Electioneering: Picking the color to spread, inspire, & mobilize

By Atty. Anfred P. Panes

The legal period of filing for the certificate of candidacy has just concluded. However, the active engagement of people on different social media platforms seems to be restless, conflicting, yet informative to some extent except for those who (for lack of a better term) irresponsibly profess irrational opinions grounded on a false and objectively misinformed and uneducated belief system.  Nonetheless, it is only indicative that our political participation is not at a stand-still despite the virtually immobilizing effect of pandemic restrictions.

This season has once again commenced the battle of colors, of leadership preferences, of charisma, and what-nots, all in the name of electioneering.  But one thing is certain: the people have grown tired of this government’s systematic incompetence and poor leadership. We have seen the blatant disregard for independent foreign policy and sovereignty, the skirting of human rights, and the suspicious fiscal management of the people’s money.  Nevertheless, there is still hope. Let us not thwart what our generation is asking.  We deserve a fighting chance, and that chance is now dawning upon all of us.

Although we cannot impose our political beliefs on anyone, the very least we can do is to enlighten them that we are sorely in need of a leadership painstakingly built on a proven track record of competence, integrity, transparency, and accountability, not just based on name recall and popularity.  Thus, we need to break the electoral culture of name recall and popularity as the basis of merits. It can neither equate nor fall short of genuine service of competent leaders despite the bureaucratic harassment perpetrated by those in the higher-ups due to their glaring insecurities and politicking. The resilience of under-rated leaders proves an exceptional step for a service with passion and with respect to the rule of law, human rights, and the will of the people and the country.

In the Philippine elections, there are many qualified to run, but only a few are competent.  It is upon us to discern and share.  Be informed. Be educated.  And when you do, spread it to the world.  When we have the resources, machinery, and passion to deliver, let us do so by educating the populace, especially the least of our brethren. Their choice is equally powerful as ours. Their votes are as powerful as ours.  We have to mobilize with a purpose and towards a unified goal of electing the competent, the transparent, and the lawful good.

As it has always been, the color spectrum has become a symbol of one’s statement. Nevertheless, our united embodiment of support configures this as the color representing proven competence and integrity in public service.

Choose your color. Wear it proudly.

The author is the founding partner of A. Panes Law and Professorial Lecturer of the USA College of Law.