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Opinion

Not campaign period yet, but..

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide - The Freeman

The early bird catches the worm. This English saying which according to the internet was first used in 1605 must be the guiding principle among some politicians. By early, we refer to the fact that the filing of the certificates of candidacy is still a month away and yet some of them are doing acts which are no different from campaigning. Such names as Binay, Cayetano, Poe, and Villar have early advertisements that appear quite often in TV primetime programs. Judging from the number of TV spots that we now see as being broadcast in today’s television programs, I can predict that the coming 2022 elections must be expensive. Well, that’s how easy these people violate the spirit against early campaigning. If my father were alive, he would be heard quipping que barbaridad, los ventajosos or words to that effect! Certainly, the expenses for these propaganda will never appear in their statement of contributions and expenses.

 While there is an ongoing media blitz of the expensive kind among known national political personalities, here in Cebu City, we can observe a brand of entertainment that seems to take the form not unlike that of a merry-go-round of the old carnival. Unlike the amusement offered by the carousel though, the roundabout way employed by politicians shows the intense heat of the struggle among local probable electoral contestants. The medium is the internet, not television. Their Facebook postings already seem to wage a vitriolic personal war. Some words are direct accusations of corrupt practices couched in tolerable language. Others are allegations of improprieties but are written in non-libelous terms. Demolition rather than development communication is the name of the game.

To make identification faster, I shall refer to the congressional wannabes of the North District of Cebu City, who figure in this carousel as Probable X, Probable Y, and Probable Z with a caveat that the order I have chosen does not mean anything malicious. We have in our midst Probable X who takes potshots at possible opponent, Probable Y, for distributing goods such as rice. The humanitarian idea of bringing food staple to financially-challenged families is, to all of us, good. What is bad according to the FB posts of Probable X, is that these goods are purchased by the city using our tax money for the poorest of the poor and yet Probable Y hints that these items come from his pocket.

Probable Y uses a jingle for us, north district constituents, to understand his thrust. There is more venom than entertainment in this song. The lyrics of this supposedly musical composition assail an opponent, Probable Z, for attempting to be a stand-in for a politically dynastic family. The followers of Probable Z believe that there is nothing wrong in our allowing a dynasty to reign, after all that is democracy at work. What is bad, according to Probable Y is that the dynasty has not improved the Cebuano lot and that is reason enough to put an end to it after three decades.

On the internet, there are obvious bashers against Probable X. The attack is centered on alleged sexual dalliance of the congressional wannabe. Indecency and immorality are their issues. The minute sensual graphics and colorful language that are employed can only yield to the conclusion that they are trolls (to use an IT terminology) of an opposing camp using fictitious accounts.

Whether they be national personalities or local figures, present politicians are campaigning even if the political season has not yet started. To them electioneering is more important than fighting the pandemic.

ELECTION

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