Last Oct. 6, I came across two interesting columns focusing on the same topic (“Voters must stop the political dynasties” by Solita Monsod, 10/6/12; and “Only the people can save Philippine politics” by Jose Ma. Montelibano, Inquirer.net, 10/5/12). Both were devastating comments on the quality of senatorial candidates running in the coming elections. The two major lineups, that of President Aquino’s Liberal Party and that of the UNA (United Nationalist Alliance) coalition, selected their candidates more for their family names rather than for principles and quality of character.
Of course, the fathers, spouses and relatives of these candidates have ready excuses, like “[t]hey are qualified, they have the competence, they have experience, they have the education,” etc. But what else do you expect them to say? Nothing, of course, but defensive, self-serving excuses that are so nauseating! Are the people swallowing this?
Given the state of what is happening in this preelection process, Montelibano advises:
“[O]nly we as a people can condemn the political prostitution overwhelming our homeland. We may not be marching on the streets, but we must be rejecting it in our hearts. We have to realize that how we think and act to institutionalize principled politics is the contribution we make for democracy to persist—and that no other, not P-Noy, not the politicians, can make that contribution for us.”
On a similar vein, here is a strong message from Solita Monsod:
“Well, I am a voter. And I say that if the legislators ignore the Constitution, if the political parties have become parties of convenience and self-interest, then we voters must take it upon ourselves to stop the political dynasties. And we can. How? Let me throw in a suggestion to start the ball rolling—and I invite like-minded citizens to give their own (because no one should have a monopoly on suggestions): that we pledge not to vote for anyone whose surname is the same as, and/or who is related to, an incumbent public official. No exceptions. No shading of principle.
“Simple. Name recall turned on its head. There may be collateral damage, but the benefits to the country far outweigh the costs. And the message will be unmistakable.”
These two significant statements are quoted here for those who have the democratic welfare of the country at heart.