Friday, April 20, 2007

Eh-hum # 145

It has been a while since I last expressed my thoughts on Philippine politics, particularly the 2007 Elections. And why? Well, for one, if I had to write something about the said topic, I would have to read the local dailies, which I am afraid of (Hmmm, I think I mentioned this in an earlier post). I am afraid of reading online versions of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and/or the Philippine Star because I know I won't be too happy about the country's politics, especially when the elections is more or less a month away. Prior to me coming to Japan, I was used to with all the bad news (no biggie). But since I have been away and exposed to a more efficient way of life, news from home makes me cringe.

Truth be told, I voted for PGMA in the 2004 National Elections. I am not a fan, but among the presidentiables during that time, she was the practical choice. Also, the race was really about her and the late actor Fernando Poe, Jr. While I think the platform of the PGMA and her party made more sense (and it had been expressed from day one of the campaign period), my choice was also based on the fact while embodying a maka-masa personality, Mr. Poe is still ill-equipped to serve as a leader of the Philippines. He has the heart, but I fear we need brains as well (read: knowledge), or else he will be extremely dependable on his staff of TraPos (who definitely take advantage of the situation). In short, if his drinking ways did not kill him, politics will. And Loren would be so happy.

Nowadays, things aren't looking good for PGMA and her administration due to allegations of cheating in the 2004 elections, the murder/deaths of Filipino journalists, human rights violations and the communist insurgency. The economy is said to be performing well, but that is not enough to please the majority of the Filipinos, who want, since 2001. What will then happen to the Administration bets this coming elections? Team Unity (TU) was built on this premise that we need to get our acts together, regardless of our past alliances, for the benefit of the country. Sounds good, but since we are talking about politics wherein authority and power are involved, it also smells fishy. Also, the number of former politicians (and serial balimbings) in TU wanting to make a comeback makes the line-up vulnerable to criticism, especially from the Opposition.

The Genuine Opposition (GO) is composed of mostly younger politicians, who uses charisma rather than experience to win favor (also included in the roster are TraPos). It would also made sense that they would be using the Administration's shortcomings to their advantage. In my opinion, this makes them no better than the people they are against. From what I have observed, instead of highlighting on their professional merits and their platform, the GO emphasizes more on the faults of the Administration. In short, they will win not because they are better, but because of anti-PGMA sentiments of the people. Also, I can imagine that once the GO dominates the Congress, they will spend most of their time (and taxpayers' money) on trying to impeach PGMA. So much for being genuine.

I am given the impression that regardless of who will win this May, the country will still be plagued with the same problems. The candidates are so busy with discrediting their rivals, it is unclear what they intend to do (or not to do) when given the opportunity to lead. In this part of the world, popularity gets the votes, and candidates who are unknown and yet are more willing and able to serve will be shunned.

Sadly, our leaders have the tendency to blame others when a problem arises, like Pontius Pilate washing his hands clean of any responsibility. Most of the candidates campaigning to have a seat in the Senate are still members of the House of Representatives. Hence, from the time they announced their candidacy and until now, have they been performing the tasks we, who previously voted for them, want them to do? If not, then we will have to brace ourselves for the things to come.

Every Filipino has an obligation to make the country better, especially those who have been granted the authority to do so. Let us all pray for a peaceful elections. *sigh*

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