Closer to May 2013Cebu Daily News
In spite of the fact that many politicians have crafted shrewd ways to circumvent the law against premature campaigning in the runup to the 2013 elections, today, the first for filing certificates of candidacy, officially signals the beginning of the political season.
In Cebu City, we do not know what members of the Bando Osmena – Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) Kauswagan will do to avoid being cited for premature campaigning once they have filed their COCs considering that the city teems with “Type O” (which stands for Osmeña) and other posters.
All that members of the rival Team Rama under incumbent Mayor Michael Rama have to do is refrain from conducting their pulong-pulong assemblies ahead of March 29, 2013, the official first day for campaign sorties.
We don’t encourage an election boycott but Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes dispensed good advice on Twitter when he urged voters to remember the names of persons whose names and faces are plastered all over their locales, which makes it easier to resist writing their names on the ballot on election day.
Meanwhile, the time has come once more for voters to ensure that their Comelec records are in order especially if, for instance, they have moved to a different place. Those who turn 18 on or before May 18 next year should seize the opportunity and register as voters before the registration period ends this Oct. 31.
After registering, voters should waste no time discerning who to vote for. Various civil society groups have come up with checklists to help voters assess a candidate’s suitability for elective office.
According to Fr. Carmelo Diola, chief coordinating steward of the Dilaab movement, voters from across the country and based abroad manifested in a 2009 conference that they want leaders who are God fearing, proven servants, have integrity, are competent and have a consistent life ethics.
That checklist will be useful when voters evalute where their candidates stand on today’s hot button issues. Nationally, these issues include foreign relations especially with China and legislation like the Freedom of Information Act, Anti-Cybercrime Law and the Reproductive Health bill.
At the local level, especially in Cebu’s vote rich capital city, voters should be on the lookout for candidates who know how to build consensus and cross party lines so that progress will not be hampered by City Hall infighting.
They know the importance of continuing or improving projects even if these were begun by predecessors and that no one is exempt from obeying the law even on simple matters like sticking to the stipulated campaign schedule.
More from this Column:
- Guarding marriage
- Loose security
- Perennial problem
- Philippine independence
- Jail killers of law enforcers