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ROUGH CUTS | Who could possibly be the brains?

Indeed the campaigning for the election of barangay officials held today has gone a long way.
Yes, before when the first barangay polls after the EDSA People’s Power Revolution were conducted and our father-in-law was running for reelection after a long stay-over courtesy of the martial law regime, we had the opportunity to participate in his campaign activities. There were no rallies, no motorcade; not even legally-prescribed poster size posted on walls or hung in between electric poles or tree trunks.

We remember that we only did some kind of town hall meetings in houses of known supporters. We also did house-to-house visits including those known backers of adversarial candidates.

This year’s elections however, showed a marked difference from the previous. Right on the first day of the ten-day campaign period, candidates representing a particular group or supposedly aligned with a known political personality kicked off their drive for their “obsessed” barangay
position with motorcades complete with vehicles carrying sound system playing their campaign jingles.

The houses of candidates for barangay captain in most of the city – even in the rural areas — have been observed to be playing the jingle as early as 7 in the morning until late afternoon or early evening. In the last day of campaigning which was the other day, motorcades were again held capped with the candidates’ grand rallies.

The rallies were tapping the services of as many as 2 music bands to provide intermission numbers in-between speeches of candidates.

In other words, money or financial support from benefactors, especially politicians, and perhaps material contributions by interested backers were largely behind the profligate nature of the candidates’ campaigning.

With all these prevailing situations we cannot help but assume there are some unwritten agreements on how the “debts of gratitude” be repaid. For the politician benefactors it is easy to deduce what they expect from the barangay officials to pay them in return of the favor they have given in the just concluded elections.

As to the interest groups or individuals we presume that their own personal motives and interests are what they hope to be reciprocated by their backed poll bets when the right time comes.


Who are the ones perpetrating the killings of some indigenous people in Marilog District in Davao City that it now takes Congressman Isidro Ungab of the third congressional district where Marilog belongs to demand from the law enforcement authorities to investigate deeply?
Yes, with the congressman now sounding off the police authorities, it could only mean that the police actions on the killings were far from satisfactory. Or, the third district lawmaker may not have known of any police intervention to solve the cases against the lumads.

Who could have done those heinous crimes? Could the criminals be lumads too? And if they are, did they initiate the slaying by themselves or were they “manipulated” by some interest groups or individuals with stakes on some properties in the fast developing indigenous people’s territory?

As can easily be observed these days, some areas in Marilog district are getting more enticing to lowland-based businessmen. So there is this possibility that groups or individuals having greedy foresights may have thought of ways to create fear among the natives so they will abandon their areas and dispose of their rights over their occupied IP lands to whoever they believe is the “highest bidder.”

As we said in an earlier column, some stretches of the Davao-Bukidnon Highway in Marilog are already in the “Baguiodizing” stage. And who owns those posh vacation houses and high-end eateries? We are certain they are not the lumads or the early settlers from the lowlands. They are the moneyed people and big businesses based in downtown Davao City and from Cagayan de Oro or Bukidnon.

Yes, Congressman Ungab could not have been more correct in demanding that the law enforcement authorities conduct a much deeper probe into the lumad killings in Marilog district.


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