A leap of faith

Published October 9, 2021, 12:05 AM

by Dr. Florangel Rosario Braid


Dr. Florangel Rosario Braid

Last Thursday was not just any day. I was asked the day before to pass the word around that VP Leni will finally make her announcement. But we were not prepared for what we saw as we went through our Facebook page. Almost two-thirds of the 60 or 70 posts were on Leni and these were accompanied by pink-colored pictures, cartoons, or memes. After months of suspenseful waiting by many, and weeks of prayer and discernment by VP Leni and her advisers, she announced that she would run in order to be able to respond to clamor for change. She said that if her office was able to reach people with support needed during these difficult times, and that if they were able to provide these things – shelter, livelihood opportunities, medical support, education, and other services, and with all their limitations, how much more if they had more resources and freedom. This, towards the attainment of our vision – a government that is just and accountable.

“As long as we are all together in the struggle, and as long as we fight and remain united till the very end, we shall win. But we have to free ourselves from the situation we are in. Lalaban ako, lalaban tayo. (I will fight; we will fight). For I have deep faith in God and in the Filipino people.” These were extracts from VP Leni’s speech which many thought were unlike most politico’s speech. Which she wasn’t as she remains up to these days the sincere servant leader, sincere and honest to the core.

Many were teary-eyed and emotional. One remarked: “How touching it was to watch an actual frontliner and victim in the Duterte regime still shine with hope and love for this country.” Among the remarks given by Facebook viewers were that VP Leni made “decency” a norm and that “she said the right words.” According to former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Chair of ISambayan, VP Leni was chosen by this coalition of 123 member organizations, 47 local, and 22 overseas Filipino worker groups, with a total of three million members, following a rigorous consultation process and according to these criteria – integrity, competence, track record, patriotism, and winnability. The candidate must be able to lead us in healing the nation, and in restoring our pride and dignity as a people.

The last day of filing for candidacy in the national election is Oct. 8. Unless Sara Duterte files her candidacy on Oct. 8, there will be five candidates with stature for the presidency – Senator Manny Pacquiao with Rep. Lito Atienza as his VP; Mayor Isko Moreno with Dr. Willy Ong, Senator Bong-bong Marcos; Sen. Panfilo Lacson with Sen. Tito Sotto as running mate, and VP Leni Robredo with Senator Francis Pangilinan as her VP.

Among the developments that may be expected in the May 22 election are (1) the role played by political parties since it is observed that their power is diminishing and is being replaced by civic organizations; (2) whether there indeed is a “youth vote;” (3) power of political dynasties; (4) how campaigns will be conducted in the light of the pandemic; and (5) innovations in the electoral process.

According to Comelec, there are 18,160 positions in this coming election – 12 Senate seats; 316 at the House of Representatives with 253 from congressional districts and 63 seats from party-list system.

Here is the breakdown in the provinces, cities, and municipalities:

81 governors; 81 vice-governors

782 seats for provincial boards in all provinces

146 city mayors and vice-mayors

1650 seats for city councilors

1,468 municipal mayors and vice-mayors

11,908 seats for municipal councils

Estimate of total no. of voters – 62.63 million

52 percent of total registered voters consist of the youth population.

Considering the anticipated number of voters and the fact that we are still in a state of emergency, the May 2022 election does indeed provide a daunting challenge to Comelec and the Filipino electorate.

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