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A vote for newbies


jullie yap daza - medium rare

I’VE been to Utopia and I’ve seen the future. Given the chance, every single blessed sen­atorial candidate in the May elec­tions will take us to the Promised Land.

We have seen and heard them on radio and TV, gauged their performance, appreciated their promises, watched their passion, sincerity, and delighted at the no­bility of their intentions to improve our lives, all 105 million of us. Maybe we should junk those 12 still sitting and elect not just 12 to join them as senators, maybe we should vote only for newbies, 24 of them, to give us a chance to be startled with a new sense of politics?

They sound so earnest when they reveal their philosophies of pub­lic service, they make everything seem so easy. Food on the table three times a day. No more pollu­tion, no more traffic. Less crime, more order. No political dynasties. Free irrigation, fertilizers, mecha­nized equipment for farmers to save agriculture, increase rice and crop production, bring down the prices of vegetables, fruits, grain, meat, poultry. Mass transportation, including railroads, as cheap as it is efficient, for Metro Manila and eventually the provinces. Afford­able housing on plenty of avail­able land. Jobs in the wink of an eye, thanks to an educational sys­tem that matches the demands of the market with a steady supply of employable, trained, skilled work­ers. Death to drug lords (though I still have to hear a candidate pro­posing the death penalty for bribe-taking cops, prosecutors, judges.) New laws to favor labor. More friendly investment opportunities for foreigners and locals. (Still to be heard, a wish to cut red tape, fast-track issuance of permits and licenses. In one of his speeches, President Duterte talked about how when he was Davao mayor, papers took 24 hours to process until Sara the “butangera” became mayor and cut waiting time to two hours, or something to that effect. If Davao City can do it, why not cities in the NCR?)

In all earnestness, the candi­dates understand our problems and they have the solutions. Some of them are admittedly short of funds, but if they can win a race that costs between P100 million and P200 million to run, with only P35,000 in the bank, who are we to deny ourselves a treat of that magnitude?