On The 2016 Elections (last of a series)
The 2016 Elections presents another opportunity for change. Not that His Excellency President Benigno Aquino III did not do well as a President. It’s just that an election presents a chance for a fresh start, an opportunity to rectify mistakes outgoing leaders may have committed during their incumbency and continue the programs they have implemented which are proven to be beneficial.
Under Noynoy’s watch the Philippines experienced a steady economic growth from 2010 to 2015. The battle the Aquino administration waged against graft and corruption is by all means serious. It resulted to the hospital arrest of a former President, netted the impeachment of a Chief Justice, forced the resignation of an Ombudsman in order to avoid impeachment, and led to the conviction and indictment of high-profile individuals, including three (3) incumbent senators. However, what may go down in history as the best legacy of the current administration are not economic gains nor the weeding out of corrupt government officials but a bold educational reform… the introduction of the K to 12 program.
The Aquino-led government also made miscalculations and had misgivings. It is not perfect, neither were past administrations. History will judge the present administration’s performance, it will decide whether or not Noynoy can be ranked among the best presidents Philippines had.
If the Liberal party (where Noynoy belongs) could have their way they would want their anointed candidate (Roxas) to win the presidential derby so he could continue the programs already in place. But Roxas’ fate, and those of the other candidates, are in the hands of the Filipino electorate.
No matter how great the accomplishments of Noynoy as president it is not a guarantee that the candidate he endorsed (Roxas) would be chosen as his successor. As a matter of fact, Roxas has not topped any of the election surveys held in the past months making many believe that it would be difficult for him to win. If the Filipino voters choose to hold Noynoy accountable for his booboos as president and turn a blind eye on his accomplishments it now becomes a question of whether Noynoy’s endorsement is a bane or a boon to Roxas’ candidacy.
The Filipinos are hard to please. They tend to remember the few mistakes people in position commit and forget about their many accomplishments. The most difficult part is that Filipinos demand too much from their leaders but they fail to perform their civic responsibilities.
So, it’s really time to change…time for Filipinos to change the way they choose leaders and time for them to change their perspectives about nation building. The 2016 elections present an opportune time to do exactly that.
One of the tragic flaws in the Filipino character is pinning their hopes on a leader to make their nation a great one. After all these years they haven’t realized that nation building is a shared responsibility between leaders and the citizenry and that, in reality, the citizens carry the bigger chunk of the burden because they are the ones choosing the leaders who will hold the reins of government.
The Filipinos refuse to be accountable. So, for the forthcoming presidential elections they have the same mind set. They still subscribe to the notion that the president they will elect must singlehandedly solve all the nation’s woes. The Filipinos blindly cling to the belief that the head of the executive branch of the government is a supernatural being who can weave magic and in a snap of a finger eradicate all of their problems and provide everything they need.
Whoever becomes the next president will be considered the anointed messiah who must work the miracles the Filipinos are expecting…no traffic, no power outages, more jobs, higher salaries, lesser taxes, subsidized education, more school buildings, and what-have-you. The elected president must deliver. He/she must curb criminality, end insurgency and eradicate poverty in the shortest possible time.
Who among the presidential hopefuls can do all the aforementioned? No one! Nobody from among Binay, Duterte, Poe, Roxas and Santiago can perform the miracles the Filipinos are expecting…unless they do their part…unless they contribute what they ought to.
A leader may be brilliant but if the citizens will not do their share in nation building then peace and prosperity will remain just a dream. It’s not demanding too much form the citizens. They only need to perform their civic responsibilities. That’s all they need to do.