I am not changing my profile to show the color PINK (by the way, by most accounts De La Salle University did not change its lights to pink to show support for Leni Robredo after she announced she was running for President – let’s all be careful about misinformation from all supporters on all sides). I also don’t agree with calls to “Vote Straight” or vote for all candidates of a specific party. I agree it should be competency over color, Pilipinas – di Apelyido, di Kulay, di Partido.

Six years after “Change is Coming” we are still blaming PNoy and the “Dilawan” because “nothing has changed, or things have gotten worse in our country” although both the House of Representatives and the Senate have been controlled by the current Administration during that time. And, if this current Administration is so good, why do we need BBM (Bongbong Marcos) to make our country “great” again?

That said, I totally agree with Josh Mahinay who said, “Trolling and fighting are so yesterday. For 2022 elections, let’s talk about important issues that will affect you and me.”

Why should we let Leni lead? How exactly can someone with BBM’s record make us “great” again? Why should we trust Isko (Moreno) when he says he will take us in a different direction from the Duterte administration, when President Duterte himself named him as one of the candidates he would support to succeed him? What exactly does (Manny) Pacquiao bring to the table? Panfilo Lacson and Tito Sotto were virtually marching lockstep with the Duterte administration until a few months before the election. Why should we trust them now?

Aside from the perceived “sin” of running under the Liberal Party for Vice President, Leni has never been tainted with accusations of anomalous transactions, corruption and crimes. Can we say the same for the other candidates? When we say that the sins of the father shouldn’t be visited on to BBM, what does that say of us when we insist on passing on the perceived sins of PNoy to Leni (who isn’t even related to him) just because she ran under the Liberal Party? Need I remind everyone that President Marcos himself was a member of the Liberal Party from 1946 to 1965 and was even Liberal Party president from 1961 to 1964?

Why are BBM supporters and DDS so averse to discussing issues and the stand of specific candidates on these issues, their past accomplishments, and the pros/cons of each candidate?

I prefer to do my own research on the positions taken and records of each candidate and, if I see posts or even memes criticizing, praising, or making fun of candidates, I make it a point to verify with credible news sources if the information is true before sharing it.

It’s saddening to see so many supposedly “educated”, “Christian”, “well-informed” friends and acquaintances who can’t even respectfully and calmly discuss the positions their candidates take on issues.  They respond with “TAE”, “Bobo”, “Putang Ina”, mocking memes, and fake news from Facebook pages and Youtube videos. When you ask them for specific facts or evidence, specific news articles, or if you try to discuss the pros and cons of each candidate, they can only reply with “Never Again to Dilawan” or “No to Dilawan”.

What makes someone Dilawan, by the way? Criticizing Marcos? Criticizing Duterte? Criticizing both? President Duterte’s own mother Soledad Duterte or Nanay Soling, as she was called by her supporters, led the Yellow Friday Movement, a movement against the administration of then-President Ferdinand Marcos in Mindanao that led to the People Power Revolution.

You have the right to support BBM, Isko, Lacson, Pacquiao, instead of Leni, but, at the very least, you should be able to be able to defend your choice without swearing or cursing and without using fake news.

For a position as important as the Presidency, don’t you think it’s worth a few moments of your time to do some real fact-checking?

What we must change in our country, in our society, and, most especially.  in our mentality is our tendency to SETTLE for what is already there, accept things as they are.

We never demand more and better from our leaders, especially if we supported and voted for them.

This was true for Marcos Supporters, Cory Supporters, Ramos Supporters, Erap Supporters, Arroyo Supporters, PNoy Supporters, and now Duterte Supporters.

Instead of demanding that they fulfill their promises and do better when their Administration makes mistakes, we rabidly and blindly defend the leaders we support, we deflect criticism and we brand as Dilawan or Dutertard anyone who criticizes the leader we support.

The good things our leaders do shouldn’t even be reason for us to praise them – they are doing their JOB. We shouldn’t ignore each administration’s accomplishments but, more importantly, we should NEVER be blind to their mistakes, their failings, their missteps. They WORK FOR US. When they finish projects that benefit us, when they pursue programs that do some good, THEY ARE JUST DOING THEIR JOBS USING TAXPAYERS’ MONEY. And that is what we pay them to do.

When they make mistakes, when they refuse to correct these mistakes, we shouldn’t stay silent and say there were also missteps in previous administrations. They promised us they would do better if elected and we should hold them to that promise. We should call them to task if they fail to do better.

When they fall short of expectations and we criticize them, when we call them out, when we demand that they fulfill their promises, it DOES NOT make us unpatriotic, Dilawan, Dutertard, Anti-Government, or even Anti-Administration. It makes us GOOD CITIZENS.

We should be mature enough to listen to the criticism, do our research and   find out if any of the claims are remotely true, then think for ourselves. Watching YouTube videos, reading misleading excerpts and screenshots from Pro-Duterte, Pro-Marcos, or even Pro-Aquino sites don’t count as research. You need to read the works they claim as references, you need to read the whole speeches from which certain passages or sentences are quoted, you need to understand the historical context.

We can make informed decisions. We can demand REAL CHANGE. If, after listening to all sides and researching their claims and counterclaims, you still want to vote for Leni, BBM, Lacson, Isko, or Pacman, then do so. This is a democracy.

But DON’T share posts with fake statistics, 60-second videos with misleading facts, and commentaries mocking Martial Law and EJK (extra-judicial killing) victims as proof of your research and “open-mindedness”.

If you are a patriot, then do your part and VOTE WISELY.

Do not settle for less than what was promised. Do not settle for less than what can be accomplished.

DO BETTER and require the leader you choose to also DO BETTER.

Mario Dandi Romano


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