A street food vendor took to the stage of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday, October 6, to seek help for his infant child battling a genetic disorder.
Nelson Ancajas filed a certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator that day, and while he spent a portion of his speech laying out his plans of action if elected, the real intention behind his filing was revealed when he pulled out a tarpaulin from his backpack.
The poster showed photos of his baby.
“2008 po, nagkaroon ako ng anak, three to four months lang po, namatay po siya,” said Ancajas, who began to shed tears after remembering his child who died from congenital adrenal hyperplasia and ambiguous genitalia.
(In 2008, I had a baby, who died only three to four months later.)
“Humingi ako ng tulong, napakatagal ng proseso, mamamatay na iyong tao bago makarating sa akin [ang tulong],” he added, lamenting the slow pace of assistance from the government.
(I asked for help. The pace of government assistance was slow. A person will already die before help reaches us.)
Ancajas shared that his months-old daughter is suffering from the same disorder as his first child.
“Bilang magulang, lahat gagawin natin para sa ating anak. Ako, ordinaryong Pilipino, gustong mabuhay ang anak ko, wala akong maasahan sa gobyerno, masipag naman ako, graduate ako, kaya lang, papaano nga naman, ang hirap umangat,” he said.
(As a parent, I will do everything for my child. I am an ordinary Filipino who wants my child to live. I can’t expect anything from this government. I am hardworking, diligent, and finished school. But it’s still difficult to rise from poverty.)
Out of desperation, he admitted he begged for money inside public vehicles, in a bid to extend the life of his child.
He called on politicians running for national posts to help him, such as Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Senator Manny Pacquiao, and broadcast journalist Raffy Tulfo.
Ancajas’ story underscores the reality that while high-profile politicians usually take centerstage during the COC filing week, ordinary Filipinos have also used the week-long activity to shine a spotlight on their personal struggles, or dream of proactively making the Philippines a better place for them.
The COC filing for the 2022 posts ends on Friday, October 8. – Rappler.com