Wednesday, September 16, 2009


In 1992, I wrote an opinion letter to the editor of the Philippine Daily Inquirer that landed in the opinion page on top of other letters under the title, CHAOTIC 1992 POLLS. It conveyed my sentiments regarding my perceived hardships of the members of the Board of Election Tellers in the event that the proposed synchronization of elections gained support. As a teacher-member then, my misgivings fell on deaf ears. The synchronized elections prevailed. My small appeal for support paled in comparison to the advantages politicians got for themselves. The terms of office of the incumbents were extended.

Elections since then never solved the perennial problems of the people- poor health and sanitation, pollution, poverty, peso devaluation, graft and corruption, crime and violence, unemployment, human rights violation, defection and terrorism, oil price hikes, extravagant presidential trips abroad, questionable pork barrel, etc. The chaos is still escalating. Its rise and fall is usually felt during election campaign period and in the aftermath.

That I may be accused of being a paranoid, I can't deny. Even in the eyes of the ordinary Filipino citizen, the telltale signs of electoral viruses- self-interests, jealousies, hate campaign, mud-slinging, turn-coatism, grandstanding, lobbying, etc., are active again. As if people don't know what happened to the sugar-coated promises for improved services by these politicians!

Two years after the last chaotic polls, we still see news headlines of unsolved national and local level electoral protests allegedly due to fraud- vote-buying, ballot-switching, grandstanding, cover-ups, etc. Whatever happened to the much-celebrated "Garci Tape" scandal? The poor voters just watch- angry, repentant, and helpless.

The majority, composed of the marginalized electorate and the young voters, are really wanting in information and proper guidance. We can't blame them for their resulting reactions, especially so when they believe they were double-crossed and shortchanged. They must be provided with a working knowledge that will help them make intelligent decisions come elections. Teachers, parents, and other concerned groups must encourage their high participation, to listen to be able to discern political campaigns by those with pure intentions to serve the people above self-serving interests.

The all-out campaign to go out and vote and participate in clean and honest elections is not enough. The doubting electorate must know for example, what caused the snap elections in Marcos' time that led to his downfall; why people power that hostaged Cory and installed her to become president was almost crushed and rendered useless by coup attempts; why FVR conspired to effect cha-cha, when he would have made a difference among the presidents after Marcos; why ERAP was forced out of Malacanang passing the backdoor then and now is staging a comeback as if nothing happened; and why GMA is blowing her head off on what to do with the First Gentleman and the First Sons and how to save the First Family in the face of so many scandals rocking her presidential chair.

The filing of candidacy of the popular and not-so-popular figures hasn't began yet. But look at what's going on. I'm really rattled that I say again that 2010 Elections is Chaotic. Please tell me I'm wrong?

Photo by james sarmiento

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