MANILA, Philippines – While Filipinos trooped to precincts to vote in the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on Monday, others opted not to exercise their right to vote.
Those who did not vote had varied reasons, from registration glitches to mistrust in the government.
“Lately, wala ako sa precinct. Kung saan-saan ako tinapon na presinto,” 65-year-old businesswoman Noemi Obedoza of Villasis, Pangasinan told abs-cbnNEWS.com.
“Wala pangalan ko. Sabi sa akin pag naka-register sa SK [3 years ago], dire-diretso na ‘yun,” noted salesman Rene Saldivar, 18.
Eduardo Malinao, 54, a building administrator, said he last voted in the 1992 national elections.
He explained: “Kasi hindi na nga ako naniniwala sa pulitiko. Wala namang pagbabago. Palubog na tayo diba?”
His officemate, technician Jun Fronda of Valenzuela, added: “Walang asenso sa barangay namin. Lubak-lubak ang kalye.”
Accounting staff Rachel Yabut of San Pedro, Santa Ana, Pampanga disagreed with them.
“Katungkulan natin na bumoto as a citizen,” she stated, adding that she has never missed a chance to vote.
Sense of fulfillment
Hardware engineer Reena Javellana, 26, shared how she felt while casting her vote on Monday.
“I voted because I and my family believe in the polls and because I feel a sense of fulfillment as a Filipino in voting,” she noted.
Eula Gonzales, 23, a graduate student said: “I voted because I believe good governance should begin in every barangay. For big changes to happen, we should start small.”
Teacher Gillian Salita, for her part, explained why she took the time to vote.
“I voted because I used to be an SK Kagawad and it’s my right as a resident to vote for the people who will be governing our neighborhood,” said Salita.
A private school teacher, who wanted to be identified as Melissa, welcomed the special non-working holiday.
“I don’t think I’m registered, and I’m happy to have an extra day to rest. Lately, work has been stressful and October 25 is a blessing to us teachers to have an extra day off work,” she said.
As for 24-year-old analyst Ouanne Mendiola, her decision not to vote is based on her perception of the barangay.
“I didn’t vote because I can’t feel the presence of the barangay in our area. I just go there if I need barangay clearance but other than that, I don’t think they have any use,” Mendiola of San Isidro, Angono, Rizal reasoned.
Another analyst, Andrea Medina, said: “I didn’t vote because I didn’t know the candidates that were running.
Businesswoman Tina Dy, on the other hand, was not able to register because of her graveyard shift in her previous job.
Meanwhile, 26-year-old call center agent "Diana" commented: “I didn’t vote. I’m sick, lazy and I didn’t know about the voting today. Even if I knew, I’m just lazy about those things!” – Report by Ma. Rosanna Mina, abs-cbnNEWS.com