"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Saturday, August 22, 2009

RP still lacks political maturity

The Philippines is lagging behind its Asian neighbors in terms of development because the country still has no political maturity that allows Filipinos to be discerning in choosing its leaders, Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind.) has pointed out today.

Gordon, father of election modernization in the country and author of Republic Act (RA) 9369 or the Amended Automated Elections System Law, explained that political maturity is attained when people already have the ability to discern and vote wisely.

"Political maturity does not depend on primaries but on the ability of the people to make judgments of their leaders. Maturity comes in when you are able to take the mask off from candidates and say 'That is not what I want,'" he said, speaking at the 8th Insights from the Alumni forum at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City.

The senator noted that months prior to the campaign period, several officials who are planning to run in the May 2010 presidential elections are already spending hundreds of millions on television commercials that feature them cloaked in images that the poor masses could identify with because the officials still think they can get votes that way.

"Maturity means that the people can say, 'if you are violating the law now, how could I vote for you,'" he said.

Gordon added progress would come when the people are ready to elect leaders who would really address the problems confronting the nation, such as corruption, the worsening educational system and underdeveloped agriculture, among others.

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