The very essence of governance is to bring out the will of the people. Every move that leaders make – be it through legislation or implementing a program – should heed the voice of the people and respond to their needs. The right to freedom of expression of a people that is manifested here is one of the foundations for a well-run local government and we are reminded of this even more once every three years as we flock to our precincts to vote.
Elections provide us with the perfect opportunity for us to express our ultimate will as Filipinos. Whether we choose a new person or re-elect an incumbent, the election is supposed to be a day of reckoning for everybody. It is on this day that we determine whether officials have really worked with the interest of the people in mind or if other candidates are responsive to the people’s aspirations through the platforms that they present. All these are reflected in our votes.
Consequently, the individuals that are elected into office also leave a clue as to whether we have really exercised our right to vote carefully and seriously.
As of now, I am aware that we are all still in the stage of reflecting on the role we played – and how we played it – in the recent election. As we do so, it is my fervent hope that this reflection is done with all honesty and open mindedness. Furthermore, let us not think that this very important day ends the moment we leave the precinct. Our right to express our will and choose the people who will lead us, go hand in hand with our duty to stay vigilant with regards to the performance of our elected leaders.
To be inquisitive and critical about proposed policies that we deem as a deterrent to the interest of our community, to be vocal about issues that will impact largely on our lives, are these all extensions of our duties as voters. This is how we determine who among those we voted really made good on their promises. This is how we set apart the true public servants and leaders from the mere opportunist and traditional politicians.
From this scenario, we can see how elections can serve as the wheel that sets into motion our collective struggle to empower the people so that they can do their part in countering factors like violence and corruption that threaten our well-being as a people. From a mere process that we are obliged to take part in every three years, we now see that the election is actually a venue where we learn our duties as citizens of this country.
Insofar as duties go, we have already accomplished the first part through voting but the second part – the one that has to do with being an observant, critical and independent member of our community – is just about to begin.
With just a few Election Returns (ERs) left to be counted, the City Board of Canvassers (CBOC) have decided to proclaim Liberal Party (LP) bets Stephany “Step” Uy-Tan and her running mate Art Sherwin “Art” L. Gabon as the winners of the mayoralty and vice mayoralty races of Catbalogan City respectively.
The proclamation was held yesterday, May 16, 2013 at the Sangguniang Panlungsod Session Hall to cement Uy-Tan’s place in history as the first female to be elected as mayor of this place.
As of the morning of same date, the Grouped Canvass Report (GCR) showed Step leading with 21, 739 votes while her opponent Michael Tan of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), only got 19,008 votes. The same GCR showed Gabon having 21, 208 while his opponent Manuel Van Torrevillas garnered 18,173 only.
The said figures that served as basis for the proclamation did not include votes from one precinct each from Barangays Canlapwas and Bunu-Anan and two precincts from Barangay Guindapunan due to corrupted CF cards. However, the legal counsel for Liberal Party, Atty. Simoun Cercado stressed that even if added up, the votes from the said aforementioned precincts will not affect the current standings.
Prior to her bid for the mayoral post, Step served as ex-officio member of the City Council as Vice President of the City Federation of Association of Barangay Chairmen from 2007 to 2010. In the 2010 elections, she sought a seat in the City Council and succeeded after she received the most number of votes.
On the other hand, this is Tan’s first foray into politics. A scion of the province’s dominant political dynasty, he is the youngest son of incumbent Congresswoman Milagrosa Tan and is sibling to incumbent Governor Sharee Ann Tan and incumbent Vice Governor Stephen James Tan. Another sister, Angeline Tan and his uncle, Arnold Tan are also seeking a post in this election as Calbayog City Mayor and 1st District Representative respectively.
Gabon is running for a second term as Vice Mayor. He started out as a 3-term member of the then Municipal Council and served as the City Administrator upon the conversion of Catbalogan into a city. It was then that he was appointed as Councilmember to fill the additional posts in the legislative branch that came with being a city. Torrevillas also served as a Councilmember and then as a Vice Mayor for three consecutive terms. He was defeated in his bid for a congressional seat in the previous 2010 elections.
EASTER is the greatest feast in the Christian calendar. On this Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
For Catholics, Easter Sunday comes at the end of 40 days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving known as Lent.
Through spiritual struggle and self-denial, we have prepared ourselves to die spiritually with Christ on Good Friday, the day of His Crucifixion, so that we can rise again with Him in new life on Easter.
HOLY SATURDAY is the last day of Holy Week and ends the season of Lent. It is also known as the Vigil of Easter. The day is traditionally a time of reflection and waiting. The vigil stems back to when Jesus’ followers spent this day waiting after his crucifixion on Good Friday.
It is also known as the day when Roman governor Pontius Pilate instructed guards to be posted at the tomb to prevent Jesus’ followers from removing the body to claim that he had risen from the dead.