THE voice of the people is the voice of God. So the saying goes. Today, it is time once again for the voice of the people to be heard through the ballot.
As we go to the polls, here are some points to ponder.
One. Let us not take our privilege to vote for granted. In some jurisdictions, the citizens do not even get to vote. Of if they do, the elections are just for show, with the results already pre-determined.
Two. Election day is the great equalizer. It is only on election day where the one vote of Lucio Cruz is equal to the one vote of Lucio Tan.
My good friend former journalist Bert Clemeña, however, begs to disagree.
"Yes, Cruz has one vote; Tan? First he gave millions to the one he supports who in turn will protect his interests once in power but Lucio will not even care to vote. What you say is what ought to be. The sad reality is what is on the ground. Sayang. Tsk."
Three. Never before has the mudslinging between and among the candidates reached this level. It seems that good manners and civility are dead.
May I just remind political supporters not to carry this too far.
Don't let political disagreements injure great friendships. Your bets may lose the election, but you don't have to lose friends because of it. For all you know, the candidates you are rooting for may not even know you exist. Cool lang!
That said, I wish everyone an honest, peaceful, orderly and credible election.
True election-related joke
During the time of President Ramos, his administration senatorial candidates held one of their major rallies at the Alabang jeepney terminal.
At that time, I was the local incumbent belonging to President Ramos's party so I hosted the rally.
To maximize the exposure of my own local candidates running for councilor, I assigned one councilor to introduce one senatorial candidate each. Because of time constraints, each senatorial candidate was allotted only 5 minutes to speak on stage.
When their turn was up, one of my re-electionist councilors, Noli Diaz, took hold of the mike to introduce Health Secretary Juan Flavier. Diaz apparently thoroughly researched on Flavier and Diaz, known in the local council for his kilometric speeches, practically narrated Flavier's life history.
In the end, Flavier stood up, took the mike and said:
"Salamat Konsehal Diaz sa magandang introduction mo. Pero sa haba ng introduction mo, inubos mo naman yung 5 minutes ko. (Applause and cheers from crowd.)
Flavier then gave his spiel:
"Ako po si Juan Flavier. Ako po ay 4' 11". Ako po ay 4 lamang (holding his left hand just above his head) pero 11 naman (lowering his left hand and holding it just in front of his crotch). Kaya hindi ako naiilang sa mga kasama ko sa entablado na puro mga 6'2". (Laughter) Ang maidadagdag ko na lang: "Lets DOH it." (Cheering)
That was the shortest campaign speech I have ever heard. Flavier did not need to give a long-winded one. His record at the Department of Health spoke for itself.
Taxi drivers' choice
On days that my car is on color-coding, I just take Grab or Uber (when it was still operating in the Philippines) whenever I need to do some errands. It has become routine for me talk to the driver and ask about the current political situation.
It was immediately prior to the last presidential election and so I asked who the driver preferred among the presidential candidates.
Consistent with surveys, the drivers expressed their preference for then front-running candidate (now President) Duterte. But the last driver I interviewed said otherwise:
"Roxas ho ako. Disente at hindi bastos."
Just before I alighted, I asked the driver: "Saan nga pala kayo boboto?"
He shook his head: "Sayang ho. Hindi ako nakapag-biometric."
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