I AM aware that the election period has started but the campaign period, first for the national posts, will commence next month yet and then the aspirants for local positions may be allowed to touch base with the electorate but with some restrictions and limitations, specifically the gun ban, as provided for in the Omnibus Election Code and other related pronouncements, circulars and issuances by the Commission on Elections or Comelec.
This early, we may already have a tentative list of candidates we are inclined to vote for this coming May election. Our preferences, of course, vary: from the administration-backed candidates to the young but ambitious ones.
The choices may turn out to be good but unwise as may be seen when the elected candidates assume office but there are also good and wise choices. We may also be reminded that there is no perfect candidate: almost always, he or she may have skeletons in his or her past, shortcomings and flaws. Still, we may consider him or her to the post if we believe he or she deserves and can deliver.
On the whole, there are wise choices. Allow me, therefore, to digress.
Flash Gordon and the Bayani. If performance is the main yardstick for choosing the candidates for the top positions in the national level, I would readily choose Senator Richard "Dick" Gordon for the presidency and Bayani Fernando, former chair of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority as vice president.
These two gentlemen have proven their worth in every post they have been attached to. Gordon had been a good mayor of Subic and chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority who had kept intact the properties left behind by the American forces as contrasted to what happened to former Clark Air Force Base which had as its last Filipino commander a looter who goes by the name of Gen. Acot (how true, how appropriate!). Gordon is currently the chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross and has participated in various disaster and relief operations not only in his turf but in other stricken areas like Nueva Ecija and Dagupan in July 1990 and in current disaster-related activities. He is an incumbent Senator of the Republic and has notched an impressive record in the Senate.
Bayani Fernando is living up to his first name, not only in words but in action. He means what he says and walks the talk: just look around the Metro Manila area and you see his signature pink structures but which have since been dismantled by his successor, one Oscar Inocentes who claims to be innocent of the vandalism.
He has for a wife the incumbent mayor of Marikina, Des Fernando who is equally charming and hardworking. Why, it is during the terms of Bayani and Des that Marikina City has achieved its complete transformation, from a negligible town, to a prosperous and progressive city, the shoe capital of the country.
There may be other deserving presidential and vice presidential candidates. I will write about them in the succeeding issues.
In Mabalacat, one candidate deserving to be voted for a Sangguniang Bayan post is comebacking Cherry Manalo, a no nonsense legislator and a commendable women's rights exponent. While not active in politics, she continued to be visible in civic and charitable work and people flock to her residence for assistance and counsel. Cherry, definitely, is a good timber for the Sanggunian. This also goes true for Engr. Rox Pena who, like Cherry, is a very good choice for an SB post. Rox brings with him his good work ethics, discipline, skills in management and flair for environmental protection and ecological balance. Let us have some more sanity in the Sangguniang Bayan by electing professional legislators.
Equity of the incumbent. This adage often works for the (undue) advantage of the sitting official because he or she has at his or her disposal the local government unit's resources, including manpower. Woe to the members of the opposition when the incumbent uses this power!
Rage against the very noisy motorcycles and other noise pollutants. Ordinances should be passed and implemented to prevent noisy motorcycles driven by arrogant drivers from disturbing the peace especially at night when everyone is resting or fast asleep. These tyrants behave as if they own the streets. Can we not stop them pronto? Paging the current members of the Sangguniang Bayan. Let's do something about this nuisance, honorables, please!