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People power at the polls

The Filipino people could not all be at EDSA to join the protest rallies vs the GMA administration or much earlier, versus the Marcos regime. They could also not all join the wake and burial of President Cory last August. But they certainly made their presence known and their voices loudly heard last May 10, 2010.

That historic day, the Filipino people once again showed the world what people power truly is like in the Philippines. Instead of taking to the streets, this time, the Filipino people flocked to the polls throughout the country and waited, waited, waited (despite the heat, the glitches, the queues and more) to exercise their power and right to vote.

People power at EDSA have ousted presidents; this time, people power at the polls elected a new president. Their presence and choice of the next President clearly showed their message and their hope for change.

Let May 10,2010 be known and remembered from now on, then, as Filipino People Power Day. Let the might and power of 50 million Filipino voters humble both the elected and non-elected leaders to render effective and genuine public service to the people who gave them their positions.

Mabuhay ang mga Pilipino! Truly, the Filipino is worth living and dying for.

And the Filipinos gratefully returned the sacrifice of both Ninoy and Cory Aquino who gave up their lives for them by electing their only son, Noynoy, to the highest position of this land. Love begets love and gratitude. Are we seeing the renewal and healing of our land? Are we on the verge of a moral rebirth with millions of our people demonstrating how true and genuine people power can peacefully bring about changes, not only in politics but in values as well?

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Who could have imagined that Villar, Gordon, Teodoro and others more would easily give in to the people's will and concede earlier than expected? People power touching others to bring out the best in ourselves, the best in everyone else?

Sadly though, there are those who still do not seem to get the message from our people. There are still those who miss the message of our people's power at the polls. Still, there are those who believe so much in themselves, they only see themselves as winning because of their own achievements, their own qualifications - sadly they do not see the voters, the Filipino people as the source of their power. On the other hand, there are those who prefer to see only their interpretation, not the loud message behind the votes of the people.

For instance, it is interesting to note that of the more than 1.1 million reported votes of the Cebuanos, Hilario Davide III was able to convince about 543,246 Cebuano voters to vote for him. Surely, these half a million voters and more did not simply cast their votes for Davide because they did not like the incumbent governor's temper?

 If the Cebuanos truly approved of the past administration's projects and governance style, why did Davide miss the top provincial post by only about 90-96,000 votes? Or why did the reported 543,246 Cebuanos not vote instead for Governor Gwen?

Is incumbent Governor Garcia truly reading the Cebuanos' message by looking at the winning margin, instead of reflecting on why more than half a million voters did not vote for her? Is she and her party also reading correctly why close to half a million Cebuano voters rejected her runningmate? Is Cebu still One Cebu for their party?

Half a million is certainly a larger number than less than a hundred thousand. Hopefully, the voice of those 543,246 (and more, if the votes of the other candidates are counted as well) who rejected her and her governance style will guide her beyond water and infrastructure-related projects. Hopefully, this time, if she is bent on a third term and on providing genuine selfless governance, she will prioritize the millions of Cebuanos who need food, jobs, and other welfare services, projects and programs that will be very transparent beyond question.

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Email: cherryb_thefreeman@yahoo.com

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