Sen. Kiko Pangilinan: ‘Registering is a key first step’
This is in reference to the Inquirer’s editorial “Get empowered, register to vote” (9/9/20).
What difference it would have made today if the 10 million young Filipinos who failed to register for the 2019 elections in fact registered and voted. In most of the mock elections in colleges and universities nationwide prior to last year’s senatorial elections, the Otso Diretso candidates were in the winning 12, if not topping it.
There would have been more of us calling out the administration on the dismal and corruption-ridden COVID-19 response, and forcing it to stop the spread of the disease early on, and to get us on a track to a better normal. There would have been no Anti-Terrorism Act that’s threatening to curtail our fundamental freedoms to free expression. There would have been more of us to hold public servants to account for the bloody drug war. ABS-CBN might still be airing and its 11,000 employees would still have jobs, able to raise their families while continuing to inform us about what’s happening to our kapwa.
So many what-ifs and what could’ve-beens. But your editorial makes a strategic call to address the socioeconomic bases of our frustrations, our anxieties, and our anger—and to channel them to doable actions and goals. Your appeal is also aptly directed at the young Filipinos who have the most to gain by these actions, and the most to lose by inaction.
I am grateful for your exhortation to young Filipinos to register to vote; it echoes my own appeal to young Filipinos: We are in this together. We can imagine a better normal and fashion it with our skills, talents, and compassion. And registering is a key first step.
I know that politics has become so revolting to many that they tune out of it. This is what the enemies of democracy and freedom want. This is what they engender. To make politics so repulsive that the many ordinary folk—ordinary folk for whom democracy and freedom are air—are turned off by it so that they can dominate it.
I also want to thank you for amplifying the views of my daughter Frankie. As a father, it was a proud moment that brings so much hope for the future of our Inang Bayan.
Sen. Francis N. Pangilinan
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