THE voices from the "pink" mammoth crowds rumble like thunder within every square, aching to wake up from the nightmares of the present regime by way of electing a righteous hands-on leader. It brings back memories of the EDSA People Power Revolution when the people kicked out dictator-plunderer Ferdinand Marcos Sr., when the icon of democracy, Cory Aquino, succeeded in ruling cleanly and honestly, but was followed by unfavorable next presidencies.

This time around, the open-minded and right-thinking electorate brave a heroic redux for another woman to sit in Malacañan Palace.

But they fear their hopes may go on the blink as they dread that the 2019 mid-election fraud may repeat itself. All the while, they know that an awful handiwork is afoot somewhere, altering votes, tolerating cheater-and-liar-elected-officials to rule the roost rather than clearing the decks by out-stamping dirty election tricks.

Another thing, most of the voters hardly know the above-the-notch and free-from-suspicion candidates, but only the ambitious political adventurers tagged in bureaucratic corruption and vote-buying. No worries, the disoriented ones can still be guided well to keep away from fake online tales and ignore these election fallacies:

Surveys are credible. Aha! here at last answers the question that has baffled everyone. Many political surveys are essentially in agreement with the government figures and issues. Despite glaring proof before everyone's sight of poverty, corruption, injustice, unemployment, poor-health-and-housing system, human rights abuses, militarization, what do the surveys say? Good heavens, that the government is doing excellently, reaching an incredible 100 percent approval rating!

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By their own admission, most respondents answer in a safe, at times, dishonest way, finding it absurd being asked on compulsory-redundancy issues in the streets. "OMG, that commissioned surveyor had accosted me on the street! With an abnormal fear of strangers, I've never encouraged myself to deal admirably with the sudden-threatening question from outsiders," said a teenage student-respondent from UST.

Think how would 1,200 respondents truly represent the real consensus of more or less 65 million Filipino voters? The last time I read Manila Times columnist-statistical researcher Al Vitangcol 3d, he wrote that with 60 million voters, a 16,000 to 18,000 sample size of respondents would be ideal to make the surveys credible. With 1,200 interviewees, a survey becomes a personal transaction rather than a validation, Vitangcol said. "Gag the surveys," said ex-senator Francisco "Kit" Tatad. "It's time to junk all pre-election surveys." He was seconded by House representative and minority leader Oscar Lagman Jr., "Surveys aren't useful in these times."

Listen to this. In the hands of spin masters, survey results can be gamed in favor of the "presidentiable" survey-sponsor. It reeks of mind conditioning to boost the dishonest candidates' underhand chance to win. It's a no brainer but a pure and simple political electioneering trap, a dupe as any politicians' hypocritical cant. Hey look, there's a whale of money about these days in those survey schemes.

Winning candidates are God-anointed. How can a candidate who buys votes, deceives, spends stolen wealth, be God-chosen? Election is the time when the question of the right decision out of the right frame of mind comes center stage in every voter's head.

In the movie "An Interview with God," David Strathairn (who plays God), tells Brenton Thwaites (who essays as a journalist): "Every human deed... thought... aspiration... depravity... the miseries in the world... doing horrible things to decent people... even morality... comes from man's free will, not from God."

Endorsement of top officials spins the win. In 2019, President Duterte and his daughter Sara's personally endorsed Senate candidates — Dong Mangundadatu, Freddie Aguilar, Raffy Alunan, Jiggy Manicad, Jinggoy Estrada — lost miserably, except well-known Francis Tolentino. In Bong Go and Bato dela Rosa's case, billions were poured in for their no-holds-barred print and TV publicity bluster (heaven knows not the source!) long before the campaign period.

In the end, even the influential officials' endorsement hooked with vote buying (many accept the money, but vote wisely though) does not what winning makes — the will of the people does.

Come what may, the "pink army" stands firm to guard the votes, and elect a selfless leader who'll do the right thing in the right way.

Pit M. Maliksi

[email protected]