Watch Dog-A A +A
At Close Range
Sunday, January 27, 2013
THE Commission on Elections or Comelec is one constitutional body that aims to innovate and/or improve on its present systems, procedures and public image. While it is not infallible as the other constitutional offices, the election body, which occupies prominently the spotlight during elections, painstakingly searches for ways to improve on its last performance.
Staking its prestige on the PCOS machines in the last elections, it strives to work on ways to improve on its ballot tabulation tasks although more improvement can be done on them. After all, the election body occupies a huge block in our constitutional processes. So far, it has performed credibly as compared to past turbulent electoral exercises and it seems receptive to innovations and, perhaps, to full automation of its Herculean tasks.
Present chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. is perceived to be doing his constitutional duties well and credibly and has indeed brought to the Comelec his prowess, hard honed skills and foresight as he did in the private practice. Rarely do we witness or hear complaints of partiality by Brillantes nowadays, a far cry to the turbulent decade in the late 60s.
It seems Brillantes and company are on the move to start up innovations in the Comelec and its offices nationwide, like the limit on the total airtime on television of candidates (say 120 minutes?) in order to give other candidates who are not as affluent as the prominent ones fair exposure in their candidacies. Fine, but the electoral body should implement this latest directive strictly in order to give the marginalized candidates some fighting chance. The good chairman and his group should monitor strictly violations of the Fair Election Act and other related election laws and put the axe on the erring heads of candidates and their supporters/backers. As they are, election laws should be implemented strictly, no favors or quarters asked.
The May 2013 elections should be a prelude to the next Barangay elections. If the former succeeds in its vision of having honest, orderly and peaceful elections, the village elections will follow in a fine, peaceful suit. It is in elections that the sovereign will of the people, particularly the electorate, can be put to fore and acclaimed. This is democracy at its best time. Sovereignty resides in the people and no one should thwart that noble objective enshrined in our Constitution.
It won’t be too long when we will hold our mid-year elections. In May 2013, we can show the whole world that we are aging gracefully in the conduct of suffrage, one of the hallmarks of democracy, of one civilized and peace-loving citizenry and a country so blessed with good people and able leaders.
Destabilizers have no place in our society, blest and guided by God Almighty. One of the foremost democracies in Asia and perhaps in the whole world, the Philippines stands firm in its commitment to uphold the tenets of peace and wide-spread democracy and staunch respect for constitutionally-established institutions. Would our leaders take heed and do what's best for the country?
Going back to the Comelec's limitation on television air time, candidates should find other ways to put across their respective messages to the electorate by any other viable but effective means. Local candidates would probably have the edge, than those running for national positions, in reaching out personally to the voters as they do not have much real estate to cover. After the restriction on the air time coverage, would the Comelec put restrictions on print media next?
In Mabalacat City, supporters of Mayor Boking Morales are upbeat on their patron's victory in the May elections. Ditto with most of his team mates. There is one pasubali though, they claim: Marjorie Morales Sambo may spring a surprise on veteran Liza Pineda for the Vice Mayoralty position. Well.
In the first district congressional race, candidate Francis "Blueboy" Nepomuceno may lord it over Angeles City and close the curtains on candidate Yeng Guiao!
In Magalang, the four-way race may go the way of incumbent Mayor Romy Pecson but his pursuers led by former mayors Lyndon Cunanan and Joey Lacson will give fierce fights to topple the incumbent.
In Angeles City, incumbent Mayor Edgardo "EdPam" Pamintuan may prove pollsters wrong by notching a win in that progressive city. After all, EdPam is working hard to get, nay, retain the plum and his charm never wanes.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 28, 2013.