Here we go again: Political circus has begun a year ahead of polls

Here we go again: Political circus has begun a year ahead of polls

/ 05:00 AM May 17, 2024

In about a year from now, we will once again be electing officials for local government units and both houses of Congress. It is essential that our mayors and governors take responsibility for ensuring that local and national laws are beneficial to all Filipinos and our country. Similarly, our senators, House representatives, board members, and councilors have the crucial task of crafting legislation that is in the best interest of their constituents.

I have previously emphasized in a newspaper article the urgent need for majority of Filipinos to develop critical thinking. Without this fundamental shift, we will continue to be at the mercy of elected officials who rely solely on popularity and political connections, instead of necessary qualifications such as education, experience, and expertise.

Our electorate, especially those from the socioeconomic classes C, D, and E, must become discerning, analytical, and capable of identifying unqualified candidates, many of whom come from political dynasties. Otherwise, governance will remain mediocre, and favor only the rich and influential.

Legitimate nongovernment organizations, which have the wherewithal and capacity, must take the lead in promoting critical thinking. Unfortunately, due to various circumstances related to their existence, they find themselves preoccupied with urgent issues such as protecting children from online abuse and combating climate change. While these efforts are commendable, they only address superficial needs in society and do not bring about transformative change.


Intellectuals, who should ideally be leading societal transformation, often focus on pursuits such as the arts, literature, and culture. While these endeavors are enriching, they have limited direct relevance to the pressing economic, social, and political challenges our nation faces.

In both urban and rural areas, many heads of poor households, mostly men, engage in risk-taking through various forms of gambling. This diverts a significant amount of time, money, and effort away from entrepreneurial endeavors and into activities like cockfighting, bingo, jueteng, lotteries, and the like. The majority of the population, referred to as “ordinary people,” disengage from politics, opting instead for leisurely activities such as watching movies, dining out, and so on, especially during weekends and holidays. The forthcoming May fiestas, sponsored by entrenched political families in preparation for the 2025 local elections, further highlight this detachment from political realities.

The political circus for the upcoming local and national polls has already begun more than a year in advance. Unfortunately, the legitimate opposition appears ill-prepared, as recent polling data show significant leads for Vice President Sara Duterte and Sen. Raffy Tulfo for the presidency. Notably absent from the top senatorial posts are opposition stalwarts, with the list being dominated by administration and pseudo-opposition loyalists. It is widely acknowledged that big corporations strategically support candidates from both sides, ensuring influence regardless of the election outcome.

This symbiotic relationship extends to corporations associated with the administration due to family connections or lucrative government contracts. Despite hopes for internal conflicts within the ruling elite, as seen in the feud between the Marcoses and the Dutertes, genuine change remains elusive as these powerful factions engage in power struggles. Given this disheartening reality, it is understandable that many Filipinos, particularly critical thinkers both in the country and abroad, seem helpless in confronting this bleak state of affairs.

Nono Felix,
[email protected]

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TAGS: opinion, political column

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