From the 12 senators down to the councilors and councilmen who won in the May 13 elections, and everyone in between, this is the Poll winners must live up to their promisestime to thank the electorate for entrusting them with their votes.
More than being grateful, the winners should now commit themselves to deliver on the promises they made when, like bachelors seeking to win the hearts of those whom they see as potential wives, they promised them the earth, the moon and the stars.
Politicians are the same all over the world. They make promises to their publics, some of which they cannot possibly keep. Not unless they can walk on water and perform miracles.
Hopefully, the greater number of winning candidates will at least try to live up to some of their promises. Not the vague motherhood statements that everyone spewed out, but the specific programs they offered which could possibly improve the lot of the people whether on the national or the local level.
Some candidates may have had the best of intentions when they sought public office. But they simply could not avoid the disease of lying or exaggerating about what they planned to do once they were elected.
At the local level, there were a number of surprises. Candidates who considered themselves sure winners—most of them incumbents who are members of political dynasties—were unexpectedly voted out of office by a population that had gotten sick and tired of their trapo ways.
These were the candidates who took their would-be constituencies for granted, becoming visible and generous (with their time, but mostly with their money) only during campaign season.
They will not be missed.
Today’s electorate may be considered more intelligent. No longer are they easily bought or swayed.
As the late Jaime Cardinal Sin once advised voters being offered cash by unscrupulous candidates, “Take the money but vote according to your conscience.” Apparently, this happened in many cases nationwide. Moneyed candidates were not able to buy the elections.
Sad to say, there were also a number of candidates who deserved to win but who did not have the logistics of their less worthy but better funded opponents. If these losing bets sincerely have the best interests of their constituencies at heart, then they should remain politically active. They can join civic groups and/or non-government organizations so that they can serve in other, equally valuable ways as those who won public office.
The Philippines once again finds itself facing a crossroads. The country’s economy shows signs of a major takeoff. This week’s elections can be interpreted to mean that the Filipino people still support the widely popular President Benigno Aquino 3rd, what with his Team PNoy Senate slate winning nine of the 12 seats up for grabs.
If enough men and women who ran and won for whatever public office they sought commit themselves to follow Mr. Aquino’s daang matuwid, the country may yet live up to its billing as the world’s next economic miracle.
To the winning candidates, our congratulations. But be aware that much is expected of you. Fail and do not be surprised if you will be voted out of office next time you run. Deliver, and you can win again and again.