By Ben Emata
From Across the Seas

(Editor's Note: Mr. Emata starts his weekly column with the publication of this opinion piece.)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- The political campaign for the national elections in May, this year is in full blast and surely it echoes in all corners of the United States of America especially in the Filipino communities.

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While it is true that many Filipino-Americans have lost their faith to Filipino leaders who cannot change the ugly image of the country, there are others who still hope someday the country will come out completely overhauled and entirely changed.

The forthcoming elections, therefore, is watched with much interest and many Filipino-Americans even participate in political activities to help carry out their dreams. The fact that, for many years, leaders in the Philippines come and go and leave the country in topsy-turvy state is indeed scary.

Many Filipinos have renounced their citizenship long time ago and they are now American citizens but still the blood in their veins strike hard for their relatives back home and seriously think about the future of the Philippines. The state of the country still worries everyone and this pushes them to participate in any political activities.

What the Filipino-Americans badly want is the demolition of the vote-buying scheme that usually determines the winners of the elections. To them, this is the principal evil that results in graft and corruption, thievery and all disgraces in the government system.

The Filipino-Americans always believe that the Philippines is a very wealthy country in terms of various sources but it cannot just improve itself because the money is stolen by some leaders who have access to the funds.

Many would-be politicians think it is only by getting into politics that they can make real money. Many Filipino leaders believe getting into politics is the shortest way to power, influence and millions.

It needs unity among Filipinos to persuade these leaders to change the political environment, the illegal methods that dominate every election time and all that destroy the ideals and aspiration of the young generations.

Many of the Filipinos here expressed disgust to what they describe as malicious and unfair the display of money during election time and allowing some candidates with questionable records to run. They also criticize the practice of the electorates to support candidates who are popular even if there is nothing in their head to handle the job.

They pointed out that many popular people had been elected to office and they come out as poor leaders because of their lack of intelligence and knowledge to handle various positions.

House of Representatives and the Senate had been abused severely of politicians who have nothing to show but money. The result was so bad since they cannot put up good legislations that are needed by the country. Many of them cannot file a bill much less argue for its passage. The law-making body is miserable with just a few members who are really top and educated enough for the job.

The Filipino-Americans stressed clearly that election time is the only time to remove the unfits and the ignorant from government leadership and if still nothing is brought about by this opportunity, then the country will freeze in hardship and shame. (