Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Maguindanao Massacre

I was browsing through an Australian newspaper online when I chanced upon the ghastly news that is the Maguindanao massacre. I thought it was a "normal" scuffle between supporters of two political factions. Boy was I wrong. What happened in Maguindanao is the very definition of massacre.

We are a nation used to exaggerations. Take the word massacre for example. Ask everyday Pinoy what massacre means, and the first thing that comes to mind is Carlo Caparas and his tacky rape films in the 90s. Massacre actually means the killing of a large people indiscriminately; slaughter; savage and excessive killing of many people. However gruesome those rape cases (and movies) were, massacre, they were not.

Now, what happened in Maguindanao, that is what you call a massacre.

That kind of heartless act is what you would normally see in the movies, or read in history books. You would not expect in 21st century Philippines. It is saddening and enraging at the same time to see that kind of barbaric act - and for what? For a mere gubernatorial position? How low can you go?

I don't care if it's a political, cultural or religious thing. This is just plain unacceptable. I hope the national government is not just paying lip service when it says it will suppress lawless violence in the area.

Just when the nation is at a high, thanks to the great feat of Efren Penaflorida (and to a lesser extent, Manny Pacquiao), we are now again in the global news for the wrong reason.

Photo: Andrew Mason, Flickr, Creative Commons

Monday, November 23, 2009

Premature Campaign Rant

Finally, COMELEC has spoken up on the issue of premature campaigning. But it is still not enough to stop the deluge of premature campaigning.

A snippet of a Sun Star news article says:
Comelec earlier warned the candidates that once the certificate of candidacy (COC) is filed, infomercials and other forms of propaganda materials must be stopped. Even solicitation for the holidays is not allowed.
Which means that an elective aspirant can file his COC on the last day. Until then, he can bombard us with those annoying infomercials.

I'm sick of these commercials. There is one which describes what a leader ought to be, conveniently forgetting the fact that when the person was in position, he did not do what he ought to have done. There is one which is fully packed with personalities and nothing else. There is one which pits the sans culotte against the supercilious. This is the worst sort of propaganda - the mud-slinging type. It will only get ugly from here on out.

The only good thing I can say is that there is no aspirant yet who has graced us with a song and dance number to the tune of a tacky jingle. Oh wait, I forgot about Bobby Syjuco.

So wala. Walang magandang maidudulot ang mga infomercial na 'yan. Just don't ask the big networks, who are laughing all the way to the bank.

Photo: The Library of Congress, Flickr, Creative Commons

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Political Ad Overload

Anyone tired of political ads raise your hands.

Almost every presidential and vice presidential candidate is doing it. The problem is, no one - not even COMELEC - can stop it. COMELEC itself has said that there is no premature campaigning if a person has not submitted his certificate of candidacy. But anyone with a functioning eye or ear knows that these people are throwing away money in order to make themselves known. And this leads to the inevitable conclusion that they are campaigning, tama po ba?

The problem is with the our election law; it allows a "non-candidate" to show ads to toot his own horn months before the campaign period. Perfectly legal under the law but it runs counter to the most common of common sense. Can we trust our legislators to plug this gaping loophole? I doubt it.

So the ball is in our court. It is up to us viewers to discern which ad is true and which is not. Just remember, these political ads are just that - advertisements. And like any other advertisement, the the real thing almost always falls short of the product shown in the commercial. Just like mouth-watering hamburgers shown in ads, but are bland in real life.

Caveat emptor. Let voter beware.

Photo: Ollie Crafoord, Flickr, Creative Commons
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