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Opinion

Move on

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT - Atty. Ruphil Bañoc - The Freeman

It was a campaign like no other in recent memory. But it’s over now. It’s time to move on.

It is only natural --but not advisable-- that during any political campaign unprintable words are uttered. I have some words for the winners as well as the losers: Let us not take things personally.

I witnessed the passion and enthusiasm of the supporters of Leni Robredo and Bongbong Marcos. I believe that in any group, the diehards do not comprise the majority. Many are moderates who just want to go on with their daily lives, unhampered by toxicity, win or lose.

The best way for us to understand each other is to know that we may be confronted with the same facts, but we always differ in our conclusions. People will either look away or look our way.

We should celebrate the fact that democracy is still alive and kicking. In some parts of the world, we can never campaign without risking our lives the way we campaign in the Philippines every election. We can shout until we are blue in the face or until kingdom come. So, instead of hating each other, why don’t we try appreciating each other? Let me try.

I appreciate the fact that Leni’s campaign was characterized by sheer volunteerism. People from all walks of life pooled their resources in an effort to overcome the vast machinery of the opponent. You could see young faces leading the house-to-house campaign to face both the enjoyable and the painful experiences.

On the other hand, I saw how ordinary Filipinos who supported Marcos endured the name calling. I also saw how BBM and Inday Sara opted not to answer controversial issues and instead continue their own way of running their campaign.

We still have so many things to work on in improving this work in progress called democracy. I believe that both camps employed trolls. They might be mandated from their campaign managers or initiatives of their loyal supporters.

They encouraged fake news whenever it suited their interest. “All warfare,” according to Sun Tzu, “is based on deception.” Let be quick to point, however, that such “deception” is not always in the negative sense, such as when he advised that when you are strong, pretend that you are weak.

To every winner: Know that on your shoulder is a huge responsibility that comes with the position that you aspired for and won, so huge that it will break men and women made of weaker stuff. There are times you have to make unpopular decisions, and alone in your own room, you will have to wrestle with your conscience. Only a good moral compass can truly help you.

To every non-winner: You either look at defeat as a fresh start or the end of the road. Many stories have been told about many people who bounced back after experiencing defeat. They picked up the broken pieces and learned from every painful lesson.

To all of us: The truth is that moving on is everyone’s responsibility. Victory will be empty if we remain unforgiving and if are harboring grudge towards our fellowmen. Victory will be empty if draw pleasure from ridiculing the defeated. But just as heavy is the responsibility of the defeated to concede defeat. Defeat can be meaningful if we understand that there are better days ahead.

ELECTION

POLITICS

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