PiliPinas: The May 2016 Elections

This is it: my first purple thumb is due on Monday, May 9, 2016.

You might be wondering, 27 years old and still a first-time voter? My answer to you is this: I had absolutely no faith in the so-called “Manifestation of the Spirit of Democracy” that is the Election of Public Officials. I used to be part of the silent majority who would rather not risk getting all burned out, frustrated, sweaty and super, extra smelly just to line up for that one change to grab a ballot–  a piece of paper which bears the names of people you hardly even know who are trying to get your approval for a seat that technically has no direct significance to you, your life, or your existence. I mean, even the barangay officials I’m expected to vote for don’t even know that my face and my name makes one person. As far as they’re concerned, I’m only a name who’s vote counts for one, hopefully, to their advantage.

If the registration process were only made simpler and easier, I would have been an active, and willing voter several election periods ago. But during the time I became eligible to vote, I have already been engaged in the noble profession of customer service, which, all call center agents from any shift schedules will understand, completely prohibits its employees from engaging in activities that are often held in the morning. I believe this applies to all call center folks regardless of their shifts, because its obvious, really: morning shifts usually runs through the 8am to 5pm office hour schedule, and this means, by the time your shift ends, all polling registration centers are already closed, while evening owls need almost the entire daytime to rest until their next shift starts. Requesting for VLs (Vacation Leaves) is sadly out of the question, as most call center companies require their employees to submit VL requests no later than a month, or a full 30 calendar days, in advance. And VLs can only be entertained depending on the number of people who are actually on shift, and the amount of calls that require to be answered for a specific working day. This often leads to incidents where, despite a VL already plotted in advance, Team Leaders call their employees, who are supposedly on official leave, to report to work when the queue becomes unbelievably dense, or if there are too many absences on the production floor.

So there goes my lengthy explanation why this 2016 will be my first time to vote. I have no clue on what to do, but I guess I’ll wing it once I’m there. At the very least, I already have my list of candidates in mind, and I hope my single vote can get them to where I want them to be.

You’re probably wondering who I’m rooting for this election period. By law, civil servants, simply referred to as government employees, are not allowed to engage in activities which may be construed as involvement in partisan politics. We are expected to be impartial and neutral. But when I saw our gaudy looking president holding up the hands of two candidates who are vying for the top two highest position of the state, I figured, who cares? The President doesn’t seem to be worried at all about the Civil Service Laws, so why should I? I mean, he’s not the only person who has opinions, right?


And this is saying something: Miriam Defensor-Santiago. The most and, in my opinion, the only qualified candidate for Presidency. Why? There’s the potential corrupt official and his pricey restrooms (potential, because he has yet to answer charges of alleged corruption in court), there’s the outgoing administration’s lackey (who will surely attempt to cover-up the misgivings of his predecessor once he rises into power), there’s the traditional filipino macho-madman (I used to like him, before he started spewing nonsense such as eradicating crime in six months), and finally, the cinematic american-turned-filipino underdog (who somehow managed to pull at the hearstrings of 9 justices with her expertly-written boo-hoo story, despite the lack of substantial evidence that proves her both her natural-born status and her insufficient residency requirement).

Given the options, I believe MDS is the only candidate who has no “pero-pero”. Let me illustrate:

“Magaling si Roxas, pero baka pag siya ang naupo, malimutan na ang kamalian ng Administrasyong Aquino…”

“Kailangan ng pagbabago sa tulong ni Duterte, pero baka dahil sa talim ng bibig niya, may-maoffend siya sa International Community. Napaka-hirap pa naman din mag-establish ng relationship with our Foreign Partners…”

“Maganda ang Makati, pero may issue sa overpricing sa projects ni Binay, eh…”

“Ok si Poe, pero hilaw pa siya– kulang na kulang sa experience– at hindi rin makatarungan yung ginawang desisyon ng Korte Suprema. Isa pa, hindi vote ng Majority yung nangyari dahil may absent na tatlo na, kung bumoto sila, maaring nabago pa ang desisyon…”

Non-tagalog readers, forgive me. There is no way to translate these in english without losing the main idea of the “pero-pero” concept I was talking about. This only means that there’s a catch to almost every other candidate that rivals MDS.

MDS detractors claim that even she has a “pero” statement attached to her name. Obviously, its her health. MDS has been battling cancer for years now, and people are afraid that she might die not long after election period.

But my answer to that is this: WHO CARES IF SHE LIVES THROUGH ONLY SIX MONTHS IN HER TERM AS PRESIDENT? Even with Cancer, she still reigns as the Senator who filed and authored the most number of bills in the Senate. WHAT CAN’T SHE DO IN ONLY SIX MONTHS? Give me a list, and maybe I may be swayed to reconsider my choice.

She’s done it all: Judiciary, Executive and Legislative work. Her track record proves that, as smart as she is and with all her her merits, awards and recognition, she has dedicated herself to the Country. What is there to not like about Madam Defensor-Santiago?

What about you? What can you say about your chosen candidate? Regardless of who, your choice must always and only be for the benefit of the Philippines.

Choose wisely.




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