It’s now or never

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide - The Freeman

Cebu is the center of Southern Philippines in commerce and trade as well as in education. Let me hasten to add that this is not “humbug”. I speak with an articulated sense of humility. For instance, the country’s largest international and domestic shipping companies like Eastern Shipping Lines, Gothong, and Cokaliong have their headquarters here. In the field of education, there are prestigious universities here like University of San Carlos, CIT-University, Cebu Institute of Medicine whose graduates usually place in the top ten of yearly licensure exams. People from all over Visayas and Mindanao come to Cebu for all conceivable purposes.

Sadly though, we have seen that the best minds in our city have avoided making themselves available for public service. In the past few decades, no Bar topnotcher has run for an elective position. The best engineers practicing their profession in our locality have stayed away from politics. The top of the cream of certified public accountants and doctors, have shown no interest to serve our city in an elected position. I am certain that their combined brilliance could have boosted higher the growth of our beloved Cebu City had they opted to offer themselves as candidates during elections. Why?

These high-caliber professionals keep their integrity with insuperable dedication. They will never tarnish their names with ignoble deeds. The present electoral practice of mudslinging is something that can stain their honor such that they will never place themselves in a position to cast aspersion on others. And they have seen something worse --many of our electors cast their ballots to those who give “pahalipay”. When they get top ten ratings in professional examinations, they do so in complete reliance upon their mental faculties and upon God’s blessings.

My point is real. The main reason why the best and the brightest among our professionals shy away from politics is the evolving culture of most voters. Believe me, many electors do not anymore wait for money from candidates. They ask. They demand, so to speak. Politicians who do not give, are denied of their votes. Many times, modern-day candidates bid and outbid one another.

Brilliant men rely upon their capability. In fact, their high economic status is the product of their mental acumen. The power of their thoughts is beyond monetary valuation. Bidding like what our elections have seemingly become, is wrong! It is in their mind that people can trust them for what good they can draw from the depths of their genius. They do not part with their money to be elected. So that if “buying votes” is the only way to win elections, they shun this practice.

It is all up to us, the citizenry, to reverse this electoral wrong. The time is now. It’s now or never. In the 2022 polls, we will not ask candidates to spend money to buy our votes. Rather, we discern who among those seeking elective positions have brilliant minds and social conscience.

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