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THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL SITUATION (14 MAY 2016)

Politics is at the center of our national consciousness, for the moment. How are we doing?

It seems that the 2016 national and local elections stirred more than the usual partisan divide among the people.

One, there was an uprising of largely unorganized, volunteer electoral machineries that supposedly delivered votes for their respective candidates.  This seemed evident in the cases of Duterte and Robredo. Duterte run under the PDP-Laban but it was observed that most of his campaign materials and supporters were not part of the party itself. In some regions for example, tarpaulins were printed and set up by volunteers themselves. Robredo, although running under the administration LP, was also propelled by networks of volunteers including farmers, urban poor, etc. who were never members of the party.

Two, the regions delivered the votes for the winning candidates. Although a huge chunk of the voters are from Metro Manila, It should be noted that the most defined volume of votes delivered for the leading candidates came from the Mindanao and Visayas islands, while the Metro Manila and Luzon votes were divided over the various contenders. An evident manifestation of a growing clamour by regions in the countryside to get political and economic power from the Metro Manila. A sensible message to the elected officials: focus your efforts towards regional development that can ultimately propel the political and economic upliftment of the nation.

Three, the people elected a president and vice president that stands for and represent a sentiment towards change. So the status quou is never perfect and there have always been talks of social change. But this is the first time that the sentiment for change manifested in a vote for both the president and vice president. Duterte is anchored on his unorthodox approaches and staunch anticrime stance while Robredo is very vocal on her advocacy for transparency and peoples empowerment towards participation in governance.

So somewhere in these must be a message from the people. Probably any of the following? (1)Dismantle oligarchs and political dynasty so that genuine political discourses focused on ideological and developmental paradigms, programs, and issues can be at the hear tof electoral campaigns. (2)Review the political and economic empowerment of the countryside vis-a-vis the monopoly of power and resources by the national capital region.(3)Enhance government service with efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, and peoples participation.

Anyway the next six years will be a period of continuing discernment and hopefully, national development.

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