SECTIONS
Saturday, May 25, 2019
BAGUIO

Fernando: Election period

Paradigm

MAY 13, 2019 is quickly approaching. In fact it is already dictating how the lives of many Filipinos go on today. It is good there are Catriona Grays, Bells, Christmas, New Year, the Feast of the Black Nazarene, and other events that distract us from the negative control of election period. Without these events, the news would continue to headline rivalries between political parties, death of candidates and supporters, and other nasty occurrences brought by election. Election in the country is undoubtedly one life-changing event among us Filipinos.

An ordinary citizen should be aware of the implications of election. Ideally election is the day when we choose our leaders that save the country from debt and poverty. It is therefore a must for us Filipinos especially the young to cooperate by campaigning for the righteous candidates and by casting our votes.

But apparently election in the country and in other parts of the world is more than choosing our leaders. It is more complicated than that and this is what ordinary Filipinos should be aware of because it is affecting the way we live. It affects our attitudes. Election period is not an ordinary period. These are dangerous times that should be looked upon with care and wisdom.

Banking on history, election in the country is generally a chaotic stretch. Many get murdered during election times. All forms of deceits arise and instead of promoting unity, this event brings out hatred and opposition among many. One cannot tell who’s telling the truth.

Everybody has their own version of the truth and one ends up thinking that politicians are all liars. It was during election period when the most vicious crime against journalists took place. The Ampatuans allegedly brutally murdered a Mangungadatu along with supporters and a great number of journalists on their way to file her candidacy. How many candidates and supporters have been gunned by arc-rival parties to dictate the result of May 13, 2019 when this day is still to come?

Looking from a different view, there is a blessing comes election period. Candidates become more generous and the poor usually get a taste of their material blessings. Many of us normally have this in our minds and it makes us a bit excited. Money is so abundant during election time because money is mostly the great weakness of voters. There are many gatherings during election campaigning and ordinary people get to see personalities they rarely see in person. There are lots of rejoicing from the different campaign parties being thrown by politicians and people get carried away.

In short, for us the message is clear. Election is a day of reckoning. A period when we must be strong and wise. We are wrong to think that we are outsiders in the rivalries of politicians. We will be dragged in their mess in one way or another. We will be forced to side with our bets and naturally defend them from the oppositions. We will witness deceits and even crimes. Other members of our own families may side with the candidates we do not like. What do we do? What is the right thing to do?

The right thing to do is always the best thing to do. Election puts us in awkward circumstances and sometimes even the direction of our lives changes because of election. Remember those who are forced to replace their fathers or mothers as candidates without them having the idea of entering politics just because their parents were intentionally killed. Did they choose this path?

Election in the country is rough and ugly. It is good that we are in Baguio City where most of the politicians rarely use brute force in getting votes. Vote-buying is happening but unlike in most parts in the lowland areas, vote-buying is more discreet.

Generally candidates let the people choose the winners. There are few election-related crimes in the city. For this, this city is still one of the most peaceful and beautiful city in the world. We are lucky that we have candidates who do not rely on arms and force to get what they want. As I said, in other parts of the country, election period is like a nightmare. There is seldom peace.

People are afraid to air their opinions afraid that they turn up dead in the night. We have yet to start the campaign period both for national and local campaigning but we already have fatalities. Accordingly, the campaign period for senatorial candidates and party-list groups is scheduled from February 12 to May 11, 2019. Campaign period for local bets is set for March 29 to May 11, 2019. Once these days arrive, election period will be more chaotic. We expect that many people, innocent and sinners, will end up dead.

We do not want the bad side of election period to get its momentum because this means escalation of crimes. I do not get why people need to kill others to secure a position if leadership is all about service. Greed and power must be the answers. If they are human nature I doubt it.

Between today and May 13, 2019, there are only few events that may disrupt the election campaigning such as the fight of Pacquiao, Valentine’s Day, Holy Week, Graduation Day, and vacation. Yet we must be aware that all of these events will be used by politicians to mobilize their campaigns. We should be wise and let us make others to be wise because if not we all get caught in their traps.


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