My List of the Good and Worse about the 2019 Philippine Elections

By Joy Aceron*

Overall, huge reasons to be worried and disappointed about, with little positive to hold on to.

Good: 7

#1 The youth seem to be getting it right, preferring candidates who offer issue-based politics and platform that checks the presidency ( and taking uncompromising stance when it comes to basic rights and freedoms ( The 2019 elections may come down as the pivotal moment that this country’s youth movement is reborn to reclaim leadership in the campaign for change.

#2 Media continue to provide subtantive fact-based news that enable an informed vote. MindaNews’ segment that shows who were voted in office in Mindnao from 1987-2019 is informative (, as well as numerous data-crunching/ fact-checking releases of CNN ( and Rappler (

#3 More and substantive coverage of local elections. Rappler:; MindaNews:

#4 More efforts done by Comelec and PNP to enforce election regulations on campaign paraphernalia, vote-buying, etc. based on media reports.

#5 Volunteerism is specially given importance this campaigns with the opposition slate reported to have been heavily depending on it to stand a chance (;

#6 Differences among the Senatorial candidates in terms of platforms, stand on issues and position vis-a-vis the Executive’s policies and governance are clearer now than before. This can explain why opposition candidates (eg. the Labor bloc), who otherwise have been invisible, have become more prominent in this elections (though still with little chance of winning).

#7 Big local political dynasties and political personalities lost. Vico Sotto defeated the Eusebios in Pasig ( Kaka Bag-ao defeated the Ecleos. Isko Moreno tamed Erap Estrada. Gabby Bordado kept the Villafuertes out.

Worse: 8

#1 More counting machines malfunctioned. 220%!:

#2 Vote-buying is worse:

#3 Likely, this elections has the highest number of candidates running for national post who face numerous corruption charges

#4 Election-related violence remained prevalent and taking place much earlier than usual emboldened by the drug war violence:

#5 Violence and threat in the conduct of mid-term elections in the new Bangsamoro region:

#6 High popularity of the president close to elections legitimizes the killer drug war and gears towards putting up a senate that is unable to check the presidency:

#7 Political dynasties dominate not only the race for national and local posts (, but even in a supposed progressive mechanism, the party-list system (

#8 Campaign spending likely to be at all-time high (, with use of state money for administration candidates partisan campaign as more rabid as ever before (

*Joy Aceron is Convenor-Director of Government Watch ( and a Research Fellow of Accountability Research Center based in School of International Service of American University in Washington, DC (