Current Events, Philippine Politics

We Were Wrong

After all the stolen money, the lavish gifts received and extrajudicial killings, we now have a winner in the May 2016 elections, and surprise surprise, it’s none of the two justifiable candidates. Well, before you let loose on your keyboards, keep your nails deep into the crevices of your desk for now as you hear me out.

I’ll keep the filler out of the way by telling you the two candidates I would’ve limited the choices to: Mar Roxas and Grace Poe (Antonio Trillanes, Leni Robredo and, while I’m still not sure, Chiz Escudero for Vice President). And as for why I also chose those for VP, they’re all practically in the same boat.

You don’t vote for criminals, you just don’t (in most cases). You might have a better excuse if when the ends meet, lives would be saved. But there is no guarantee, even in Duterte’s case. An unmatched and overwhelmingly positive outcome is always preferred, but only when it is a guarantee. When you kill even criminals that don’t threaten others’ lives, you end up killing more than you save. Every person is a son, a daughter, even a friend, no matter what they do. When you kill someone that has potential for a future, you kill that future too. When you steal billions of pesos from public funds intended for feeding programs, job employment opportunities and scholarship grants, you end up killing more people and futures than you save.

It would be a good decision if we knew what would happen in the future, but during the election period, we were wrong. You can’t set aside a candidate just because he annoys you or puts the candidate you like in a bad light. That’s being blinded by campaign tactics and idols. You vote for those that will actually benefit more than hurt. You vote not the name or campaign ad of a candidate but his or her potential in helping the nation. If you don’t think about your vote wisely, you put your vote on a spinning wheel and hope that whatever the result is will benefit you.

And you can’t most of all vote for just an ideal. It’s a half-baked platform when the entire plan is just be tough and unforgiving or relate to the masses. There has to be a concrete plan, a road to success so voters will have a feel for what the next six years will be. When people choose a candidate based on ideals alone it’s the same as I said previously about the spinning wheel.

And that’s why we should’ve chosen Roxas or Poe (and Leni, Trillanes, or maybe Chiz but I’m currently lacking stock knowledge on him). You can’t claim the Aquino administration had zero progress or that the country’s condition actually worsened. Those are most probably just propaganda from rival camps, not based on actual facts. It doesn’t take rocket science to research the facts. Most naysayers cite Mamasapano, Yolanda and the like, but those are mostly on the management side. Overall, there has been at least decent improvement to the country during Aquino’s term. Can you actually imagine Roxas doing a lot worse than him? Poe is more of a wildcard, but that quality is what saves her from the pitfalls of Miriam (Bribery), Bongbong (Corruption) and others. Try to compare Bongbong to Poe in their three years in the Senate and you’ll see. And how about Trillanes who does give up when threatened enough but is a safe bet compared to the ones I mentioned?

As we wind down, let me go back to the talk of guarantees for a bit. Of course there are no 100% ones, but when you see your decision’s probability going towards the majority, the future starts forming inside your mind. We’ll never know what the future holds, but we can estimate, and for something as significant as a national election, there is no room for playing around.

There was no perfect candidate to vote for (Mar and Poe even had some of the problems I discussed), but after weighing the pros and cons of each and a bit of processing the risks I found those two (and two or three Vice Presidential) candidates the most appealing, the safest candidates to vote for while envisioning a future of decent leadership and less lives and futures lost.

I guess there is no point in posting this right as the counting of votes is almost done, but at least I can wake up a few of those asleep in the collective Filipino consciousness. May God bless our new president and those who have and will win in the coming days.


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