THE newly formed Coalition of the Commons aims to take up the cudgels for Filipinos in combating the Comelec Mafia. It sees the need for actions graver in impact than that from simple press releases.
For this reason, it has decided to launch a thoroughgoing vigil on the grounds of the Commission on Elections in Intramuros, Manila. It envisions the vigil to be a venue for airing by all parties of their grievances against the commission that over the years, far from serving as a strong pillar of democracy, has become the bastion of grand prostitution of the country’s electoral process.
The author’s self-initiative of producing Parlade presidential campaign T-shirts early on.
I should know whereof I speak. As I mentioned in my column yesterday, twice I ran for mayor of Antipolo and twice I lost. On both occasions, somebody introducing himself as speaking for the local election registrar, rather surreptitiously, walked into my compound and offered to intercede for me in seeking “favor” from the Comelec. I knew what the guy meant, and I would not do it for the life of me.
My running was not for a personal quest for fame and glory, so to speak, but a desperate last attempt to salvage the cause of the proletarian revolution I had been engaged in from as far back as the First Quarter Storm in the 1970s.
Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, who had been in prison for nine years, was released by the great usurper Corazon C. Aquino in 1986 and proceeded to reassert his leadership in the revolutionary movement.
In 1991, he embarked on the Great Split, an ostensible rectification campaign, but actually a massive purge of all elements in the Communist Party of the Philippines and in its armed wing the New People’s Army (NPA) critical of his “protracted people’s war” and advocating a faster way of seizing political power, like that of the Sandinistas of Nicaragua, which erstwhile NPA chief Rolando Kintanar was ready to execute but for the intervention of EDSA 1.
The revolution was aimed against Marcos, but with the strongman having been suddenly kidnapped by America and spirited off to Hawaii, the Kintanar Sandinista-type of city-based uprising was left without an objective.
Evidently, despite EDSA 1, Kintanar had not let go of his strategy, and in 1989, he disclosed to me that the revolution was on the way to victory. I said, the urgent task of the revolution must be to frustrate the next presidential election because that would signal the consolidation of bourgeois political power; Cory’s rule was punctuated with 9 coup attempts by Gringo Honasan’s Reform the Armed Forces Movement or RAM.
When is the next presidential election?” asked Ka Rolly.
“1992,” I said.
A quick calculation in his mind and Kintanar said cocksure, “Panalo na tayo noon.”
But then came 1991, and Joma’s Reaffirm Our Basic Principles, Stand By Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse Tung Thought, the document for an ostensible rectification movement, but actually a massive purge that cut across the entire breadth of the revolutionary movement, the ultimate casualty being the splintering of the party together with the NPA, which was reduced from an awesome 25,000 regulars back to small guerrilla units with which the NPA began in 1969.
I knew the armed struggle was lost, though not the proletarian ideals.
Thus, did I dare run for mayor of Antipolo in 1995 with the barest projection in my mind of carrying out socialism in one municipality. I didn’t have the money but for the measly savings from my film directorial assignments which nonetheless proved enough to show my wherewithal as far as mobilizing followers was concerned.
In one rally, I orgasnized a multitude that filled the entire stretch of M. L. Quezon from the market to the Circumferential Road that not even the combined efforts of my opponent incumbent mayor and the chief of police would dare disperse or otherwise face mayhem.
I had for my campaign staff people provided by Popoy Lagman, among the rejectionists (those rejecting Joma’s reaffirm line) purged by Joma but retained the revolutionary forces he continued to command in the Rizal-Metro Manila area. These were the forces that filled my rallies not on account of me but of Popoy’s say so. One time I was experiencing shortness of funds, I sought Popoy for a little financial assistance.
“Mau, tutal hindi ka naman mananalo, ibenta na lang natin ang kandidatura mo,” came Popoy’s advice.
Shocked would be an understatement to describe my reaction. It was an awakening, a sudden incurable disgust at the revolutionary movement in which I had placed at stake my entire life and that of my family.
A month to the election, my door-to-door campaign was a sorry sortie carried out only by me and my wife and a few personal diehard supporters. The thousands that filled my rallies at the start had all gone.
I had been sold.
So, quo vadis, Samonte? Neither the revolution nor the election is a way.
Long ago, a friend cited to me a quote: “If you can’t just laze around, work. If you can’t work, supervise. If you can’t supervise, write.” So, in this hierarchy, writing is the noblest profession.
Glad to be in The Manila Times therefore. I can just write, write and write. Fine enough an occupation for one already exiting the twilight of his years. I am done with this damn dirty politics.
But then, lo! Here comes ex-general Parlade like a ray suddenly shot out of the silver lining. His words are inspiration for the hopeless to give Philippine politics one more chance. Just one more chance and perhaps this time around, Philippine democracy can genuinely be a way of life after all.
Of his party, the Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino (KDP), General Parlade has this to say: “We are the only party with non-politicians running in its slate. What this means is that this is the only party that will make the difference in this coming election and future elections.
“It has the potential of altering the political landscape and the entire electoral exercise.
“The KDP and its candidates do not have the means, yet if they win they can clearly deliver the reforms that this government needs and eventually elevate our people to prosperity, regardless of social status.
“The KDP and its programs and platform have, without a doubt, the potential of wiping out everything the common tao loathes: traditional politics, patronage politics, political dynasties, warlordism, rebellion, communist-terrorist influence in governance, corruption in immigration, customs, courts, internal revenue collection, land registration, land transportation, jails, AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and PNP (Philippine National Polce), and injustice by dismantling oligarchic control of our utilities, industries, labor and service sectors, and our marine and maritime economy.
“As all of these social and governance problems emanate from this electoral travesty that has been happening under our noses every time we have an election, the KDP and a Parlade presidency have the potential of dismantling the relevance of a prostituted Comelec in the coming years.”
This Parlade presidency has been aborted by the Comelec by removing him out of the presidential race on account of a very measly technicality in Comelec rules. And this one more showcase of Comelec prostitution is among the agenda to be taken up in the projected Lamay ng Bayan to be staged by the Coalition of the Commons on a yet undetermined date this month. So, I enjoin the people to give this undertaking their utmost support.
The planned vigil is certainly not for the dead, as is the popular concept, but an expectant one, as of the birth of a new baby.
The many years of corruption experienced by the country has already resulted in an old Philippine society pregnant with a new one. It will take the kind of the planned vigil to spark the ultimate deliverance of that new baby — the New Philippine Society.