So, here we go – again! The candidates for public offices from the local to the national government are all over the Country – after they were all over the COMELEC with their supporters. Their rhetoric is loud, their promises are many, their stage shows are entertaining. They are clothed with different colors, surrounded by different banners, accompanied by different hurrahs from their respective cheerleaders. With frozen smiles they court the voters. They automatically and continuously greet them here and there. With a blank stare, they wave to them as a matter of course. They even have many give-aways – in kind and/or in cash. A good number of them are dynastic in relationship as a matter of course.
But while the young are entertained, the old are amused, a good number of voters however are at a loss whom to vote for and why. In fact, there are those who think that voting is a futile exercise. Reasons: The candidates practically say the same thing – as they also customarily denounce one another. Their promises are alike in substance – bringing heaven down on earth. They belong to different Political Parties that make the substantially the same claims – except that the Parties have different names or initials while the candidates wear different colored clothes.
No wonder then that serious voters and there are still millions of them – those who yearn for a better government that will bring about a better Philippines through the resolve and work of better public officials – appear to be confronted by three pivotal questions which are worth seriously thinking about: First, who are the candidates worth choosing? Second, are they worth voting for? Third, will the votes be counted?
CHOOSING: Choosing the lesser evil though understandable in the present state of Philippine elections, may not be really fair to say and hold on to. In other words, the candidates for election may not be saints but there are still those having acceptable competence, good intentions, living in honesty, deserving of trust. It is wherefore a matter of making a choice among the still trustworthy and still promising candidates for public offices.
VOTING: It might be right and proper to take seriously the truth that in a democratic country, to vote is not merely a right but also an obligation. The fundamental requirements of the said right-obligation are for the voters to know more about the person – integrity, ability, sincerity – of the candidates worth entrusting with public offices. Woe to a country where voters merely vote for candidates for but personal benefits, family considerations.
COUNTING: If an honest choice and a pursuant voting are not followed by a right counting, this is the summit of deceit, the incarnation of demagoguery, a cause even for popular dissent and whatever socio-political unrest that could come about. And people will certainly depend on the findings and conclusion of those who know what is right or wrong in counting, i.e., who are experts in concluding about the right or wrong use of counting machines.