2013 election winners should learn to sail even against the wind | Inquirer Opinion
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2013 election winners should learn to sail even against the wind

/ 11:24 PM June 06, 2013

The top 11 Senate winners range in age between 35 and 49. (As of this writing, the 12th place is still a tossup between Richard Gordon and Gringo Honasan who are both senior citizens.) Does this mean something?

I like to think that Filipino voters want change, the reason they have chosen young leaders. The young have more energy and enthusiasm to try out new things in technology, and they are more open to ideas and have the zest to follow through on tasks. Possessing natural idealism, the young have their dreams before them, not behind them. On the other hand, old politicians tend to rest on past laurels.

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Of course, if you read the names, you are struck by the dynasty issue. The newly elected senators carry the same familiar family names. But at least the faces are new—and younger, yes, younger versions from the Aquino, Angara, Pimentel, Cayetano, Escudero, Binay families.

Truly disappointing is to see old versions of established dynasties emerging victorious at the local level—like Imelda Marcos in Ilocos Norte and Joseph Estrada in Manila. Discouraging are reports of new, emerging dynasties, like that of Saranggani Rep. Manny Pacquiao’s, whose wife Jinkee ran for vice governor of the province and won in her first foray into public office. It’s a relief his brother failed to win a congressional seat in a nearby city. People are asking, who will Pacquiao field next from the family? His Mommy Dionisia? The idea is not as funny or as farfetched as you think.

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But there are encouraging signs as well. Leni Robredo, widow of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, won overwhelmingly against a member of the Villafuerte dynasty which has been in power since 1978 in Camarines Sur. In Cebu, dynast Tomas Osmeña failed in the mayoral race in Cebu City (his first defeat after 26 years in various elective public offices). So did the Garcias who didn’t make it in most of the races they joined.

According to Agence France Presse, “this election is seen as an affirmation of the administration of (President Aquino).” The Aquino administration’s victory (nine elected senators from his Team PNoy against only three from the rival United Nationalist Alliance) is “seen as vital to his ambitious reform agenda.”

Now that the people have made their choices, it is the turn of those who have been chosen to show that they are worthy of the vote. They should meet challenges with strength and readily account to the people for their actions. It is said, sailing is not letting a boat be driven by the wind; rather it is the art of using the wind to drive a boat toward a given direction, even if the sailor has to sail against the wind.

Our newly elected officials will find out that working in government oftentimes entails a lot of rough sailing because so many problems—poverty, job scarcity, corruption, environmental abuses, political manipulations, deceptions, etc.—persist. Indeed, our 2013 election winners have to learn to sail—even against the wind.

—DETTE PASCUAL,

[email protected]

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TAGS: 2013 Elections, Gringo Honasan, Richard Gordon, Senior citizens
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