By PMT News team
Various pages in social media channels have been brimming with posts from different quarters across the country, including the Bangsamoro region that espouse the qualities, prospects and potentials of their respective pets among leading Presidential candidates in next year’s elections.
With the recent withdrawal from the race of Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, the list of leading candidates for President has been trimmed down to five: Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, Senator Emmaneul “Manny” Pacquiao, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.
In notable social media posts, campaign supporters of Lacson and Pacquiao seem not aggressive as those of Leni, Isko and Bongbong, more popular as BBM.
Supporters from the Bangsamoro autonomous region are immensely assertive in a fashion indicating notable disunity or overshadowing even the Islamic mandate for Muslim unity. To some extent, avid supporters of BBM, Leni and Isko sometimes traded emotion-packed arguments.
Veteran journalist Ali Macabalang, news editor of the Philippine Muslim Today newspaper and Bangsamoro Press Corps (BPC) president, has often drawn sharp reactions in moderating trades of words between and among the supporters of the three leading candidates.
In the Facebook’s Mindanao Tapatan Lane group he administers, Macabalang has invoked the question “what good has a presidential candidate done for the Bangsamoro” as a vital gauge for the regional electorate in the choice of a Philippine President from 2022 to 2028.
In one of his moderating posts, he said: “Ping has helped increase the annual budget of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos; Pacquiao sent P5-million cash donation to Marawi siege IDPs; Leni built housing units for the same IDPs; and Isko built a P49.3-million Muslim cemetery complex in Manila.”
In his long stint the media, Macabalang said, could not remember any remarkable feat for the Bangsamoro, a notion prompting his repeated raising of the question: “What good has BBM done for the Bangsamoro?”
Avid Moro nitizens, instead of answering the question, dared the group administrator to announce his candidate, as others accused him of fomenting “hate” against BBM, he said.
Macabalang pointed out: “The current trend among the Bangsamoro electorate is “kanya-kanya tayo” ng kandidato. There is no dispute about it. This is very democratic and ideal. But If you offer your pet candidate to rational thinking people like me for support or vote, then my basic requirement is a question: What good has your candidate done for the nation, particularly the Bangsamoro.”
“And I repeat, the same question applies to all candidates in national and local questions, not only to BBM. Voters, when asked to choose a candidate, must ask: What good has your nominee done for our community? I am promoting this inquisitive gauge to put an end to the perennial view of national politicians that Moro voters are ‘easy to divide and fool,’” he added.
In human preferences, one basic element is proximity. This even exists in media editorial management. In some cases, Manila-born editors usually give little space for news about Mindanao. The reason is they have less concern about ills and aspirations in Mindanao, including the Bangsamoro region.
For more space to explain and expound on the respective Presidential aspirants, the BPC offered its zoom account to host a live dialog among avid supporters.
The BPC holds weekly (every Saturday) its regular Tapatan forum, and a political forum version on Sundays, said the BPC president, who also assured to host the presidential candidate’s supporters any day of the week if needed. (PMT)