There is some glimmer of hope that we will be able to vote for better leadership in 2010.
The first encouraging sign is that we will have automated elections nationwide. If everything works out as it should, we will see an end to an endless electoral contest where there are no losers but those who cheated and those who got cheated. If everything turns out as it should, we will know who our next President is in about a week's time.
The second encouraging sign is that it seems people are creating their own choices for Presidential candidates. This is a very welcome development indeed.
I already have my own choice and I began working on this with a group of people in 2006. It's a good thing that our group is not alone in searching for a better choice, beyond the so-called list of survey frontrunners.
Just recently, we've seen the 'launch' of several alternative candidates.
Of course, there's Among Ed Panlilio and Grace Padaca. Then there's the Moral Force of Supreme Court Justice Reynato Puno. Then there's brother Eddie Villanueva with his Bagong Pilipinas.
What is encouraging to me at this point is not so much that new names and not so new names are cropping up. But it's the idea, just the idea, that people are showing that they're thinking independently of surveys and other so-called indicators of winnability.
A friend in the group I am with right now said it very well, "The elections in 2010 is not about the candidate, it's about us. It's about believing there is a right choice for President and making that choice early."
At this point, I think I have a lot of space to give to friends who have made their choice.
Here is Junep Ocampo's piece on what he thinks ought to be accomplished by Panlilio and Padaca:
Here are my thoughts on the questions you raised. They’re just my personal suggestions to whoever will be elected in 2010. I am sending them to Among Ed (Panlilio) and Ate Grace (Padaca). I believe they have their own programs. I’ll email them to you once I get a copy.ECONOMYPreserve jobs and create more by introducing radical reforms such as relaxing minimum wage requirements for some industries, longer work hours yet fewer work days.Invest on business infrastructure in the regions to encourage companies to set up businesses there. Give support and incentives to farmers. Put to use all idle government lands. Treat every business owner who honestly pay his taxes as a VIP. Make it easy for him to do business.HEALTHEradicate corruption in DOH. The funds wasted in graft can very well sustain hospitals like PGH.Invest on nutrition. Bring back nutribun and milk in schools. Promote planting and eating of vegetables. Institute a nationwide exercise/fitness program like running, bicycling, walking. Give incentives to companies that will promote a healthy lifestyle among their employees.Ban the selling of cigarettes in the streets. Provide ex-cigarette vendors with a more exciting product to sell.DISASTER PREPAREDNESSPredict, prepare, plan and practice for disasters. It’s been done during Martial Law days. It’s a matter of doing it again. Rid the DOTC of corruption. Restore the dignity of the Coast Guard.Rid the BFP of corruption. Find a way to integrate BFP with volunteer fire brigades.PEACE AND ORDERRestore the dignity of the AFP and the PNP through leadership by example. Prosecute and convict all erring military and police officials.Invest in the economy of Mindanao. Help rebels start new lives as productive law-abiding citizens.Rid the judiciary of corrupt justices. I once heard an observation that the Philippines has the best justice system money can buy. Corruption in the courts must end for justice – and peace – to truly flourish.FINAL NOTEOur country is like a car that requires a major overhaul. It’s far from being hopeless, though. One Singaporean friend of mine commented that we Filipinos are truly blessed with all the resources. “You just need a good leader to show how blessed you are,” my friend said. I hope we can find that leader in 2010. I see that leader in Governors Panlilio and Padaca. I just pray that our countrymen would also see it in them, too.