Election results are always unpredictable. Candidates take risks and regret it later as they end up sore losers.
But ABS-CBN news anchor Noli De Castro made the wisest move so far in the runup to the 2022 elections. Will there be more?
The former Vice President just withdrew from the senatorial race, drawing much applause from netizens as well as batting eyelash from bashers. (It really sucks. But since we all enjoy probably the most democratic space you would not imagine in this ailing country).
De Castro may have thought that before regretting it later it is better to do it now.
By doing so, he also avoids further public scrutiny and below the belt tirades on social media, whatever his reasons maybe.
Speculations have it that it has to do with conflict of interests. The veteran newscaster, who is well-loved by Filipino TV viewers, has earlier expressed his support for presidential aspirant Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.
But his TV network ABS-CBN is openly throwing its support to Vice President Leni Robredo, who is also seeking the presidency.
Many bashers have already expressed their sentiments over De Castro just after learning that he filed his certificate of candidacy.
Because of his popularity, the newscaster easily made it to the Senate before becoming the second highest public official in the government.
But that was before social media became a vital part of the freedom of expression that is now being enjoyed and often abused by almost every citizen of this politically divisive nation
This time, however bashers believe that De Castro cannot win, easily making conclusions that they have proven that he was “ineffective as a lawmaker and cabinet member.”
He topped the Senatorial race in 2001 and won as VP under the Arroyo administration.
Critiques say De Castro earlier decided to run as a move to give at least ABS-CBN Channel 2 some clout if he wins following the government’s closure of one of the country’s two biggest news networks aside from GMA7.
Channel 2 is still closed and was forced to go online.
A total of 97 aspirants for president, 29 for vice president, 176 for senator, and 270 party-list groups filed their certificates of candidacy.
This is an unprecedented number in Philippine elections but the Commission on Elections is expected to reduce the official list when those considered nuisance are scrutinized.
Media personalities had been successful in their bids every election time, using their popularity as their primary advantage. Same thing with national athletes and from the entertainment industry.
This is because election in this country becomes a popularity contest, a characteristic of Philippine politics over the years.
That is why seldom that we see a lawyer or an economist, or political analyst or scientist who join the political exercise or even if they join they just end up scratching their head after finishing way behind from same personalities who should not in the first place have the right qualifications to become a lawmaker.
This is the danger of direct elections. The result or the highest number of votes decides the winners but the result is not necessarily what the truest kind of people to sit in the chamber most especially the Senate.
This is the consequence of a participatory democracy if you call that.
It is true that the people’s choice should be respected after the official counting is done because the sovereignty of the people must reign supreme.
But that philosophical mantra in politics must be taken into its proper perspective.
The Senate, whose mandate is to deliberate laws that affects all aspects of society must be given to those who have the best minds and not merely on untrained ones elected via idolatry.