When elections are held in other countries, it is not expected that Filipino observers go there to watch the conduct of such political exercises. But when elections are held in this country, foreign observers from many nations infallibly come to check on how Filipinos do it, particularly what the government in power does on the occasion of the electoral process.
This is a shame—to say the least, the extensive presence of foreign observers during the elections in the country in no way means that they come to learn how to conduct peaceful, honest and credible elections. The truth is, they come to watch how bloody, deceitful and unbelievable Philippine elections are. Thereafter, they go back to their respective countries to submit their reports for the whole world to know what and how elections precisely should not be.
Elections are supposed to be a symbol of democracy, the proof of the supremacy of the people, an expression of political freedom of the citizens. In this country however, especially during the tenure of the present administration, the forthcoming elections are a dangerous and fearful political reality.
The infamous triad of guns, goons and gold is becoming more and more pervasive and effective. Lives are becoming cheaper while votes are becoming more costly. More candidates have so much money to spend while most people wallow in so much poverty. Private armies openly make their rounds in the streets while the keepers of peace and order stay silent and immobile in their offices and stations.
As usual, the national leadership makes the expected denouncements of election related criminal wrong doings. As usual her close allies fervently echo the tired and tiring condemnations. And as usual too, nothing happens—except that the situation is in fact becoming worse as the days go by.
The country is already in turmoil when it is still some weeks before the elections. But if the truth need to be said, it will be even much worse after the elections. This is expected for ample reasons: the administration cannot afford to lose the majority in the lower house on account of the impending impeachment case. The administration wherefore will spare no one and no cost to make ally congressmen and party-lists win the elections.
When will this socio-political curse end?
+O.V. CRUZ, DD
2 May 2007