Overseas Pinoys overwhelmingly for Aquino-Roxas
Overseas Pinoys overwhelmingly for Aquino-Roxas
By Ted Laguatan, Esq.
CALIFORNIA, United States—Aside from voting for Noynoy and Mar, I also told my relatives in the Philippines to vote and campaign for them,” says Lito, a San Francisco resident.
He is certain that because he regularly sends money to his married brothers and sisters in the Philippines and occasional cash gifts to his cousins, uncles and aunts for birthdays and during Christmas, he can influence some or even all of them to also vote for Noynoy and Mar. “Utang na loob naman nila na pakinggan ako.”
This overseas Filipino vote multiplier effect plus their own votes will have a significant impact in present and future elections. Candidates cannot buy their votes. The well-informed certainly do not vote for popular but unqualified movie or TV personalities. Generally, they vote for candidates whom they sincerely believe are qualified to do best for the country.
Many believe that Noynoy will not dishonor the memory of his martyred father Ninoy who sacrificed his freedom and his life for his people. Neither will he dishonor the memory of his late mother Cory who sincerely tried to do her best to help create a better Philippines despite her inexperience in government and politics. They know that they also honor Ninoy and Cory by voting for their only son Noynoy. His impeccable record of integrity as a public servant of course also helps.
They show the same trust for the moral leadership of Mar Roxas whose father was a staunch anti-Marcos senator and whose grandfather President Manuel Roxas served during the difficult years after World War II. US Pinoys view him as intelligent and honest.
US Pinoys for Noynoy Mar, an organization I helped establish in San Francisco, has snowballed in size with chapters nationwide. Members hold rallies, conduct town hall meetings, raise funds, issue press releases, and do telephone campaigns.Elated with Noynoy being on the cover of Time magazine and the results of the most recent surveys all showing him ahead by double digits over his nearest rival, they are certain that with just a few days left before the elections he and Mar will win these elections. Their main concern at this point is that even if Noynoy and Mar gets the votes, victory could be stolen from them by those who count the votes. Comelec’s continued refusal to allow a manual parallel count, disabling the PCOS scanners which determine the validity of the ballots, refusal to do a complete examination and revalidation of the source code (the brains of the system where secret “bawas-dagdag” instructions can be given), changing the boxes where the ballots go from clear plastic to opaque black; to them these suggest that the Comelec in conspiracy with Gloria Arroyo whom they see as the puppeteer cannot be trusted.
The company which won the multi-billion bidding for providing the hardware and software for these elections is not really the Venezuelan-connected but Dutch-registered Smartmatic foreign corporation as the public is led to believe but the Smartmatic TIM corporation—a combine of the TIM corporation and Smartmatic SAHI Technology Inc. TIM is a Philippine corporation registered in the 1980s formerly known as Total Interiors Manufacturing Corporation engaged in manufacturing doors and windows. Its amended articles of incorporation on December 23, 2008 indicated it would engage in telecommunications. Smartmatic SAHI was registered in the Philippines only in March 23, 2008 where one of the principals is a golfing buddy of the First Gentleman who consistently gets huge government infrastructure and computer contracts. These facts raise reasonable concerns as to how these elections will be conducted.
Nurses, doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, clerks, waiters, and other professions have all joined the organization enthusiastically, contributing their time, effort, and money to bring meaningful changes in the Philippines.
Lawyer, Rodel Rodis, one of the four founding members regularly speaks in town hall meetings. Gloria Navarrete, another founding member, hosts regular campaign assessment meetings. Fred Aquitania, also a founding member, distributes yellow colored campaign t-shirts, banners and what-nots. Communications nationally are efficiently done for members through e-mail, fax, and through the organization’s website as well as regular phone conferences among the conveners.
During the Marcos years, the dictator’s staunch supporters particularly then Press Secretary Kit Tatad lashed out at overseas anti-Marcos Filipinos saying that we should not involve ourselves anymore with Philippine affairs because we have left the Philippines and acquired different citizenships. He even questioned our loyalty to the country. How wrong he was. Overseas Filipinos have never really left the Philippines no matter if we are living in different societies and cold faraway countries. Our hearts and minds will always be together with our suffering Filipino brothers and sisters in the Philippines. Many of us will always be deeply involved in the effort to create a better life for all Filipinos. Major reforms and changes in countries often come from outside.
Ongoing weekly worldwide polls conducted by the ABS-CBN Television network consistently show that overseas Pinoys overwhelmingly favor Noynoy over and above any other candidate. The recent surveys show the following: 55 percent for Noynoy, followed by 16 percent to Gibo. Mar shows the same commanding lead over his nearest rival. Why these results?
Conscious of widespread institutionalized corruption in every level of government—which saps the lifeblood of the nation causing mass suffering—most overseas Filipinos understand that the most important kind of leadership needed in the Philippines today is moral leadership.
I will dare to say that of any group of voters, overseas Pinoys have the purest intentions in so far as voting for whom they believe is best for the country.
Filipino voters often vote for candidates because they expect favors in return: a government job; some money for baptisms, weddings, illnesses or deaths in the family. Many sell their votes because of poverty. The issue of who is the best candidate in terms of integrity, intelligence, and other positive qualifications are often not even issues. Overseas Filipinos do not have any such motivations because they are generally self-sufficient and better informed.
The perception that Noynoy and Mar can provide the moral leadership that the country desperately needs puts them way above their rivals.