THE RECENT election made winners and losers of political hopefuls, much as it was both a win and loss for Philippine politics.

On the bright side, the curtain finally closed for celebrities who use their fame as a ticket to power. Most of the veteran movie stars who ran—Christopher de Leon, Richard Gomez, and Cesar Montano—hardly made a good show.

Another positive sign: the pro-life group, Buhay, is leading the party-list elections, and the left-leaning communist parties which used to dominate party-list votes are trailing behind neck-in-neck with other pro-life groups. This shows that the electorate prioritizes a clear platform for the right to life and the rights of the family, more important than other supposed liberties.

Still, many personalities, not known by the electorate for supporting anti-life and anti-family bills, were able to win Congress eats. This is a challenge for pro-life groups to raise more effective awareness campaigns on life and family issues in the next elections.

The victory of Fr. Ed Panlilio in the Pampanga gubernatorial race also indicates that moral and spiritual ascendancy still matters in gaining office, much more than clerical status. Panlilio ran under the “pro-people, pro-life, and pro-ecology” platform, and promises to bring Pampanga to progress for his three years in the office. Whether this is enough to correct decades of massive corruption and cheating, the Pampangeños must soon be able to produce the likes of Panlilio from their own lay ranks.

Meanwhile, some who managed to enter the Top 12 senatorial slate in the recent canvassing could well spell a fascist and military regime for the country. Putschists Gringo Honasan and Antonio Trillanes, if they became senators, would be a double-whammy threat to civil security. Chances are, they would be emulated by their bellicose fellows in the military who have the weapons to attempt coups and grab power, whatever that takes. If they lose in coups, at least they can run for the Senate.

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So there, gone is the “glitter” in the “guns, goons, gold, and glitter” mantra of traditional politics. There are signs of life here, signs of hope there. But still, it’s guns, goons, and gold, and more guns. Definitely, the nation has still much to do to grow in democratic grace.

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