by Iris Dy,
Cagayan de Oro City
I have exercised my right to choose our country’s president twice before. Each time I did, I made sure that I chose the one person whom I believed was less likely to steal from the country’s coffers, less likely to trample on the rights of the less privileged, and less likely to abuse power in any way. Both times, the candidate I chose failed to win the coveted position. The first was railroaded by popularity and the second by massive cheating. I can, in fact, attest to the cheating part since I was working in the infamous DILG at that time.
I became so disgusted with how politics worked in our country that I left government service and vowed never to vote again, especially when I realized that I had done nothing but choose “the one less likely” since I was old enough to cast my ballot. I no longer wanted to choose the lesser evil, but I figured that exercising my right to suffrage in this country meant just that – choosing the least of several evils. So I decided not to choose at all.
Then came September 1, 2009 when Senator Mar Roxas sacrificed his own ambitions to give Senator Noynoy Aquino the chance to lead this country towards real change. Once again, the fire of intelligent activism burned inside me. The hope for a stronger and better nation – dead and forgotten for several years — came alive again. I prayed that Noy would accept the challenge and rejoiced with the nation when he did. Finally, I have a good reason to cast my vote again. No longer will I have to choose the least of several evils because there is now someone who dares to stand up against them. This time around I can proudly choose the GOOD AMONG EVIL.
The road that Noy will have to travel in his bid to claim the presidency will indeed be a rough one. Not only will he have to contend with the wealth, connections and machinery of his rivals, but also with the ignorance of many in regard to his stand on some issues – the Reproductive Health Bill in particular. There are those who are too quick to lambast him for supporting this bill without even reading and understanding the provisions therein. If only they would take time to read it – as I did – they would realize that Noy did not give up his moral values when he decided to support the RH Bill.
But then, there are people who are content to simply listen to those who choose to mislead them. Such is my worry; and such is the reason why I will not just stand back and watch my candidate railroaded yet again. I have, in fact, started printing out copies of the RH Bill and take every opportunity to make people understand it. I will fight, and I exhort everyone else to fight the good fight with me. Let us be one in sending out the message: “Times have changed, we will NOT be cheated out of our rightful leader this time around. We will make a stand!” Take heart, yellow team. Ituloy ang laban!