A lot of Filipinos say that this year's senatorial election is a choice between two evils. I couldn't but disagree more. In case you haven't been looking closely, there is a third force. Ang Kapatiran (or The Alliance of Common Good) promises to be the party that upholds virtue and answers the call of duty. It was founded on the ideology of the common good based on 10 ethical principles:
1. Belief in God
2. Respect for life and human dignity
3. Strengthening of the family
4. Community participation
5. Basic rights and responsibilities
6. Preferential option for the poor and the vulnerable
7. Dignity of work and rights of workers
8. Care for nature as God's creation
9. Peace and active nonviolence
To be honest I don't know much about the party. I first heard about them a few weeks ago when news of the Administration and Opposition's scramble for candidates were at its peak. What caught my attention was the fact that their candidates know from the start that it is more likely for them to lose. It seemed to me that they have no grand illusion of winning. They just wanted to make a difference and to let the Filipino know that the coming election is not a choice between two evils. That there is a better alternative!
The party is fielding three candidates. Dr. Noel Bautista, a physician, who after 17 years in the US went home last year. When a significant number of our doctors go back to school to study nursing so they can live the American dream, he packed his bags and uprooted his family from Oklahoma to start a new life in Manila. When he was asked why he never applied for a green card; his reply was that he always knew he'd be coming back to his native land.
Jess Paredes was a director of the presidential commission monitoring the Philippine-US Visiting Forces Agreement. When Cpl. Daniel Smith was transferred to US Embassy custody from the Makati City jail, he resigned in protest. Other government officials staunchly defended the blatant disrespect of Philippine law just to please Uncle Sam. He didn't! Now talk about integrity.
Last and definitely not the least is Adrian Sison. One of the country's top lawyers, Atty. Sison is also a broadcaster and an author. He participated in the drafting of the 1987 constitution and is working for the abolition of death penalty. It is time to clean up our politics and bring hope to our people, he said.
A single vote is all I have. I cannot make them win. I just wanted to make a difference. And at least, I will have the satisfaction knowing that my vote will not go to waste. Because I am supporting those who are good and better.
Please read Conrado de Quiros' column today here.
Also, you can access the blogs of Dr. Baustista and Atty. Sison here and here.