Screenshot from PCOO video
MANILA, Philippines – Two days before election day, Malacañang urged voters to choose wisely on May 9, as their vote would not only shape their lives in the next 6 years, but would dictate the future of the country as well.
Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III, head of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning office, made the appeal in an interview on radio dzRB on Saturday, May 7.
“Alam 'nyo po, ang hinaharap natin ay hindi lang ang magiging direksyon ng bayan sa susunod na 6 na taon, kung ‘di ano ang mangyayari sa ating lipunan, sa ating bansa, sa ating ekonomiya, sa lahat sa atin sa darating na henerasyon. Dahil matindi po ang pinagpipilian natin dito,” Quezon said.
(What is at stake is not only the direction that the country would be taking in the next 6 years, but also the fate of our society, our country, our economy, and the future generation. This involves a very crucial choice.)
The Palace official urged voters to contemplate on whether their choice will help strengthen institutions and civil rights or would do the opposite – statements apparently directed to presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte, the leading poll front-runner.
He made a pitch for administration standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, as he asked voters in Filipino, "Will we choose change that will ensure continuity but at the same time fill in gaps while strenghtening institutions that protect our rights?"
“O pipili ba tayo ng nagsasabi na bale-wala ang batas, bale-wala ang mga institusyon, bale-wala ang media, bale-wala ang pananampalataya, bale-wala ang magandang asal? Lahat po ito ay hindi natin masasabi na simpleng bagay lamang na, ‘Bahala na, subukan na lang natin,'" Quezon added.
(Or are we going to choose someone who disregards the law, institutions, the media, one's faith, and good manners? We cannot dismiss all these as simple things with "Whatever, let’s just try it.")
Quezon said the Philippines needs a leader who does not steal from Filipinos and oppress citizens.
Duterte has been criticized for his anti-human rights actions, among others, during his term as mayor, while Vice President Jejomar Binay, another presidential candidate, is hounded by corruption allegations when he was Makati mayor.
Even Liberal Party chairman and President Benigno Aquino III said Tuesday, May 3, in Iloilo City that voters shouldn’t be swayed by Duterte’s uniqueness.
“Nakikita natin na ang hinahanap ng ating mga kababayan ay liderato na hindi lang nakikinig nguni't may isang salita at pinapakita na hindi niya nanakawan ang taong bayan at hindi niya aapihin ang sino man sa ating mga kababayan,” Quezon said.
(We can see that what our people are looking for is a leader who not only listens, but also has one word and can show that he won’t steal from the people and won't oppress citizens.)
The Palace official also urged voters not just to be guided by their emotions when they cast their vote on Monday, but they should also study their choices carefully.
“Sa pagpapasya natin sa darating na eleksyon, kailangan natin ng dalawang bagay. Hindi lamang ang puso, kung ‘di ang pag-iisip. Kailangan natin tandaan na kung ano ang magiging boto natin, may epekto ito sa ating mga mahal sa buhay at sa ating minamahal na bayan,” he said.
(In making our decisions on the coming elections, we need two things. Not just our heart, but also our mind. We need to remember that our vote will have an impact on our loved ones and our beloved country.)
Again in apparent reference to the 71-year-old Duterte, Quezon pointed out there is growing concern about the rise of a government that would rule through "intimidation" and would be unwilling to listen to suggestions and criticism.
Quezon also urged voters to cast their ballots early. He also reminded them to immediately report any election-related concerns to authorities to help ensure that the polls are peaceful, orderly, and credible.
“Kahit ano man ang mangyari, ang kailangan po vote early (No matter what happens, you need to vote early),” said Quezon. – Rappler.com