SECTIONS
Monday, July 22, 2019
BACOLOD

Pacete: Winning the political war in Negros

THE political merger is not a new menu is Negros politics. I call it cohabitation. A strong alliance needs political cooperation between different parties or groups in power. The alliance is typically temporary and simply tagged as a coalition.

To be a governor in our province, one needs to be ‘haciendado’ or “haciendero,” at least. That holds true in some towns and cities. Sugarcane planter candidates for mayor have more chances of winning. The “haciendero” candidate will connect to “haciendero” relatives and friends. Hacienda owners may still have control of their “obreros” on Election Day. Generous “hacienderos” can give a holiday pay to workers who are voting.

It is common joke in Negros that “haciendero” chief executives are running their LGUs like hacienda. That could be true in some LGUs. We have to face the fact that there are young “haciendero” chief executives who really have honed themselves in the art of politics at University of the Philippines (UP), La Salle, and Ateneo. A few have learned from the “old rich” parents and still stick to semi-feudal management.

Sometimes there are candidates coming from the daredevil groups. They form their own concordat composed of vendors, drivers, construction workers, retired employees, and farmers. They do not have money, no financiers, and no politicians behind them. They do not speak good English and they could not even come up with a platform.

Partisan political agitators would sometimes call them “lagtok,” “tangkuloy,” or “buangit.” That would simply mean that they are good for nothing...no chance of winning. It is very unfair if they are treated that way considering that we live in a democratic country. If many cannot agree; at least, we have to respect them.

A strong political party should come out with a declaration of its policies, as before an election manifesto. There should be consensus politics. That refers to political policies and actions based on the wishes of the majority. It could be for the preservation of the sugar industry and of the people running the industry. It could also boil down to the life of the workers who are dependent on this twilight industry.

Politics is very unpredictable. Politicians can always sleep with a strange bedfellow. You can be friends now and a political divorce can happen tomorrow. When tomorrow comes, you could be friends still or you could become instant opponents because you no longer belong to the same denominator. In simple English, I call it a purge.

That could be the reason why Negrosanons cannot or can hardly have senators, vice president or a president. Things sometimes happen because we have no choice. Let us strive to have a real election in Negros to produce real leaders who are willing to depart from their own monsters. We are in search for leaders with soul-force.


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