The countdown to 2016 national election has just begun. The list of candidates is long and candidates have now slowly started campaigning and promising to flood us with projects and programs in the future. But not all of them are capable of delivering the goods. We can just count with our two hands the number of candidates who are sincere in their quest for public office. We all know that many of them are just running for some vested interest. Going over the list of candidates, one can see names of those who even detest in appreciating the thought of being called public servants. These are the people who are just merely forced to run just to protect the interest of their family or patrons.  However, there are still those, re-electionists or first-timers, who have the talents to be capable of being called true public servants. These are the kind of candidates that the public should trust.

            As voters, it is our responsibility to exercise our constitutional right and privilege to vote. Yet, it is even more important to realize that suffrage is more than just a constitutional right and privilege. Suffrage is the power of the Filipino people to choose who they want to represent them, advance their ideals and respond to their needs. As what Julia Abad said in an Inquirer online article, “Voters see their power to choose their leaders as their strongest check on the behavior of the government, their one chance to exact accountability.”

            People need to think not only of this election but of the next generation. The people need to use their votes as a whip to cleanse the supreme legislative and policy-making body that it will compromise men and women of integrity and honesty committed to transparency and accountability and those who are ready to sincerely, selflessly, and sacrificially work for the common good of the people. In short, it is our duty as bonafide citizens of the republic to vote for the right leaders- those who can live up to our expectations.

           We must carefully choose candidates who can make a difference in our lives. We have a duty to elect those who are competent enough to help this country move forward in our drive for eventual prosperity. Those seated in the government must be individuals who have the passion for public service and those who are not blind and deaf to the problems faced by the Filipinos. They must be the forerunners of action towards national development. In our preparations, it’s better to come up with a list of those we think we can trust enough to take us down to the real road of progress.

         Next year’s electoral exercise is another test whether Filipinos have already attained a certain degree of maturity in terms of voting for the right leaders. Its result is crucial in this time when the country is starting to achieve some confidence from the world over its economic gains. It is a very important election because we, Filipinos, will choose our leader for the next six years and our choice could either make or break the progressive streak that the incumbent administration has started. So there is a need to vote wisely in order for us to maintain the momentum.

          Please choose wisely and vote responsibly.