By Conrado de Quiros
Philippine Daily Inquirer
May 10, 2010
A couple of weeks ago, a group asked me to be one of several people to utter a prayer for the elections. It was in the nature of a panalangin, a plea to heaven for the kind of future we want.
On my way to the place, I thought of this: “I pray to heaven to end the lying, stealing, cheating and murdering that have been rioting in this country all these years. I pray to heaven to give this country the respite it so badly needs and the deliverance it so badly wants.
“But then what in heaven’s name am I praying to heaven for? The power to do it is in my hands. The power to do it is in my vote. I vote for the right persons, I end the lying, cheating, stealing and murdering. I vote for the right persons I give myself the respite I so badly need and the future I so badly crave.
“I vote for the wrong persons, why don’t I just ask to be struck by lightning?”
I never got to say these things, they just needed a couple of lines. But I can’t think of a better thing to say on Election Day. I’ve said it before of course, but it bears saying again and again. The power to choose our leaders lies in our hands—or ought to, GMA having other ideas about it. The power to live our lives lies in our hands—or ought to, the Ampatuans having other ideas about it. The power to chart our fate lies in our hands—or ought to, the deceivers and charlatans, the fakirs and fascists, the snake-charmers and snakes-in-human-form having other ideas about it.
The only thing worse than being powerless is being powerful and not knowing it.
I have a few good men—and women—to commend on that note. Nearly all of them are running under Noynoy. I’m glad his campaign resisted the temptation to go the trapo route and seek out the more popular rather than more principled “senatoriables.” I won’t bother with the others as they are doing well enough. The ones that need your help—and vote—are:
Alex Lacson. If only to prove that nice guys can finish first. You can’t find nicer, notwithstanding that with his name he often gets to be confused with Ping. Alex has been writing “10 Things You Can Do For The Country” or variations thereof for more than 10 years, the local version of “An Idiot’s Guide to Making Yourself Matter.” He’s the most ardent exponent of what I’ve been trying to say here, which is that the power is in our hands, there’s no lack of ways you can wield it.
You vote for these people, you can change your lot in life. You vote for Jinggoy, Bong, Miriam, Johnny (though I am thankful to him for saving Noynoy’s campaign), Lito L and the usual suspects, sayang the pamasahe to the precinct. Better just ingest insecticide.
Cheaper and faster.