The elections are on Monday and it feels like we are all on the brink of something potentially cataclysmic. Okay,so maybe I exaggerate; but you must admit that what happens on May 10 and the next few weeks after will have impact on the lives of Filipinos in varying degrees from serious to very serious.
Nerves are frayed to the limit and tempers are exploding left and right as everyone with access to a computer tries to out-insult, out-attack, out-expose those who did not share their political views and choice of candidates. If there was literally mud being thrown in tandem with the political mudslinging, we’d all be covered from head to toe. This has been the case for the last three months and I have had my share of headaches trying to explain and debunk and correct and frankly, I’ve felt more than a little disgusted with it all. Why? Because the two candidates I do support without reservation, without doubt and without the slightest hesitation — Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza — are beyond the filth and slime of the electoral exercise, and more so the causes they espouse.
This may sound simplistic to others, but to me it’s the weightiest commendation: they are national democrats, and in the last decade or so national democrats have struggled painstakingly to uphold the highest possible standard of both personal and political credibility. This is not to say that national democrats are perfect: far from it; but they DO try harder to fight personal flaws and weaknesses which in turn affect how they come up with decisions and implement them. But I digress.
Satur Ocampo and Liza are two candidates who are worthy of and deserve all the support they have been getting and NONE of the blame or accusations insinuated or hurled against them. They are two politicians who are non-traditional to the core and whose commitment is genuine and unselfish and completely untainted with self-serving motives. They are human rights activists and advocates of causes that fully embrace the welfare and best economic, political, social and cultural interests of the Filipino people. They are individuals who have for decades given all the best of themselves to the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
If I feel disgusted with how the electoral campaign has run (thanks to the mudslinging of the Liberal Party, sheesh), one can only imagine how Satur and Liza feel. Only the myopic, narrow-minded and from-the-beginning-biased will conclude that Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza have sold out by becoming guest candidates of a major traditional political party.
It has to be said: throughout the campaign period Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza have fought the good fight and fought cleanly, honestly and with dignity and credibility. They conducted themselves worthy of the trust we give them, and they have been above reproach. They are the best candidates the Filipino people can ever hope to elect, and they should be elected so there will be genuine representation of the poor and marginalized in the senate.
Their records speak for themselves, and even the younger Liza already leaves a mark on Philippine political history: she and Ka Satur dared to go against the tide of traditional politics and represent the Filipino poor. Utilizing only the resources and contributions from supporters and compromising no ideals or principles, they offered themselves to the electorate as genuine alternatives to the current crop of corrupt, traditional and parochial leaders of government, presented a legislative agenda crafted fully to support and strengthen the rights of the marginalized sectors, and campaigned with no personal malice, no antipathy, and no ill wishes against others. Their intentions are purely unselfish: to serve the people, and to defend their rights. They are a credit to the people who believe in them and will vote for them, and they will always prove worthy of the trust they have been given.
Mabuhay kayo, Ka Satur, Ka Liza! Kayo ang mga senador ng mamamayan! At mabuhay ang lahat ng nagtataguyod ng tunay at makabuluhang pagbabago sa Pilipinas!
The election campaign of 2010 has seen the likes of formerly-respected columnist Conrado de Quiros lose all sense of fairness, objectivity and, well, common sense. He wrote well and wrote eloquently about his choice for president, but it cannot be denied that he also deliberately and glaringly chose to omit facts about his candidate: that his choice had accomplished nothing in the nine years he spent as a congressman and in three years he was a senator; that his candidate was primarily pushed into the limelight because of his mother’s death and his sister’s celebrity status and not because he himself possessed any obvious qualities of true leadership, intelligence or personal strength.
De Quiros extolled the imaginary values and qualities of his candidate and with his writing skill painted a picture of the man as savior of the Philippines, nevermind that his candidate — if he was really awake all this time — had been as inconsequential and apathetic in the last nine years as the Macapagal-Arroyo government systematically cheated, stole, lied and killed. His candidate, de Quiros pontificates, is untainted by corruption and he will never steal because his parents never did either. Yes, I agree — if de Quiros’ candidate wins, he won’t steal but those around him will and he will be powerless and useless against their influence over him and the debt of gratitude he has to them for having taken him out of the gutter of mediocrity.
The election campaign of 2010 saw the major news networks launch their own black propaganda campaigns against leading candidates and to shamelessly bat for others. ABS-CBN and GMA-7 (but ABS-CBN was worse) came out with supposed exposes against a leading presidential candidate, deliberately exaggerating issues against the man while at the same time downplaying scandals relating to the candidate they support. The same went for the Philippine Daily Inquirer which twisted stories and used malicious angles when it came to handling stories about the presidential candidate it didn’t choose while giving full coverage to even the most trivial and pithy details about and declarations of the candidate it did pick.
The election campaign of 2010 also completely exposed the deep and essential similarities between fake progressives like Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel and butcher Jovito Palparan.
In her attacks against Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza, Baraquel echoed Palparan completely, proving herself to be an advocate of violence against members of people’s organizations, human rights groups and progressive party-lists led by Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela Women’s Party and Kabataan. Her false charges and malicious attempts to link Satur and Liza to the New People’s Army (NPA) showed that her allegiances were really with the likes of Palparan and the Macapagal-Arroyo government who have been using the same tactics.
Hontiveros-Baraquel also proved the corruption of her personal brand of politics when it embraced the candidacy of Noynoy Aquino: she and her group Akbayan rode on the unexpected and undeserved popularity of Aquino and drew a curtain against all proof that Aquino is not presidential material (he’s not even barangay captain material, no offense to our baranggay officials). Having worked with Aquino in the House of Representatives the past six years, Baraquel KNOWS that Aquino is a boring, uninspired and uninspiring politician who stood (or dozed) in the sidelines as congress debated over measures that had serious implications on the welfare and future of Filipinos. Yet she still jumped on his bandwagon. Talk about opportunism. So much for principles.
The election campaign of 2010 also saw more of Kris Aquino pretending to be patriot and a lover of truth and democracy, a champion of champions against corruption while during her showbiz talkshow she continued to be rude and condescending to co-hosts and guests. Her latest victim is KC Concepcion who, while sharing her story about selling personal effects on E-bay so she could come up with more funds to donate to the Unicef feeding program, Aquino proceeded to look bored and uninterested. KC was barely finished talking when Aquino turned to Boy Abunda and squealed that it was some mutual friend’s birthday, had he forgotten?
On Monday, May 10, we will all troop to the precincts and vote the candidates we deserve. The poet Axel Pinpin gives this reminder:Isang pagkakamali mo sa Lunes, tatlo hanggang anim na taon mong ikaiinis.
Ako, I am personally prepared regardless who wins the polls. It will not change how I view Philippine society and its ills; it will not alter my convictions on what will truly bring a just and lasting peace to the Philippines. This is the electoral exercise of a corrupt and degenerate system of government, and my expectations of it are very low even as my esteem for the genuine progressives who have engaged in it are very high: their reasons are political, and they are in service of larger goals for the future of this nation and its people. This is why I have striven hard not to make enemies with those who did not agree with the Makabayan Coalition’s decision to support Manny Villar’s candidacy. Hindi eleksyon ang ubod ng pagkakaisa o ng pagkakaroon ng hidwaan — hindi ito ang magwawakas sa mga problema ng bansa, hindi ito ang magtatakda ng tunay na direksyon ng lipunan.
Kita-kits sa Mayo 10!