PINOY voters are getting more matured, finally.

A clear manifestation is the non-victory of movie and sports celebrities, mostly banking on their popularity in the last lections.

First on the list is boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, who was knocked out by 90-lb Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio. Its funny how a boxer with little education and political know-how would aspire a seat in a government office that necessitates experience and ideas often tested in plenary debates.

Actors Cesar Montano, Richard Gomez, and Tito Sotto all lose steam in their Senatorial bids while Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay won by a landslide victory over Sen. Lito Lapid. His son, Marc Lapid, was defeated by Governor-elect Eddie Panlilio, a Kapampangan priest. Starlet Angelica Jones was also booed in her Laguna board member election bid, while actor Christopher de Leon landed in third place in the race for vice governor in Batangas. Other stars whose luster failed last May 14 are Parañaque vice mayoralty candidate Anjo Yllana, and senatorial candidate Victor Wood.

Ramon Casiple, director of the independent Institute of Political and Electoral Reform, tells showbiz people not to enter politics if they have nothing to offer other than popularity.

“Although fans have mobbed celebrity candidates on the campaign trail, “voters make a distinction between celebrities and leaders” on election day, Casiple told reporters.

At least Filipino voters are slowly showing some sense of political maturity. We have finally learned that beyond popularity, performance and competence should be foremost in voting. This goes even to victorious celebrities themselves.

Reelectionist Herbert Bautista won his fourth term as vice mayor in Quezon City, while three-term Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos won in her Batangas gubernatorial bid. Three-term councilor Isko Moreno is now the new vice mayor of Manila. All three have served effectively in local government for a long time, pursued further studies in public administration, and were never linked to any political scandal.

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This is the part when a “V” editor bids good bye and say thanks. First to my parents, I will forever be grateful for all the love and the support. I promise I will live up to your expectations.

To the UST Applied Physics Batch of 2007, may we all find a “career in physics.” To the UST College of Science, many thanks for the holistic Catholic science education.

To the Varsitarian, my second home, I will miss staying in the new office. I may have had many regrets, but being in the “V” for three years is certainly not one of them.

To Sir Lito, thank you for guiding us through the toughest of times and for the acts of charity. To my colleagues in the editorial board and to the rest of the “V” staff, thank you for bearing with me. It’s been pleasure working with all of you. Finally to MJ, thank you for coming into my life.

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