On November 15, the substitution period for candidates officially ended which means we now have a relatively final list of names running for the different posts in the upcoming 2022 elections. This also means that the campaign period and election season are nearing.
So naturally it’s now the time to take a look at each candidate’s credentials and platforms. We must start learning about them so we could decide on who to vote for since they are the ones that will be leading the country for the next six years. (Read: Kidapawan Bishop Reminds That Voting In The May 2022 Elections Is A Responsibility)
But what should we be looking for in elected officials, especially those running for national positions? Here are the three most important qualities you should check before voting for a candidate.
A Leader Should Have Transparency
We all need leaders who have nothing to hide from us. We need public servants who will confidently show us where out taxes go to–where it is spent, and what projects are using taxpayers’ hard-earned money. Being transparent also means being at ease when it comes to disclosing their statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN), as it is required of high-ranking government officials such as the president and vice president to publicly disclose this.
It can be recalled that President Rodrigo Duterte last disclosed his SALN to the public in 2017, and the succeeding submissions have been kept secret since then. Many organizations have since requested a copy of the president’s undisclosed SALNs, but they have been rejected repeatedly by the Ombudsman.
Is your chosen leader transparent?
A Leader Should Have Honesty
Of course, with transparency also comes honesty. The country needs leaders who will speak of facts only regarding any issues the Philippines is facing. Our next set of government officials should be honest not only about their work and programs, but truthful about their personal affairs and credentials, as well. (Read: 3 Prayers For Elections)
One issue in the 2022 elections right now is that there is an ongoing debate regarding Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s educational attainment. During multiple instances, Marcos Jr. said that he graduated from Oxford, “I suppose there are differences but ang ending nun is that it’s a bachelor’s degree.” But the university itself said he was only given a Special Diploma. A Special Diploma is not equivalent to a BA degree.
Is your chosen leader honest?
A Leader Should Have Clean Records
When we apply for a job, companies require us to submit clearances, certificates, and other proof that we don’t have any criminal or administrative cases. So we should also apply the same to those who we will be electing to national posts. Our next leaders should have clean records, and have not been convicted for anything.
This is another issue Marcos Jr. is facing as he runs for president in the upcoming elections. Back in 1995, a Quezon City court convicted him for not filing his income tax returns multiple times. This conviction carries the penalty of perpetual disqualification to run for any post in the government. However, Marcos Jr. was still able to file a certificate of candidacy for president. With this, a disqualification petition has been filed against him in the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for misrepresentation. Two other disqualifications have recently been filed by different groups.
Does your chosen leader has clean records?