Promises, promises PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 15 February 2016 14:12

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

Las Vegas, NV. — Like I said, the presidential candidates will promise even paradise to the enigmatic voters. Their platforms of government are but the same, except for Rodrigo Duterte’s push to change the form of government from its present form to federalism. That means, chicos y chicas, the 1987  constitution will have to be abolished to pave the way for a federal form of government. I can’t imagine yet how this will work.

It could be that each region will provide its own police force, fire department, an independent educational, health and what-have-you systems. That means, each region shall independently generate its own budget borne out of the collection of taxes. That means, also, that each region will have its own regional laws for as long as they don’t contravene federal laws. A region may impose capital punishment while another may impose only life imprisonment. But it’s better left to Duterte to explain to the voters how his concept of federalism would work. Will it, for example, guarantee the eradication of corruption and alleviate poverty? Will it make the Philippines economically better and investment suited?

In Zamboanga, although the campaign for local elective positions has not begun, the poll numbers for the “llamados” have not changed. The incumbent mayor and district representatives are way, way ahead of their rivals. That’s because they’ve got the machinery, the money and performance fueling their imminent victory, unless something out of the ordinary happens between now and May 9.

Campaign donors will play a major factor in this campaign. The Liberal Party and Adelante Zamboanga Party have all the big donors on their side. They will not risk bankrolling the new-comes. Right now, the incumbents are preparing their list of accomplishments to be fanned out to the voters when the campaign period begins, sometime last week of March. Then, the recycled visions and ‘contract for change’ will be circulated in churches, malls and schools to remind the voters, old and first-timers, what their intentions are for Zamboanga. I’m sure, the construction of a new airport, the building of a water dam, and widening of downtown streets and main thoroughfares aren’t among them. The argument? Those are projects national in scope. SOAG!

But since they are the “llamados”, they can say anything, especially so when the voters have already made up their minds whose names they will encircle on the ballot.

My guess is that the turnout of voters on May 9 in Zamboanga will be unusually high, judging from the high turnout of new registrants. Qualified voters will be carried by buses and jeepneys to the polling places. Nothing will be left to chance by the candidates, especially those whose victory hangs In the balance.

And, yes, there will be butterflies and “balimbings” a week before Election Day, as money will play Judas’s role. There will be Brutuses and Cassiuses, as there will be Mark Anthonys and Cleopatras. That’s how politics goes anywhere in the world.