May 12, 2010
Contact Person: Atty. Virginia Suarez-Pinlac
IN HIS HANDS
This county is in no one’s hands – that was the clear and loud message of the electorate in the just-concluded election, which first and foremost debunked the myth of command votes, whether left, right or center. If one may use a well-known phrase from world literature, indeed the heart is a lonely hunter, meaning that when it comes to making a choice between this or that candidate, one does it by one’s own criteria, whether rational or delusional. What is also clear, as evidenced by the long interminable lines before the polling precincts, is that the Filipino people want to participate and exercise democracy, want an input into who should govern them and want to be responsible citizens of the nation. Let this lesson not be lost to those who would lead by command alone. We react with opprobrium to the “puro utos-puro utos” syndrome.
The election results, still in process as of this writing, also indicate that over the next six years, this country will not be held by a single pair of hands. Benigno Aquino III might be president, but his second in command could come from another party – Jejomar Binay – and those who are about to be senators come from a mish-mash of political orientation, from the autocratic to the entertaining. More than ever, citizen participation will be of vital importance, as we look forward to six years of more squabbling and paralysis, as occurred with the now lame-duck Gloria Macapagal Arroyo administration. It is time, in other words, to lift national politics from self-interest and the preservation of one’s own power and power dynasties – left, right or center – and act from a national perspective, as a people.
As a women’s organization, Kaisa Ka is highly gratified that the electorate chose to ignore religion’s attacks and bans on those who would support reproductive health and safety for the Filipino people. We note that President-elect Aquino’s consistent stand on reproductive health and safety for the women of the Philippines did not hurt his chances at all, just as we note that those who waffled on this issue did not improve their vote count. We congratulate all the women who chose to vote for those who had an unequivocal stand on this issue, which is of prime importance, not only to women, but to the very survival of the nation.
We were disappointed on one aspect: though much was made of the possible impact of the votes of overseas Filipinos, their issues were barely focused upon in these elections. Let us rectify this in the coming years and make sure that in the next elections, the continued overseas slavery of one-tenth – and increasing -- of the population (and 65%-70% women) become a major political concern. No nation can stand together with a major segment of its population enslaved.
It was a long, tense and oft-times bitter election campaign. But time now to reflect upon the results and gear up for the battles and struggles ahead. ###