Plans, Promises, and Pleadings of
Candidates During Philippine Electoral Campaigns
By Apolinario Villalobos
The electoral campaigns in the Philippines are treated by Filipinos as both spectacle and financial opportunity. Candidates assume different convincing facial expressions as they blurt out plans and promises if they are voted to the position and these are spiced up with pleadings that are made colorful with courteous vernacular words such as, “po”, “ho”, “opo”, “oho”, “natin”. Audiences are entertained by singers and dancers from the showbiz industry. Virtually, during electoral campaigns, corrupt personalities become saintly, and worse, demean themselves by being funny as they take the risk of being ridiculed – all in the name of the dirty Philippine politics. As a financial opportunity, well….vote-buying is done in the open, no question about that.
Mar Roxas plans to transfer the Manila International Airport to Clark Airbase. He must be dizzy when he mentioned this during an interview. He forgot about the terribly unpredictable traffic along the South Luzon Expressway going through which would take at least three hours before a motorist from Metro Manila could make it to the first Bulacan town. The reality is, if one would come from the Metro Manila area, he or she has to muster, yet, any of the hellish traffic along EDSA, Pasay, Roxas Boulevard, Commonwealth and Rizal Avenue. Passengers are used to reaching the airport today from their residence within the city or the suburbs such as Cavite, Laguna, Novaliches, and Antipolo in just about two or three hours depending on the unpredictable traffic. With the transfer of the airport to Clark, they must allow at least six hours, inclusive of the two hours leeway for the check-in before the published departure time. Worst is if the passenger will have to commute by bus to Clark. To be safe, a passenger will have to spend for an overnight somewhere around Clark Air Base if he or she is taking a flight the following day. Even if the government will offer free shuttle service, the same hellish traffic will be dealt with along the way.
Roxas keeps on promising the continuance of the programs of the administration to which he is so much attached as if with strong sentimentality. What is there to continue, anyway?…the obvious inept and insensitive attitude?…and still, another big question is, has there been anything accomplished that benefits at least the majority of the impoverished? If he is talking about the cash being doled out, such program is still being questioned, as in some areas it is allegedly tainted with graft. If he is talking about the “progress” based on statistics, this too, is being viewed as dubiously self-serving. He should also, not forget that the administration still has to answer many questions as regards the fate of donations for the typhoon Yolanda victims, aside from so many other issues with the hottest, as the Mamasapano massacre and the purported well-concealed pork barrel in the just-approved budget. It would do him good at least, if he scraps out the “tuwid na daan” from his campaign statements and just promise what he can do. He should make people believe in his capability, not in his association with Aquino whose reputation is debatable. As for being not corrupt, he could claim that.
Duterte is promising to eradicate criminality and corruption in six months or he would resign. Unless heads will roll at least within the first two months upon his assumption if elected, he better be prepared with a resignation statement. How can he control the undisciplined and financially-pampered Congress? For a town, city, or province, this may be possible, but not for a nation whose law-making bodies got calloused with corruption.
Binay on the other hand, keeps on saying that he is not corrupt. He must be imagining that the Filipinos are idiot! It is suggested that the word “corrupt” be not ever mentioned in any of his campaign ads, or uttered by him. He should, instead, promise hospitals and terminal buildings to be built during his incumbency…and find out if his listeners will boo him just like what he experienced in Cebu.
Candidates for the 2016 election know that plans and promises during the past electoral campaigns were made to be broken, so they will do it, too. They should not be meddling in politics if they are not honestly aware of this fact. Those that will come after them will again make promises, propose plans, and plead, as expected. During the electoral campaign that will follow, it will be done again….still, again and again…..a vicious cycle of the dirty Philippine politics!