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Saturday, 26 March 2016


I remember the conversation I had with one good teacher several years ago. We were both waiting for our pre-school daughters, who were spending the morning at the school day care center. 

The national election was just a few weeks from that morning and an interesting mix of candidates were running against the  sitting president. Running for office was an icon of Philippine cinema, a respected senator of the republic and a well-known crime fighter.

The teacher asked me who I shall vote for and I said that I have only the senator in my mind. While I am not at all beguiled by wit and eloquence especially with politicians, I was in awe  with the senator's demeanor in the impeachment trial where he defended a neophyte lawyer  who was being bullied by his fellow senator. I know then that he is someone who will stand by what is right and just.

The teacher was adamant in voting for the sitting president. It was not that she believed that the president was the best among all the candidates, given certain allegations on corruption done by close relatives. She is revolted with the thought that another actor, inexperienced at that,  may once again lead the country, that is why she chose to vote for the candidate who was the closest  to the actor in survey rankings.  I asked her then, why not do all she can to vote someone who has the competence, the leadership and the vision to lead the country? Why not vote for Senator Raul Roco? I do not remember her reply to me then.

I remember that  conversation with the teacher now that I hear talks, even from progressives, to vote for the closest rival of Senator Bongbong Marcos in the vice-presidential race, the person who is statistically tied with him in survey rankings,  just so that he will not win. It will be hard for me to vote for someone I do not believe in.

Why not do all that is possible  to help honest people like Rep. Leni Robredo win? 

And yes, why not advocate and vote people like Rep.Neri Colmenares and former Rep. Walden Bello in the Senate, who have worked so hard through the years, to uplift the conditions of  people in the margins and to craft laws that would benefit the people? 

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