Philippine Politics 101

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Those irritating advertisements on TV that are obviously part of a typical politician’s early campaign, those worthless tarps of greetings that are clearly another dirty promotion strategy for the upcoming election, those projects they take pride in but are actually from the allocated fund that would supposedly alleviate the situation of the masses but are instead used for some trivial endeavor to secure the loyalty of the voters- these are just some of the displeasing political acts that appear to be customary in the Philippines. What is truly alarming is that we, Filipinos, have grown used to it and have lost the urge to put an end to this abuse of power.

The usual scenario is that the people would root for those who bribe them, those who pay them for their votes, those from whom they get something. Whoever wins, that person will steal the funds anyway. Better go for someone who gives us a little something. This has been the general impression of the people for decades. At one point, they’re right. Whoever is on the position steals from the people. It’s not always about money. It may be using their power to enforce laws that would benefit them or their colleagues but, in turn, would burden the public. It may be as simple as letting a person they know personally skip all the exasperating falling in line at a government service while the average citizen would have to go through all the waiting and weariness. They take advantage of their position for their own gain. Who would bother really serving, right?

And if there’s someone who would think twice and consider the candidate whom he thinks would, at last, actually serve the people, he may realize that this candidate he’s rooting for is an underdog and wouldn’t win anyway. Why waste your vote on someone who would just lose the race?

We always grumble about the poor public services and the corrupt and disgraceful officials who run the country. But when the chance to change everything comes, when the power to remove all those appalling hypocrites is vested upon us, we seem to not be doing our job right. We always end up as the casualties of this battle.

My dear reader, I am not here to advise you who to put into position. I am not here to tell you how you should vote, which is both your right and obligation. I am here to share how I intend to vote for the very first time this coming 2013. I will not go for someone who simply serves. I will go for someone who can and will serve well. I will not vote someone merely because he’s a crowd favorite nor because he’s an underdog. I will vote for someone because of what I think he has to offer, not because other people said so. I will vote wisely and with dignity. I will make sure that this single vote, insignificant as it may seem, will be for someone who earns it. After all, we deserve a true leader.

 

Originally posted on August 20, 2012, 1:30 P.M. via Tumblr

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