IS ELECTION truly a democratic means of choosing leaders? Five months prior to election period, we were boxed into responding to all forms of attacks in our homefronts. It was like the masses were placed in a cauldron of fire. Peasants in Negros, Bohol and Samar Islands were evacuated and murdered in bloody Oplan Sauron operations. Layers of taxation on fuel were already in place as the order of the day. Transport operators and jeepney drivers are confronted with the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines (OFG) eliminating small-scale transport for big business monopoly on eurocars. The staggering height of inflation confronts us regularly. Contractualization and casualization of labor sustain. In the Mactan Export Zone (MEZ) alone are a flock of 180,000 laborers, but only about 30,000 are regularly employed. In the same manner, at the Western Seabord, of Balamban, Cebu Province, some hundred thousand laborers in the ship breaking and ship building industries struggle for the minimum P386. That is even way low the expected P750 computed viable rate of minimum wage to reproduce labor for the next labor day. And for all other industries are 68 percent contractualized and casualized labor schemes.
However, the program of the state is to constantly attack the nation on the moral panic on drugs, the ISIS or the communist insurgency that is simply out of tune. It is not the real problem but simply the state’s ploy to muddle further the quagmire of poverty we are in. So that adding more adversity is the regularity of the killings despite the gun ban.
Forty-five days to election period, the state’s campaign to manufacture fear and consent first took in the form of 14 farmers murdered in bestial madness at Negros Island. This does not even include the already over 30,000 murders on the “war on drugs” that appatently had turned into a “war for drugs.” Everyday on the news are an average of four to five individuals reportedly murdered in broad daylight. But who has the power to make use of the gun?
Dossiers circulated from the military reinforcing PNP memos to various offices for the profiling of individuals red-tagged to be affiliated to militant organizations. The profiling was a means to inventory the number of individuals the state can reach out to manufacture a secret consent. In the education sector for instance is the rumor mongering strategy against teachers who are leaders and affiliates to the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) via the education superintendent or the principal’s office. In the LGUs, the mayors and the barangay chairpersons were used to pin down members of Makabayan-allied organizations. Those who would not fall in their matrix of supporters will either be dropped from grace or simply eliminated.
This is also the first time in history that the President and the presidential daughter regularly flaunts themselves in TV endorsing various candidates and partylists of their choice and yet, their offices sustain with all the powers at their disposal. In realpolitik vote money for the administration was chanelled through the armed state forces, while state forces cordoned all fronts against opposition vote operations. (Read full version in www.sunstar.com.ph) (By Dr. Phoebe Zoe Maria Sanchez)