The Holy Week has been devoted by the christiandom worldwide as a time to remember the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who gave up his life to save the world from the sins of mankind. It is the time of the year where families take time out from their busy schedules to spend precious time with their family members and for some, it is a time to visit places where they are able to relax and take a breather, especially from the scorching heat of the lowland heat. For some, it is a time for them to emulate what Jesus Christ did by allowing themselves to be crucified while others spend some of their time to participate in the 14 stations of the cross for them to be able to reflect on the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ just to spare the world from the sins of the people.
Unfortunately, the Holy Week happens to fall on the start of the campaign period for the local elective positions which will last for at least 45 days before the scheduled May 9, 2016 general and automated elections. Some 45 days ago, the national candidates were on the campaign trail and many people were disappointed over the lack of statesmanship of our national leaders who are aspiring for higher elective positions in the guise of providing genuine service to the Filipino people. As usual, the battlefield in the national level is how to gain the trust and confidence of the people to promises that have not yet been fulfilled.
In the local scene, the campaign period is about to start but all quarters are now claiming victory over the other because they are supported by the religious group which is actually fragmented while some claim to be winners because his opponents are sickly when he himself has a questionable health because of drinking through the night and spending his time in the cockpits and the casino in nearby La Union. Surely, all types of leaders will again be pleading to the electorate to vote for them because they can bring change or they can create miracles that would end up enriching themselves. If people can remember, there was a human rights lawyer who became a ranking official of a province in the cordillera and when he left office after nine years, he was able to allegedly enrich himself through numerous questionable transactions that were never investigated. His relative tried to emulate the luck of a family member but unfortunately, he continues to end up a perennial loser but still insists that he could create a miracle through the attitude of a gambler. Remember, a gambler will always be a gambler all his life.
Another that wants to be elected pretends to be clean in front of the people but actually, the members of an organization where he belongs do not actually trust him because of the fact that he tolerated rampant corruption in his ranks despite being a respected legal luminary. Now, this candidate is being openly endorsed by the Catholic Church, which is supposed to be nonpartisan in the first place. The endorsements are just part of the overall picture of how the campaign for the local level will be conducted.
We firmly believe that the candidates and the electorate should use the Holy Week as a time to reflect on themselves whether or not they deserve to be in politics or they must vote for any of the candidates because they are God-fearing, straight-forward, trustworthy and have the moral ascendancy to lead the people and the government. Public service is not just lip service but it is service from the heart. Many of the candidates aspire for positions in the government because of the need for them to protect the interests of their family members, relatives, friends, benefactors, financiers among others while only a few politicians are really there to work extra hard for the welfare of their constituents.
We are optimistic that after the Holy Week the campaign period for the local level with start in the right foot so as not to replicate the bad precedence established by the national candidates when they started their own campaign. The electorate must be careful of character assassination being waged by certain quarters just for them to advance their own personal and political interests. It is disgusting to note that a politician who has also a questionable health conditions is now going around circulating false reports against his rivals as if he is a medical doctor who knows the health condition of his political rivals. We challenge this politician to also show the public his health records to prove that he is healthy. We call on the people to beware of the dirty tricks that will again be employed by this left-leaning politician who uses human rights as a shield of his tainted image. What is important now is that people will not just be hoodwinked by the sugar-coated words of aspiring leaders because they were able to learn from the real experiences in the past. Let us reflect on ourselves before casting the stone to others.