UNITY breaking up on the ground as the local election nears.
Unega and Love Negros 2019 bets in a number of cities and towns in the province are reported to be squabbling and undermining each other since the start of national campaign.
In some areas, Unega bets were told by people on top not to put up fight vs Love Negros bets. In other areas, Love Negros bets were told to do the same. Those who gave in, or followed the order but really wanted to run before the “areglo,” ended up disappointed and betrayed.
One local official who wanted to challenge his mayor for alleged corruption and nepotism was so angry because he could have run if there was no “argelo” from the top. Now, he feels bitter because he lost the chance, at least for now, to unseat the mayor.
My unimpeachable sources from the south commented that the so-called unity was only on the top and for the top, to pacify the conflicts among the leading contenders for the top posts.
Those on the ground are left on their own, alone and without resources.
Well, this is not new in Negros politics long ruled by the landed elites organized into powerful clans and fiefdom. When their common interests are at stake, in near peril, they compromise, concede, unite. When in boom times, they are to each his own.
And as always, the losers are the poor candidates, the landless and powerless, the political dummies and errand boys of the big buddies.
If federal form of government is established this year or in 2022 under this politico-economic structure, nothing substantive would change. The same old powerful elites will rule.
I was informed that President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to come in the next few days to grace the launching of the PDP-Laban campaign in the province. But my informants likewise confirmed that the organizers and hosts of this so called big event are former rabid anti-Duterte elites and are now born again Dutertistas aided by their connects in Malacañang who helped them get linked to Duterte after 2016 elections.
They are the most unreliable, traitorious partners in the struggle for real social change.
This is why, the bigger challenge for those who wish to make something meaningful out of this election, is to converge, set aside differences, agree on minimum agenda, and strategize the ways to beat the demagogues and machos in the electoral area.
And I mean, the workers, farmers, fishers, youth, low-paid professionals, church-based organizations, civil society organizations, cooperatives, non-government development organizations, and many more.
The broad unity opposing sugar import liberalization is a good example of this.
But they have to be nurtured to grow beyond this tactical unity, towards finding a more strategic solution to the politico-economic problems of Negros and the country.
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