Daily Star LogoOpinions


Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, May 16, 2019
Front Page
Star Business
Opinion
Sports
Star Life
People & Events
Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Keep your ballot secret

Ninfa Leonardia

The counting is apparently not over yet, but the more I see of the results in the national elections, the more desperate I feel. That is because I could see that some of the people I had prayed so hard to be included in the list of winning senators, are slowly being eased out of the winning margin, by several who, I believe are likely to toe the line when it comes to presidential preferences. I hope and pray I am wrong in my assessment, and I also hope many others pray with me that Heaven will watch the Philippines, and keep her forever free!

***

It looks, though, as if the so-called modern gimmicks or tehnologies used in the recent polls are not as efficient and trouble-free as we had all expected. Up to this time, and probably until the week ends, there are still undetermined winners in various towns and cities, and even provinces, so doubt may creep into the minds of voters that the newfangled voting machines are not as efficient and perfect as touted. And when one goes over the results flashed on the TV screen every so often, one continues to wonder how come the ones we had thought would easily make it because of their known record of trustworthiness and knowledgeability, are going farther down the lists of winners.

***

I am happy, though, that Senator Cynthia Villar has stuck to her Number One post, because she is one of the most untiring and knowledgeable senators we have. All through the years she has been in office, she has been on the go, and has familiarized herself with the problems in the regions. I have the feeling that if we are going to have another woman president, it will be no other than Cynthia Villar, who seems like a mother to all local officials.

***

I am dismayed, though, that Bong Revilla made it to the Magic 12. Is he not just out on bail from that scandalous charge involving his Priority Development Assistance Fund, or PDAF, where he and some other senators were in cahoots with the enterprising business woman named Janet Lim Napoles? And he is winning a senatorial seat again! What kind of people are we to prefer jailbirds, rather than honest trustworthy leaders?

***

I guess I spoke too soon about the recent elections being peaceful and free of violence. Yesterday’s reports said a school in Sulu was attacked by armed men who wounded several people who were gathered to vote, and also set fire to several vehicles. Explosions were also reported in Maguindanao and Cotabato City, but I think that was no surprise to the people in that region. We should be very thankful that our own province and city have been spared such violence.

***

We should also be thankful that a potential problem area in southern Negros Occidental remained peaceful during election day because any expected, or feared disturbance had been preempted by the sudden visit there of the President who made sure that peace would prevail before, during, and after the elections. I am sure Moises Padilla town was a model of orderly elections last Monday, with the shadow of Mr. Duterte still hovering over it.

***

I was startled to see a news item yesterday about a congressman who, it said, may face charges for showing his ballot, or voter’s receipt to the public, possibly to those at the precinct where he voted, and worse, also had his picture taken while doing so and having it published in a national daily. Apparently he didn’t know that doing that is considered a violation of the election law. That seems strange because the Floirendos are noted politicians in Davao. Businessman Antonio Floirendo explained that it was to show it to other politicians to avoid intrigues.

***

What he obviously did not know is that such is a grave violation that is punishable with imprisonment of up to six years and disqualification from holding public office, as well as the loss of the right to vote. After this, I am sure whoever his opponent will be in an election, will cite this case against him to ensure his own victory. So it is not called “secret balloting” for nothing. Let all future voters be warned.*

back to top

   
  Email: visayandailystar@yahoo.com