Voters told: Focus on what politicians can offer, not on their party issues

Benise Balaoing, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 09 2021 05:36 PM

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MANILA – Voters should ask politicians about their plans to help the country recover from the pandemic, a former poll commissioner said Thursday, as he urged the public not to be distracted by infighting in political parties.

“To me, I would like voters to think about how we can recover from this pandemic, and ask our politicians what their program would be. When they win in the election, I think that’s the most urgent. And I think, the infighting now becomes irrelevant,” former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Luie Tito Guia said.

“I mean, kung sino ba naman ang may faction sa inyo, kung pareho naman kayo palpak o isa lang kayo, eh, it doesn’t really matter to the voters,” he said.

“The more important thing for voter right now is to see their way through out of this pandemic,” he added.

Guia’s comments come after Sen. Manny Pacquiao said the PDP-Laban faction he is heading would hold its own national convention on September 19. 

Its rival faction, led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, held a national convention in Pampanga on Wednesday where they named Senator Christopher “Bong” Go and President Rodrigo Duterte as their candidates for the nation’s top posts in the 2022 elections.

Both Cusi and Pacquiao claim to be the president of the PDP-Laban.

The 2 factions filed separate Sworn Information Update Statements (SIUS) before the Comelec. The Comelec en banc has yet to decide how it would reconcile the 2 documents or which SIUS it would uphold.

Cusi's group also filed a petition asking the poll body to nullify all party actions done by Pacquiao's team, saying these are "illegal and not sanctioned by the PDP-Laban party."

“Yung infighting nila, tingin ko ine-entertain lang ang mga tao eh. Nagpro-provide lang ng boxing match [with] which we’ll be entertained, and probably become numb. Magiging numb yung ating pangangailangan for clarity on how we can recover after June 30 and beyond,” Guia said.

He also said voters must ask candidates why they are really seeking public office.

“It’s difficult to rule the country in this pandemic. Eh bakit mo gustong mamuno?”

--ANC, 9 September 2021