Friday, 28 September 2012

EDITORIAL: Trashing the ‘epal’ candidates

RECENTLY, Commission on Elections Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr said on Twitter: “The best way to deal with (these) ‘epals’ [is to] remember their faces now and forget their names come Election Day.”

“Epals” are those aspiring candidates or incumbent politicians who are represented by the pictures, names and initials you see plastered all over the place. 

Such names or initials are attached to government projects as if the funds to realize such projects came from their pockets and not from taxes paid by the people.

If Mambulaoans would be game to dance on Brillantes’ suggestion, we can assume by now that would-be re-electionists CamNorte Governor Edgardo Tallado and CamNorte Congressman Unico will never win in the municipality of Jose Panganiban in the May 2013 elections.

Their handsome faces were recently the talk of many disgusted Mambulaons, especially on Facebooks, following the sprouting of their roadside streamers and banners announcing this and that public works projects, congratulating new graduates from the Jose Panganiban National High School and greeting the people on their coming baranggay fiestas.

These were attempts to promote themselves months ahead of the campaign period, which starts three months before Election Day.

We can assume as of this writing that Unico and Tallado and those who would be running for provincial offices are now readying to spread in the open air above the road leading to the poblacion wide streamers bearing their names and mug shots and patronizing Mambulaoans on their October 6-7 town fiesta. 

Or maybe, they have done it already.

Don’t vote for these SOBs.

Funded by money from the “kaban ng bayan”, said streamers and banners are nothing but self-serving attempts to embed in the public minds a name recall that would become handy come election day.

It is most likely that the face and name – their faces and names, to be exact --- they are trying to push into public consciousness are OVERRATED compared to the actual social significance of public works and projects they installed during their terms as public officials.

The voting Mambulaoans, assuming that they have not been bought a few hours before they are to cast their ballots, would always know whose names to write in their ballots: the candidates who have served their constituents -- when they were in office -- honestly, ardently, effectively, brilliantly and promptly, with tender, loving care.

Whatever social projects and public works they delivered during their incumbency – if ever there were -- would be more than enough for them to deserve the winning votes.

Whatever achievements these would-be candidates etched around the community would be monument to their humility as public servants, assuming that they are indeed sincere and humble.

On the local scene, Mayor Dong Padilla doesn’t need to do this.

He got his banners and streamers well in place in many parts of Jose Panganiban in the form of ribbons and ribbons, stretches and stretches, of freshly concreted roads.

When Mambulaoans pass through these pavements on their way to town from their homes in far-flung baranggays for their usual day to day errands, the second thing that would come to their mind is: “It’s good Mayor Dong did his best to cement this road … this was unheard of before him …”

Over the past several months, the JP local government built much-needed facilities such as health clinics in one or two baranngays away from the poblacion and classrooms; it is working hard to build bridges that are badly needed in flood-prone rural communities, untiring in seeking funding support from the powers-that-be in the national government.

Projects like this, although slow in coming due to funding constraints, especially those that have to come from the national government, will always be a reality, simply because Dong Padilla wants it that way, and this is without “ifs” and “buts”.

The bottom line is that worthy projects that served the good of the community – Mambulao for that matter -- are more than enough to sell the prime mover of such a project, if ever he or she intends to run for public office.

Obviously, Mayor Dong will seek re-election.

He wants to see the fruition of what he started late last year – the road cementing project across the municipality of Mambulao – a total of 81 kilometers -- which has obviously captivated beyond belief the educated, the professionals and the ordinary Mambulaoans.

Right now, they are not interested in the guy who would want to challenge him in the May 2013 elections.

And to those who have the plan to do so, MWBuzz suggests: they can go fly their kites across Mambulao and make themselves “pogi” or fools, for all we care.

And to the voters, we say: Just don’t forget Comelec Chairman Brillantes’ twitter: Don’t vote for these SOBs.

- A P Hernandez

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