Quarrelsome but politically sober-A A +A
Monday, November 4, 2013
THE timing of the conduct of the barangay elections was propitious. All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day not only reminded us of our impermanence, the long break occasioned by our observance of the two events also provided the losers time and solitude to let off steam and the winners to ponder on their responsibilities.
Some of the vanquished couldn’t wait, like that former barangay captain in Capiz who killed his three siblings immediately after he and his daughter learned that they lost to the victims. It is not uncommon to see rage following disappointment but the incident stands out because of the sheer rawness of the violence.
Here in Cebu, we’re happy that we have been able to keep intact our reputation for being quarrelsome but nevertheless sober when it comes to politics. Our politicians and their supporters hurl invectives and-–sometimes--threats at opponents and trade insults with one another but rarely have these verbal tussles graduated into acts of physical violence.
Protests will be filed, that’s for sure, especially in contests that have been decided by the proverbial skin of the teeth. But there lies the beauty of it all. Rather than go the way of the beast, losers, some of whom may have a real case when they cry foul, follow established, and definitely the more civilized, procedures of seeking relief.
This is especially so in Cebu City where the barangay elections were viewed, rightly or wrongly, as a proxy war and segue to the bitter mayoral fight between Tommy Osmeña and Mike Rama last May.
Events leading to the day of the elections indicated that the rivalry would be heated in certain areas such Ermita where a week before the elections, angry residents damaged a responding police car. The elections, however, turned out to be peaceful, almost uneventful.
The rest of the nation can learn from us. We can take a bow and give each other a nice pat on the back for that.
What’s all the fuss about the US spying on allies and rivals alike?
We do that in business and call it environmental scan. Before we open a new revenue stream, we look at the market and the competition.
How much share can we grab? What are the current players’ strengths and weaknesses?
What is the secret to their success? Who are their contacts, their top salesmen? What are their idiosyncrasies? What chances do we have of stealing away some of their clients?
Some families are known to conduct background checks on proposed in-laws and society has found nothing wrong with that. How do you know that your future son/daughter-in-law isn’t a potential threat to your family’s solidarity? You ask around discreetly.
It’s the same in international relations. Each nation strives to serve its own national interest. Alliances are good only up to that point where the national interest of one country does not collide with the national interest of the other.
The US wants to know what is happening around the world and employs spies to do it?
That’s in their interest. If something is brewing in the Philippines, the US would like to know before it happens so that it can respond adequately at the appropriate time.
I would not be surprised if the Americans are already looking at our 2016 presidential elections, wanting to know which potential candidate has the best of winning and whether or not, his government will be friendly to the US. Is that wrong?
Look, it’s not only America that’s doing it. The rest of the world are also into it.
I will be most disappointed if I am told that we’re not one of them.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 05, 2013.