A decision to board a political voyage once again.
This was the inspiring declaration made by a young lady lawyer from Iloilo.
Disheartened by the loss of Mar Roxas in the 2016 presidential election, Atty. Maria Reylan Garcia said in a Facebook post that she grieved when a strongman was voted to be the highest official of the land for six years.
“I felt splashed on with a bucket of cold water. I grieved then aware that being Filipino does not guarantee similarity of foresight and values,” Garcia wrote.
She said that while she does not agree with the plurality’s choice, she recognize every Filipino’s right of suffrage and respected the outcome of the election. Thus, she tried to be objective by praising the good things that the administration is doing and criticizing the bad ones.
But realization that the merits have failed to cancel out the demerits eventually came in. Worse, it appears that there is no opposition anymore. This is when she lost her interest in participating in political discourse.
“I realized this administration is not listening. Worse, the opposition was no longer opposing. Soon, my appetite to engage in political discussion faded. I felt comfortable in being passive and whispering my disfavor. If nobody is willing to put up a fight, then why should I – a small miniscule dissenting particle?” Garcia said.
But the lawyer was given a glimmer of hope when she came to know about Otso Diretso which is what the eight candidates for senator of the opposition coalition is collectively called. Aside from Roxas, the slate includes Gary Alejano, Bam Aquino, Chel Diokno, Samira Gutoc, Pilo Hilbay, Romy Macalintal and Erin Tanada.
Otso Diretso is actually a slogan or a battle cry to vote and campaign for the above-mentioned candidates.
Initially, Garcia had misgivings about their chances of winning because she learned from the loss of Roxas that “the Filipino voter isn’t swayed by Ivy league degrees but by who appears most messiah-like.”
“I thought of them as the hopeless romantics in the tragedy of Philippine politics. Yes, their academic and professional credentials are topnotch, but only two of them are projected to win in surveys. The rest are virtually unpopular,” she declared.
Nevertheless, Garcia is still giving her full support to the slate obviously not for their winnability but for their courage and sacrifice of leading the fight despite the adversity.
“I’d rather dote on their sincerity and the albeit minute but refreshing truth that there still exists people who are brave and people who are willing to give up personal conveniences to rally a cause,” she stated.
“When you have established and private people such as lawyers and economists who are not only aware of their slim odds at winning but also being unapologetically honest about it, you just wonder why are they voluntarily placing themselves in this chaos,” the lawyer continued.
So is it worth all the trouble for the young and idealistic lawyer to spend her youthful energy on campaigning for people who aren’t projected to win?
“Of course. Because if they were already projected to win, then campaigning is unnecessary to begin with,” was her answer to her own question.
“I am all in for Otso Diretso because I realized that other than myself, there are also small miniscule dissenting particles waiting to form a larger and more cohesive element of reform,” she added.
Atty. Garcia made her declaration right after the candidates of the opposition slate visited the provinces of Capiz and Iloilo, known to be bailiwicks of the political opposition.
Her Facebook post has been shared almost 500 times.