By ARTHUR L. ALLAD-IW
It is now the middle of the campaign for the senatorial candidates. The local campaign has just started. However, I observed that senatorial candidates failed to share their position on various issues of national significance.
So far, they only made promises to address housing, health services, education, food on the table etc. They failed to substantially discuss how they will address these issues concretely. Our election remains to be a venue for promises.
I had been expecting the senatorial candidates to share their positions on debt servicing. I would vote for a candidate who takes the position against the allotment of almost 40 percent of the national for debt servicing. Instead of utilizing a more substantial part of the national budget for services to people, the biggest chunk of our budget is being channeled for debt servicing, debts that did not even benefit the people.
The debts were pocketed by the cronies of former president Ferdinand Marcos but are being payed by the people. The revenues from the Expanded Value Added Tax (EVAT) collections the government is boasting of were actually used to pay these debts. And I will not vote for those incumbent senators who approved the EVAT. Similarly, incumbent congressmen who voted for the said taxation law seeking a new mandate should not be voted.
Another issue I had been expecting senatorial candidates to discuss is the issue on political killings. They should have at least condemned these killings and showed respect for the Bill of Rights – the respect to right to life.
I am looking for a senator who is against charter change. Administration candidates who adopted the position of GMA for charter change, they are not worth my vote.
I had also been expecting senatorial candidates to share their positions on the protection of the environment. They should share their positions on large scale mining. In relation with economic sovereignty, they should share their positions on the entrance of foreign investors to exploit our mineral resources.
These are the issues that I had been expecting the senatorial candidates to discuss in their campaign. Their positions on the said issues would serve as basis for the electorate to chose whom to vote.
If they had shared their positions, then the electorate could review their track record. Their track records would be the voters’ basis to check whether they would fulfill their promises. Voters should check the candidates’ platforms and track records if they are really worth their votes.#