Questions voters should ask

AS the official filing of the certificate of candidacy for over 18,000 national and local elective posts for the May 2013 elections is finally over, the Filipino electorate will now have longer period of time to examine the candidates they would choose as our next leaders.

As they say, three years is too short for a good leader and too long for bad leader. But the beauty of our representative democracy is that we have the chance to kick out bad leaders every three years and replace them with good ones in the hope that they would not mess up.

It is therefore very important that we think twice before giving them our sacrosanct votes – or better yet, let us examine and evaluate the present list of national and local candidates from today until the elections day on May 13, 2013.

At present, there are practically two dominant political parties from which we shall choose our next leaders – those who belong to the United Nationalist Alliance of Vice President Jejomar Binay and to the Liberal Party and its allied parties led by Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.

By the looks of it, it is easy to surmise that the May 2013 elections is a “proxy war” between Binay and Roxas, who both have not kept secret their ambition to become president of the country come the next presidential elections in May 2016.

So it is important who among Binay’s or Roxas’ allies or candidates would be elected as they would have some political clout and have built political machinery to determine who shall be our next president to succeed President Aquino.

For the meantime, however, let us not just look at the qualifications or competence of our national and local candidates, but their character that define them and the principle they stand for.

With exception to some, our national and local candidates definitely have some qualifications simply because they have complied with the least requirements to run for public office under our present Constitution.

But the real test for these national and local candidates is the strength of their character, their compassionate heart and their reliability in times when you need them to stand up for you and what you believe in.

Every voter should be able to ask these questions for each candidate – (1) is he a strong leader?; (2) does he care about people like me and you?; (3) can he be relied upon?; and (4) can he be trusted? If our answers are in the negative, then by all means he is not worthy of our vote.

Unfortunately, there is an obvious lack of good character, and much less principle, in the “unholy alliances” forged within Binay’s UNA and Roxas’ LP where candidates in their respective senatorial slate are former fierce enemies and arch rivals – or simply put strange bedfellows.

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