Friday, February 26, 2010
The Political Betting Is On
Now that local election is fast approaching, gamblers(?) from two opposing political camps in the Occidental Mindoro are now openly placing their bets,- worth million pesos, mind you - on their “political horses”. There is a humor spreading in our locality that the “bet for dough” between the incumbent governor Josephine R. Sato and her closest rival, Father Ronilo M. Omanio is on. According to my source, the “pustahan”, though informally done, was even aired live over a local radio last February 22, 2010 when a SMS-sender dared the political patron of Father Omanio to said contest and the boss reportedly accepted the challenge. They even discussed over the air its details,- how, what bank and when to place the pot money.
“I don’t know why Omanio, being a man of cloth, did not even say a word about such a game. Isn’t it part of the culture of gambling that the Catholic Church is trying to counter?”, my source asked. She expected words of enlightenment from Father Omanio, the station manager, on this but she heard nothing. “He was there present in said radio show”, my source added.
Now, I am the one asking : I thought it is degrading for any human being with dignity to be treated like race rat for a dime or two? Besides, I think betting games such as this is an affront to the sacred expression of the sovereign power of the people. Election involves every element necessary for the ascertainment of the popular will of the people. That is why the process of election, or politics in general, is really holy or Godly. But Father Omanio’s “lips are sealed sometimes”,- to borrow the familiar line of society page columnist Maurice Arcache, especially on controversial but thought-provoking discussions like this one.
I also do not like the gesture of said hostile anonymous listener,- presumably a supporter or ally of the incumbent governor and/or San Jose’s present mayor, who texted the anchors and made a child-like but money, fun and ego-centered play out of this noble exercise called right to suffrage. To him (or her) I would like to emphasize that voting it is imperative for elected officials to ensure by just means the security of society and the citizens. That our vote demands them to defend and promote the common good of civil society, its citizens and government offices. So, get rid of such gambler’s antics in this,- if I may repeat, holy and Godly task of electing truly integrity-ridden, full of wisdom, capable and service-oriented leaders.
Indeed, no other event can mobilize public or private funds in such a short or concentrated period of time as elections can. Such gesture is one of the many proofs of superficiality of our local elections. What I am really saying is we must keep on guard against the ploy and antics of traditional politicians (yes, they are all trapo to me!). And let us heed this biblical call : Keep your eyes open! Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod (Mk 8:15).
Only through this we will all become enlightened citizens and Christians. And I’ll bet my last centavo for it. At least, figuratively…
(Photo from www.gm-volt.com)