With the 2022 national elections fast approaching, political parties have begun endorsing their candidates for the two highest positions in the government. Senator Panfilo Lacson together with Senate President Vicente Sotto III recently announced their candidacy for President and Vice President positions respectively. They are the first pair to launch their candidacy for the upcoming elections. What is notable about this tandem is their long, extensive years in politics. Lacson has been in politics since 2004, while Sotto was elected Senator in the 1992 Senatorial Election and is now on his 4th term as senate president. It seems like the tandem did not draw a lot of public attention but stood dedicated to their advocacies of fighting corruption and drug abuse in the country.
The popular presidential bet amongst the youth is no doubt the incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo and Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno for Vice President. This tandem has been the most anticipated candidates to seek the two highest positions in the government. But when Mayor Isko Moreno announced on the evening of September 21 that he will be running for the presidency with Doctor Willie Ong as his running mate, confusion sparked among the youth. We all witnessed the leadership that Mayor Isko demonstrated at the peak of the pandemic, especially the accomplished projects he has done in Manila that gained recognition from the public. We’ve also seen the humility of Vice President Leni as she aided the Filipino people in her own ways.
However, many believe that Mayor Isko Moreno is at this time not yet befitting for the position of the Philippine President but as a presiding officer which is considered more suitable. While Doctor Willie Ong can do more as a Senator. We need a health practitioner in the Senate who can pass legislation on health-related matters. While the masses await for Vice President Leni Robredo on whether she is to seek a candidacy, a division in votes is expected between her and Mayor Isko Moreno, which could be a huge opposite if only they are in tandem.
Among the candidates for the two highest positions in the office, Senator Manny Pacquiao running as President caused the most public uproar and disagreement, as most argue that he is not yet ready for the responsibilities of a world leader. When asked about his qualifications at the National Assembly held by the anti-Duterte faction of PDP-Laban, Manny Pacquiao said he is molded by poverty. But that isn’t the answer to that question. He is still lacking in terms of proper education. Although he has successfully attained a seat in the Senate, it can hardly be considered enough experience, given that he could’ve done more by using his platform. Being dedicated to serving the Filipino people is not enough. Public service may be what is expected from politicians but the responsibility of upholding matters of state is much of a bigger responsibility than that.
The youth of today should know better when it comes to choosing the right politicians as their future leaders in the coming elections. We have already witnessed so much controversy in all areas of the government during this administration that it is only fitting for us to generate the best possible impact that would benefit our country the most by voting wisely. And with the health crisis that we are currently on, it bared and introduced the kind of politicians that we have elected during the last national elections. The pandemic, as tough as it is for many, unveiled the difference between the politicians who just called themselves “politicians”, and the rest who do all the work and serve their people competently. The power to choose lies within our own hands, and the only thing left to do is to be mindful of whom we choose to entrust by holding this country together. Mistakes can only be done once, so don’t let it happen twice.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of POLITICO.PH
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Clarisse Rafols is a student at the University of the East, taking up Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She is a former officer of UE Journalism Society and is currently an intern for Politico aiming to become a learned journalist to serve the general public with factual information.