Today is Election Day!
THIS IS IT!
Today is the day when the Philippines will decide who will govern for the next six years!
Today is the day when voters troop to the precincts to experience fully automated election for the FIRST TIME.
Today is the day of fresh hopes and new beginnings.
Although nearly everybody in my country is excited to participate in this national election, some of us are not. Especially the Persons With Disabilities. Most especially the members of the Deaf community. 😦
I said Persons With Disabilities because of the disqualification of the only PWD party list that applied for accreditation. The Disabled Pinoy Party which represents nine-million strong sector of Filipinos with Disabilities, was denied accreditation by the Commission on Elections simply because they cannot mount a nationwide campaign. So now, only the moneyed and influential sector can have a seat in the congress. Not the marginalized and underrepresented ones. That is very sad. 😦
Another saddening note was about the Deaf community. I recently found out that majority of the deaf people in my country cannot vote. The reason? They were not able to register. Not that they were misinformed. They were simply, NOT INFORMED. It’s very disheartening to find out that many parents don’t realize the inherent rights of their children to exercise their right to vote. And that includes their Deaf child.
Some of them simply don’t feel that their deaf children are not capable, not discerning and not INTELLIGENT ENOUGH to think for themselves. They did not even bother to assist them in registering to the nearest COMELEC office. I had an informal survey on why most of them cannot vote. Many of them said that their parents did not bother to help them. That’s sad double whammy! 😦
So today, I will exercise my right as a Filipino Citizen. Today, I will still do my mission as a sign language interpreter by assisting my inner circle of three Deaf buddies Ervin, Jerome and Owen to vote. At least I did something, albeit small.
I am one with the entire nation in praying for an orderly, peaceful and honest elections. 🙂
Here are the candidates that I will vote. President: Richard Gordon, Vice President: Jejomar Binay, Senators: Bong Revilla, Miriam Defensor, Bongbong Marcos and Satur Ocampo. Quezon City Mayor: Herbert Bautista (Two of our MCCID students work at QC Hall through his initiative.) Vice Mayor: Joy Belmonte (She was with the Philippine Team during the Abilympics Skills Competition in India in 2003 so she supports the Filipino Deaf.) I’m not a registered voter of Isabela province but I recommend that you vote for Gov. Grace Padaca, the most famous Disabled Filipino.
Win or lose, it’s ok. What’s important is that I voted from my heart. 🙂