With the 2016 elections coming up in a few months, names of well-known politicians are constant elements in written articles and news channels. The likes of current President candidates Grace Poe, Mar Roxas, Jejomar Binay, and Miriam Santiago are always mentioned in the dailies, complete with their advocacies and controversies. Thrust in the public eye since they assumed their respective government positions, it is of no wonder that the nation is more or less familiar with these personalities.
The recently concluded filing of certificate of candidacy, however, gave the nation something new to talk about.
The country was definitely in for a surprise when other aspirants for the presidential positions were introduced. Most popular of these aspirants are those that presented out-of-this-world, outlandish reasons for filing their candidacies. Such are Alfredo Tindugan, a farmer hailing from Catanduanes who plans to establish a “divine government” with his vice-president; Romeo John Reyes, or better known as Archangel Lucifer, who is a missionary in real life and insists that Jesus Christ has sent him to run for President; Arturo Pacheco Reyes, who wants to legalize the four seasons and abolish our current rainy and dry season; and Allan Carreon, a man who claims to talk to aliens and an “intergalactic space ambassador,” espousing our claim over the West Philippine Sea with the help of “Gundam.”
Aside from these outrageous aspirants, the media has also focused its eye on other candidates. Chemical engineer Victor Quijano got accolades for his concrete and well-organized plans for federalism. 76-year-old taxi driver Alejandro Ignacio has been tagged as a defender of the Constitution. And lastly, tricycle driver Freddiesher Llamas was praised for his humble beginnings and simple wish to be the “President of the Pangulo ng Pilipinas.”
Social media has gone haywire over these candidates. These aspirants are better known as “nuisance candidates” or those that do not really have the intention, capacity, or the money to run for office. The reaction from the public was a mix of amusement and annoyance. Others have tagged our elections to be one big joke, shaking their heads in disbelief because of the outrageousness and the oddity presented by the aspirants. The other side celebrated the practice of democracy; that it is because of the very essence of our government that people from all walks of life could participate in something as tremendous as running for public office.
More than the laughs and the commentaries, the phenomena of nuisance candidates presented a larger issue. It signifies that people are getting tired of hearing the same names, the same promises, and the same platforms over and over again, but without getting the results our country needs. Remarks have been made that the real nuisance candidates are the “traditional” politicians, having already served in office but without really alleviating the situation of the country. The tag of nuisance candidates opened up a more pressing discussion on the availability of competent, able, and most importantly, new individuals willing to serve in public office in order to provide for the changes and complete overhaul of the system that everyone is waiting for. And right now, what the Philippines has as willing game changers are those that advocate winter, believe in robots as saviors, and old men wanting to retire from their day job of driving their vehicles.
As for now, we may laugh at their initiative, but it’s only a matter of time when we will finally realize that the joke is really on us. However utterly bonkers these new aspirants are, may these individuals serve as further inspiration to compel fresh blood to sign up for public office. P