A Post-election analysis . . . Call before the slumber

Posted: July 2, 2010 in Political

Manny Piñol, of North Cotabato, and Ace Barbers, of Surigao, lately appeared hilarious in public when they questioned their failed bid for reelection for the position of governor in their respective provinces. They appeared funny as they undertake their unlikely post-election maneuverings because all the people know that they are the ones who were in the better position, or who have the stronger arsenal, to do electoral cheatings.

We have big trouble with politicians. They find it hard to learn. It took them a very long time to realize that their defeats are caused by their own respective follies. For Piñol and Barbers, their defeats were actually wake up calls that came too late in the day, and were made in their most painful shape and form – their defeat.

The defeats of these two defeated political giants were wake up calls made after their deep slumber, giving them no time to reinvent their ways and save themselves from perdition. The wake up calls to remind them of their near-inutility and erroneous social positioning were their very electoral defeat, and these what makes them do a ridiculous act of crying foul against their financially disadvantaged opponents.

That these two fallen giants were unsuccessful in their respective bids for reelection for governor is not what make them ridiculous. It is because of the fact that, by complaining electoral fraud against their disadvantageously-placed adversaries, they appear like invincibly battle-clad warriors who pitifully sob before their unarmed, but determined, enemies.

Close to home, the political scenario was diametrically different. Congresswoman Darlene Magnolia R. Antonino-Custodio had captured the mayoralty post in General Santos City with comfortable ease, despite being subjected to the most brutal form of propaganda that had ever been undertaken in the history of Philippine politics. That form of propaganda was too repulsive to the conscience that it cannot be mentioned here.

In the last election, the people have finally spoken. By their spontaneous act, they repudiated such dirty type of politics, in a much clearer language. The number of votes which Darlene had garnered in the newly-concluded local elections was bigger by more than half than the combined votes of her three political adversaries.

With such repudiation, we can only hope that no such form of propaganda will ever be initiated in General Santos City in future local elections. With public consciousness radically skyrocketing, as our society flirts with modernity, black propaganda has already lost its magic spell.

But Darlene has something to think about with regards to the results of the recent elections. It is not perfectly correct to say now that Darlene’s landslide victory would mean that everything could go well as usual, and that guards could now be loosened down, without any future danger. To believe otherwise is to tread on a dangerous proposition.

Although Darlene had emerged convincingly triumphant in the last election, it does not, at all, mean that the last election just passed by without any danger signal. In fact, there was a wake up call, not for Darlene, but for the other members of the Achievement with Integrity Movement (AIM).

The current post-election period presents a very telling future political scenario; that is, the possibility of the 2013 local elections emerging to be the most contentious elections in the history of General Santos City, with the apparent capacity of the current local opposition forces to level the political playing field.

It is still too early to define the new local political landscape after the latest local elections. But the present formation of forces in the local political stage serves as a wake up call on AIM politicians, especially the AIM city councilors, that they must now veer away from their bad habits of depending solely on the integrity of, and the great respect that the people have for, Darlene and the party’s founder Adel Antonino and on the loyalty and dedication of AIM’s mass-based leaders for their electoral victory.

By their own serious efforts, the AIM city councilors and other AIM politicians must contribute to the strengthening and vitality of the party, and they must not be contended with the usual situation where they are merely collateral beneficiaries of Darlene’s and Adel Antonino’s public support and respectability.

In Sarangani, Roy Chiongbian did not survive the onslaughts of Congressman-elect Manny Pacquiao, who is armed with awesome popularity and financial power. The reason for this is the fact that his brother-supposed-to-be predecessor, out-goin Congressman Erwin Chiongbian, has not performed well as an advocate in, and out of, Congress.

Not only that Erwin Chiongbian slept on his job, but he also failed to maintain his rapport with his constituencies in Sarangani. The reason for this is simply Erwin’s mistaken belief that, since he is a Chiongbian, he is unbeatable. This mistaken belief pained Roy Chiongbian all throughout the electoral campaign. The public frustrations on Erwin transcended and made a heavy toll on him.

What made the local election in Sarangani too dreadful for awhile was the fact that Governor Migs Dominguez almost became a collateral victim of Manny Pacquiao’s political tsunami. Fortunately for Migs Dominguez, his outstanding performance as the province’s chief executive and his constant immersions with the people even in the remote villages in the province saved the day for him. He is considered by the people as indispensable in Sarangani’s journey towards economic prosperity.

The good name he had painted in the canvass of public consciousness was the reason why his last line of defense against the overwhelming effects of Manny Pacquiao’s gigantic financial arsenal did not crumble at the crucial hour of the battle.

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