The Long Road to Change

It is six days after the Philippine presidential elections as I write this and from the looks of the results and how the politicians have conducted themselves during the campaign and after the elections, I have personally concluded that the road to change is going to be a long one. Like most of the Filipinos who cast their votes (a reported 75% out of 50 million registered voters) last May 10, 2010 though, I was happy with little victories.

That the PCOS machines actually worked on E-day and that we already had results coming out so swiftly by nighttime. That the losing candidates for president and vice president came out the next day to concede so graciously to Noynoy Aquino and to either Binay or Mar Roxas. I thought to myself -- finally, no more talks of cheating or of vote manipulation. The losing candidates were defeated fairly and squarely. Or so I thought.

Fast forward to today and we have former president Erap Estrada talking about Hocus PCOS. Mar Roxas and Jojo Binay are contesting the VP position so hotly that Binay has been reported as saying that there is a plan to rig the results in Visayas and Mindanao. Oh well, old habits die hard and as I see the events unfold before me, I tell myself, life, or politics as we know it in the Philippines, will still probably be the same in the next six years.

As expected, I lost this recent election (again), having voted for the Transformer team of Dick Gordon and Bayani Fernando. While it was clear to me that these two individuals are far from perfect, I voted for them because I thought they had it in them to govern the country best. Pagbababago. Sigurado. As I actually was stunned by the speed at which the election results were coming in, I knew that my vote for Dick Gordon (who worked for the Automated Election Law) was not wasted.

None of my senatorial bets made it to the top 12 list. I purposely and consciously did not vote for anyone who had already been a senator in the past. I wanted new names. New faces. I spent a night going through all the candidates' background to see what their credentials were and how they could be of help to the Senate. Now that we have seen the winning senators, frustration is a mild word to describe what I feel. What do we see? Actors and movie stars. Old politicians or relatively young ones with old political names. Want to win an election? Appear in the movies or on TV. Be part of a political family with long roots in the Philippine political scene. It is still a matter of name recall and popularity. I guess it's back to the drawing board for the new politicians (or maybe, non-politicians would be a more appropriate term) who wanted to break into the political scene.

If Brother Eddie or JC de los Reyes (or even Nicky Perlas) had won the last election (aside from Dick Gordon, of course), we could probably say, that their being president alone already signifies change. It does look like Noynoy Aquino will be president by June 2010. One of his first statements that Dinky Soliman may return to her old DSWD post has reduced my hope level already. Still, as a veteran of lost elections as a registered voter, I wish him well. I hope he proves me wrong. May the road to long, lasting and positive change under a Noynoy Aquino administration be short and swift.

[By Angelica Viloria | Sunday, May 16, 2010]

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