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People power

By Dr. Ramon Ricardo A. Roque, CESOI, Diplomate

The Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections scheduled next week will again be an illustration of how we Filipinos individually and collectively use our power and collective resources.

As we are in a democracy, the power belongs to us and not to the people we elect to lead us. Electing our leaders is essentially the initial aspect of entrusting our power and resources to people who should serve by leading us. While we give them leadership positions, they are fundamentally our servants.

Let us all be reminded that it is in our best interest to select our servants well.

Among all political elections in our country, the Barangay and SK elections are the most ideal opportunity for us to properly and wisely use our power because we are in the best position to elect leaders based on merit. Those seeking to serve us are people we most likely know because they are from the same communities we live in.

While family bond is strong in our country, let us all remember that electing a relative does not always mean acting for our and our community’s best interests. When we elect Barangay and SK leaders based solely on blood relationships and not on competence and character, we misuse our power.

The Barangay and SK elections are the most ideal opportunity for us to test if we can subordinate personal to our collective (our community’s) interests. These elections are not contests of which family will win – it is a responsibility for us to ensure that our respective communities and we, the people living in them, win.

Choosing who to trust our power and resources is essentially a matter of choosing the candidates who are most competent and have the best character to both lead and serve.

The candidates’ actions and inactions during the current nine-day campaign period for the Barangay and SK elections can mirror their competence and character.

Are the candidates following the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) rules on election paraphernalia and campaign expenses? Do they know not only the problems in our communities but also the development needs of the same? Do they have plans for our respective communities once elected and are they discussing them during the campaign?

The government we get is the government we deserve because we, the people, choose those run government.

On May 14, let’s individually prove to ourselves that we are capable of putting in place a government that will truly serve our and our community’s interests.