Editorial: Discernment-A A +A
Monday, October 28, 2013
TODAY, the electorates are going to exercise their right to choose the barangay leaders they deem fit to administer their communities.
We can only hope that each vote cast has gone through discernment. That each voter has discerned on the qualities of a leader that will show exemplary administration once voted to position. Most churches have also laid out some guides on the qualities of the leaders their flock should consider as they cast their votes. That these churches don’t influence, campaign or coerce their members to vote on favored candidates but remain the beacon to enlighten the minds of their flock to vote for the person they believe deserving to serve their communities.
May the electorates exclude popularity and money in the criteria in choosing their leaders.
It has only been recently that barangay elections have turned festive and expensive. As they reached the last stretch of the campaign, the well-oiled candidates together with their team mates had drum and bugle corps besides the mobile sound systems that play their political jingles while they went around the villages on Saturday. Others had employed different tactics to woo votes. Others, also in groups, campaigned by visiting houses. Some of the candidates were seen wearing either yellow or purple colored shirts.
In Cagayan de Oro in May 2013 elections, the yellow signified affiliation with Liberal Party under Mayor Oscar Moreno and the purple under Padayon Pilipino with former Mayor Vicente Emano.
The Commission on Elections rules that barangay candidates cannot get political party support but individual politician may endorse them.
It may be true that the barangay bets didn’t get support from any political party; however, they displayed it through wearing either a yellow or purple colored shirt.
There were also stories of the crisp P20 bill handed to voters by some barangay candidates while other candidates invited friends and potential voters on banquets on Sunday.
The barangay elections long time ago were simple. Voters were confident whom they chose because they knew them well. Today, the landscape has changed especially in urban barangays where the electorates hardly know their candidates. This is another complication to the already jaded barangay elections because they could resort to voting without discernment at all. “Bahala na si Batman.”
Discernment is vital to voting people in crucial positions in the government especially that corruption is systemic. The barangay is the basic unit of the society and here the small steps on battling against corruption may start or the opposite could happen – perpetuate it.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 28, 2013.