More than a century ago, heroes like Andres Bonifacio and Jose Rizal all screamed for independence and freedom from external forces known as foreigners. After the Second World War, they were finally able to set a rule amongst themselves. Despite the devastating effects of the war, the Filipinos showed the world how good they can be and eventually ranked second to the richest in Asia, falling short by a few notches to Japan. Somewhere after however, things did not go as expected. The Philippines became one of Asia’s poorest. Now the scream of her children is freedom and independence from within — from the unjust systemic and systematic structures ruling the political realm for some decades already. 2010 seems to be a promising year.
And thus, you have ABS-CBN’s Harapan — an avenue where aspiring candidates can voice out their platforms and concerns in a pseudo-debate fashion. While I am so disgusted with how Erap makes no sense at all during the Presidential version and with how Loren followed the impeached ex-convict’s childishness during the Vice Presidential version, I decided to give the Senatorial version a chance last night.
Festive. I like the Harapan theme. We should rejoice, really. Our chance to vote is both a right and a duty. Self-explanatory.
The first pair however disgusted me to the bones. Satur Ocampo and Jovito Palparan. It was not a debate at all, it was crab mentality at its finest. They were both like overgrown ugly cry babies, biting each other’s head over a toy known as the senatorial seat. Palparan was accusing Ocampo of NPA involvement, Ocampo rebutted with Palparan’s harsh methods while he was still part of the military. Whatever happened to “these are my platforms, thank you very much?” Up to the end of the show they showed how undeserving they were of winning the national elections by urging the attendees not to vote for the other. Imbeciles.
(The same sentiments would probably go to JV Bautista, Liza Maza, and Kit Tatad. Waste of time, my hat.)
I was about to the television set in my bedroom off in disgust when the next pair came up. Bebot Bello of Lakas Kampi CMD and Adel Tamano of Nacionalista. Their rally of debate questions during the two rounds was exceptional. Well, that’s an understatement. It was super fantastic.
Bello and Tamano are from two rivaling parties, clearly seen. Bello supports Gibo Teodoro and is thus an administration candidate. Tamano is under Manny Villar’s ticket, one of the opposition ringleaders. Despite this difference however, both threw in gentlemanly questions to each other to the point of supporting each other’s platforms and urging the voting public to not forget them on May 10.
Bello said that when elected he will push for the creation of an independent peace panel. As a Muslim, this was one of Tamano’s dreams as well. Both candidates saw they were aiming for a single goal and they decided to show support to each other, despite the political differences. (This is contrary to JV Bautista who can’t even seem to have the balls to make up his mind on Erap’s all-out-war campaign versus the MILF.) Both also affirmed the public that they will have those corrupt officials during PGMA’s term be liable for whatever they have offended the public against.
This is how our nation’s leaders should be. While the administration-opposition divide is a healthy part of politics, this must not mean that the two halves are required to throw in accusations against each other just to air out their side. This is what’s sad in the Philippines — politicians pull the legs of their fellow lawmakers from the opposite side of the sense so that people develop a negative impression of them. How selfish. Why can’t they attempt to meet at a common point, clear out differences strive for a single campaign? I am so happy that last night, Bello and Tamano chose to be different from the majority. Instead of starting a cockfight, they played a fair debate.
“Sana po dumami pa ang mga kandidatong tulad ni G. Bello.” –Adel Tamano
“Satisfied po ako [kay G. Tamano].” –Bebot Bello.
I don’t think Bello and Tamano were just making a show last night. Those thinking ill are either barking madly or are just too hard to convince that despite the dirty politics we have, we still have those with clean intentions among us.
That is come May 10, 2010, I am shading #6 and #54 in the senatorial list in my ballot. Bello and Tamano have my vote.