Turning the spotlight on voters, not candidates a month before the May 9 elections, Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero said the biggest act of heroism Filipinos can do this year is to participate in the electoral process and exercise their right to vote.
The senatorial candidate said that amid the noise of the political campaign, people should look for leaders who will put the interests of the country above their own, work with integrity, and serve those who have been neglected by government for a long time—the farmers, fisherfolk and micro entrepreneurs.
“Sa araw lamang ng halalan tayo nagkakapantay-pantay—gobernador, bise-gobernador, congressman, tricycle driver, kasambahay, nagtitinda sa palengke, kargador sa palengke, walang trabaho, mayaman o mahirap, babae o lalaki, nakapag-aral o hindi, may itsura o wala. Pagdating ng eleksyon, pantay-pantay tayo. Tig-i tig-isa lang tayo ng boto,” Escudero said.
“Huwag natin sayangin ‘yung pagkakataon na ‘yun. Pumili at piliin kung sino talaga ang nararapat at karapat-dapat. At hindi natin trabaho husgahan ang ating kapwa dahil iba lamang ang pananaw niya,” he said.
The veteran legislator noted how this year’s presidential campaign has divided families and friends because of their overzealous support for their chosen candidates. He reminded voters that most candidates were friends away from the campaign stage.
“Huwag nating pakaseryosohin na dumating sa puntong makakaaway na natin ang ating mga kaibigan, kamag-anak at kapitbahay…. Ulitin ko, hanggang May 9 po lamang ito. Sana pagkatapos nito, tingnan natin ang ating mga sarili, hindi bilang Bicolano, Ilocano, Cebuano, Waray, Kapampangan, Batangueño o kung saan man galing—pare-pareho pa rin tayong Pilipi-
no,” Escudero said.
As Filipinos observe Araw ng Kagitingan exactly one month before the elections, Escudero reiterated the obligation of elected leaders to serve all Filipinos, not just their supporters.
“Sa dulo, sinuman ang mananalong pangulo ng bansa, dapat pantay niyang pagsilbihan ang bawat isa sa atin. Binoto man siya o hindi, sinuportahan man siya o hindi, gusto man siya o minumura siya ngayong panahon ng kampanyahan, dapat pantay niyang pagsilbihan yun,” he said.
There are 65.7 million registered voters for the 2022 polls, which is 3.9 million more than those who registered to vote in the 2019 national elections. In addition to this, there are 1.6 million registered overseas Filipino voters.