by Francis Ryan Basa Pabiania | April 18, 2022
Experts from leading media organizations in the Philippines nudged students on issues, especially in politics and the upcoming elections, in a two-day workshop webinar on April 4.
Rowena Paraan, head of ABS-CBN’s Bayan Mo, Ipatrol Mo (BMIM) said, “Yung karapatang bumoto ay hindi basta-basta. Kinakailangan siyang ipagtanggol at ipaglaban.” [The right to vote is not to be taken for granted. It should be defended and fought for.]
Election reporting, campaign finance, and digital campaigning were some of the topics discussed in the Election Reporting and Fact-Checking workshop webinars hosted by the Silliman University College of Mass Communication in partnership with the BMIM.
“Sa ating mga kamay nakasalalay ang future ng bansa… If we want to have a better and brighter Philippines, sa ating mga kamay po ‘yon nakasalalay,“ said Antonette Eduardo, networking and advocacy adviser for Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) Philippines.
[The future of our country lies on our hands… If we want to have a better and brighter Philippines, it will lie on us.]
She cited the relevance of the Philippine national hero Jose Rizal’s iconic quote, which reminded the youth of the importance of voting in the upcoming May election.
“Bilang mga kabataan, bumoto po tayo nang maayos, wasto, yung nakabase talaga sa informed decisions,” she added. [As the youth, let’s vote properly and correctly, based on our informed decisions.]
Boto Mo, Ipatrol Mo is an election-focused citizen journalism campaign that aims to provide a platform for citizens to report election-related concerns. It was continued as Bayan Mo, Ipatrol Mo to “give voice to ordinary people regarding issues especially on the politics in their community”.
Moreover, Paraan and Eduardo respectively cited the founder of the Girl Scout of the Philippines Josefa Llanes-Escoda who pushed for recognition for women rights to vote, the power concentrated on Martial Law under Ferdinand Marcos, EPAL politicians, and among others.
Paraan added that the issue of political dynasty is the “absence of choice” and politics is about governance that should not be left to a person alone.
“And elections are about choices. Choices kung sino ang gusto mong mamuno sa bayan mo [Choices of who you want to lead your country],” she said.
Eduardo also stressed that debates should be mandated to gauge the candidates’ ability to face the most pressing issues.
“Kasi kung kandidato pa nga siya tapos hindi siya handa na sagutin ang mga tanong, anong klaseng politiko siya? [Because if he’s a candidate and is not ready to answer the questions, what kind of a politician is he?] That’s why it’s also important to watch these e-rallies for us to know the platforms of these candidates,” she ended.