Editorial: As plebiscite date nears-A A +A
Friday, July 13, 2012
THE word used in reports was “campaign.” But when taken within the context of an important question as the splitting of Guadalupe into two barangays, the term could connote something partisan considering its use by candidates in elections. “Enlighten” or “explain” can be a better fit in this sense.
Groups who are either for the split, like the United Banawa-Englis Association Inc. (UBEAI), or against it, like the incumbent Guadalupe officials led by Barangay Captain Michael Gacasan, have started going the rounds to explain their stand as the plebiscite scheduled for July 28 nears. Their effort to woo voters should be kept on the level.
It’s good that politicians in the city, notably those battling for advantage in next year’s mid-term elections, have made good their promise to allow the residents to decide on their own the future of their barangay.
The worst thing to happen is when an activity with a historic significance would be drawn into the already intense politicking of the rival camps of Mayor Michael Rama and Tomas Osmeña.
Still, expect emotionalism there considering the loyalties involved. There’s reason why those opposing the split are mostly composed of, according to Gacasan, “old clans and families that have lived (in Guadalupe) for a long time.” In issues like this, the battle is always between romanticism and pragmatism, which makes for a heated debate.
Indeed residents of Banawa-Englis, specifically UBEAI, are pushing for the split using “freedom” and “independence” as a rallying cry. But that will only force voters living outside of the said area to warm up to calls to preserve the status quo.
Meaning, that the debate will be reduced to abstractions, which won’t serve the purpose of the plebiscite.
Residents of Banawa-Englis should be able to show in concrete terms to the rest of the residents in Guadalupe why the split would be beneficial to all concerned. More often than not, the force of reason triumphs over romanticism, that is, if the arguing is done in a sober and painstaking manner. Swagger should be taken out of the equation.
What we are saying is that a plebiscite, to be successful, requires well-informed participants. Voters should go to the precinct armed with the belief that what they will be writing on their ballots would hew to the needs of the times and not to the pull of things past.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 14, 2012.