Not campaign season yet, but…
IT’S still more than half a year to go, seven and a half months to be more precise, before the May 2013 midterm election, but last week already felt like election season everywhere in the country, including of course here in vote-rich Pangasinan, as aspiring public servants filed their respective certificates of candidacy before the Commission on Election (Comelec) offices.
The filing of COCs was made earlier than usual to supposedly give the Comelec more time to sort out disqualification cases and weed out the nuisance candidates (remember how the name of Vetellano Acosta of the practically defunct Kilusang Bagong Lipunan party still appeared as a presidential nominee in the ballots in the May 2010 election because he was declared a nuisance candidate too late?).
The early registration of candidates does not signal the start of the official campaign period, which is March 29 for congressional representatives, provincial, city, and municipal positions – that’s more than five months away. National candidates for 12 senatorial seats can start campaigning February 12. But between now and those official starting dates, there will surely be all sorts of electioneering tactics, including a tarpaulin here and there, gift-giving activities, appearances in public venues, etc.
Hardly anyone will be fined, much less disqualified, for such gimmicks. So the best that the electorate can do is use this pre-official campaign period to begin watching closely. Voters can now start reviewing the performance of incumbent officials seeking re-election, while beginning to ask about new and alternative candidates. Let the picking begin.
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‘Trapos’ vs ‘Topaks’
GLANCE at the UNA (United Nationalist Alliance) line-up of Juan Ponce Enrile, Jojo Binay and Erap Estrada. Since the three are “trapos” (traditional politicians) themselves, their bets, among others, are Enrile’s son Jack, Erap’s son JV, and Erap’s bitterest foe at one time, Dick Gordon. Didn’t Erap, when he was president, hose Gordon out of his post as Subic chief with a water canon?
But how about P-Noy’s pambatos? He has, among others, Jamby Madrigal and Cynthia Villar, fierce enemies only a while back. Bam Aquino, P-Noy’s first cousin with zero political experience, is in. Ugh!
One national daily headlined, “Circus comes to Comelec,” referring to those topaks seen also gunning for a senate seat. One wannabe claimed he owns the Philippines and another said he is married to Kris Aquino, P-Noy’s sister. And so, it’d be “trapos” versus “topaks” in May 2013?
That’s why it’s more fun in the Philippines.