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Sample ballot

Since my next column after this one will be after the elections, I might as well take this final opportunity to discuss my thought process behind who my vote will go to on May 9, 2020.

For the position of president, at this point it has become pretty clear that the race is basically between Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Leni Robredo.

For me, this is a no-brainer. I’m choosing the person with the qualifications, the track record, the vision and the heart. VP Leni is has a university degree in economics and is a lawyer.

While BBM has a “special diploma” from Oxford University, the same university has released a statement that it is not an undergraduate degree. Whatever he got, it is just a special prize for participation, just like the ones today’s preschoolers get when they lose in contests.

When it comes to track record, Leni has been proud of her “receipts” while BBM has nothing to show as far as public service is concerned. Whatever little he has done, if he does have something to show for it, simply cannot stack up against the competition. Maybe he needs to do more quantifiable acts of public service before aspiring for the top job in the land.

As for vision, there is a legend out there at BBM has one, along with a platform of governance for the country. However, since he cannot even seem to speak of it during campaign sorties, and has been willing to engage in debates to clarify it, then I’ll have to believe the one who actually talks about it herself and is willing to defend her platform in any debate.

Another important detail I cannot ignore is that Leni has no tax deficiencies while BBM, as executor of his dad’s mega estate, is responsible for one of the biggest unpaid taxes this country has ever seen. I don’t know about the rest of you, but as a taxpayer, I firmly believe that a person who wants to go into public service which entails the management of public funds should at the very least have paid their taxes.

So unless information comes out within the next couple of days refuting the facts and putting BBM on par with Leni when it comes to qualifications, capabilities and track record as far as the presidency is involved, color me pink. I also encourage everyone to use the remaining days to subject your candidates to a proper and fact-based screening process to ensure that you don’t waste your vote on someone thoroughly unworthy.

As for vice-president, it’s also a no-brainer. Aside from outqualifying Sara Duterte on paper, Kiko Pangilinan is also the logical choice if I’m going to cast my vote for Leni. If they win, a 1-2 combo that can work together would be best for the country.

For the senators, I’m going with Leni’s group as well. If I could only vote for one senator, it would be Chel Diokno. But since we can vote for more, I’m adding Leila de Lima, Alex Lacson, Teddy Baguilat, Risa Hontiveros, Sonny Matula and Sonny Trillanes. Neri Colmenares and Luke Espirito are also on my final list that could grow by a name or two come Election Day.

As much as I would like to include someone from the BBM-Sara senatorial slate for the sake of diversity, there is no one among them that looks like they would be good for the Senate that already looks like a veritable cesspool of enablers, cronies and members of political dynasties.

I am still on the fence when it comes to the party list, because I don’t think this is serving its intended purpose and is just being used by the power hungry and political dynasties as a loophole to stay in power. But if I must vote in order to keep another bogus party list from winning, up for serious consideration is P3PWD, the party list being endorsed by former Comelec Commissioner and the self-declared queen of bardagulan, Rowena Guanzon.

My votes for local positions are not yet finalized. I’m actually considering withholding my vote where the choices are uninspiring, especially if the uninspiring one is running unopposed. I’d vote for the lesser dumb or lesser evil if I had no other choice, but if there are no serious threats to a sure-win candidate, I’d rather make my non-vote a statement for them to shape up even if they already have the election in the bag. For the city council, I have to convene my family council to do the unfortunate chore of choosing another set of lesser evils.

I feel good about my sample ballot. It’s not a sure win, but it’s the best chance my kids, who are not yet of voting age, have at a rosier future. Everyone else is finalizing their lists by now, hopefully after much thought and discernment.

Whatever the outcome, we all want the best for ourselves and our children. But it would also be great if the entire country also won. Fair and honest elections would already be a great win, but if we the voters could gift the country with better public servant leaders, it would even better.*

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