The “Presidentiables” and Mindanao 2010-2016 (9): On Elections 2010

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews) — Will the election next month be a watershed, a turning point, a defining moment for the Philippines as it was in 1986?

Then it was to rid the country of a dictatorship. The dictatorship has not returned in the last 24 years but 24 years later, the complaints experienced under a dictatorship – corruption, cronyism among others – have remained.

Do our Presidential bets think this year’s elections are a watershed for our country?

Will it be a watershed? Yes with firmness. You will chart the direction eh. Do we go back into more of the same whereby you have leaders who think only of themselves and you would be hard put to see whether their concerns are for the rest of our country?

We don’t know yet, I cannot predict that but I doubt that this automation… It won’t work. Because mahirap iyan pag hindi, iyong automation can be a cheating machine at saka mahirap nang magprotesta diyan dahil walang documents.

1986 wasn’t the watershed. It was just an explosion of a people wanting to be free. But freedom has its responsibilities and obviously we have failed ourselves. I do not want to fail the Filipino people. I’ve never failed the Filipino people whether I’ll be mayor in Olongapo or Con-con delegate ,even as the youngest delegate in the concon I don’t think I failed…

I think I did the Automated Election Act so that not just modernize the election and prevent cheating but hopefully people make sure that people will vote wiser and wisely.

2010 is a referendum on traditional politics. It’s not just an ordinary national election we are going to get the country to vote for the totally different kind of politics to end the reign of traditional politics.

I can’t predict eh, because every day is a unique situation particularly where I stand. But it is a valuable exercise in democracy which will go a long way into institutionalizing the democratization processes in our country. Hopefully we are able to resolve pressing peace and order problems, actual peace and order problems in critical areas, if not, our efforts will go to naught. There might be failures of elections … particularly in Basilan.

Maaaring hindi, maaaring oo. Kung magiging maayos ang election, bababa ang pangulo halimbawa, magkakaroon ng maayos na election, magkakaroon ng bagong pangulo halimbawa, then ito’y magiging maganda para sa ating bayan. Baka ito na yung pagbabago na matagal na nating hinihintay dahil marami tayong mga pagbabagong dapat gawin. At naiiwan na tayo ng ating mga kapitbahay. Sa palagay ko ay oras na rin para abutan natin ang ating mga kapitbahay. Masyadong dumarami na ang mga mahihirap, kailangang iangat natin sila sa kahirapan.

Three of the Presidential aspirants – Senator Jamby Madrigal, Brother Eddie Villanueva and John Carlos delos Reyes – were not available or had not signified their intention to run when the interviews were done between August and September.

You may click on the icon of the “Presidentiables 2010-2016” video production in the website to view or read the transcript in nine parts.

The video’s production coordinator is MindaNews’ Froilan Gallardo with Peterson Bergado as videographer.

The video will also be shown in Davao City while waiting for the Presidential Forum titled “Paminaw sa Mindanaw” (Listen to Mindanao) on April 16 at the Holy Cross of Davao College gym.

The Presidential forum is being organized by the Bishops-Ulama Conference (BUC), National Ulama Conference of the Philippines, Mindanao Business Council (MinBC), Kusog Mindanaw, Mindanao Commission on Women (MCW), Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy (PCID), Mindanao Association of State Colleges and Universities Foundation (MASCUF) and Mindanao Peaceweavers (MPW). (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)