Editorial: The countdown to litter

JUST over one more week and we can expect to be awakened, re-awakened, and pestered by the sound of public address systems on vehicles playing campaign jingles and shouting a candidate’s name.

March 25 is the start of the local campaign, and the recorridas will soon be weaving around residential areas. We will have one and a half month of that. So, suffer.

But there’s something nice about this election, aside from it being the most exciting as it includes a favorite Davao persona, our City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Apparently, with the Duterte figure looming behind all presidential candidates and his reputed iron fist rule in Davao... the national candidates have spared Davao from their massive campaign materials that would have by this time been literally littering the streets, and driving private homeowners with fences crazy.

Yes, having concrete, galvanized iron, or whatever kind of fend that have flat surfaces in the Philippines bring vexation to a homeowner every election season as workers paid to cover as much space with propaganda materials would cover your fence in the dark of the night, without even the gumption to ask permission, and as you wake up the following day, Voila! You get a littered fence pocked with faces of candidates.

How this has gone on for years and years unchecked shows the continuous decline of our political system. We’ve heard all candidates say this piece in defense: They have no control over their volunteers on the ground. Such excuse repeated over and over again through the years, through many a candidate, shows the quality of those aspiring to be our leaders.

Davao in the last, however, led the way. Civil society marched in right after elections to clean their chosen patch of the city. Thus, the vexation has been abated. But not so in other areas.

This year, the Dabawenyos get an even bigger break from the vexation. That is if the local candidates will not take on their rabid style that they have been known for as well and only post their propaganda materials where they have been allowed by the Commission on Elections and the property owner.

We can do with a lot more courtesy, especially from all those who are aspiring to lead us, and that includes their minions, whether these be just lowly paid workers tasked to paint on the paste.

Leadershp after all is not just about winning an election, it’s about having the respect of all your volunteers and having respect for all people.