July 13, 2024


With only two weeks leading to the May 9 presidential elections, Filipino voters, by now, should have already decided whom to vote for at the local and national level.
More importantly, lessons learned from failed campaign promises of politicians should have been embedded in memory by now. Promises, platforms and advocacies after all can be easily flaunted during the campaign period. Living up to these is another story.
Take for instance one of the foremost assurances spoken by campaigning politicians – the eradication of graft and corruption. Yet, ironically, some of the politicians promising this are those previously charged with malversation of public funds and other forms of misdemeanor.
Since the start of the campaign period on Feb. 8 for national candidates and March 25 for local candidates, Filipino voters have listened and watched politicians make the rounds in nooks and crannies of the country in a bid to win the hearts of voters with their promises, which in many cases are not fulfilled once they are in the halls of power.
But still, many Filipino voters have not learned this important lesson – to say the least, as they keep on electing politicians with broken promises, including their anointed ones. Despite a track record of “poor and weak” leadership, we continue to see such politicians win and rule in places here and there for several terms, which can stretch to decades.
Up to now, many voters have not matured enough to rightly discern who among the candidates are capable of implementing or fulfilling doable platforms or advocacies responsive to the functions and roles based on the positions they are aspiring for. Sadly, many voters cannot seem to distinguish the functions of candidates for executive positions such as president, governor and mayor, and the legislative positions such as senator, congressman, provincial board, and councilor.
Worse, many candidates for legislative positions proclaim campaign promises which can be best fulfilled by candidates for executive positions and vice versa.
It is also unfortunate that many voters can hardly decipher the real abilities of candidates beyond their singing and dancing gimmicks; while other voters have short memories of past misdemeanors of candidates.
Filipino voters are witnesses to unfulfilled promises made by candidates during the campaign period up to the time when elected leaders report their supposed accomplishments in their respective state of the nation, provincial, city, and municipal speeches.
This means there should be a change in the mindset of many voters, who consider campaign promises as outright accomplishments to be when these are merely proposals.
Also, credit grabbing practices among politicians over infrastructure projects and services continue to deceive the public, especially among voters, into believing they owe these candidates big time.
The late great Sen. Miriam Santiago, however, once said politicians claiming credit for projects that are funded by taxpayer’s money through signages or billboards must be stopped, as such practice is an “act of grabbing credit from taxpayers”.
The good senator is gone but up to now, we notice several politicians for their credit grabbing speeches in spite of the passage of the Anti-Epal Law that bans government officials, whether elected or appointed, from self-promotion through placement of their names and pictures on signages of programs, projects, and government properties.
In this modern-day election period where most Filipinos have access to news and information at their fingertips due to the advent of technology, it is our hope they will value the name of every candidate they will shade in the ballots come May 9, as in their hands lie the future of this country and the Filipino people.
We must not allow politicians whose big success is getting fresh mandates every election then come breaking their own campaign promises for the rest of their term.