By Alex P. Vidal
“Regardless of who wins, an election should be a time for optimism and fresh approaches.”—Gary Johnson
TWO big religious organizations in the Philippines have endorsed the Bongbong Marcos-Sara Duterte-Carpio tandem for president and vice president in the May 9, 2022 election.
The Kingdom of Jesus Christ, headed by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) “Most Wanted”-listed Apollo Quiboloy and El Shaddai, headed by Bro. Mike Velarde.
Soon, the Iglesia Ni Cristo, founded by Felix Manalo, might follow suit.
With three powerful and influential religious groups backing the Marcos-Carpio ticket plus the Pulse Asia (PA) and Social Weather Station (SWS) surveys, some people might think victory is in the bag respectively for the only son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and the only daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Wait a minute. Don’t be too fast.
Elections are decided by the voters who cast their ballots on election day (some malicious minds are saying they are decided by Smartmatic machine), not by the polling firms; not by cult leaders and false prophets who operate organized religions.
In the five Philippine presidential elections we have covered in the past, scientific surveys and the support of mammoth secular groups mattered, but they weren’t absolute.
Nowadays, independent voters cast their votes according to their conscience and personal choices; and they reject subjugation by their controlling leaders for a block voting.
Many of them aren’t anymore intimidated by the dominance and control of their pushy leaders, and they take liberty to openly pick and vote for the candidates that represent their sentiments and values.
And that’s where the spirit of volunteerism beckoned.
Instead of blindly following the wishes of haughty secular leaders to vote for a common candidate, many independent voters choose to go all the way to volunteer for the candidates of their choice.
They aren’t scared of sanctions and retributions. Times have changed.
With three months to go, so many things can still happen; some of the previously unshakable alliances and bandwagons might still break up and reorganize, especially in the local level.
Even The Economist has warned that “An absolute majority may not be enough for Ferdinand Marcos Jr to win the presidency.”
“The popularity of Mr Marcos, the son of the late president of the same name, is a return to form. He is particularly attractive to younger voters, who seem either unconcerned about or unaware of the record of the older Marcos, a dictator who ruled for over two decades and was deposed only after a popular uprising in 1986. The younger Mr Marcos tries to maintain his appeal by avoiding the subject of his father’s regime all together,” explained The Economist in its February 12 edition.
As the saying goes, it’s not yet over ‘till the fat lady sings. It’s a long way to go, folks.
Beware of Love Scam. Before, during, and after Valentine’s Day, many gullible people succumb to love scams, especially on social media.
Scammers offer fake love or do something during the chats that will control the emotions of their prospective victims.
Millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone.
But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money.
They’ll often say they’re living or traveling outside of the United States. We’ve heard about scammers who say they are: working on an oil rig; in the military; a doctor with an international organization.
We’ve heard about romance scammers asking their targets for money to: pay for a plane ticket or other travel expenses; pay for surgery or other medical expenses; pay customs fees to retrieve something; pay off gambling debts; pay for a visa or other official travel documents
Scammers ask people to pay: by wiring money; with reload cards like MoneyPak or gift cards from vendors like Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, or Steam.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)