Letter of Congratulations to Otso Diretso Candidates

 You lost. Plain and simple.


You could have been cheated. Your votes could not have been counted due to machine malfunctions of sorts. The voters who originally wanted to vote for you must have been given a white envelope. Or perhaps, the voters were not discerning enough and lacked the mindset to differentiate a lap dog politician from a principled one. Whatever the reason was, you lost. Accept it.


But that doesn’t really matter. Nothing can be done to change the results of the election. Protesting election results in our country is an exercise in futility. It’s just a waste of time and resources.


What matters right now is what you stood for and how you gave us the opportunity to know your vision for Philippine society.


Given the enthusiasm of the electorate that you saw during the campaign, perhaps you believed that you had all the chances to win. And you were probably right until your chances started to slip away early into election night itself when the canvassing started.


What you were afraid of has now become a reality. You tried and are now accepting an outcome that you were not hoping for.


True, victory is sweet. But in any electoral contest, win or lose, or especially if you lose, what matters most is that you stood up for your principles and what you believed in.


By running, you refused to be a spectator and instead became an active part in solving a national crisis. You took responsibility that many people simply refused to do or were afraid to do.


You mobilized millions of people who feel the way you do and turned these feelings into a collective action; some of them even lost their lives. Apathy is the worst enemy of democracy and you gave hope to many.


No one wants to fail. But it’s ok to fail at times because of the lessons learned. That’s life. Your worth is not measured by the number of votes you received. Losing gracefully – and sticking to your principles and not selling your soul – is just as important as winning. Your efforts remain admirable and beyond reproach.


Sadly, in our country today, being a man or a woman of principles and fighting for the truth are things that are accorded not much importance and significance, whatever your party is.


If principles are what matter, how do you explain the sidekick of the president, a plunderer, the enforcer of the bloody war on drugs that has victimized mostly the poor, and the unrepentant daughter of a dictator being elected as senators?  


What about the spineless and gutless trapos who swing left and right in the political spectrum to survive who have just retained their seats in the senate?


The simple logic of electoral victory has nothing to do with how sincere, honest and committed you are to your principles or how willing you are to serve the wider community. Victory, as shown during the recent election, has little regard for the issues that really matter.


Some people have criticized you for being nothing but a bunch of contrarians, that you were in it to destabilize the government – a baseless accusation that holds no water. But without you, and other people like you, our democratic process would not have functioned.


You stood up before a well-oiled political machine, with power and money. You stood up for what you believed in. 


The election was (still) better because people like you ran your race. You taught us that it is important not to be silent and cowed by anyone. You offered a different vision that gives light to the future.


As Ed Garcia, a Lolo Volunteer for 8D, recently wrote, “It was not enough perhaps, but in the end you have given us a common sense of purpose, an unfinished quest to pursue. That is the stuff of dreams. You inspire us to continue this marathon journey – for the sake of our children and the country we love.”


So, even if you lost last Monday, congratulations!

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