When I ran for a Senate post in 2010, I expected that I won’t make it, for a very simple reason: Voters generally preferred rich and famous candidates.
During that time, Ang Kapatiran Party (AKP), the political party I belong to, could not afford to bankroll all our campaign sorties. Our campaign was limited by the shallowness of our kitty. We had no TV infomercials and we had to content ourselves with our trips to the provinces, cities and towns, with our house-to-house visits, with the interviews that were allowed us by generous and understanding local radio reporters, and with the meetings with some religious supporters.
In our campaign sorties, we never sang like canaries, or danced, or appeared on television shows, or clowned around to earn votes. We thought that these were the ways of traditional politicians and political prostitutes. But we were all prepared to debate with any worthy candidate for president, vice president or senator on the issues of the day. This was because the party required us to study seriously the ills of the nation and to suggest solutions and how AKP, as a political party, would squarely address those ills. We kept in our hearts the vision and programs of AKP such that we did not only campaign to win elective posts, we shared our vision and programs to evangelize our people.
Sad to say, times have not changed. As early as this January, the senatorial candidates of the Liberal Party and the United Nationalist Alliance have been on the campaign trail not only by running their individual TV infomercials but also by “presenting” their teams in the provinces. They claim though that this is not premature campaigning. How sad; these candidates think they can always fool the people.
In the coming elections, the AKP candidates, as usual, will abide by the rules of the Comelec; they will campaign only during the campaign period set by law. Yes, it is still a pipe dream for AKP candidates to have campaign materials all over the country. The 2013 elections are once more an uphill battle for AKP. If only we have a level playing field in the electoral arena, if only every candidate would be fair and our voters more prudent in choosing our leaders, the AKP candidates would stand a better chance of winning. One thing is sure, though: Our AKP candidates will fight to the finish.—REGINALD B. TAMAYO, member, National Executive Board, Ang Kapatiran Party, firstname.lastname@example.org