09 Oct Elections 2016: For Better Voters’ Education, Religious Leaders Are Calling On the Media to Help Out
Religious leaders are calling on the local media to strongly scrutinize everyone running for public office for the coming 2016 elections, particularly for those seeking Cagayan de Oro as well as provincial public positions. These religious leaders are also calling on local media to find ways to unmask those politicians with dirty records and reputations and instead lead people to go for those with clean backgrounds.
One of these religious leaders, Msgr. Precious Cabunoc from the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro said that the media can play a big role in exposing the real person behind those the general public wants to support in the coming elections. The public must know the real person they will be putting on their ballots and not just vote because of name recognition. Cabunoc added that anyone seeking office from the highest position in the land down to the city councilors must be critically analyzed based on their track record and true performance. Too many times the masses have continually voted into power those people who have turned out to be nothing more than charlatans and scammers.
The religious leaders noted that media needs to educate people to look at candidates based on positions they take on important issues and on the platforms they carry. Too often, issues and platforms are seldom tackled by candidates who often run election campaigns like movie or product propaganda marketing based on entertaining people. Too often, platforms are too general or too sweeping.
In My Opinion
On a more critical scrutiny, since the reestablishment of proper elections after the Marcos regime, religious leaders have been calling the media and the people time and again to choose and elect only those candidates who have true leadership qualities or those who are downright honest in their work, honest enough not to steal from the public coffers of government.
Unfortunately, much of this call from the various religious churches and sects just fall on deaf ears because until now the majority of Filipinos sadly vote and support those candidates who can distribute the most money during elections. This is a problem that begins at the barangay level that many cannot penetrate, and of which many politicians take advantage of. It is also unfortunate that many people don’t realize that most politicians running for office are unqualified for the position they are seeking.
The political arena in the Philippines, sadly, has remained unchanged since – and this is true – the first elections were ever held during the Philippine Revolution when Aguinaldo was elected, or rather bought off, as the so-called first president of new republic that he helped sell out in the beginning. Sadly, buying off voters and avoiding issues and proper platforms has become the accepted norm for candidates during elections rather than candidates fighting over who can properly answer issues, and make these answers stick when they are elected. Perhaps for each candidate we need to ask them what they think of the present China Crisis in the Spratleys, an issue that seems to be highly avoided by all candidates.
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