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Senatorial campaign 2019 kicks off

Tumbas Manipis
by John A. Bello

It is the grand start of the political campaign today, Feb. 12, as I write this particular Tumbas Manipis column of mine. Actually, it is only for the senatorial and partylist representative candidates for today up until May 11 as those for the local political candidates – district representatives, governor, vice governor, board members, city and municipal mayors, city and municipal vice mayor, and city and municipal councillors - will yet be on Mar. 29 and ends also on May 11. The voting day for the midterm elections is on May 13.

But weeks or even months before the start today of the political campaign for national candidates, the Filipino voters have already been seeing political posters in various places across the country and on television screens across the entire country what undoubtedly appear as political ads for this and that candidate to be, what else, recognized and get the attention of the voters. The early political birds are surely and easily those who have much moolah to burn, as television advertisements are anything but cheap. I hear that a 30 seconds political ads in national TV would cost a candidate an arm and a leg, almost about a million of cold cash, I hear, so if you are a poor candidate, forget about being an early bird and getting a spot on TV and be easily recognizable the better to be embedded in the minds of the voters and be remembered on voting day.

The Commission on Elections seems helpless for this early political campaigning of candidates but it advances the view when these candidates have not yet officially filed their certificate of candidacies that they are not yet committing an election offense as they are not yet officially registered candidates. However, even if they have already filed their COC’s and as the start of the campaign hoves into view, political posters and TV political ads seems to have multiplied and the Comelec stayed quiet and seems it cannot do nothing to prevent or stop them so it appears the Comelec has decided to just tolerate it for its own peace of mind. For if there is a blatant and wholesale violation of laws, and during elections, it appears to be so, better leave it like it is normal and act normally like the rest of the voting denizens of this hapless republic.

Now, let’s dig in and wade into the dramatis personae in this midterm elections under the Tokhang dispensation of Tay Digong.

For the over 60 millions of us voters, it’s either Team Pilipinas or Team China. Or Team Digong versus Team Delawan. Or Team Hugpong ng Pagbabago and PDP-Laban versus Otso Diretso. It all boils down to whether you choose for the continuation of the policies and programs of the Duterte administration or you opt for an alternative or something better. To choose neither is to boycott the elections, to regard, as the communist ideologues claim, the whole electoral exercise as nothing but a sham and political charade of the status quo, by the ruling power of the capitalist system out to perpetuate itself in power for the ruthless exploitation of the poor, the toiling masses, the oppressed, blah blah blah.

However, for the rest of us who are neither communist ideologues or radicals or political nihilists but just plain citizens out to play and participate within the democratic electoral system hoping to contribute to the improvement or betterment of the status quo from the ruts it has gotten into year in and year out, we just have to grin and bear it about our choices among the range of candidates - some of whom we suspect are deranged - who are running for their desired respective posts.

For the senatorial bets of TEAM CHINA, er, Hugpong ng Pagbabago and PDP-Laban of both Pres. Duterte and his feisty daughter Davao city Mayor Inday Sara here they all are:

Imee Marcos, Cynthia Villar, Jinggoy Estrada, JV Ejercito, Bong Go, Pia Cayetano, Zaid Mangudadatu, Koko Pimentel, Sonny Angara, Harry Roque, Francis Tolentino, Ronal dela Rosa, Bong Revilla and Juan Ponce Enrile.

TO BE CONTINUED

For anything newsworthy or writeable, email me at johnbello2017@gmail.com or tumbasmanipis@yahoo.com.ph