Commentary PHL Vote 2022



One of the most pointed attacks being levied against the leading candidate for president is one word: Magnanakaw (Thief).

Over and over again, at every opportunity, at every turn, the Filipino voter is being told that this one single candidate is a magnanakaw. And therefore, who can be least worthy of the position of President?

Despite the attacks – personal, pointed, unrelenting – survey numbers seem to be moving little. While the four other “major” candidates for the presidency scramble for the balance of the voters, the leading candidate keeps an apparently firm hold on at least 40% up to a high of 60% of the electorate.

What gives?

“The ordinary people hear it. But they don’t care.” This is how one up – and- coming political leader from the Visayas puts it. “And I think they also ask themselves – sino ba ang hindi nagnakaw after EDSA? Kung hindi man yung presidente, yung mga politiko na kumampi sa kanya?”

(Who did not steal after EDSA? If not the president, the politicians who supported him?)

He had more to say.

“I think the idea of having another Marcos as president excites them. Because which presidency has left behind a concrete legacy?”

I guess he was speaking literally as well figuratively.

It got me thinking. A poor man is offered say P1000 to vote for candidate X. The poor man takes it. But someone else tells him that the money is tainted, stolen even. How many of such poor men will care, you think?

It also got me thinking: Someone with his back against the wall will surely say to himself that if pushed he may resort to stealing. Why? He needs to survive. And I can imagine that if asked why he is in such a position he will not blamehimself or his lazy father or the bad genes God gave him – it will be easier for him to blame “the system” and the people who are able to make the system work for them. Which is the elite – the political, the business and even the intellectual elite.

And some of these are the very people who condemn him for accepting the stolen money and for supporting the magnanakaw.

This, I think is why we are where we are. And to those who see this as a rut we need to get out of despite having 36 years of post- EDSA opportunities to do so, there is clearly a need to return to the drawing board.

The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of VERA Files.