In school, I am constantly reminded of the duty that comes with studying in the University of Philippines. A university named after the country of whom its citizens I owe my education to. I am reminded that after 4 or so years, I must work hard to give back what my countrymen invested in my education by doing what I can in my chosen field to serve my country. Not a bad deal really, considering that education and experience gained from studying in UP is nearly a priceless one and I have you, my dear taxpaying countrymen, to thank for that.
But my dear countrymen, what have you done today?
Today you elected our leaders for the next 3 or 6 years; Some good yet some (or should I say a lot) not so good. I would still like to believe that there is some hope left in our country. That there are good leaders waiting to serve a country that deserves so much more than what it is getting; leaders who are supposed to be selfless and service-oriented and not greedy, power hungry or manipulative snakes whose main intention is to gain fame, money and powers. They say a good leader is also a good follower; yet why is it that, as far as Philippine politics is concerned, some politicians need to stoop so low and buy votes. Is there no dignity in losing a fair and clean election?
Whose fault is it in the first place? The people who buy votes or the people who sell them? I guess it goes both ways. There wouldn’t be any votes to be bought if there weren’t any votes to sell. I know that for a lot of Filipinos out there, a single peso is worth so much and the struggles they have to go through daily are so unimaginable that sometimes principles must be secondary to need. Our right to vote is something given equally to all Filipinos (above the age of 18, of course) and selling your right to vote just means that you are telling the rich that yes, nothing is equal anymore because money buys everything. I just think that while life can be unbearable at most times for a lot of people, you still shouldn’t give away the things that allow you to say “Hey, I’m just worth as you are.”
It would be so much easier for the poor to take pride in their right to vote if our so called “leaders” would not take advantage of their already horrible situation. Manipulating a person is just straight out devious. I mean, what kind of person would deliberately want take away the things that supposedly represent a person’s dignity for their own personal gain?
Vote buying isn’t the only thing rampant in our country, there’s the issue of political dynasties and the issue of incompetent candidates winning positions other people deserve to have. The only way these problems can be solved is that if we, Filipinos, protect our votes and learn to make informed choices. In doing so, I believe we’re actually helping this country rise again.
3 years from now, I will be voting for the first time. I swear that at that time, I will choose candidates who I know can be trusted with the position they are running for. Apart from some level of knowledge of politics and experience, they must have strong sense of nationalism. Because love of country is really the first thing we need if want the Philippines to get back on track and I quote my friend on this (yes, Jecx, I had to backread your FB account to find this.) “Hindi naman mahal ng mga Pilipino ang Pilipinas, eh. Kasi kung mahal natin Pilipinas edi sana yung mga officials, hindi maiisipan pagnakawan yung bansa niya. Kung mahal ng mga Pilipino yung bansa niya, yung mga iboboto niya yung mga taong may potential na may gawing maganda sa Pilipinas”