by Tonyo Cruz and Noemi Lardizabal-Dado
More than 80 days have passed since senatorial and partylist candidates started their campaign. But they have yet to answer important questions and present their campaign pledges.
On May 8, days before the elections, bloggers and netizens across the Philippines will hold a Blog Action Day with the theme “Dear Candidate/s: Time to listen, time to answer questions”.
We in #juanvote, a citizen media and netizen campaign to cover the elections, ask bloggers and netizens to join this Blog Action Day to make our voices heard, to trumpet issues that are important to us, and to seize this opportunity to make politics work for us.
Blog Action Day gives bloggers and netizens – individually and collectively – to ask the hard questions to candidates. In so doing, we help other citizens make their choices. For sure, some candidates would feel attacked or hurt by the questions that we will raise. But they should not take anything personally. It is part of the territory. Candidates should earn each and every vote in order to win.
How do we do this? How do we participate in the Blog Action Day
1. Write an open letter to any candidate of your choice. You may write to as many candidates you deem important. Whethey they run for partylist or senator, or even local positions, it doesn’t matter.
2. In your blog post, ask your candidate/s questions and explain to them why their responses are important to you. Your questions may be personal, or may affect you personally, or your work or your education, or maybe your kids.
You can also phrase the Dear Candidate post in the form of a memo, following the President’s statement that we are his boss. It is like a memo from the boss to an employee or to a prospective applicant. Such a memo emphasizes accountability, their role of providing service to us and not the other way around. It also underscores the fact that they are accountable to us and that they are serving us and that they owe their election to office to us, the voters.
3. If you candidate has a blog, website or Facebook Page, link that post to him and to the #juanvote page over at Blog Watch so we could track your post.
4. If you don’t blog, you could still participate using your Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. Just don’t forget to link to #juanvote page over at Blog Watch.
5. On Twitter, share your posts and use the hashtag #juanvote. Mention your candidate’s username too.
If you notice, this Blog Action Day seems all about the candidates. Frankly, this is a conscious choice because we think candidates should practice and honor accountability and transparency starting during this campaign season. And in so doing, we educate ourselves and fellow citizens that we are indeed the real boss, the sovereign, in his supposed democratic system that we have.
If you are in, you could start by tweeting and posting an announcement on your blog to say that you’re part of the #juanvote Blog Action Day.
On Election Day, we will take action, using our gadgets and social media capital, to help fight fraud and expose anomalies. #juanvote will release a short memo soon on what we could do, one way or another, to contribute to a successful democratic process.
If your post is up, please link your post to this page so we can share your post.
Here are what social media users shared about their voting criteria during two tweetups:
May 1 #juanvote tweetup
May 4 #juanvote Miting de Avance
The campaign is backed by Smart Communications , the technology partner of BlogWatch #juanvote social media coverage.
Thanks to Smart Communications for the internet connection and livestreaming video support.
Here are the 33 candidates for the Senate position and their twitter accounts
1. Hontiveros, Ana Theresia N. @risahontiveros
1. De Los Reyes, John Carlos G. @jc_delosreyes
2. Llasos, Marwil N. @iluvmarwilop
3. David, Rizalito Y. @LitoYapDavid
DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES
1. Belgica, Greco Antonious Beda B. @greco_belgica
2. Falcone, Baldomero C. @BalFalcone
3. Señeres, Christian M. @Seneres2013
LABAN NG DEMOKRATIKONG PILIPINO (LABAN)
1. Angara, Juan Edgardo M. @sonnyangara
1. Aquino, Paolo Benigno IV A. @bamaquino
2. Madrigal, Maria Ana Consuelo A. @TheRealJamby
3. Magsaysay, Ramon Jr., B. @rmagsaysayjr
1. Casiño, Teodoro A. @teddycasino
1. Cayetano, Alan Peter S. @alanpcayetano
2. Trillanes, Antonio IV F. @TrillanesSonny
3. Villar, Cynthia A. @Cynthia_Villar
NATIONALIST PEOPLES COALITION
1. Enrile, Juan Ponce Jr., C. @jackenrile
2. Legarda, Lorna Regina B. @loren_legarda
1. Pimentel, Aquilino Martin III D. @Koko_Pimentel
SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY
1. Alcantara, Samson S. @SamsonAlcantara
UNITED NATIONALIST ALLIANCE (UNA)
1. Binay, Maria Lourdes Nancy S. @nancybinay
2. Cojuangco, Margarita R. @TingCojuangco
3. Ejercito, Joseph Victor G. @jvejercito
4. Gordon, Richard J. @Aksyon_Gordon
5. Honasan, Gregorio B. @gringo_honasan
6. Maceda, Ernesto M. @SenMaceda
7. Magsaysay, Maria Milagros Esperanza H. @mitosmagsaysay
8. Zubiri, Juan Miguel F. @migzzubiri
1. Escudero, Francis Joseph G. @saychiz
2. Llamanzares, Mary Grace P. @GracePoe2013
3. Hagedorn, Edward S. @EdwardHagedorn
4. Montaño, Ramon E.
5. Penson, Richard L.
6. Bro Ed Villanueva @Bro_Eddie