Remember eLagda, the site that made us e-mandirigma in the struggle against the corrupt Estrada administration during People Power 2?

Vicente Romano, the person behind eLagda, has a message for all of us– emandirigmas or otherwise–who will vote on May 10.

Read on.

It’s rather amusing. Every candidate looks at the throng of people that flock to their campaign sorties and end up with the same conclusion: the people love me… i will win this election. Each one carries a magic calculator that projects the tens of thousands who attend their rallies into the millions needed to win. Even this early, they use this to argue that they could not possibly lose… not with the kind of warm and almost fanatical reception that they get. They forget that people come because of the entertainers that they bring, or the entertainers that they are. Politics, Philippine style, is truly a circus.

Even more amusing is how they work the surveys. Those who lag behind discredit it, or at least try to dismiss it. While those who lead exploit it to the fullest – proclaiming it’s a done deal… they can’t possibly lose. And they conjure all sorts of self-serving analysis they try to pass as gospel truth, which not only stretch the principles of logic, but are also ludicrous.

One example: “It’s now just between FPJ and GMA”. And it’s usually followed by a corollary: “A vote for anybody else except GMA is a vote for FPJ”.


This feeds well into the national phobia and paranoia of a Poe presidency. And it worked well when GMA was either lagging behind or only slightly ahead. Now that GMA leads by a wide margin, this argument is simply implausible.

Consider this. The latest NFO Trends survey (Apr 20-22) puts GMA at 36.86% and FPJ at 26.43%. Even if all the undecided (at about 9%) decide to vote for FPJ (a statistical improbability), GMA would still emerge victorious. Now… if you’re neither for GMA or FPJ to start with, then you’re not part of this statistics. Therefore, if you vote for any other candidate apart from the two, you’re not really hurting GMA, or shoring up Poe’s chances at the presidency.

NO. It’s not true. It’s NOT just between FPJ and GMA. And a vote for a candidate apart from GMA is NOT a vote for FPJ.

With GMA leading the surveys, they now peddle a different spin: “GMA needs a clear mandate. A slim margin will only give the opposition (mostly from the FPJ camp) opportunity to destabilize.” And it’s usually followed by a corollary: “Why waste your vote on a candidate who has no chance of winning?” The first continues to feed on the fear of FPJ, projecting him bigger than what he really is, politically. The second feeds into the Filipino psyche of always wanting to be identified with a winner.

The first premise is absolutely baseless. FVR won with the smallest of margins, but did quite well. Erap had a clear mandate, but bungled his presidency and mangled the economy. To vote for GMA on this basis is to send a wrong signal – that her style of governance is okay, even when it’s not.

The second premise is insulting – marginalizing the Filipino voters to a herd of mindless idiots who will go after a sure winner for no other reason than to claim being responsible for the winner’s victory. To vote for GMA on this basis is to admit that we, as a people, are incapable of thoughtful process in selecting our leaders.

NO. It’s not true. A leader does NOT need a clear mandate to govern effectively. Instead, a leader NEEDS to govern effectively to earn the people’s clear mandate.

A better reading of the surveys is this: FPJ’s numbers are on a steady decline and the tsunami they claimed would engulf this nation has been tamed to a diminutive wave. And with it goes the much-needed “hedge funds” from businessmen, usually reserved for the clear front-runner. Without this, it’s reasonable to expect that FPJ’s campaign will run out of steam at the homestretch. And those of us who fear a Poe presidency can sleep a little better.

With Poe out of the equation, or at the very least, reduced to the level of the other contenders chasing after GMA, we no longer need to vote out of fear. We can now vote for our conviction. And with the number of undecided and the uncommitted (those who may yet change their mind) increasing by the day, your candidate or mine may still pull a surprise win.
No. It’s not true. We do NOT waste our vote by electing someone whom we believe in, even when the surveys show that he has little chance of winning. We WASTE our vote when we elect someone to prevent another from winning.

Vote for GMA, not because you want to prevent FPJ from winning… but because you believe 6 more years of her style of governance will do our nation good. Otherwise, vote for the one you believe in, regardless of what the surveys say. And even if our choice does not win, we can at least send a strong statement to whoever wins what many of us expect from his/her presidency.

If you have read this far and you are already committed to a candidate, you can stop reading now. Better still, you can use some of the arguments above to campaign for your candidate. But please do not unsubscribe from this list simply because my choice for president is different from yours. Election, by its very nature is divisive, and it is but natural that we commit ourselves to different persons for the common goal of changing this nation for the better. Our choices may yet converge in future issues. There is always the delete key to dispose of mail that you don’t agree with.

If you are undecided or not as committed to your candidate at this point, let me endorse to you my personal choice – Bro. Eddie Villanueva, for 2 major reasons.

1. All the presidential candidates promise change and preach a message of hope for our people. But Bro. Eddie’s platform stands out – because it focuses on moral reformation above everything else. This is what our nation needs the most –healing for the land through moral reformation.

2. Except for Bro. Eddie, the next president will face a formidable opposition (mostly from the losing candidates) dedicated at making life difficult for him/her. Not so with Bro. Eddie. Can you imagine any of the presidentiable candidates taking a stab at Bro. Eddie if he becomes our next president? He is our best chance at finally unifying this nation.

Is he qualified? Certainly! He is more than just a religious leader. He was also a political activist – incarcerated during martial law, a law student, and a professor of Economics at PUP. And the way he grew JIL to more than 3 million is a testimony of his leadership capabilities.

But can he win? Among the candidates, he is the only one with a verifiable list of supporters. The rest rely entirely on surveys – which can be fickle and cruel. At our website, we have more than 2.1M registered supporters who are committed to convince 7 others to vote for Bro. Eddie. We estimate there are at least 1 million others who have not even heard of the website and could not register. Even if they’re only half successful in their 7×7 strategy, that translates to about 10.5 million votes – enough to make him win in a tight race.

Yes, Bro. Eddie has a good chance of winning.

If you believe, as I do, that Bro. Eddie is our best hope for moral reformation and unification of a divided nation, please register at our website – and pass this on to as many of your friends as you can. We may yet see a new Philippines for our children.

God bless and God save our country!


Ederic Eder

Ederic is a Filipino communications worker in the telecom, media, and technology industry. He writes about K-dramas and Korean celebrities for Hallyudorama.

He used to be a social media manager for news at GMA Network, where he also headed YouScoop, GMA News and Public Affairs’ citizen journalism arm.

He was with Yahoo! Philippines for more than three years before returning to GMA Network, where he was also previously part of the News Research section.

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