Politicians are gearing up for the electoral contest, big political parties are merging in order to be stronger in the hope of capturing a big portion of the political pie.

But what’s in it for the ordinary folks. Elections after elections s/he listens to the same old promises, the same thing over and over again. There are a growing number of people, the youth especially, who are already apathetic about elections, saying whoever wins nothing will change, so why vote?

Elections after elections, recycled politicians addicted to power and corruption, run for office in the hope of holding on to it. When their term ends, this just run for another position for a term and then run back again to the position they so desire. While Political dynasty is forbidden in the constitution, it is practiced anyway with no enabling law to back it up and give it some teeth. It is not surprising to see a municipality or province which is run by a family or clan.

For the “Trapos” (Traditional Politicians) the criteria for a candidate are popularity, money, and machinery. It does not matter whether the person has integrity or not. He or she just need those three. When the name of Chief Justice Puno came up as a possible presidential candidate, these trapos said that he has a dim chance of winning because he has no money and machinery.

While there are really good and progressive politicians there are only a handful of them. These few are constantly harassed for being good and honest with their job. Take for example Governor Ed Panlilio, as a result of his expose that a palace staff distributed envelopes containing Php 200,000.00 Php 500,000.00 after the meeting of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo with 200 officers of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, he now faces a recall of elections on the ground of loss of confidence. The recall makes no sense at all. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo cheated in 2007 election, and yet she got away with it.

The House of Representatives showed its true colors when they passed a resolution extending the life of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) for the second time and without compulsory mode of land acquisition which is the life and soul of CARP. These landlords get elected because they have the money to win it and when they get elected, they bring hell just to protect their own interest.

However inspite of all these, Elections is also a time to hope. A hope that somehow things will change and new, progressive, honest politicians and with integrity will somehow get elected and be thorn among the traditional corrupt and recycled politicians. A hope that gives a man the passion to volunteer for a clean and honest elections and that somehow our democracy will work. Though that hope have been frustrated many times before, it still persist. A light amidst the encroaching darkness.


Indeed, there is no other way but to hope.

na sana nga ay may pagbabagong maganap sa darating na halalan.