PPCRV to voters: Don’t get starstruck
MANILA, Philippines—Don’t get starstruck.
This was the call of election watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting to voters following the number of showbiz personalities who filed their certificates of candidacy for the May 2013 polls.
PPCRV Chair Henrietta De Villa said voters should choose candidates based on their capability and not their popularity.
“Voters should not be blinded by money, popularity or even by the family name. They should screen their candidates and choose those who are capable, principled and patriotic,” she said in an interview.
Among the celebrities who filed their COCs include reelectionist Governor Vilma Santos-Recto in Batangas and political newbie actor Aga Muhlach as representative in the fourth district of Camarines Sur.
Actors Christopher de Leon and Richard Gomez filed their COCs for representative of the 2nd district of Batangas and Ormoc City mayor, respectively, while feisty talent manager Annabelle Rama is running as Cebu City north district representative.
But De Villa was quick to add that the PPCRV is not biased against showbiz people.
“There’s nothing wrong if they are from showbiz but we are just reminding voters to properly screen their candidates. Is the candidate capable of the position that he or she is running for?” she said.
“Don’t vote for them just because they are popular or they have name recall because if that’s the case, then they have undue advantage,” she added.
De Villa likewise noted that more candidates who want to participate in next year’s polls belong to known political dynasties.
“We are saddened that trend of candidates now seems to be from political dynasties,” she said.
Several candidates who filed their COCs for the coming elections are running for posts held by a relative, raising concerns of political dynasties maintaining their power in government.
Even the family of President Benigno Aquino has been dragged into the issue, with Aquino’s cousin Paolo Benigno Aquino IV running for a Senate seat.
Other members of the administration coalition’s senatorial lineup who are related to incumbent officials include Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, brother of Senator Pilar Juliana Cayetano; Senator Manuel Villar Jr.’s wife, former Las Piñas Representative Cynthia Villar; and Senator Edgardo Angara’s son, Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara.
On the other hand, similarly situated senatorial bets of the United Nationalist Alliance include San Juan City Representative Jose Victor Ejercito, son of ousted President Joseph Estrada and half-brother of Senate President Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada; Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile Jr., son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; and Nancy Binay, daughter of Vice President Binay.
“Although there’s nothing wrong if one belongs to a political dynasty, we are worried because this is indicative that our democracy is unhealthy,” she said.
“If our democracy is healthy, there’s wider participation from the people. If we only have political dynasties in our election, it becomes exclusive to a few families and expensive as well because those who are also capable will no longer run because they don’t have the money and political party to begin with,” De Villa explained.
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