Sneak-peek of 2019 election

You must know by now who won in the recently concluded Barangay and SK Elections (BSKE) in your respective barangays. My greetings to all those who emerged as winners, and to those who failed there will always be next time.

There must be some who were caught off guard because they did not expect that the BSKE elections will still push through. But some made sure to file their certificate of candidacy despite no assurance if there will be election or none, or at least when it would happen. We witnessed how many times the elections were scheduled but canceled later. It has its own version of “drama” from the start.

Barely two weeks before the election, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) release a list of barangay officials who according to them are “narco-politicians”. Regardless of their alleged involvement to drugs, PDEA’s main purpose of issuing the list is to warn the public not to vote any official who is registered in the narco-list. Do we have to be grateful that none in Bataraza was included in the list?

While it is true that the barangay election is another form of democratic political exercise for Filipinos, it is “separated” from the elections on higher level, such as municipal or city level, but there are some who see the barangay election as “defining moment” for the 2019 local and national elections.

Even prior to the campaign period on May 4, from the barangay level, voters were already aware (somehow) of the alliance of their respective candidates. It is still the usual “tao-tao” or whom official(s) from a higher rank is endorsing in your barangay. If I am an avid supporter of a certain official, I would most likely support who he would endorse. This “system” exists not only in a particular place but elsewhere in the country. If this will be the case, and we don’t expect a twist in the plot of a story that we don’t even know who “directed”, it will give us a hint on who will have face-to-face encounter in the next national and local elections.

It is a reality that the local government especially in far-flung areas cannot always provide the needs of barangays throughout the year. It is then the barangay that serves as the front liners. That is why barangay election is very important. It is sad if we think that this supposed very important event will just be a “kick-off” of a higher level of elections set to happen next year. I can only hope that it does of happen.

On a positive note, I can only wish that voters have exercised their right of suffrage according to the dictates of their conscience, and not because candidates were endorsed by their idol or so-called Masters.

On a personal note:

As a former public servant, I had been once like you since I started as barangay captain of Rio Tuba way back in 1989 and eventually became provincial board member of Palawan from 1992 to 2013. I primarily consider public service as a privilege — a privilege that is tied right away with a responsibility. That’s why I believe that those privileged few must be deserving of people’s trust and expectations and must be capable to deliver excellent services to them. I would say that excellent public services generally come about through the competence of those privileged few who ought to embody commitment, dedication, and perseverance in public office.

I could vividly remember the famous passage from our former Vice Governor Dave Ponce de Leon “Minimum of politics, maximum of public good”. Perhaps, this is worth remembering. Though I am now out of politics but somehow, I continue to work as one of the frontliners of the company in the communities. Thus, still rendering some sort of public service. I recall during the time I delivered my farewell to my distinguished colleagues in the Provincial Legislature sometime in May 2013, I said, “There is life after politics” And indeed, there is…”


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