Monday, May 10, 2010

Halalan 2010: Ivan Henares casts his vote in San Fernando, Pampanga

Halalan 2010! Today, I stood up and was counted! While I always try to travel when the opportunity arises, I made sure not to plan any trips today. I've never missed a national election since I first voted in 1998. It's the very least we could all do for our country.

This was the line (or the lack of it) when I arrived at my clustered precint at the San Jose Panlumacan Elementary School, City of San Fernando, Pampanga. I tried to ask everyone to line up but they were just not willing to give way. It was quite disheartening.

This is one reason our country will never move forward, people are uneducated and undisciplined! I tried asking for help from the PNP but they could not go in without a request from the BEI. Same response from the barangay officials. It was only when the parish priest with the PPCRV came over did people start to give way. But even then, people who came late kept on overtaking through friends and relatives despite our howls from the back. Shame on everyone who cut the line!

It took me two hours and 45 minutes from the time I lined up to the time I fed my ballot into the PCOS machine. Never did I have to wait more than 5 minutes in the four previous national elections. This is automation!

On the brighter side, my ballot was accepted by the PCOS machine on the first try. Now we have to be vigilant with the counting!

For those who chose not to vote, you have no right to complain. This was our chance to be heard. It's a shame if you chose to use this non-working day to snub the elections and enjoy yourself. And remember, being an OFW or expat is also no excuse not to vote. The period for absentee voting was long enough for you to send in your ballot or personally cast your vote at Philippine foreign missions abroad.

As Plato once said, "The punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government is to live under the government of worse men" or "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." To those who voted, congratulations and job well done!

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