What's in the psyche of some Filipinos that they cannot accept defeat in the elections?

Is it too difficult to bow to the people's verdict and uphold the rule of the majority in a working democracy? Cannot the vanquished and their supporters give the ethical and educated response to the resounding voice of the people for the youth and the coming generation to emulate?

Cannot the losers accept the magnanimous victors with their offer of reconciliation and unity in tackling the common problems of the country? Cannot the political adversaries in one moment of divine enlightenment come together and put asunder their dislike and animosity and embrace each other as Filipinos?

Have we become so dense as to be oblivious of the reality that the continuing schism and discord may bring us to the precipice of another unwanted, unnecessary and useless political upheaval to the eternal detriment of the nation ?

The debacle in the political exercise cannot continue to fester like an infected wound that will not heal.

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The pain and the hurt must be excised by the thought that such is necessary to cleanse us with the impurities that have enslaved and haunted us for decades as a nation.

We must go beyond the transitional dichotomy that plague us after every election.

We have to rise from this political immaturity and move forward in unity to meet the challenges that lurk in the horizon and prevail over them for the betterment of our country.

Enormous problems in the social, political and economic milieu await the new governors. The governed cannot just sit idly and wait for the manna they expect from them. Both the served and the servants must work together and assist each other to achieve lasting solutions to the perennial problems of poverty, unemployment, land ownership and housing.

We must likewise pursue the war on the illegal drug trade, criminality, corruption, communist rebellion and terrorism. Agriculture, marine and aquatic concerns require effective responses. The matter of informal workers and settlers have to be given lasting solutions. The looming energy crisis and the continuing threat to the environment will have to be addressed. The commenced infrastructure projects must further be enhanced to strengthen the foundation of a viable economy post-pandemic.

Constitutional reforms to pave the way for a federalist system of governance to fully develop the local government units and the reduction, if not the elimination, of restrictions on foreign investments must be seriously considered and pursued if we want to be upgraded from our Third World status.

These and many more matters of national concern and interest, to be given effective and appropriate responses, will require the honest, competent and dedicated service of those given the mandate to govern as well as the utmost and selfless cooperation of the citizenry.

Less than that, the gains achieved by the present dispensation will go to naught, and the high hopes of the Filipinos to have more changes that will uplift their lives brought about by the euphoric political victory will be imperiled.

And there lies the challenge to all of us.

Our rise and fall as a nation will depend on our response.

Quo vadis?

Salvador S. Panelo