Valuing the right of suffrage



Atty. Gregorio Larrazabal Atty. Gregorio Larrazabal

I’d like to share what I wrote on social media last week.  Something which I believe needs to be emphasized, especially since the May 13, 2019 elections is fast-approaching.  The message that voters need to vet the candidates they will vote for.

It seems not many realize the importance and/or value of their right of suffrage.  Many seem to have forgotten that when we vote, no matter our place in the social spectrum, whether the individual is a billionaire or an unemployed person who does not know where his next meal will come from, all of us become equals.  Each one of us is just allowed one vote, and we are on the same footing.  It is the core of a country’s democracy, where each person, by voting, makes the statement that he/she has a stake in the country’s future.  However, when a voter does not properly vet the candidate; makes a choice based on factors which have nothing to do with the competency of the candidate; or when a person sells his/her vote; etc., these are indicators that show voters do not take their sacred right to vote, seriously.  These are clear signs that they do not value their voice in the democratic process.

To re-iterate the point raised above, I’m posting verbatim what I posted, both in English and Tagalog.  It’s in both languages to further accentuate the importance of being able to convey a message, and in the hopes of reaching more people, who will possibly, and hopefully, vote in the upcoming elections.

When you hire an employee to work for you, even as a casual employee or even a lowly janitor. You INTERVIEW the applicant. Ask questions to see if he/she is up to the responsibilities of the position. You don’t hire a Manager on the basis of him/her being able to sing and dance, RIGHT?

Gov’t employees are ALL paid with taxpayers money (OUR money). MEANING, we are their bosses. They work for US. They’re responsible to US. They’re there to serve US. Whether they serve for 3 or 6 years, they’re there for the whole duration to provide service to the public.

Now, look at the job description of the elected officials, specially the legislature. Does it include singing, dancing & entertaining as part of the functions? NO.
So... why will people vote for people whose only thrust in the campaign is to entertain, right?

Candidates need to be vetted. You mean to say you give more time and effort in vetting a messenger who gets minimum salary, than legislators who’ll craft laws that will affect us for decades?


Kung ikaw ay kukuha ng empleyado o tao para magtrabaho sa’yo, kahit casual lang o janitor, magtatanong ka para malaman mo kung siya ba talaga ang nararapat sa posisyon at sa mga responsibilidad na kaakibat nito. Hindi ka kukuha ng manager dahil lamang sa siya y marunong sumayaw at kumanta, tama?

Ang mga empleyado sa gobyerno ay pinasasahod nang mula sa buwis na ibinabayad nating mga mamamayan. Nangangahulugan ito, natayo ang kanilang boss. Nag tra-trabaho sila para sa atin. Mananagot sila sa atin. Nandiyan sila para pagsilbihan tayong mga mamamayan.

Alamin natin ang uri ng trabaho ng ating mga halal na opisyal lalong-lalo na ang mga miyembro ng kongreso. Kasali ba sa trabaho nila ang pagkanta, pagsayaw at pagpapatawa bilang parte ng kanilang trabaho? Hindi.

Kung ganoon, bakit iboboto ng mga Pilipino ang mga kandidato na ang pinagpipilitan at pinapakita lamang sa kampanya ay ang magpatawa at magbigay aliw, di ba?

Ang mgakatangian ng mga kandidato ay dapat suriin nang malalim. Ang ibig ba nating sabihin, higit ang panahon at pagsisikap natin sa pagsusurisa kakayahan ng isang empleyado na maliit lamang ang sasahurin kaysa mga mambabatas na gagawa ng mga batas na pang habang panahon ang epekto sa atin?

Pag-isipan natin ito.