By Jules Guiang , as originally published at his Facebook page
An open letter to the ever-so-righteous Filipino voters (or some who aren’t even registered):
Some reasons of the “I won’t vote because…” mindset:
1. “I don’t like the candidates.”
2. “They’re just the same.”
3. “Nothing will really happen once they are elected.”
4. “They are all TraPo (Traditional Politician).”
5. “I’m not a registered voter.”
6. “I don’t care.”
If you have that mindset, hear me out:
1. You don’t like them? Whether you like it or not, one of them will win and eventually become your President, Vice President, or what. You are a citizen of your country, you have laws to follow and one of those is to recognize that whoever gets elected will be your leader. Unless you renounce your citizenship and get out of your country. What happens if your bet loses? At least you can say that you have exercised your right to vote and you have the legitimacy to oppose your new leaders based on the standards/reasons/merits that you had when you voted.
2. They’re just the same? What’s your data about that? Any evidence? The campaign season hasn’t even started, wait for televised debates or attend programs in your area if ever they visit your place. If not, use social media. They say social media will play a very vital role in the 2016 national elections. We are the social media capital of the world. You know, to be honest I’m also an #AlDub fan, I hope that when campaign season starts, we can that same energy when we participate on intellectual or rational online debates. We must use social media to widen the perspectives of everyone to register, to vote, to scrutinize the candidates, to research about them, to fact-check them, etc. After all, in one click we can have access to all information that we want. If we can set a world record of tweeting a hashtag more than 6 million times just because of #AlDub, show the world also that we can do better when we’re talking about the future of our country.
3. Nothing will happen once they are elected? Since when did you realize that you can see the future? Better make that a business to have extra income then! Kidding aside, it’s easy to say that but what are your bases again? None right? Or maybe because you’ve pre-judged them because of their name or the people connected to them? Is that a valid reason? And if that’s your mindset, have you done something to make things better? Not just for you but for the community or even the nation. If you’ve done something, well and good. Do not stop, the struggle continues. But if you’ve done nothing? Better think about how useless you are in your country. More than complaining online, do something. Move it.
4. TraPo? Well this is the common reason right? They are Traditional Politicians because of how they promote their names, how they approach people, how they make decisions, how they do everything, because their names have been there for quite a while, etc. So who is not TraPo? Who does things the other way around? That’s an ideal candidate, we all want that, but before you forward someone who isn’t like that, research well first, you’ve just might missed his ads on TV, Youtube, radio, or even billboards at some provinces. Again, I’m not saying that I’m for TraPo, what I just to point out is, we have this certain mentality to put everyone down, to highlight their mistakes (which is okay), to label them and not accept the good things that they’ve done, but NEVER FORGET THEIR MERITS TOO. Remember, they are where they are now because of some good things that they’ve done before, hopefully. If they messed around along the way, then scrutinize them about that.
5. Not a registered voter? Then what are you waiting for? Don’t tell me you’re one of those making noise by scrutinizing candidates or complaining about the government? Because if you are, SHAME ON YOU. I’ve always said this and I will say it again, if you are eligible to register but you decided not to register and vote, you have no right to complain about the government or criticize. It’s your fault for not participating in the first place. I’ll respect your views and opinions only if you have registered and voted. You still have remaining few weeks before the deadline of registration which is on the 31st of October. Visit the offices of COMELEC in your City Hall or thru the internet for more details. Or visit Tatak Botante on Facebook.
6. You do not care? Then to me you are a selfish person. As long as you are a citizen of the Philippines, as long as you are using the roads, the sidewalks, being protected by the police, or enjoying any kind of services that the government offers, it is your obligation to care about your country. By showing that you care, you must think of its future, and in the context of this letter, you care about the Philippines by simply voting the fittest leaders who will steer our country to a better state than we have today.