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Sacred duty

18 April 2016

On Saturday, April 9, most of us will go to the polls in Bayanihan Centre to choose our country’s next leaders.
This is a hallowed task that demands no less than a painstaking effort to know the candidates really well -- what they stand for, what they have to show for in terms of qualifications and achievements, and what sets them apart from the rest.
With the advent of modern technology and in its wake, social media, we have been inundated with all sorts of information about the candidates vying for the top posts.
On one hand, this helps us a lot because much of what we need to know about each candidate is virtually just a click away. All we need to do is to take time to research on their background and hopefully, come up with choices that are based more on rational thought rather than emotional impulses.
This we should do with an open mind, meaning we do not let other people, especially the vociferous ones prone to mindless adulation and verbal mudslinging, to cloud our judgment.
Did you listen to the presidential and vice presidential debates? If you haven’t, spend some quiet time to listen to the candidates and observe their body language.
Who looks the most knowledgeable? Who speaks of concrete plans and actual achievements, and not mere promises? Who projects an air of respectability and sincerity, traits that are important for a future head of state?
Who is the one we would be proud to call our leader?
Admittedly, social media, or more accurately, its misuse, has made it difficult for us to readily discern the truth in every information that is made freely available to us.
With an election that is shaping up to be one of the contentious ever in our history, the deliberate attempt at misinformation has become even more intense. More and more trolls are being let loose on social media to wreak havoc on any attempts to initiate an intelligent discourse online. Worse, they have been spreading lies, making up stories, and even distorting images to suit their evil intents.
We should not allow ourselves to be swayed by any of these. Given our good education, our proud heritage and our innate sense of decency and fairness, we should be able to choose on our own, and choose well.
We owe this not only to ourselves, but our children, and all the future generations of Filipinos who could suffer from the bad choices that we make today.
Think. Choose according to your conscience. Vote wisely.

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