Numbers game

VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez - The Freeman

After every event, the basic question of a journalist is to ask the authority what the crowd estimate is. If I remember this correctly, the policemen have a formula for calculating how many persons could fit in a venue considering its size. I'm not privy to how they do it, but I'm pretty sure they have a standard of how many individuals can stand per square foot.

This becomes interesting at present because of the different sorties done by presidential aspirants. Particularly one done by Vice President Leni Robredo in Negros Occidental. She created a lot of buzz after reports came out that there were 70,000 in one rally. Apparently, detractors wanted to debunk this when in fact they weren't there to start with.

Fact-checking comes in handy because after every sortie, manipulated photos appear to flood social media. On top of it being a numbers game, it’s becoming a deception race. What's sad is that a chunk of the Filipino population disregards the skill of having to verify and just believe what is presented to them. No wonder the proliferation of troll pages and fake news continues despite efforts to take them down.

Other local businesses are riding on the hype of the coming elections. They are selling products with the faces of the aspirants on them in an attempt to do a pseudo-survey. Their mechanics are quite simple; they let the customer choose a candidate, tally it every day, and come up with a conclusion who is leading. Yet, all of these are done not because they want to use the research for the betterment of the country, only to get more sales.

Even the election itself is a numbers game, let's admit that. Yet, there are still those who question the credibility of its truth. They want to contest what happened for their own agenda, which is quite unfair and ridiculous. However, I'd like to think that we are better at interpreting numbers. Visuals may play an advantage when it comes to campaigns, but I have faith that we can go beyond that.

In the coming weeks, Comelec will hold their debate for aspiring presidents and vice presidents. Apart from the issue that there are those who won’t join them, we will be seeing the clear intentions and pure hearts of those who deserve to lead the country.

You know, it gets tricky by the moment. As each day passes, it is a day nearer to the day when we finally choose among them all who is worth it. Yet as tricky as it can be, it is also exciting as we get to meet who has been chosen beyond track record and programs. An exciting numbers game, indeed.


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