Thursday, June 24, 2021

Batapa-Sigue: The Philippine’s perfect storm

Disruptive Mode

WILL the 2022 polls be this country’s perfect storm? A perfect storm is considered a critical or disastrous situation created by a powerful concurrence of factors that may result in unprecedented changes. I am hoping it will be because the odds of having no elections at all is not a hundred percent improbable. To successfully stage an election in 2022 will be a feat for Filipinos. I do not wish to be a doomsday messenger but we are currently preoccupied with so many things except how the 2022 polls will exactly be implemented in the midst of the pandemic. The fact that everyone’s busy encouraging new voters to register, including me, while politicians are already busy campaigning, makes a clear game plan for safe elections more imperative.

The uncomfortable silence of Comelec and other key agencies about details of their so-called hybrid voting makes me wonder how hybrid is hybrid. Because certainty the elections we have in this country prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, if replicated in 2022 will spell catastrophic public health consequences for the Philippines.

Talk about queues. No social distancing. Under the heat of the sun or usually in closed spaces for those who will conduct their usual vote-buying exercises. In Bacolod, there are many types of long queues every election - the queues leading to polling precincts and the queues leading to an envelope or a sample ballot with money bills inside.

I thank God, just like I have never tried shabu and marijuana, I have never also had the guts to buy votes in my twenty years of exposure to politics. Vote buying is a totally demeaning act for any self-respecting person who has invested much to educate himself or herself to be esteemed by others. Why would I need to pay someone to vote for me? Sadly, most of our politicians have no self-respect so neither can they respect the voters. Voters who accept money, regardless of how they try to logically justify it, to me, also have no self-respect.

Given this scenario, what is a hybrid 2022 elections supposed to mean? Fact is the automated counting courtesy of business enterprise named Smartmatic failed to even ensure a solid and credible elections these past years. What will be migrated to digital? Because if it still is simply counting of votes, then I think we will face a lot of problems. Increase in Covid-19 cases due to large crowd gatherings without strict observance of health protocols, marginalization of voters who suffer from comorbidities, and those who have disabilities as well as senior citizens, to name a few.

For sure, politicians now are already planning on how to go about with their hybrid vote buying or hybrid poll cheating. Hence, it is really important for the Comelec to focus on designing these so-called hybrid elections they say they will implement. Time is ticking.

On May 9, 2021, the country will be exactly one year away from legally vomiting out our current set of politicians. My wish is we do not regurgitate much of them, especially the putrid ones. These are those who run every election and promise the same things, but never really had the decency to clearly accomplish their promises. Their excuses are so believable that people simply just want to buy into them again like zombies. But they need to run because they have businesses to protect and families and leeches to feed.

If it is money against money in Bacolod in 2022, I am sure Bacolod will enjoy it. The electoral operators will be feasting again. Politician worshippers will have so many things to post on Facebook again. This city however does not need more stage men and women. For many years, this city has yearned for backstage people who will design, engineer, create, and innovate the direction and the future of this city but there is no place for any of these types of people here. Not in a city, where everyone wants to hug the limelight without even deserving it and everyone wanting to make a difference needs to lick the feet of those who have power and money. I tried, but it never worked. I must have experienced a lot of difficulties in getting a college degree and gaining a decent name for myself to do that. Sorry, but twenty years in the political arena is enough. It is time to focus on scaling my ideas so I can help my country.


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