The so called “Aldub” phenomenon is making its presence strongly felt from the streets to the digital world. Even if you’re a no boob tube fan, it’s difficult not to notice it. It’s everywhere that even those who don’t read or subscribe to local showbiz feeds may have had some form of exposure to the hype. It’s difficult to understand how the public is being so receptive to the, frankly, overplaying and overhyped AlDub tandem. Suddenly, it’s news that AlDub is being discussed in a UP class. Even a priest is claiming that AlDub offers lessons on true love. Seriously? To make matters worse, Eat Bulaga’s rival show, It’s Showtime, is trying to match AlDub with the hard-sell Pastillas Girl in the search for her Pastillas Boy.
It’s just a few days till we all trek to the precincts and cast our votes. I have this one last chance to address all of you, most of all those who will eventually get elected. And so I will use the power of the keyboard and social media in the hopes that my letter will be read by some….hopefully, all of you.
For the first time in many election periods, I am having great difficulty filling up the 12 slots for senator. Some people I know are saying there is a dearth of suitable candidates for the position. Maybe, maybe not. But one thing has definitely changed — I am now more choosy and discerning about who to vote for. And I am scrutinizing each and every one of you before making my choice.
I have already aired some of my voting criteria on social media so this letter will be different. I am addressing those of you who will get elected.
It does not matter what kind of voter you are – new voter, old voter, disenfranchised voter, or a voter needing changes or corrections to voter details. Read on. This is for you.
The 2013 elections may seem like a very long way off but between then and now, if you have a few spare hours, hop on over to your local Commission on Elections (COMELEC) office if you fall under any of several categories and register or validate your voter information.
Based on Resolution No. 9149 as amended by Resolution 9168, COMELEC has been mandated to conduct voter registration from May 3, 2011 till October 31, 2012. COMELEC offices will be open from Mondays to Saturdays, 8am to 5pm. This should be more than ample time for everyone to get their voter registrations in order.
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The problem with black propaganda is that the electorate want to hear the things they want to hear and actually believe it . Take for example the statement that went viral on the internet, titled “Why I will vote for Noynoy,” allegedly written by Winnie Monsod but which she denied ever writing it. The email says things that voters who desire good governance want to hear. I received one such email and told the sender that it is not written by Winnie Monsod. He wrote back and said “If you support Noynoy, then it doesn’t matter if it is fake”
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I was invited to attend the Bagong Botante event last November 13 together with other bloggers. This was an event I was itching to go to because I wanted to see with my own eyes the counting machine and the ballot to be used in the coming 2010 elections. Yes, I had a lot of questions.
COMELEC and Smartmatic people came out in full force. Among those in the crowd were COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez, Cesar Flores (President, Smartmatic-Asia Pacific Region), Rafael Cuenca (Smartmatic Voter Education Website Coordinator), Gene Gregorio (Smartmatic Spokesman & PR Manager) and Miguel Avila (also with Smartmatic).
If you’re one of those voting for the first time and you’re wondering whether voting is going to be complicated, or if you have some skepticism about the ballot’s being secure, I’ll let you in on some of the things I learned about the ballot that night.
What the Ballot Looks Like
The ballot is still in paper form just like the old ballot that we are used to. But it now looks more professional and is roughly the size of an A4 sheet of paper. The names of the candidates running for national positions are printed back-to-back. Here is a sample of the ballot.
(Ballot – Front – Click to enlarge)