By JULLIE Y. DAZA
It’s war! Massive numbers of soldiers and policemen, armed to the teeth, were deployed to keep the order in an orderly and peaceful election. Formal sendoff ceremonies were held to wish them success and Godspeed. Who was the enemy? The candidates, you bet.
It’s those candidates who have money to spoil the whole hullabaloo of an exercise called electing our leaders. They have the guns, bullets, and other weapons of distraction to eliminate rivals and intimidate the very same voters whose votes they need to stay in power or put them in power. It’s those candidates who have no respect for a gun ban. Come to think of it, what other laws do they not respect? Yet they want us to show them respect, addressing them as Your Honor.
It’s war! No less than Commander-in-Chief Duterte said so: “If you have an M16, M14, if the police and the military tell you to surrender it, surrender it. If you do not follow that, I’m telling the police and the military to kill you. How can you arrest a person who does not want to surrender? Just kill them.”
At least 20 persons have been killed in election-related incidents. Who killed them? Voters? No.
It’s the candidates who give our elections a bad name. With their money, which they want to grow by lording it over us as leaders, they pervert the system through vote-buying. They have so much money that election spending is a factor in improving economic data! Their giveaways have the flavor of Christmas. Their ads boost the income of media outlets, tremendously. Their commissioned surveys done by pop-up groups crawl out of the woodwork like termites. The trash that litters our streets and skyline are the clearest proof that they do not obey the law, yet they would pass and implement rules and regulations (that they themselves will flout, sooner or later).
Do we need 12 hours of a nonworking holiday to cast a single ballot? In the spirit of properly exercising our civic duty, we could make election day just another working day, but that’s not what the candidates want, is it?