It is already election season in the Philippines. The election is slated in May this year, although there are prescribed period for campaigning and although there are penalties for violators of this provision, politicians have found ways, as usual and as usual, of circumnavigating the prescribed period for campaigning.
After New Year, the good and the only sane person in the Arroyo government Chairman Bayani Fernando of MMDA ordered the dismantling of “Christmas greetings” banners posted by national, local and barangay politicians. This is funny because most of these Christmas banners started appearing as early as July (or earlier) 2006. And if Chairman Fernando didn’t remove these eyesores, they would have stayed there till the next election three years from now. Campaign banners they were.
“Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”
Congressman Pedro Tulyapis 1st District of Orangutan.
The Christmas banners are now replaced with these:
“Happy Fiesta to Barangay Ulalo” Greetings from your loving and hardworking
Governor Estanislao Bagonggahasa!
“Happy 2 millionth anniversary to the Church of Voltes 5” Greeting from
Sen. You know who she is!
Church people have started mobilizing conscience groups to try to dissuade people from asking favors from candidates. This is the kind of electioneering done here in the Philippines. Politicians walk around doling out money for whatever projects the people thought of, just to take advantage of the candidates’ vulnerability. Basketball leagues suddenly popped up, women’s organization, youth organization, etc. suddenly became organized, all with the single purpose of milking politicos of money that in the first place came from the people. Of course, the politicos are only willing actor in this stupid election play. Concerned churchmen sick with this trend has formed an advocacy group called “Ehem”. The group is telling people not to ask for favors and not to accept favors voluntarily given by candidates. The logic is simple: With voters not squeezing anything out of politicians, there should be no reason for them to steal from the public in case they won.
I hope these well meaning people succeed.
I was watching the news and as early as today there are already actors manifesting their intent to run in the election. Mayors, governors, senators, etc. all of them are banking on their popularity. I mean, why would actors run for government office? Let’s just pray that it’s not because the Filipino movie industry is not as lucrative as it was—or the business is already dead.
I hope religious leaders will not commit the same mistake some religious leader made—run in the election. And if they do hope to run, the first thing they must do is resign from their churches and act as an individual because as experience have shown, churches, especially evangelicals, know how to discern.
As the Japanese would say: “Firipino erections are exciting!”
And I hear the Americans say: “Our erection is the best in the world. Ask Bill Clinton!”