By PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas | The Freeman
Until election day, voters will still have time to decide on who to vote for. This early, however, genuine die-hard or paid supporters of candidates will go all out to see their candidates win.
Time and again, we have witnessed how divisive elections and campaigns are. Before, during and even long after elections, there are die-hards (genuine or paid) who are willing to risk their lives for their candidates.
At present, we are witnessing the ongoing heated engagements and “wars” of supporters now flooding social media.
While exchanges and arguments among supporters, candidates and political parties are healthy signs of democratic engagements, sadly, there are those that go beyond the norms of decency, respect and logic and foster lingering unhealthy divisions and conflicts damaging for a nation.
Sadly, the divisiveness is not at all what our country needs badly.
As the time for the May elections draws closer, expect the widening and deepening conflict among our people. Expect this disunity to linger even way beyond the May elections.
Politicians, candidates and winners have not always worked to unite the Filipino people. We merely have to open our eyes to our continuing past where certain elected officials tolerate, even encourage the perpetuation of divisiveness among supporters.
There were elected leaders who exerted efforts to unite our people but there were also those others who staged coups, protests and other tactics to derail or thwart the laudable attempts towards national unity.
With the election in May, the divisiveness and its vicious manifestations will once again dominate the Philippine political landscape. Supporters will try to convince more, peacefully or forcefully, to join their side and vote for their candidates.
Shall we expect disunity and divisiveness to intensify and deepen as before?
For a change, can we reflect together and ask if it is possible, during and beyond this campaign and election, to see a united people even if voters have different choices and diverse political preferences?
Is it possible that supporters, regardless of personal political choices, can join together for some moment of silence and lift up prayers for unity and for the right choices for the coming elections?
“More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of...” (Alfred Tennyson)
Can we all unite in asking/encouraging all to make this campaign and election period a victorious moment for the Lord, for Him to be glorified when the electorate will cast their votes for God’s candidates, for God’s servant leaders?
Can we all ask our friends/family/neighbors/office mates/others to pause and pray together a daily prayer for the 2022 elections?
This Kapamilya Prayer for the 2022 Elections can be one such prayer.
“Lord Jesus, inspire all who seek office to be servant-leaders who will put the greater good of the greater majority – especially the poor, the marginalized, the vulnerable- above all personal or group interests, servant leaders who will seek office to genuinely “serve and not to be served”, servant –leaders of integrity and compassion.
Holy Spirit, enlighten our hearts and minds: that we may clearly see the needs of our people, and what candidates promise and their ability to fulfill these, that we choose rightly the leaders who will truly lead and serve- leaders after your own heart and spirit, leaders who will unite and lead us to do what is for the greater good of the greater majority, and which is for your greater glory.
Father, Son and Spirit, you are the God of life and love, the Lord of history, be with us in this time of preparation for the coming elections, Amen.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the Philippines, pray for us.”