Truth, Lies and Flattery: Campaign ads

We are now on the middle of the campaign circus… I mean, period for the national candidates, senators and party-lists. We are on the verge of the local campaign period which will start on Black Saturday, March 30. But the reality is, the campaign period already started last 2012. In guise of “infomercials” and anniversary ads. And I quote, “Hanep na ang buhay!”

Delicadeza is a common word used before, during and after elections, but ironically,  seldom practiced. Is it not showing delicadeza by not releasing what they like to call infomercials but are really campaign ads? Is it not showing delicadeza not to run again if you are accused, been accused, and worse, convicted of criminal, civil, even election-related crimes committed against the people, pardoned or not? (I’m not going to include being accused of corruption because well, half or maybe more than half should not run if they have delicadeza. Sad truth.) Is it not showing delicadeza by respecting the vote of the people, instead of complaining, whining and crying out that you’ve been cheated? Well, I say, Filipinos are really familiar with the word. Many Filipino politicians meanwhile are also familiar with the word, but do not practice it.

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) have reminded candidates that campaigning is prohibited tomorrow, Maundy Thursday and on Good Friday, to show respect and deference to the observance of Holy Week and as stated in Section 5 of Republic Act 7166. The Commission (@COMELEC) asks us netizens to report to them those who are illegally campaigning by using the hashtag #HuliWeek and #SumbongMo on Twitter. We should especially keep an eye on local candidates, which I’ve noticed as their campaign period looms, the number of illegal posters, streamers and leaflets are cropping everywhere, especially in Quezon City. And considering that their campaign period hasn’t even started yet.

Truth and Lies. Is what you really see, is what you get? Do what they say, what they do really reflect what kind of person, what kind of leader, what kind of public servant they are? Not always, especially not on their campaign ads.  We can’t deny that political names like Binay, Aquino, Estrada, Arroyo, Magasaysay, Enrile, and others still has a pull on the masses. Names of showbiz personalities like Revilla, Sotto and Estrada (again) are also very easy to be recalled in the minds of the people. But, I believe that a true leader and public servant is not measured by his family name and lineage, but by his achievements, accomplishments and actions. Continuing your parents advocacy and goals when they were in position is really an admirable and good goal, especially if these projects, laws and accomplishments really help the people. But, you can’t really continue anything, or something not when they haven’t started anything at all. Di ba Poe? On a different point, on the topic of eyesore TV ads, it is especially ridiculous to see the President and Risa Hontiveros in the ad where they “sing”  her supposed advocacies. And by all things holey, she even has the gall to appear as a guest in an entertainment show like Gandang Gabi Vice!! Is that really the right forum to share platforms and advocacy? Or she wants to be discovered and be an entertainer? One word: TRAPO. Do they really think that voters are stupid enough to fall for that?  Well, recent SWS survey results (which gladly she’s not in the top 12) say that perhaps, our voters are starting to be wise and educated.  (The “formula on political ads on this report.) To add, an ABS-CBN News report says that she and her fellow candidates in the administration and their allies are the top poster violators. If they are already violating laws and rules blatantly and they are not even elected, what more if they get elected? Quoting GMA News’ election advocacy, DAPAT TAMA, sa isip at sa salita, DAPAT TAMA lalung lalu na sa gawa.

A candidate must be measured by qualifications, by what he has done and what he will do when elected. That is why we can’t rely on ads to define who a candidate is, what his/her platforms are. Thankfully, television networks and their news departments set up senatorial forums and interviews where we voters can measure, gauge, and asses the candidates if they are  qualified in the post they are running for. It is up to us voters to be alert, wise and educated on who we vote for. We cannot always rely on others to act for us, we ourselves must act. Even in the simplest way, by watching forums, participating in discussions will help you be an educated voter. Stop complaining, and start acting. Let us not be apathetic to the state of the politics in the country.  Because as ABS-CBN’s BMPM says, “It takes a nation, to build a nation.”


This post is part of News and Opinions’ participation in Eleksyon 2013

Next on News and Opinions’ Eleksyon 2013: Political Dynasties