Ni Marcial Bonifacio
Mga kaibigan at mga kababayan ko, ang muling pagkahalal ni Richard Gordon sa Senado noong Mayo 9, 2016 proves the impact a proactive citizenry can have sa halalan. Sa katotohanan, panglima siya sa pagkapanalo at nagkaroon ng 16,719,322 boto (as of COMELEC’s proclamation on May 19, 2016). Sa kanyang unang pagtakbo sa Senado noong 2004, panglima rin siya sa puwesto at nagkaroon ng 12,707,151 boto.
Kahit isa siyang mabisang lingkod bayan, Gordon ran for the presidency and lost in 2010; pang-anim siya sa bilangan noon at nagkaroon ng 989,250 boto. In 2013, he ran for the Senate again and lost. Panglabingtatlo siya sa puwesto at nagkaroon ng 10,159,561 boto, just a few hundred thousand votes short of reaching the “Magic 12.”
Given Gordon’s long-awaited victory, let us examine some lessons which can be learned mula sa napakahalagang tagumpay na ito. Unang-una, utilizing all the resources of a proactive and perseverant citizenry and netizenry can win an election, sa kabila nang mahabang pagkaliban o pagkawala ng kandidato sa paglilingkod bayan at ang sunud-sunod na pagkatalo sa mga naunang dalawang laban nito . All of Gordon’s individual campaigners, bloggers, and Bagumbayan volunteers have done precisely that.
Pangalawa, maging ang pagliban ng mga boto galing sa apathetic pessimists (discouraged from voting and affecting social change) did not prevent Gordon from reaching the “Magic 12.” Nor did the numerous votes of the “Wowowee Crowd” (a term I use when referring to the intellectually and morally lazy, gullible, celebrity-worshipping electorate) hinder Gordon’s ascent to 5th place. Sa katotohanan, kung mayroong informed intellectuals (as few as they may be) who will participate in the electoral process, hindi dapat akalain na ang Wowowee Crowd will automatically win.
Pangatlo, hindi pa lubhang nababahiran ng mali at hindi pa lubusang pumapanig sa piling iilan ang sistema ng halalan . If that were the case, then such an anti-trapo maverick as Gordon would not have been re-elected to the Senate, much less with eight higher ranks than in 2013.
Pang-apat, napakabuti nang sapat na traditional media coverage, nguni’t hindi ito mahalaga para sa ikapagtatagumpay sa halalan. Rep. Manny Pacquiao received far more mainstream media coverage than Gordon, nguni’t ang bantog na kampiyong boksingero ay pampito lamang na may 16,050,546 boto (as of COMELEC’s proclamation on May 19, 2016) at pumapailalim sa kanya.
Sa wakas, mga kaibigan ko, let us use Gordon’s campaign and victory bilang isang huwaran para sa magiging kasunod na pagkilos ng ibang mga kandidato. That means continuing to utilize the social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, blogging, forming a research team in order to answer the questions of potential voters or to debate political opponents and their surrogates, organizing and participating in rallies and fundraising events, and encouraging people to register and to vote. For those who live abroad, they can launch an online campaign and vote as overseas absentee voters as a friend whom I wrote about in “Ang People Power at ang Ating Tungkulin.” The key is to keep our kababayans informed and engaged. Ngayon, let’s celebrate a well-deserved victory para kay Sen. Gordon at sa ating bayan.
Aim High Pilipinas!