Can Electioneering Be Stopped by law?(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)

Manila Bulletin, June 7, 2002 | Go to article overview

Can Electioneering Be Stopped by law?(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)


(Editor's note: The notion that electioneering should stop after a political victory ignores the very nature of politics.)

ACCORDING to one national politician this week "a fullblown campaign has started." He is referring to the May 10, 2004 election campaign for all offices: President, Vice President, Members of Congress and all local officials down to sangguniang level.

Let's listen to the coffee shop analyst: "The law fixing or limiting the campaign period for various elective officials works to the disadvantage of the new and honest aspirants for elective offices. The strict limit binds the beginners to a slow start and to follow the law or face the usual sanctions. They are not known locally. Neither are they known nationally like some movie stars or news media personalities who are not covered by the campaign law until they formally announce their candidacy for any position."

He explains that administration candidates don't announce their intention until they are sure of a nationwide exposure if they are part of the executive department bureaucracy.

Roger de la Rosa started it

Movie personalities have both local and national following among the lower but bigger masses of voters.

Actor Roger de la Rosa started the political tradition in 1959, when he ran for senator under the LP minority banner. In 1959 the president was an NP nationalist, Carlos P. Garcia, but his vice-president was an LP, Diosdado Macapagal, who defeated NP candidate Speaker Jose B. Laurel Jr. in Nov. 1957.

Roger had a hunch that even the countryside voters, young and old, would remember his several movies pairing him with such popular stars as Mila del Sol, Carmen Rosales, Rosa del Rosario and Arsenia Francisco.

One sunny afternoon in September (November was the election month up to 1969 and 1971) a big black Buick stopped in front of a bakery in my hometown (San Jose de Buenavista, Antique). Where the car parked people (usiseros) watched and waited for the passengers.

A tall, big and stunningly handsome figure in Hawaiian polo shirt squeezed himself out of the car and stood in the middle of the street facing the town market. He asked a pretty woman to stand beside him.

The town folks shrieked, shouted and cried: "Si Roger de la Rosa cag Lota Delgado rugya!" There was complete pandemonium within the market block and its vicinity. People hugged, kissed and touched Roger and Lota. The old girls cried and rushed the actor, the first to be seen in my town. …

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