In a matter of months or so, it is again the time for us pick the leader of our nation, to which I hope and pray we would finally choose the perfect for our current situation.
We have five viable candidates to choose from of which, individually, has something unique to offer. The recently headliner, who had SC’s nod for the presidency, Grace Poe offers a Government with a heart, while the feisty Mayor of Davao vowed to fix the entire nation in 6 months. Roxas promises the continuation of Tuwid na Daan while Binay offers……. I had no idea. Madam Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on the other hand promises to curb corruption through good governance. She also promised to address the nation’s social and economical issues.
We have heard this time and time again, but I think we only have two option, in which I believe are not the best we have. First, choose the lesser evil and the latter, choose the most incompetent candidate so the government will be totally destroyed so we can start a new one.
Anyway, while we are at the issue, did you know that the first “official” election held in our country was in 1895 and that is for a municipal seat and the first Presidential election was held in 1935? The then Senate President Manuel Quezon won a one sided victory over then and “First” Philippine President Emilio Aguinaldo and Gregorio Aglipay.
The gentlemen from Tayabas Quezon got a total of 67.99%, while the Cavite General had 17.54%, and the Ilocano Religious Leader only got 14.47% votes (courtesy of Wikipedia).
Our election was also tainted with tons of anomalies such as vote buying, harassment, and the most famous “dag-dag bawas”. Although it gained popularity during the Marcos regime, not everyone knew that it has been happening since the 1800s, the most popular of them all was the Tejeros Convention.
According to our historians, the Tejeros Convention was the Philippines first ever presidential election, which was held in San Francisco Malabon, Cavite, the turf of the then Magdalo Party General Emilio Aguinaldo, on March 22, 1897.. Pitting against Aguinaldo was the then current Highest Ranking official of the Katipunan and leader of the Magdiwang faction Supremo Andres Bonifacio and another Magdiwang stalwart Mariano Trias.
During the election, Aguinaldo got a total of 57.03% while Bonifacio and Trias only managed to bag 31.25% and 11.72%, respectively.
According to accounts, Bonifacio whole heartedly accepted his defeat and was more than willing to hand seat to Aguinaldo, which was not present during the election. However, Bonifacio voided the election as Katipunan’s Supremo because of Daniel Tirona’s (A Cavite native) refusal to give the vice presidency seat to the Supremo simply because he was not formally educated and should be given to a lawyer.
But the most controversy that surrounded the Tejeros Convention was that it was rigged, right before it started, simply because the ballots that were distributed were already filled out with Aguinaldo’s name. Nonetheless, there were no concrete evidence as to the claim that these are facts and indeed happened, but it brought color to our rich history.