Thursday, May 17, 2007

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


The consistent domination of opposition candidates for the Philippine Senate over the estimated multi-billion peso candidacy of Gloria Arroyo's cronies in the May 14th midterm elections proved that an educated and informed Filipino electorate would choose reason, principles, and honest government over corruption, dirty patronage, and a cheating government. The credit goes to a coordinated efforts launched by the responsible Philippine media, non-governmental organizations, and other concerned groups for free and clean elections.

The defeat of movie celebrities running for theSenate, and most particularly the humiliating election “knockout” of Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiaowho was running for Congress, would send a signal tothose concerned that the Filipino voter is now 'bornagain.” However, reports of election fraud, votebuying, switching and snatching of ballot boxes, andviolent acts such as burning of a school house used asan election precinct still happened despite anationwide red alert and the presence of foreign observers to monitor the election process. I believe a new and effective Philippine government would be able to solve such problems next elections.

Aptly described as having the effect of a referendumon Gloria Arroyo's questionable presidency, the elections produced a clear and convincing victory fordie-hard critics of the Arroyo administration such asformer vice presidential candidate Loren Legarda,Congressman Francis Escudero, Senator Panfilo Lacson,and most importantly former military leader AntonioTrillanes who staged a military demonstration in 2003 that was participated by hundreds of disgruntled military men calling for a change in the current administration.

Here in the United States, President George Bush accepted the resignation of his beloved defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld after last year's midterm elections when the Democrats took control of Congress.He saw that the American voters were not satisfied with the conduct of American military involvement in Iraq where the Pentagon took responsibility. He got the cue from the electorate and he did what he had todo- change the course of action to win the war forfreedom and democracy.

There in the Philippines, the signal for change isthe resounding defeat of Arroyo administration candidates such as Mike Defensor, Luis Singson,Prospero Pichay and Sultan Kiram for the Senate, Lito Lapid who received only one percent of the vote for Makati Mayor, Ali Atienza, son of incumbent Mayor LitoAtienza for Manila Mayor, and the imminent defeat ofher allies for Pampanga governor , Lilia Pineda who is the incumbent mayor of Lubao, Pampanga, and Mark Lapid who is the incumbent Pampanga governor, at the hands of a Roman Catholic priest named Father Ed Panlilio whose main advocacy is against corruption and gamblingcalled “jueteng.” And the Filipino people's cry for change is none other than the illegitimate presidency of Gloria Arroyo.


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