The official campaigning for the Philippine national elections has started. In three months, Filipino voters will elect a new president, a vice president, 12 senators and more than 100 party list representatives.
Under the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003, Filipino permanent residents in Canada who still carry Philippine passports and Canadian Filipinos with dual Canadian-Philippine citizenship can vote in the coming national elections. In addition, they have an extraordinary opportunity to contribute to the development of a clean Philippine government like that which they now appreciate in Canada.
In the past, the number of absentee voters was disappointingly small. Only a small number of Filipino eligible voters in Canada actually exercised their right to vote in past Philippine national elections. This is regrettable because they are missing the chance to introduce the gospel of clean government – service, honesty, accountability and transparency with rights and freedom for all – that they have imbibed while living in Canada. These are lessons worth sharing with voters back home to benefit the family and friends they left behind.
This May 2022 election is crucial to the survival of democracy in the Philippines. Eligible Filipino voters in Canada can set a good example by junking corrupt trapo politicians. It may be an effort to know the different candidates well but it is necessary in order to choose the best. Check their background and record of service. (Read CFNet’s special features which started in November on the five Philippine presidential contenders). If their campaign promises sound too good to be true, beware; they may be so. Honest and decent politicians are hard to find in the Philippines today because Filipinos are used to dirty politics. That is how it has been over there for years.
Hopefully Canadian Filipino voters can make a little difference this time by carefully choosing the best candidates. They can start the way to restoring decency in Philippine governance. By making intelligent choices in this coming May 2022 election, they can put the country back on the right track.
It is disturbing to see Marcos Jr. ahead in Pulse Asia’s survey of voters in December. Making him president will erase the horrors of his father’s martial law and distort Philippine history. Voting for him as though the Marcos family, including him, has not done anything wrong will show that lying and breaking the law are now acceptable behavior in government. It will be a signal to all corrupt Filipino politicians that crime literally pays as shown by the Marcos loot and their bank accounts.
In this coming election, it is time to bring sanity back to Philippine governance by making an informed choice and electing the best presidential candidate among the five contenders.
Filipinos in Canada, who still have the privilege to vote in Philippine national elections, have a great opportunity to make a difference in Philippine politics through this crucial election. The country is in grave danger of being ruled by the son of a former dictator, who left a legacy of murder and corruption, and the daughter of an extrajudicial-killing president. May Canadian Filipinos put this opportunity to good use on May 9, 2022.
Eleanor R. Laquian for the Canadian Filipino Net’s Editorial Board