Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen.
I had never doubted the indignity of politics. It goes without saying. Dirty, scandalous, deceitful, treacherous, corruptive, repulsive, vile . . . one will surely never run out of negative modifiers to describe it. No god can ever cleanse its malice.
And just so to prove it, last November 23, the nation, skeptic on this fact, was roused by the massacre of at least 57 defenseless civilians in Maguindanao. Everyone has heard of the story and how they were laid to death in an undoubtedly immoral manner, as if they were killed by Satan himself. Men and women speared on both eyes, raped, slashed and fired on their genitals and mouths, beheaded and mutilated by chainsaws. Even for a country long hardened to election violence, this sets a new low, besides even the fact that we had been labeled as the second most dangerous place by newsmen, next only to Iraq.
And what brought about this demonic upheaval? None other than the fierce competition for regional power among our country's small Élite of a few hundred families and clans that control an inordinate amount of the national wealth - and the desperate lengths some will go to protect their hold on power. And with these innumerable miles of desperate lengths, no amount of mercy will be adequate enough to hold them back.
Ladies and gentlemen “The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” Maybe Lincoln was right, but not for the Philippines.