Starweek Magazine


SINGKIT - Notes from the editor - The Philippine Star

It’s not a full moon – in fact, it was the new moon – but the loonies and goonies were out in force last week, especially around “Ground Zero,” the Palacio del Gobernador which houses the Commission on Elections office in Intramuros, a stone’s throw from our humble abode. As we go to press mid-week, there were 57 presidential aspirants, with many more expected to officially signify their intention to try to take Malacañang before the 5 p.m. Friday deadline.

The Comelec chairman’s statements early in the week seem to be a contradiction in terms. On the one hand he said “it is the right of every citizen to aspire for higher office,” and that includes the highest office, the presidency. But he also said that “our election should not be made a mockery.” Add to that the warning that no one can be called a “nuisance candidate” until the Comelec evaluates their candidacy and declares them as such, which will be around early December when the poll body weeds out the “nuisances” and issues the final list of candidates. 

A free and open election is the centerpiece of a democracy, which we Pinoys very proudly proclaim. Someone has noted that basketball isn’t our national obsession; politics is. And ’tis the season unfortunately; and with the courts ruling that there is no longer such a thing as premature campaigning, it’s open season for trapos, wannabes and every variety in between to fight for their time in the limelight.

If not for the Comelec chairman’s second admonition against making a mockery of the election, I would have joined the throng and filed my COC (certificate of candidacy); as my colleague, who had similar “evil” intentions, said, being a candidate would be a nice item in my resumé, until of course it is revealed that I was declared a nuisance.

Maybe I can avoid being called a nuisance by being disqualified on another, more legitimate, issue: citizenship. With disqualification cases being thrown at a senator, and threats of more to come, citizenship is now in focus, which sadly means I’m out even before the race can start. The positions I am aspiring for – president or senator, nothing less – require a natural-born citizen, which unfortunately I am not. With my parents and brothers I was naturalized when I was four years old, and I have been a Pinoy – and proud of it – ever since, but – alas! – that isn’t enough to get me on the way to the Palace by the Pasig.

* * *

I want to add my congratulations and express my appreciation to the PNP’s Highway Patrol Group for their work sorting out the traffic mess along EDSA and, lately, along Ortigas Avenue, particularly the San Juan-Mandaluyong stretch that covers a particular boys’ school. Huge banners saying “Ortigas Avenue is not a parking lot” are backed up by action prohibiting cars waiting to pick up students from clogging up that road. School buses serving that school are now parked in a new parking structure in the nearby shopping center. Discipline is all it takes, but – alas! – that is not a commodity in great supply.

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