Voting parameters

THE fate of the nation in the next three years will be decided tomorrow. Tomorrow, the moral and intellectual state of the nation will also be revealed. All these will be known when Filipinos vote for the next leaders of the land, both at the local and national levels.

Will Filipinos give the administration a blanket authority to overturn the current democratic set-up of the country and allow it to impose its illiberal vision of the future? Will election results proclaim that Filipinos prefer clowns, charlatans, thieves, morally bankrupt and patently corrupt people as their leaders?

Here are the voting parameters that will gauge if Filipinos are still committed to democratic values and what kind of leaders they want to lead the country. These should be the primary considerations when choosing public officials.

Leaders of the nation must be committed to the ideals of democracy, loyal to the rule of law and value human rights. During the heyday of the Marcos dictatorship, Filipinos have experienced the horrors of authoritarian rule and losing their basic human and democratic rights. Democracy is imperfect but it is much better than dictatorship. Democratic process maybe frustrating at times and could be taken advantaged by bad elements of society but dictatorial rule is worse with the absence of due process.

Tomorrow, vote for candidates who are steadfast in their adherence to democracy and dedicated to advance and uphold democratic ideals. Do not be deceived by candidates who promise paradise in exchange for your basic democratic and human rights. Hell on earth is the absence of the rule of law and the denial of people’s rights.

Honesty is still the best policy. Contrary to the lies propagated by some senatorial candidates and their backers that honesty is not a requirement in public service, it is not only enshrined in the Constitution but the highest law of the land demands that public servants must be honest at all times.

Section 27, Article II of the Constitution declares, “The State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption.” Honesty is the policy of the Philippine state and all Filipinos, especially public employees and officials must reflect it in their lives.

“Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.” Sec. 1, Article XI of the Constitution further emphasizes the trustworthiness of public servants. Dishonest people cannot be trusted. Dishonesty breeds lies, deception, corruption, and ultimately abuse of power and authority.

Examine the lives and background of candidates particularly those running for senators. Who among them embody honesty? Definitely not candidates who fake their academic credentials! 

Do not put dishonest people in public office. Reject those who do not believe honesty is a paramount criterion in voting public officials. Nations have been destroyed by dishonest leaders. It is national suicide to elect dishonest people and give them power. If you care for the future of the country, do not give your vote to dishonest people.

Public officials must be clean, decent, honorable, respectable, upright, and virtuous. Candidates tainted with graft and corruption must be outright discarded. Corruption is embedded in the DNA of many candidates for local and national posts. 

Three senatorial candidates who are charged with stealing hundreds of millions of public funds are shamelessly seeking to reclaim their former post, pretending to be oblivious to the albatross of corruption they are carrying around. These thieves must be given a harsh lesson and must be consigned to the garbage can where they truly belong.

Aside from possessing lofty moral integrity, public officials must also be of high intellectual caliber. Alongside probity, competence is an important criterion in selecting public officials, especially in the Senate. 

In the past, intellectual giants like Lorenzo Tañada, Jose Diokno, Jovito Salonga, and Ninoy Aquino walked in the Senate’s hallowed halls. Today, boxers, comedians, and con artists have invaded the Senate. Threatening to join them are candidates whose qualifications to be senators are being personal assistant and butcher of a cult-god. The Senate will sink to a new low if the ball-scratcher and the hatchet man join the clowns. Save the Philippine Senate from further sliding to oblivion by not voting the whisperer and the fake drug-buster who are not even intellectual pygmies but plain idiots.

Lastly, as you enter the polling precinct, remember the Train Law, which is responsible for the skyrocketing of the prices of goods and services you are now paying. If your purchasing power have been considerably reduced and you are now groaning at the high prices of basic commodities punish the re-electionist senators who approved the notorious Train Law. The author and supporters of the harsh and heartless Train Law must be thrown out of the Senate. Let your vote be form of consumer revolt.

Vote tomorrow according to your conscience. Reflect on the present sad state of the nation where people are slaughtered on mere suspicion and extra-judicial killing is becoming the new norm. Think about the future of the country and how it is being mortgaged to China, which stole our territory and snatched jobs from Filipinos.

Restore honesty, decency, integrity, credibility, competence, probity, and the positive values of Filipinos to public service. Reject the politics of death and dirt.