December 5, 2022

Elections are integral to democratic governance for it is the ultimate expression of the people’s will. Election is always hot topic in the Philippines. The 2022 elections will be held in the midst of a pandemic. The public has begun heated debates about their political beliefs.
The battle for the presidency is heating up. Given its ubiquity, it’s no surprise that social media is the most accessible source of election-related information. Filipinos, especially the youth, express their opinions on who and why they are supporting a certain presidential bet. I’ve read a lot of posts on Facebook that make obnoxious political statements, articles, and memes. People justify their views by bringing up old issues about a candidate. Worse, they hurl insults at supporters of the candidate they oppose. Having different political beliefs can cause division among families and workers. Friends unfriend or block each other on Facebook. I once saw a photo with a text that said, “Oh, the election is approaching. Do you have any pals left?”
It is encouraging to see a lot of people stepping out of their comfort zones to express support to candidates they believe can effect changes in the country. Exchanging ideas allows people to gain broader understanding about candidates, allowing them to learn more about them. Sadly, some people are so passionate about their views and choices that they believe others’ decisions are incorrect. It’s fine to judge someone based on the candidate they support because everyone has the freedom to their own beliefs based on their knowledge. Allowing your judgment to shape your actions and how you interact with others, on the other hand, is inappropriate. Using the social media to call the attention of supporters of candidates you oppose or those who disagree with your opinions will not change their minds. Neither will it demonstrate that your belief is better and more reasonable. Respect for others’ political beliefs is crucial in democracy.
Despite our differing views on voting, we all have the same aim in mind: to make our country a better place to live in. Let us be respectful; our thoughts and opinions may be correct, but it is not a justification to defame and ridicule others who do not share our convictions. (HAYCEE CHRISTIANIE T. TAYAMBONG)