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♥ My Take on the 2016 Philippine Presidential Election ♥

This is a late post.

May 1, Labor Day. My 11th year to celebrate (not really celebrate, celebrate) my work/career anniversary. This is also the day I decide to break my silence about the Philippine presidential election which is coming in eight days. Working in the government prohibited me from voicing out my opinions in social media, to campaign for or against a specific candidate or even sharing posts. Same notice was not present six years ago. Anyway, they said personal blog pieces are exempted, so, here it goes. P.S. I’m not to outline each of the candidate’s platforms, we can all google that and more, with matching infographics pa. This is more of my personal thoughts on how to choose our next president.

My first choice was Binay. Don’t curse me, please. I believe he’s more capable than Roxas. I liked the fact that he never hid his desire to be the president. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for all the stealing accusations. After all, suspects are deemed innocent until proven guilty. But, I’ve changed my mind. I’ll tell you later.

When Duterte announced his presidency, I wanted to consider him because as a mother of two, my worst fear is that something bad would happen to my children. And, as we all know, criminals nowadays do not fear anything or anyone. But, I was turned off by his indecisiveness early on. I want someone with strong convictions. I also do not like the way he talks, the lack of proper etiquette and decorum and his hot-tempered persona. I have reservations. Lots of it!  So, I made a second look/assessment at the other candidates. What do we have here?

Back to Binay, I changed my mind of giving him a chance when the campaign started. The interviews and debates revealed to me how he lacks substance. His ambition or even passion to be the president ends just there. How he targets every survey front-runner shows how TRAPO he is.

My first impression with Poe was, she’s taking advantage of her popularity at present. Hence, she rejected the offer to be Roxas’ VP, which for me is good, a demonstration of strength. She probably learned her lesson from him, when he let his chance pass as he gave way to Aquino. I took a second look at her. I just could not imagine having a First Family of foreigners. Then, her relationships with the oligarchs have been revealed. Who in the right mind would think that a businessman would lend you a helicopter just for the sake of friendship, without expecting something in return, when you were not really close friends or best friends to begin with? Still, I took a third look at her. I even agree on not taking away the right of foundlings to run for presidency and that the assumption should always be that they are natural born. However, I could not accept that she and her family are having a 50-50 bet in all of these. I would have thought of voting for her the third time, had her family renounced their US citizenships. That should have been ordered by the Supreme Court, can’t they? Update, it surfaced during the debate that his husband has renounced his US citizenship through a Barangay Chairman. Just search for the procedure on how to renounce US citizenship and you be the judge of what they did. Thankfully, we’re no longer in the Jurassic era, we’re now in the Google age.

Santiago is undoubtedly intelligent and hardworking. But, I still won’t vote for her not because of her cancer but because intelligence, eloquence and handwork are simply not enough. I was looking for a leader and for me she cannot be an effective leader. I always liken her to a brilliant, genius, intellectual and hardworking boss who does not possess supervisory and managerial skills. She does not understand the plight of her employees. No one can relate to her. She, even if she wants to cannot reach out to a certain class of people. Only because, that’s what she is.

Roxas, simply, lost his chance 6 years ago. In the past 6 years, the Aquino administration failed to groom him. Worse is, he was involved in multitude of failures. DOT, DILG, Yolanda, SAF44, OFW remarks, Tanim-bala remarks and so much more. He lost me when he gave way for Aquino. It was his presidency and his supporters that he gave away. If he was not ready then to fight for what he truly wants, for me, he will never be ready. I do not, well, I rarely believe in rumors but unrelated and scattered stories or accounts of events about how Roxas deals or treats other people in condescending ways are too overwhelming. The TV 5 crew narration of how Roxas acted backstage (obviously different when he’s on-cam) during the delay in the 2nd presidential debate was not the first time or third time I heard such stories. On the last debate, he mentioned about new trains every month which any one riding the LRT/MRT would know as a lie. He keeps talking about 4Ps. Not all are beneficiaries of 4Ps and it’s DSWD’s responsibilities. His was DOTC, then DILG until he resigned.

Now that the election is only a few days away, who would I vote for? I am left with Duterte who speaks ill, thinks differently, idealist and lacks diplomacy and discretion. He seems to be a hot-headed too. These are my reservations. Then, his track record in public service, selfless acts and unequaled leadership. I sometimes get hurt when the southern people tag Manila as “Imperial Manila”.  Hey, nahihirapan din po kami. We also do not like how congested our birth place have become. We also do not like the cancer eating our society and our government. But, who am I to blame them? We should not be against each other. We should be against corruption and self-serving politicians. The past few days, 2 weeks before the election, I’ve been seeing a lot of campaign against Duterte , mostly, sadly, from the elitists. Business pages and big companies. He was even in a headline for a 1-paragraph “news”, blaming him for the down of the stock market. If you’re really an investor, you’d know that is ridiculous. The market was even lower late last year. Then came Trillanes and his accusations. Honestly, I’m not really a believer of Trillanes ever since he took siege of hotels which greatly suffered. I wonder if he paid for the damages. He should also pay for all the tax incentives the government gave those hotels in order to recuperate.

I once sit in a table of middle to upper class citizens, most of whom are being serviced by company cars and definitely non-beneficiaries of 4Ps. Clearly, they wanted Mar to win for mere “continuity”. If that’s their priority in this election then it’s their right but as for me my priority is peace and order. I don’t think it’s all because of poverty. If it’s only caused by poverty, then all crimes would have been robbery, no cold-blooded murders and rapes, not even kidnapping because it’s already greediness not neediness.  As I relooked at the other candidates, I find myself going back to Duterte, again and again. My conscience wouldn’t allow me to vote for any of his opponents. What remains as a question is, would my conscience allow me to set aside my reservations with Duterte? 

One thing is clear, though, come May 9, it’s either I vote for Duterte or not vote at all. It saddens me that if a man like Duterte betrays the Filipinos and the nation then there might be no one else fit for presidency. And, that is frightening for the future.

P.S. True that change should start in each and every Filipino, then in our own homes, then communities. I’m not expecting the next president to give me my needs (well, I still think we should see where our taxes are going) or my wants or my dreams. I know that I have the power to improve the quality of my life, of my family’s life. But, it wouldn’t hurt to have a conducive society and government as we strive on our own. No matter how hard we work or how much we change, if the society (majority) and government continues to be rotten, all our sacrifices to become better would go down the drain. Lastly, no amount of self-change can solve some national issues such as the improvement of the mass transport system and the update of tax laws. That is precisely why governments are formed, diba?
P.P.S. Presidents are not saints and they are not perfect human beings. Whoever we vote for, there will come a point in 6 years where he or she will disappoint us. Let’s pray those disappointments won’t be too much and/or too often. Bottom line is, vote not only for yourself but for others and for the future. Vote for your priority. Vote with conscience. 

Let’s all pray for an honest, peacefula nd orderly election. God bless the Philippines and the Filipinos. 
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