Election 2013

Compared with the last 2010 election, the mid-term election according to Comelec was generally successful. Namfrel agrees but qualifies it, saying some procedures had improved but some had worsened. Since our PCOS worked and I did not have to join the long queue, I guess I would say I was quite satisfied.

At the time of writing, we are watching unofficial and partial returns from the Comelec Transparency count. Yes, the results in the senatorial race confirmed what the surveys said except that I was not prepared to see a newcomer - Grace Poe - leading the 33 hopefuls with a widening margin. And not too far behind at No. 5 is another neophyte, one with no political experience - Nancy Binay who had shunned debates and who, when asked about her background, could primarily cite her being a daughter of the Vice President.

Analysts also note another factor - "revenge" and "sympathy vote" (for Fernando Poe, Grace's father who is perceived to have won the 2007 presidential election). In fact, Grace admits that it was the focus on her father that won for her the top spot. The message of compassion (matulongin) she noted, was what endeared the late Fernando Poe to the masses. But Grace is not only the daughter of a beloved father. In her own way, she projects humility and sincerity. She is bright, talented, respectful, unspoiled, and hardworking - indeed a role model for the young generation.

But how does one explain the vote for Ramon "Jun" Magsaysay, a former senator who has accomplished much during his terms in office, with a famous father, a former president who was greatly loved and revered. But that was a long time ago, and a majority of today's voters were born after the fifties.

This mid-term election is significant as it is seen as a precursor of the political climate in 2016, and as a referendum of the past three years of President Pinoy's administration. Thus, pundits are now at work analyzing voter preference by examining the profile and experience of the national candidates. For instance, early trends in voting clearly indicate a preference for younger candidates. Which is to be expected as a majority (37%) belong to the age groups 18 -24 and 25-34.

Of the 45.5 million registered voters, 70% actually voted in some 36,766 precincts all over the country. Just as AES Watch said - and other groups who did not trust the capacity of Smartmatic to deliver a clean and accurate count - there were a number of glitches - malfunctioning of PCOS machines in some 300 precincts, vote buying, power outage, de-listing of eligible voters and discovery by Namfrel of deceased persons and centenarians whose names still appear in the Comelec list of eligible voters. There were reports of violence but only about 80 cases compared with 175 in 2010. But not enough of these aberrations and dysfunctions, for Comelec to declare a failure of election, says Chair Brillantes.

Halalan 2013 can be seen as a critical watershed in the sense that it revealed trends and issues that need to be addressed if we have to mature as a democracy. For example, although vote-buying has always been a practice, it seems like it has become much more institutionalized despite the introduction of automation. Too, more than ever before, the electorate is confronted with the issue of what to do about political dynasties. Without realizing it, and because there was no enabling law on the constitutional provision, persons belonging to one family either run together for several national and local posts (Binays and Villafuertes) or replace the other sibling or father after the latter's term is completed. Members of the same clan are voted over and over again and usually stay in power for two or three decades. Statistics show that 85% of provincial governors and 84% of city and town mayors belong to political families.

Another divisive issue is the party list system. The Comelec decision to disallow non-marginalized sectors from participating as party-list groups which was recently vetoed by the Supreme Court will now open up the system to all sectors starting this election. In the implementation of the law, the electorate should be vigilant so as to ensure that the goal of social justice is served and that the "inclusivity" concept is not abused by those with political and economic power.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit
    Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit

    Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla wept and embraced his father as he apologized for the “accidental” shooting incident in their Ayala Alabang residence, the family’s spokesman said yesterday. Lawyer Raymund Fortun came out of the private room at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City to speak to reporters, who were barred from entering the hospital compound during the visit of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. …

  • US ambassador slashed and bloodied in Seoul attack
    US ambassador slashed and bloodied in Seoul attack

    The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was slashed on his face and arm in Seoul on Thursday by a blade-wielding assailant opposed to ongoing US-Korean military drills. The United States condemned the "act of violence" which left the ambassador bleeding profusely as he was rushed to hospital, and said that President Barack Obama had spoken with him. Witnesses described how a man with a blade concealed in his right hand had lunged across a table at Lippert at a breakfast function at …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Manny Pacquiao has always believed he can do what 47 other fighters before him have failed to do — beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring. …

  • Another source of SAF execution video identified
    Another source of SAF execution video identified

    The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still tracing the source of the video showing one of the wounded police commandos being finished off by Muslim rebels during the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A source from the Department of Justice (DOJ) said they have identified two persons who first uploaded the video that went viral over social networking sites. The supposed source of the video was elusive and claimed that somebody just placed it on an external drive. The …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options