Of election winners and losers

Poe-Llamanzares, Legarda, Escudero

Poe-Llamanzares, Legarda, Escudero

Glad to wake up that elections are over and that as far as the Social Weather Station (SWS) poll survey predictions of senatorial winners are concern, it is coming out realistically true.

But, just the same it is giving me the post-election blues knowing that, both in the national and local levels, there are winners that should have been losers and losers that should have been winners.

The misgiving one has about the election process really differs during the pre-election and post-election events.

At the time when the political parties start forming up their slate, ones concern is about the competency of the candidates.

We pose questions like:

It is fare for the electorate that somebody influential and in power could just thrust his son or daughter to be a candidate in the senate and expect them to win,not because of their capability and capacity to perform the job ably, but rather because of the ‘magical’ name of a Binay, Estrada and Enrile they carry?

Why has the party chosen someone to run for election or re-election, when he or she hasn’t done anything exceptional?

Is electing the notorious, the rich, the famous, the good-name recall, the new norm now for those crafting the laws of the land and leading the local and national governments, and to be educated and brilliant, with an outstanding track record, an exception to the rule?

Nancy Binay

Nancy Binay

We see Nancy Binay up there among the winners, who has now the gall to say that she wishes Risa Hontiveros would win so she can debate with her at the senate, when she knows very well that the latter could not make it. Note that Hontiveros was challenging Binay to a debate in the heat of their campaigns.

JV Ejercito Estrada, the son of Erap, made it, too, thanks for the name.

Not too lucky is Jack Enrile, the son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who I don’t think has the astute mind of the father, and, therefore, not a big loss to the country.

But, you have Gringo Honasan holding tightly in the 12th position joining Antonio Trillanes, both military renegades turned lawmakers, completing the list of winners in the senatorial race.

Lim, Estrada

Lim, Estrada

In the local level, alas, we have Joseph “Erap” Estrada back in harness as Mayor of Manila. Only in the Philippines can you see a convicted plunderer turning the table against a well known crime-buster in the person of Alfredo Lim.

Having said the above, this brings me now to my post-election misgiving.

If we have winners that should have been losers and losers that should have been winners, it is simply because most Filipinos continue to be sentimental, subjective, and inane in choosing whom they want to be their leaders.

Look where Grace Poe-Llamanzares has landed in the senatorial race?

Her topping the race defied surveys and exceeded expectations. Not that she is incompetent because for sure she is better than Nancy Binay, but for a neophyte to clobber even the old reliable ones speak volumes of how we are as an electorate.The Poe name surely made a big difference.

Hontiveros, Magsaysay

Hontiveros, Magsaysay

Ramon Magsaysay Jr., a competent former senator, got lost in the shuffle.

And, look where Jinkee Pacquiao is heading, for crying out loud!

The way we vote in some areas sadly describes what has become of some us – losers.

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One comment on “Of election winners and losers

  1. paz says:

    May I share with you a letter from Patrick Moral, MD addressed to Senator-elect Nancy Binay. I do not really know if this was really written by Mr. Moral or not since I read this in facebook, but I am sure there are Filipinos like me who would think this same way. Thank you, Mr. Moral!

    Dearest Senator Binay,

    By the time this letter is done, you would have probably become elected Senator of my beloved country. I will not say that you were elected because the majority of our electorate are illiterates who cast their ballots simply on name recognition. I will assume the best in that they see in you, someone who can do her best in the legislative body of our land.

    I would like to review with you though what you said was your greatest qualification to hold public office: that you had 20 years on-the-job training with your parents. I will not question how important this may have been, but I question whether it is truly enough.

    As a physician born into a family of physicians, I too had over 20 years on-the-job training before I entered medical school. I requested for a medical toy set early in my years to learn to examine inanimate objects in the house masquerading as human replicas. In my elementary years, I would sit in my mother’s clinic, writing prescriptions for her many patients. In my high school years, my grandmother became frail, requiring my parents to provide more medical care to which I was witness to. By the time I applied for medical school, I had probably seen more patients than some fourth year medical students in their lifetime.

    I always had a question whether I should pursue my dream in a school where my parents were better known as it was a double-edged sword. If you did well, they would say your parents and your name helped you out. If you did poorly, they would ask how it was possible that you could be so stupid when you had brilliant parents. So believe me when I say, I can understand your predicament.

    Our pathways diverge however, as I had to apply for my position. You might say that being elected is also a form of application but I had to defend myself. My interviewer for my application asked me this question, which still rings in my ears today, even after twenty-two years: “Do you think that you deserve to be admitted to this medical school just because of your family name?” I could have taken offense but I understood where this was coming from. There were numerous applicants for such limited slots, some probably definitely more deserving but my name was calling out to feel more deserved. If you removed your surname, would you still feel you have enough qualifications for the office you applied for? I rattled off my achievements, never once quoting my association with my surname. I felt I deserved it. What we truly feel however, will be left to us and our conscience.

    I was accepted into medical school and I went through classroom activities, where I was held responsible by my professors. I went through clerkship and internship where I was held responsible by my residents and mentors. I went though residency where I was held responsible by my attendings and my hospital. Someone held me to my actions at every point in my desire to be a doctor. I know you have held a position as a personal assistant to your parents. Unfortunately, I do not know how much our parents will hold us responsible for our actions. To my mother, I was the most intelligent and handsome son anyone could have. My superiors and mentors made me realize that I was not. I am sure that to your parents, you are the most able and beautiful daughter anyone could have. That is how parents should treat us, but that is not the way a boss or superior would.

    I have been a physician now for nineteen years. I am always held responsible by my patients. I have been held responsible, by someone else aside from my family for over twenty-two years. I have been responsible for the lives of a few thousands of our countrymen. Your OJT is actually Opening Just Today. You will be held responsible for the lives of almost a hundred million Filipinos. They will not be as kind as your parents, as I am sure you have had a taste of. You have said that this was a calling. I hope you have prepared well for it as I certainly prepared for mine.

    You might say that your voice in the Senate is only one of twenty-four. If that voice remains silent in crucial moments, it may spell the difference for our country. If that voice cannot defend the legislation it aims to pass, you might as well leave the lawmaking to someone else. If that voice will only serve as the speaker from which emanates the voice of another, then the voice at the microphone should have been the one to get the electorate’s votes.

    I did not vote for you as I believed and I believe you do not deserve my vote. But the beauty of democracy is that I should learn to abide by the voice of the majority, no matter how uninformed I feel it may be. My choices have not always won elections. If they do, I pray that their path follows the way my conscience and my mind convinced me to vote for them. When people like you win, I only have one prayer: to be proven wrong.

    Mine is a voice that you may never hear but I have never stifled it with the fear of creating waves in the calm waters. The ripples I make will hopefully make you gather your oars and work your way back to shore. You are not perfect and neither am I. I sincerely hope though that you work towards it and I will happily see how much more imperfect I am.

    A citizen of the republic.

    Patrick Moral, MD

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