Can­di­dates 2019: ‘I be­lieve I can win!’

Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion -

CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS can­di­dates! When you filed your COC, deep down in your heart, you got that pas­sion to serve your town, city, and prov­ince… your beloved Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal, The Land of Sweet Sur­prises. Don’t just be sur­prised!

In cof­fee shops, we al­ways hear from po­lit­i­cal anatomy ex­perts that, “Those who have money, enough money to spend will win in 2019 elec­tion.” Money could be one big fac­tor for can­di­dates to win but he should know how to spend it… where to spend it, with whom, and when to spend it. We do not tech­ni­cally say that he is buy­ing votes. That could go down to his gen­eros­ity ac­count.

If you are an in­cum­bent of­fi­cial, your vot­ers will al­ways ask, “What have you done in the last three or six years?” For the ex­ec­u­tives, their per­for­mances will be gauged on in­fras­truc­ture ser­vices… (good roads, bridges, build­ings)… health ser­vices (es­pe­cially free medicine and fre­quent med­i­cal mis­sions)… peace and or­der (war on drugs of Pres. Digong)… ed­u­ca­tion (schol­ar­ship, free school sup­plies)… em­ploy­ment (ca­sual work­ers, jobs’ fair re­sults)… and oth­ers.

If you are a come­backer (com­ing back after nine years), peo­ple will ask, “You got nine years there, have you for­got­ten some­thing?” Or, vot­ers will say, “We need you back, you can re­store what has been dam­aged.” If your per­for­mance was lousy, your peo­ple may opt for the in­cum­bent ex­ec­u­tive.

For the as­pi­rants, your hill could be steep if you will col­lide with the two gi­ants. You have to prove that the coun­cilors run­ning un­der you are very qual­i­fied. Tell your vot­ers who will be your con­sul­tants and who are the re­spectable ci­ti­zen of your town or city who are en­dors­ing you. Show your gi­ant op­po­nents that you are best in fis­cal man­age­ment, gov­er­nance and you are as­tute in pol­i­tics.

Can­di­dates run­ning for coun­cilors are some­times guilty of over speed­ing. Their plat­forms are not for leg­isla­tive agenda. Many of them pro­pose for project and pro­gram im­ple­men­ta­tion. Im­ple­men­ta­tion be­longs to the may­ors. Or­di­nances and res­o­lu­tions are your con­cerns. Coun­cilors do not go be­yond what is ex­pected of you. Do not bark at the wrong tree or look for the sun when you are fac­ing the moon at night.

Good (at least) coun­cilors are ex­pected to speak and write in cor­rect English (at least with a back­ground in ar­gu­men­ta­tion and de­bate), and should have skills in read­ing… not­ing de­tails, get­ting the mean­ing of words through con­text clue, mak­ing in­fer­ences, get­ting the main idea, mak­ing a gen­er­al­iza­tion, and mak­ing a con­clu­sion.

If you were a coun­cilor, you should not be­come Mr. Four Ps… pungko, pa­mati, pama­haw, pauli. Your con­stituents elected you not to be­come a mem­ber of the Com­mit­tee on Si­lence. Now ask your­self, “Am I go­ing to win?” Good luck!* in­stead of let­ting us find our free­doms. He called it im­pe­ri­al­ism. He is per­haps one of the first to strike sol­i­dar­ity with the Filipinos be­fore there came such a word.

There is so much to learn from this his­tory, yet here we are, more ab­sorbed in Face­book, pop­u­lar books of dystopia and young ro­mance and ad­ven­ture, and school text­books of­fer lim­ited texts to fire the ide­al­ism and proper ground­ing of the youth on our so­ci­ety to­day.

Those who con­tinue the fire of Boni­fa­cio’s legacy are the likes of youth ac­tivists. The Ka­bataang Mak­abayan, the group that sparked the First Quar­ter Storm in the Mar­cos’ years, was founded on No­vem­ber 30. The youth group Anakbayan was also founded on the same date. This hon­ors na­tion­al­ist, anti-colo­nial strug­gle that Boni­fa­cio waged.

No­vem­ber 30 is also the found­ing of the Lu­mad group in Talain­god, the Salupon­gan Ta Tanu Igkanu­gon, which trans­lates to Unity to De­fend our An­ces­tral Land. It brings an or­ganic di­men­sion to the na­tion­al­ist strug­gle of Boni­fa­cio, one that is rooted on de­fend­ing indige­nous tra­di­tions and ter­ri­to­ries against glob­al­iza­tion’s plun­der of nat­u­ral re­sources.

Salupon­gan’s cel­e­bra­tion though, is marked by more strug­gles. The Lu­mad schools they started in Talain­god had been forcibly closed by the para­mil­i­tary the past few days. Strangely, the school heads and sup­port groups that res­cued the chil­dren, led by Bayan Muna’s Satur Ocampo and ACT Teach­ers’ Rep France Cas­tro, are charged with “traf­fick­ing the Lu­mad chil­dren”.

It seems those who have well in­ten­tions are now treated as crim­i­nals. While those with arms and al­lies of im­pe­ri­al­ists are lord­ing over the law. It’s a legacy of be­trayal felt by Boni­fa­cio, thus his legacy of strug­gle con­tin­ues.

“Courage is re­sis­tance to fear, mas­tery of fear, not ab­sence of fear” – Mark Twain./suns­tar Davao

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