Every heinous deed committed by Filipinos in the Philippines reflects on Filipinos in the Diaspora. We have to work harder to prove we are not a nation of thieves, liars and cheats. We have only each other here to vouch for us as upstanding citizens.
So when the Commission on Elections that typically takes weeks to compute purportedly completes the tally within 24 hours, Filipinos everywhere take notice.
How could that happen? Is Philippine technology so far advanced that the count went incredibly swift? If so, how was it that some voting machines reportedly, mysteriously broke down until precincts closed? Who’s accountable for those votes that went uncounted? Why were some foreign office ballots shaded with candidates’ names and some envelopes incorrectly stamped?
Then again there’s a multitude of Filipinos in our ancestral homeland who may never have heard of “Bagong Lipunan,” the catchphrase Ferdinand Marcos coined for his plotted lifetime presidency supported by a loyalist military. Anyone born after 1986 would have no clue, no thanks to a well-engineered scheme to edit history and delete the plunder of the national treasury by the Marcos regime.
Who could possibly afford to hand out thousands of pesos to each individual to show up at rallies, even millions to use their algorithmic skills to catapult their benefactor to victory? What could be the provenance of that largesse?
Majority of the voters of the Philippines seem to have favored the son and namesake of the mastermind of the dictatorship, the very one who fled to Hawaii with his wife and family, leaving behind the dregs of their greed that exceed the imagination of millions of their countryfolk.
Were we party to this outcome? Did we do our part to educate ourselves about our Philippine history and the candidates to share with those who did not know or who have forgotten? Did we vote – if we could, instead to believing one vote will not undo the inevitable? Did we give up on the country whose heroes and sheroes gave up their lives for us to be free?
We know that millions too, voted for Vice President Leni Robredo, for her clear platform of change for the better focused on livelihood programs for the impoverished. Social media gave us a glimpse of what Filipinos could be with a leader who set the example.
For now, they will have to go through the 5 stages of grief and the thoughts that arise with each:
- Denial – “This is not real.”
- Anger – “Those idiots sold their souls.”
- Bargaining – “God, please let her win and I’ll become a dual citizen.”
- Depression – “I give up, cut all ties with the country.”
- Acceptance – “This is one election. The next generation will know better.”
We always have hope.
Cherie M. Querol Moreno is Executive Editor of Philippine News Today.