The day after PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 05 May 2016 14:09

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

San Jose, CA. — We’ve seen it before — littered leaflets and handouts, paper cups, Jollibee styros, plastic spoons and forks, soda cans, wrappers; the protestations, frustrations, taunts, inevitability of increased animosity amongst losers and winners; hospitals crammed with injured partisans; cars running with blaring horns and loud speakers used by highly-charged electorate signaling the victory of their candidate. The partial unofficial verdict has been rendered and tallied on giant billboards in designated areas as the curious, most particularly the the people who wagered, mill around wondering whether the numbers can still change. One thing’s certain: the election is over but the official count and proclamation of the winners.

Lawyers of losing candidates will desperately try to stall the official counting, protests lodged over questionable returns, while the new generation of voters and the first-time voters listen intently to the radio coverage on the latest count. Businessmen who bankrolled certain individuals wonder if their horse gets to the finish line in graceful victory. They are the millionaires that spent unlimited amount of cash to influence the outcome of the election.

Those ahead in the unofficial tabulation trek to Fort Pilar to light thanksgiving candles. Others offer masses to thank the Lord, as if He interceded in the election. Still others are having a big meal, something they haven’t done in 47 days.

The girl and Boy Scouts and the summer student workers will be asked to clean the dirt and filth, the tons of trash littered in campuses where voting were held. The laughters of lofty winners, the cries of deserted losers ; the cheers of overjoyed followers, the raspberry faces of the losing supporters of candidates are nothing but glum, dispirited, dismal.

The coffee shops, bars and restaurants will be full, the waiting line and time long, as everyone would try to sound smart with their assessment of the election and how their candidates won, or lost. Then the all-familiar grumble is barbled: HE WAS CHEATED! The accusatory language in Chavacano, Bisaya or Tagalog is overbearingly deafening before bottles of beer start flying.

The day before May 9, mysterious, cryptic operations will be done to invigorate the chances of certain candidates. That’s for sure. I’ve witnessed it happen before. This is the moment when money is given clandestinely by party leaders and baneful operators —”the infinite misfortune of moral deformity.” That’s why politics is spelled DIRTY because of lowdown candidates and their sordid sponsors skillfully manipulating voters’ minds with money. But, beware the fury of the angry.

The day after election will see the presidential rivals refusing to accept the trend of the count and will not concede defeat. Some will claim that the election process was defective as thousands of voters have been disenfranchised. There is no evidence, alas, that the voting was rigged. The results may even reach the Supreme Court because of alleged statistical improbability.

On May 10, the winners will be joyously parading around the city and thanking their innocuous constituents for voting them in office. They will flash their emblems, their symbols as proudly as they raise the Philippine flag to show their patriotism to a country besieged with too much corruption, lawlessness and groups of killers, blood-thirsty bandits and armed marauders and rebellious people demanding their own separate state.