Velez: What we learned so far in the 2019 elections


AS WE enter the final week of the mid-term elections campaign, this is what we have seen so far.

1. Mayor Sara said not one politician is honest especially during elections.

2. Hugpong is the new LP. It’s the cycle in our politics. The ruling party with the machinery, money, network attracts all politicos and re-electionists to help their candidacies. It happened to LP, to Arroyo’s Lakas, and to Erap’s PMP. It’s happening to Hugpong, and look how they dominate the campaign with tons of streamers and tarpaulins and ads spread all over public spaces and media.

3. Hugpong ng Pagbabago? Duterte’s “Change is Coming” slogan in 2016 morphed into the Hugpong ng Pagbabago party. But its senatorial slate is anything but change. It has candidates mired in plunder cases. It has candidates using administration machinery to prop their candidacy. Do they even have a clear agenda aside from dancing in ads?

4. Opposition senators Neri Colmenares, Chel Diokno, Erin Tañada, Florin Hilbay, Bam Aquino, Samira Gutoc are the senators we deserve, but we might never have for now. The odds are stack against them because they stick to what matters -- principles over machinery.

But if you watched how they talked in debates and discourses, how you wish these are the people who can be in the Senate to talk sense in sessions and public hearings.

While we hope there could be one big wave of votes for them to sneak in the magic 12, the best we can hope for is they stay afloat in the next three years and position themselves better for 2022.

5. Surveys reflect the divide in our politics. The surveys from SWS and Pulse Asia showed Hugpong bets on top. That shows that choosing candidates is based on popularity and name-recall. Surveys in universities nationwide showed the opposition dominating the results, and that is how one votes based on platforms and principles.

But that student survey in Ateneo de Davao where the Hugpong topped their choices made some alumni like me freaked out. Like, what happened to critical thinking, to social awareness, to the “Men and Women for Others” and “Sui Generis” creed?

6. Honesty is the word that defined this campaign, thanks to Mayor Sara Duterte who said not one politician will be honest during elections. There are candidates who proved she was right. But there are candidates who proved she is wrong.

Which of them is honest is actually up to us voters. Let’s vote wisely and honestly this May 13.


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