THERE WAS LITTLE to do during my illness this week except listen to the news. This was how I caught every word of the Binay-Jamias controversy, the incendiary digs of “Mayor Junjun” and his spokesmen, the righteous retorts of “Sec Mar” and the Palace talking heads, the glitzy launch of the United Nationalist Alliance, and the expletive-laden rambling of Davao Rambo Rodrigo Duterte at the VACC anniversary last Friday.
In between news updates, I checked my registration status on the COMELEC precinct finder. I learned that per the 19 January 2015 Election Registration Board Hearing, I am a voter of good standing. This is nice to know (provided the information is correct), but I am not sure if I will choose to exercise my right of suffrage next year, given the dearth of viable candidates.
I am feeling very sorry for the Philippines as I write this because we are smack between Scylla and Charybdis, if these noisemakers are anything to go by. They all look like trapos to me. Each of them imagines himself the one with the answers. Each of them styles himself our great hope. Never mind that there is graft and plunder in the wake of one and mass summary executions in the other (1,000 by Duterte’s own account; but that’s alright, he says – they were all of them criminals). They claim those are mere allegations and irrelevant to their presentations. It is their deep concern for the hardworking people and their heart-rending compassion for the sweltering poor that count. Only they have the brains and the platform to redeem this nation; only they can get us out of the rut. Oh, but of course. That’s what the last five Presidents said too.
As for the other main contender, Roxas, he has yet to make a presentation besides asserting that he is the only one sanctified enough to continue paving the tuwid na daan. Does PNoy share his view? It’s a mystery.
As some plan to do, I may end up using my ballot merely to prevent its theft, but I have yet to decide whether I will actually darken the slots (if we’re going PCOS) or write any names (if we’re staying old school) or keep the whole thing blank. This will depend on the final line-up.
Our church group is keeping the faith and praying that God will raise up a leader after His own heart for this country. Despite my current disappointments, I am praying too and asking for divine wisdom for what is to come. What will I do with my single vote and my lone voice? I’m waiting for God to say.
I remember, though, that as a neophyte voter in 1986, I volunteered to be a “watcher” for UNIDO and guard the ballots cast during those game-changing elections. I recall how many youths did the same, and how we pledged to protect the sanctity of our collective will as electors. The individual voices of a sick and tired people made a difference then because we raised them in unison against a monolithic evil. And like the wall of Jericho, that wall came tumbling down.
I am hoping that we have not lost that pitch and might use it next year against the various ills of which we are now sick and tired. Political dynasties. Crooks in government. Official liars. Institutionalized larceny. And more of that ilk.
Already, the parties are realigning in readiness for impending battle. Senatorial wannabes are casting their lot with the justice league and the legion of doom, depending on their taste. Presidentiables are doing the same. I am focusing on issues, not on personalities or parties. Who has the best plan of action? Who can deliver? Who has the integrity and honesty to make things work? I will look for these. And if I find them, I will vote.
Meanwhile, I will bend my efforts toward getting well. I began this week sick, and after watching all that news I am now ill and weary. I will take a few more days off and stick to rom coms instead. I hope they will make me sleep better.
God help us.