Saturday, December 22, 2012


Right Choice of Electorate
 “Governments are classified in a great many ways and from a wide variety of standpoints; many of the categories inevitably overlap.”
The Philippines is a democratic and republican state where sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. That's the most important principle to remember and actually matters, we the people.

“Government is a political organization composed of individuals and institutions authorized to formulate public policies and conduct affairs of state. Governments are empowered to establish and regulate the interrelationships of the people within their territorial confines, the relations of the people with the community as a whole, and the dealings of the community with other political entities. The word government may refer to the people who form the supreme administrative body of a country.” Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009.
         The individuals that comprise our government are selected through the exercise of suffrage. A political right enabling every citizen to participate in the process of government to assure that it derives its power from the consent of the governed. This is the right and obligation to vote by qualified citizens in the election of certain national and local officers of the government. And strictly speaking, election is the means by which the people choose their officials to whom they entrust the exercise of powers of the government. Whether, it is national, regional, provincial, city/municipal, or barangay government.
However a qualification to exercise this right of suffrage or right to vote in an election afforded by the Constitution is required. And to be a qualified voter for an election he or she must be a registered voter to be able to vote. These registered voters are the specific people empowered to place and select individuals authorized to exercise the powers of their government. They are those citizens qualified to exercise the right of suffrage afforded by the Constitution. Not those who did not register as voter or those who opted not to vote. 
A very important right that every voter should not take for granted because as writer Rabbi Abraham Urger said, “an electorate we as voters grant legitimacy to the government. The candidates who get elected technically manage our government affairs. Our elected officials, indeed the whole government administration does business, is only a reflection of the values, or lack thereof, of the voting public.”
Therefore, whether the government is good, not so good or totally bad governance it depends on the choice of the electorate.  And it’s just proper for the people to deserve a government of their choice. No one is to be blamed. In a democracy majority choice is to be respected by everyone. Either you like the outcome of the election or not.
In the determination of our choice of candidates for the May 13, 2013 Automated National and Local Elections let me invite you to consider the advise of the following two (2) news articles.
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 20:34 James Jimenez / Spox
THE season of lists is upon us again. People everywhere are making up all sorts of lists: list of people to shop presents for and not to shop presents for; lists of things they want for Christmas, and of things they can’t afford for Christmas.
Getting into the spirit of things, I’ve made a list of things voters ought to think about in preparing for the elections in 2013. Here we go!
1. Before anything else, know what you want from your leaders. This is the all-important first step. From this determination of what is personally important to you, you will be able to look at all candidates with a clearer vision. But do not fall into the trap of using motherhood statements as your criteria. Instead, go for the details.
No one in his right mind will disagree that a god-fearing man is ideal, that an anti-corruption candidate is a good option, or that a candidate who says that he aims to make a country great again deserves the chance to try. Instead ask yourself, can I accept how this candidate’s god-fearing nature will affect his policy decisions? Does this anti-corruption candidate have a plan I can agree with? And how does this candidate propose to make us great again?
2. You obviously will want to vote for the person that you think will benefit you, your family, your community and your country. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be the candidate who received the best education, or that he’s the one who speaks great English. For sure, being related to him in some way—either as family or a friend—won’t guarantee anything either. So think about it long and hard. You get one vote and you can’t take it back until the next elections.
3. Take the long view. It’s very easy to be dazzled by a politician’s résumé when he’s broadcasting it on television and radio all day, every day, during the campaign period. The proof of a candidate is not in what he defines as the highlights of his life, but in considerations like the consistency of his words and actions throughout his career so far, his stand on issues that matter to you, and how he has behaved toward those he doesn’t need to be nice to.
    So start the process of evaluation early. Do not underestimate the velocity of time. Today, it’s not even Christmas. Tomorrow, it will be. And the day after that, all you will hear on television is how good some people are.
4. A history of philanthropy and generosity is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it could be a true reflection of the spirit of the man; on the other, it could be less than noble. So when someone says he has sent a large number of indigents to school, or that he has done this or done that for the oppressed, be thankful and sincerely admire him for putting his money where his mouth is. But do not be overwhelmed into hero worship. Remember, if you were in the same position, nothing less would be expected of you.
5. Consider it important that a candidate respects campaign laws. While everyone naturally wants to emerge the victor at the polls, it matters how they get there. The laws are simple enough to understand. Do not spend too much. Do not put your posters anywhere except where they are allowed. Do not cheat by exploiting loopholes. The laws are certainly imperfect, but their intent is pretty darn clear. Just because you can get away with ignoring them doesn’t mean you should.
          Remember, those who break election laws are doing so for selfish reasons: They want to get elected. You’ve got to ask yourself: What happens when they want bigger things?
        Once you’ve come to the end of this list, you will probably realize that you actually have very little idea who is planning to run for office, much less what position they’re aiming for. That’s all right. The goal is not to finish the list today but to start you looking closer at everyone who might have political ambitions. By this time next year, it’ll be very difficult to cut through all the posturing and all the propaganda to get at the true substance of the candidates. When that time comes, you might well be grateful that you’ve done your homework.
         As Will Shakespeare said, “If it be now, ‘tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all.”
This is sound advice to voters from across the centuries and half the world away.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012, Deretsahan

ni Horacio Paredes

Dapat na makinig tayo kay Henrietta de Villa, na namumuno sa Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) sa kanyang payo sa lahat tungkol sa pagpili ng mga Senador, Kongresista at mga alkalde’t iba pa sa susunod na halalan sa Mayo 2013. Ayon kay De Villa, dapat na hindi pinipili ang ating iboboto sa kung sino ang sinasabi ng mga survey na malamang na mananalo.
Ang marami kasi sa atin ay pipiliin kung sino ang kanilang pinaniniwalaan na mas malamang na iboboto ng madla upang kung baga’y hindi sila matatalo sa halalan na maaaring mangyari kung ang piliin nilang kandidato’y hindi mananalo. Hindi naman ang botante ang mananalo o matatalo kundi ang kandidato. Sa  totoo, kung magkamali ang botante, panalo nga ang kandidato, ngunit ang talo ay ang bansa!
Ayon kay De Villa: “What I don’t like about things like this (surveys) is that it might create trending because some people (base their choices) on name recall.” Hindi raw dapat ganoon ang ating pagpili kung sino ang iboboto.
 “That is not according to our voters’ education. They should not influence the people through name recall, surveys nor those trending methods because what we teach is voters’ education, for every voter to form their own opinion and that opinion would come from information.” Ang dapat ay pipiliin nating mabuti kung sino ang merong kakayahang maging magaling na Senador, Kongresista, Alkalde o Konsehal; kung sino ang mas malinis, kung sino ang mas handa at mas malamang na magiging ma-ayos ang pagsilbi sa bayan at sa ating mga mamamayan.
Kamakailan lamang nilabas na Pulse Asia kung sino (sa kanilang pag-survey) ang mga mas malamang sa pagpasok sa Senado. Huwag nating pinaniniwalaan ang mga ganito at lalong hindi dapat tayong nagpapadala sa mga survey. Ano naman ang silbi ng boto natin kung dahilan lamang sa popularidad ay mananalo ang isang tao na pagdating sa lehislatura’y tatanga-tanga naman?
Hindi lamang iyon, maaaring pa ring wala na ngang silbi, baka corrupt pa pala! Ayon kay Henrietta, na dating ambassador natin sa Vatican, sila raw sa PPRCV ay hindi gaanong naniniwala sa mga survey: “This is why I do not agree that these survey results, that says on who would win, should be given importance.”
“As much as possible, we do not give it much value. If there are surveys, they can read it but do not let it influence you in checking on your candidate. You should know the candidate that you would be voting for.”
Huwag sana tayong gaanong nagpapadala sa mga survey. Mas magaling kung ang ating iboboto ay iyong nararapat at nalalaman nating magiging tapat sa tungkulin, sa bansa at sa tao.
Dapat rin yata na hindi tayo magpapadala sa name recall na dahil sa kapangalan, ka-apelyido o anak o apo ng mga sikat na pulitiko o artista’y iboboto na natin. Tapos kapag nakaupo na’y kung kailan lang natin pupunahin na walang-wala naman palang kakayanang tuparin ang tungkuling ibinigay natin sa kanila.
Matuto na sana tayo ng tama. Hindi dahil popular ay dapat nang manalo o ating papanalunin ang isang tao. Alamin natin kung ano ba ang nilalaman ng ulo’t puso nila bago natin ibigay ang ating boto. Okay?


I am a Responsible and Principled Citizen.

I will educate myself and others about the issues at hand so that my vote is a meaningful and relevant exercise of my right of suffrage.

I pledge to vote for candidates who will abide by the duly constituted rules on campaigning because I understand that those who refuse to obey the law in the little things are not likely to obey the law in the more important things;

I pledge to vote for candidates who, by word and action, renounce violence, coercion, vote-buying, and corruption as means for getting elected;

I pledge to vote for the candidates who listen to their constituents and are responsive to the needs and aspirations of those they seek to represent;

I pledge to vote as my conscience dictates in all elections.

I make these promises freely and upon my honor.

(This Voter Pledge was read at the Unity Walk of 13 January 2013, by COMELEC Commissioner Elias R. Yusoph)