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Rough Cuts: Study the candidates before choosing them

In about a month from now the Davao City electorate will troop to the polling precincts all over the city to choose their leaders the highest of whom is the next mayor who will hold the reins of the local government in the next three years. The campaign in the city, from the start last March 29 has been very boring except for the aspirants for the Sangguniang Panlungsod. But as far as the latter are concerned the candidates are not engaged in vicious personal attacks. The reason is because most, if not all of them, are on board the same political boat. That is, they are either with the Hugpong ng Pagbabago of incumbent mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio, or with the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod of the mayor’s father President Rodrigo Duterte. Meaning, they are pro-administration both at the local and national levels.

The candidates will have every opportunity to present their platform of governance as well as their qualifications to the office they are aspiring. There is not any possibility of campaign hassle except in the remotest of rural areas where anti-government rebels are known operating. For mayor, it is all but the oath-taking for the unopposed Mayor Inday. So are the elections for Congressmen in the city’s three congressional districts where none dared oppose the administration bets.

Of course the fact tis, some of the candidates for councilors are engaging the services of intriguers to ensure that they can get some advantage in a contest where the participants belong to one and the same banana of a political group.

For now though, we have yet to hear if there is a replication of analliance of broadcast stations in the city and the Commission on Election for the implementation of the Comelec Hour program where the candidates are given the opportunity to reach as many voters as possible to present their plans for the city.

During the first week of the campaign period, the candidates for the local elective positions, no doubt, are expected to already have completed their campaign itinerary. And in the remaining days between today and May 12, 2019, the candidates are expected to campaign in the entire areas covered by the respective jurisdiction of the position they are running.

Therefore, by the time the campaign period expires, they sure have completed in presenting their respective plans of governance to those who came and will be attending and will care to listen to what they said or will be saying. Then, the candidates may have also completely littered every available space where posting of campaign paraphernalia are authorized by the COMELEC.

In fact the more daring among supporters of candidates have ventured into allocating even those spaces not allowed under election laws just to make sure that their principal will have advantage over the others as far as visibility to the voters is concerned.

In other words, the period with which the candidates have the opportunity to interact with the Davaoeno voters through campaign rallies and town hall type meetings could be sufficient enough for the voters to discern who among them have the best qualifications to be voted upon to occupy the positions subject to the election.

Thus, by the May 13 local polls, it is incumbent for the Filipino people to vote not just in accordance with their conscience but also on how they see the candidates in their totality as persons.

Foremost, the Davao electors should vote for the candidates who they think, after a very serious evaluation of their overall qualifications, can make government become instrument in providing their basic needs as well as protect their fundamental rights.

After all, at the end of the day, a democracy like the Philippines can only survive if its leaders can create a consensus and mutual benefit despite diversity and divergence among people.

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