In the Heat of Politics

Manila Bulletin, November 4, 2013 | Go to article overview
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In the Heat of Politics


(Editor's note: Our politicians today seem determined to keep themselves in office for a long time, as noted by the author.) Shortly after the votes were counted in one barangay in a town in Capiz, the father of a losing candidate, a daughter, reportedly shot and killed his own brother (the winning candidate) and his two sisters who supported their brother in the campaign for barangay chairman. This is not typical of the situation nationwide, but can warn us against extreme personal behavior and temper in a clan or extended family that is well exposed to local or national politics. Members of one political clan in Maguindanao are now facing 57 cases of murder for the alleged massacre of their political opponents and 31 journalists, all innocent of the planned ambush. A government backhoe was provided to dig a mass grave for the victims of what we call now as the most grisly mass killing of innocent persons in the countrys political history. Some dirty tricks We rarely hear or read about violent crimes before or after elections in the US, UK, Japan, and other progressive countries in Europe. Foreign observers here wont miss mischievous partisans snatching ballot boxes, pouring ink on cast ballots, or stealing voters lists to delay/postpone an election in some precincts. In November, 1948, President Truman (Democratic Party) was given a slim chance in the polls of winning against New York Gov. Thomas Dewey (Republican Party). The Democrats, led by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, had won four elections in November 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944. And Truman had succeeded to the presidency as Roosevelts vice-president in 1945. Despite the odds Truman had tirelessly denounced the Republican Congress as do-nothing. In California, Truman delivered his speech from a train, but his welcomers found it strange that his train was moving away from them inch by inch. The presidents aides discovered what was behind the dirty trick some big boys, presumably Republicans, were pulling the train away from the crowd. A true upset Truman returned to Washington happily waving to crowds a copy of the Republican Chicago Tribune that carried the banner: Dewey Defeats Truman.

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