My May 13 problem
Thanks to my friend who insists on being called "Rose," I was able to get some R&R in the lovely city of Davao. We were waiting for our (late) flight back to Manila, when there was a slight commotion in the check-in area, and "Rose" nudged me and said, "Look, it's Jack Enrile."
He walked quite briskly, I didn't even get to see a whiff of what he was wearing, though "Rose" described him as "di maputi, siguro dahil sa pangangampanya" (not fair, maybe because of the campaigning), though his party -- quite a good number -- had that light blue color on their vests that we see on Enrile's posters, and were walking/strutting around more casually than their boss, trying to catch everyone's eye.
And I thought I could use these last minutes at the Davao airport to rest before being bombarded with political news again.
The truth is, I'm not looking forward to the May 13 elections.
And the main reason is, if I want to write down a single name on that ballot when the day comes around, I will have to make concessions and compromises -- in short, I will have to think like a politician. (I was once offered by my dad to run in his place. I quickly -- and decisively -- told him I was not in the least bit interested.)
My criteria, as of last year, are the following.
I will only consider candidates who supported the Reproductive Health Bill-now-Law, and it has become even more imperative a criterion, now that the Supreme Court has applied the brakes on its implementation. I cannot possibly write down a name of someone who has openly suggested that supporting the RH measure is equivalent to endorsing abortion, a statement that can come from a brain of only the highest idiocy.
I cannot support a candidate who cannot see the hypocrisy of supporting "natural family planning" (NFP) but shunning modern methods, all because his faith dictated to him that one is a more "moral" choice. That would be akin to saying that murder by strangulation is more "moral" than murder by shooting: both the NFP and modern methods prevent conception -- they are both contraception. The how does NOT negate the what.
I will only consider candidates who do not insult the intelligence of voters, by engaging in a song-and-dance number, who refuse to debate and would rather much dance (the Gangnam or anything else). Enough. Our politicians constantly treat voters as infants, as if the mere performance of a popular dance step or the rendition of a local love song is enough to make people write their names on that blank space, come May 13. That we should view voting as a sacred duty, one of the burdens we carry for having a democracy, is being desecrated by how these candidates continue mocking us with their latest pakulo (gimmick) in campaigning.
I will only consider candidates who know how vital it is to keep the wall between the state, this secular democracy, and the many faiths that thrive -- and even amass wealth by virtue of this very separation. If there is freedom of religion in a democracy, then a government that allows it should be free FROM religion in its business, laws and its everyday life. No one religion should be "exalted," or, in less esoteric terms, be given preferential treatment.
How this concept eludes those who wish to be responsible for the crafting of our SECULAR laws is a complete mystery to me -- the Comelec should use this as a litmus test in screening candidates. Once a wannabe declares that "I want to be a senator so that all Filipinos will become (insert religion here) and I will craft laws to compel them to bow before my deity" they should be immediately discarded as nuisances of the highest order. If a person cannot grasp this basic tenet of secular democracy...
I will only consider candidates who are not related to anyone else sitting in government. Yes, we know the drill, we know the "defense" of these political dynasties: "There's no enabling law that stops political dynasties!" And logically, how can such a law pass, when all our legislators are someone else's spouse, child, uncle, grandmother, even third-degree relative you don't like but share the same surname with. I wouldn't at all be surprised if a house pet were asked to run. We've seen convicts in jail win elective offices in this country.
If these candidates cannot honor the Constitution's spirit, they have no business changing its letter to suit their own interests. The fact that you think of these posts as a family enterprise shows us that public welfare is clearly not in your agenda. Period.
So, you see: I now have no one to write on those 12 spaces, if I followed these to a tee. Everyone of these candidates has violated at least one of these items (and I didn't list all of the criteria yet). And while some people advise us to compromise in order to move forward, I find it to be a highly discordant term when applied to voting.
I may have no choice but to be political (often thought of as "the art of compromise") in writing down a name or two.
Now, can anyone recommend an industrial strength cleaner that can wash away the vestiges of my flawed decision-making after May 13? – Rappler.com
Joey Ramirez writes a blog that's accessible via http://theguywithablog.blogspot.com/