The political kettle is starting to brew with the start of the filing of the Certificates of Candidacy this October 1st.
Barely seven months before the election day, those who salivate to succeed Pres. Duterte have already thrown their hats inside the arena.
Three aspirants, thus far, have formally announced their desire at the throne: Senator Panfilo Lacson, Senator Manny Pacquiao, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.
VP Leni Robredo, meanwhile, was anointed by 1Sambayan. Her erstwhile opponent in the 2019 polls, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., was blessed by their party Kilusang Bagong Lipunan. Mayor Sara Duterte is being egged on to run, too.
The past elections have shown the horrible consequence of an early bird in declaring his/her candidacy. Vitriols and all sorts of dirts—real and invented—are lobbed at the presidentiable from all corners.
Pacquiao got his dose from no less than the “anointed son of God” Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.
This might explain why Vice President Leni Robredo is playing coy; she seems to keep everybody guessing as long as she can about her plans for the coming 2022 elections.
And despite topping the SWS surveys, presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said that she is not running to succeed her father. Some say she is lifting the same from her father’s 2019 script.
Whatever the plans of these politicians might be, we, the voters, must keep in mind that the drama, circus, investigations, filing of cases, mudslinging and so on that will be unleashed before us are all part of their ploy to win our sacred votes.
Our campaign has yet to mature like that in the First World—with the exception of the period in US history when there was Trump—where candidates duel on their platforms, on their vision, on their track record. Where candidates spar on ideologies, on metrics and on policies they already espoused or now offer.
And, we, voters, are equally guilty because we have been part of the telenovela. We allowed ourselves to swim along the murky political waters and enjoy the trash being thrown by our supposed leaders at each other. We consented to the rape! The rape not only of our minds and hearts but also of our children’s future, of our environment, of our souls.
Let us put a stop to the circus. Let us demand civility from our leaders. Let us make them lay bare their plans for our future. Let us scalpel through their platforms and decide whether theirs is the best or the other is better. And when the day comes, let us also make them accountable for these promises.
Democracy is not only having the freedom to choose a leader. It is a sacred right and duty to choose the best leader with the best plan for the betterment of the voters’ lives. It is making your choice not because you got P100 or P500 or P1,000 on the eve of the polls. Nor is it picking an inferior candidate because he/she has helped you in the past. Choose not only wisely but vote conscientiously and intelligently.