The 2010 Philippine Elections

16 11 2009

The May 2010 Elections in the Philippines is fast approaching and I must say I’m quite anxious about who will win, especially for presidency. There are 12 presidential candidates for the coming election, most of them are currently senators. One of them is Senator Noynoy Aquino, son of the late President Cory Aquino. With such a big number running against each other for office, it seems extra challenging to decide whom to vote. Personally, I have one person in mind but unfortunately, I’m not registered to vote yet since I’ll be here in the US during the time of election in May 2010 and I’m not so comfortable in doing the absentee voting because my parents told me that’s a source of “dagdag-bawas” (vote padding and shaving).

2010-presidentiables-october-2009

2010 Presidential Candidates

According to one of the country’s national newspaper, as of 2007 and early 2008, the Philippines is ranked most corrupt within all of Southeast Asia. This is quite sad to hear, especially when I know it’s true. There may be some government officials who remain clean, but for the most part, a lot of them have chosen, wrong as it is, to go the easier way of earning money. Since the time of Martial Law under Ferdinand Marcos from 1972 to 1986, Filipinos have had enough of government official’s abuse. It probably got better during the time of late President Cory Aquino and former President Fidel Ramos, but when Joseph Estrada was elected into office, corruption became very evident again, not just in the higher offices, but in local government as well. At that time, some time around 2001, big serious issues about government officials kept popping up and it felt like the Filipino masses had no one to trust and no leader to follow. Estrada himself, or more popularly known as “Erap”, has been charged with plunder case and graft, and it wasn’t until only a few months ago that he was cleared of these charges, or so they say. (By the way, he’s among the 12 candidates running for presidency!)  It was a good thing that some brave souls started fighting against this, resulting to the “People Power Revolution 2” in which the Philippine’s current president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was declared president. This revolution was inspired by the first People Power Revolution, when Ferdinand Marcos lost his presidency to Cory Aquino.

If the upcoming election does not turn out right, the status of the Philippine government might get worse, and that is definitely not a good thing. Filipinos might say that is no longer under their control, but actually it is. If only voters would think about their decision really well, if they don’t let themselves be lured by sugar-coating speeches and empty promises of candidates who only want power, if they stay firm with their decisions and don’t get easily sell their votes to cheating candidates, then this election might actually be the turning point towards a better and more stable government, one that Filipinos can actually trust. I believe that among the 12 presidential candidates, there’s at least one, or two, or five, or maybe (hopefully) all of them who want to really make a change and uphold a righteous leadership. The Philippines may not be among the top countries in the world, not even close, but I really think the potential is there, with all those natural resources and bright minds. It just takes one really good leader to make a big difference.

-Z. Santos

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