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The so-called ghost month ends this week and some of the more circumspect political personalities are expected to declare their plans for 2016 soon.

The less unabashed have had a head start and have been able to leave the public little room to guess what their words and actions in the next few weeks would seek to achieve.

These early starters have also had the opportunity to blur the line that separates their official functions from their raw ambition. What they may have done may be a legitimate demand of their job but also happily and  conveniently showed the people what excellent leaders they would make.

On the other hand, some of the hopefuls to this point have been generally undecided or playfully coy.

The mayor of a city down south keeps the people speculating, saying he would not run when his actions all point to the opposite direction.

 And then a senator who finds herself under heavy questions as to her fitness for the job is expected to tell us this week she would be courting our votes as well.

In a month, anyway, these declarations would have to be made official with the filing of certificates of candidacy for the top contest.

What do all these declarations tell us? A few things. First is that the candidate lives no longer for the present but for the future, specifically 2016. All motivations are colored by the agenda of getting elected.

Second, any stark deviation from their usual tone or track record should also not be taken at face value.

Finally, we must be wary of grand promises. We’ve fallen for this too many times. Filipinos have the tendency to sympathize with underdogs and other contrived archetypes, confusing projected attributes with actual capability.

From the day of declaration, let only the records—past words, action, silence and inaction—point us to how a certain presidency is bound to look like.

Declarations signal the start of the race. Let’s make this a grueling one for those who say they want to serve us.

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