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Preparing for 2019 elections

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Amidst the problems of rising inflation, soaring prices of prime commodities and gasoline and services, election fever is heating up in the Philippines as the deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy has been set for October 1 to 5 for national, congressional and local candidates. Proof of the heating election fever is the killing of many local officials and barangay leaders, most of whom are said to be aspiring for reelection or higher positions. Another proof is the frenzied selection by the major political parties of their senatorial and congressional candidates as well as the bets for provincial, city and municipal posts.

 

Pre-election positioning is also noticeable in radio and television advertising, especially by one Mindanao congressman eyeing to become a senator and a lady governor in the North who also wants to succeed her brother in the Senate. In Manila, pedicabs and jeepneys are seen covered with tarpaulins of candidates for mayor and vice mayor, including the possible tandem of reelectionist Mayor Joseph Estrada and his vice mayoralty candidate, former congressman Amado Bagatsing. Possibly in violation of election rules, Mayor Estrada bombarded with more than a dozen tarpaulins  the campus of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila proclaiming what he claimed he has done, using the taxpayers’ money, for the city university, even as Manilans and visitors are complaining everyday of heaps of uncollected garbage in city streets. Tarpaulins are also visible in other cities in the country while the more zavvy are all over the social media with their photos, videos, slogans, statements and even plans and programs.

 

Meantime, the Commission on Elections continue its preparations attending to the ballots and the registration of new voters, including overseas Filipinos, in the Comelec offices nationwide. Comelec wants to expand the registration sites to include the popular malls. The Comelec’s actions come amidst the assurance of President Duterte that the coming elections will be honest and credible. To ensure this, he has ordered that a limit to the number of bodyguards of politicians be reduced, among others. Earlier on, Mr. Duterte appointed the chairman and other commissioners of Comelec to fully constitute the body after the retirement of several commissioners. We support the initiative of the President but he and the Comelec cannot succeed without the full cooperation of all the candidates and the voters themselves. It behooves upon every citizen to be responsible voters for, after all, the people get the government that they deserve.

 

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