October 2, 2021
The first of October signals the week-long filing of certificates of candidacy for 2022 election aspirants. Next year’s polls are crucial with the people choosing who will be the next leaders of the nation. From the executive to the legislature, we will be using our ballots to elect our leaders nationwide which will define the course of the country in the coming years. The upcoming elections are a chance to change the trajectory of Philippine governance.
We are living in precarious times with the COVID-19 pandemic and the dismal government response to it. Additionally, there is the Duterte administration’s trademark political repression which endangers our lives and liberties on a daily basis. No one is safe from these threats, as we have seen since the implementation of the Executive Order 70 and the highly-militaristic lockdowns that miserably failed to stop the virus from spreading.
The Duterte administration’s governance has only gotten more vicious, corrupt and ineffective since it came to power in 2016. It prolongs the COVID-19 pandemic’s adverse impact on the people’s health and the economy. The 2022 elections give voters the opportunity not just to change the current leadership but to prevent any sort of continuity in anti-people and anti-development policies.
In this light, we the voters should be vigilant on two things. First, to scrutinize the candidates, their track record, and leadership history so that we can avoid having another Duterte or any of his cohorts who will only continue the ineffective governance that keeps us in such dire straits. Second, to uphold the integrity of the polls against vote-buying and electoral fraud which still proliferate.
With the right leaders elected in 2022, things can change with greater respect for human rights and the opening up of spaces to campaign for pro-people reforms.
Likewise, we should constantly expose the country’s ills as the elections near to stress the urgency of real change in the upcoming national elections among voters. Campaigning for genuine change and campaigning against bad governance go hand-in-hand. Through our unity, we can collectively tread the path towards genuine, pro-people, sustainable, and transformative development. #