Thanks to the holding of the Palarong Pambansa in Davao City these days. At least the local papers have the chance for a respite from politics as its contents.
But as we have written some columns back, leaders of candidates have taken advantage of every possible way that they can gather crowds so that they can invite their candidates to campaign.
Last Sunday for example, another mortuary association held its general membership meeting in a third district sitio. And while it is true that the meeting had a prepared agenda one of which is the proposal to increase the monetary assistance due per member should he/she, or any of his/her qualified dependents die, the real agenda behind was actually to give the group’s leader’s supported candidates for councilors venue to campaign with a captured audience.
And what did it cost the candidates? They “volunteered” to provide the snack of “lugaw” to the assembly participants.
Another “invited” bet raffled off several pieces of his campaign t-shirts bearing his name and pictures.
Well, that’s the innovation these new breed of political campaigners are able to introduce. Seemingly, more innovative ways of campaigning will be introduced in the next elections.
We would not be surprised if in the next campaign season, funeral processions and prayer meetings will be converted into some kind of political rallies.
It is even possible that politicians and their leaders will be hiring professional “criers” who will be instructed by their patrons to descend on dead person’s wake garbed with t-shirt bearing the names of their supported candidates. This, without doubt, is the worst style of campaigning. We will see if this scheme happens in the 2022 national elections.
Some netizens are demanding that the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) delist supposed pro-Communist Partylist groups like the Bayan Muna, Makabayan, and others. Their reason is that these Partylist organizations seem more interested in creating issues against the government instead of helping the latter in its mission of creating a livable society where people are contented and happy.
Unfortunately, these netizens seem to have forgotten that being communist is no longer illegal and that Communism as an ideology can already be freely adopted by the people who want to practice it.
And they are a sector in our population that can rightfully claim to be wanting in representation in the government’s law making body. They believe as much as we do, that the only way they can have representation is by taking advantage of the Partylist system allowed by the 1987 Constitution. So, why should some of us who are lucky to have our regular congressmen take that opportunity from them?
But we agree that being always critics to government may not lead the so-called pro-Communist Partylist groups to becoming effective and productive members in the government’s legislative body. However, criticizing everything that is government could be beneficial to their own agenda. Let’s see.
We were in Tagum City last Friday. Actually, we only had a one hour stop-over in that city to take some afternoon snacks while on our way back to Davao City from a two-day trip in Davao Oriental. It’s been about two years since we last set foot in Tagum City. And we had the surprise of our life on the evolution of the once sleepy city into a newly urbanizing metropolis. But the biggest infrastructure that is currently rising is the flyover that stretches more than a kilometer long. In our own non-expert estimate the construction is still roughly 40 percent complete. But work on the project is fast on-going. Most coffee shop goers we have talked to told us, it is through the initiative of ousted former House speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. We actually have no way of checking the veracity of the claim. However, if we have to reckon the same claim with the recent disclosure of infrastructure budget in the controversial “insertions” in the 2019 national appropriations there is clear basis to the coffee shop regular customers’ assertion. Was it not that Alvarez was pointed to as one House member with the biggest infra budget allocation? According to the coffee drinkers we have had the opportunity to talk to, they would not mind whether Alvarez is labeled the biggest beneficiary of the multi-billion infrastructure budget. They said, what is important to them is that the projects where the money is spent are implemented and are visible to every tax payer in the city.
Now, should we be surprised if former Governor Anthony del Rosario will see himself fighting the most difficult political battle in his career as politician? Odds, according to some political observers in the north, can be even. Or worst, it can tilt in Alvarez’s favor.