By Atty. Antonio P. Pekas

“ But seasoned politicians know about another very important factor which they seldom refer to by the proper terms to describe it— the stupidity of voters.”

Just clicked the button to send to our “layouter” the editorial when I was told that Atty. Edison Bilog just filed his certificate of candidacy to join the fray. That late report will not change in anyway the equation as we editorialized in this issue—that the main protagonists in Baguio’s mayoralty race are former Mayor and Congressman Mauricio Domogan and incumbent Mayor Benjie Magalong. If there will be another last minute addition to the candidates, chances are, it will favor Domogan.
Lucky for us in the media as there will be more than enough fodder for newspaper spaces about politicians and this will keep going on until the winners would be proclaimed in May of next year.
As to the candidates, It will take until next week, or next issue, before we will know the final list of candidates around the Cordillera. Until then, we cannot make acceptable “guesses” on who will be the next occupants of what political seats anywhere in this region.
The main factors to be considered as to winnability are the usual ones or the 3Gs—gold, guns and goons. Gold of course refers to the money to buy votes, guns are about coercing voters to go the way of a certain candidate, and goons used to be ballot box snatchers who will replace their contents. Now, the goons have been elevated to white collar level as there are no physical ballot boxes anymore. They are now the savvy computer technicians or hackers who can manipulate what were fed into COMELEC computers.
But seasoned politicians know about another very important factor which they seldom refer to by the proper terms to describe it— the stupidity of voters.
Some illustrations are in order and we will limit ourselves to the recent ones.
Joseph Estrada could have won his second try for the presidency had Tita Cory not died that caused the victory of her son, PNoy. This, despite Estrada’s having been convicted of plunder.
So many still intone that the late Miriam Defensor-Santiago could have banished corruption and incompetence in the bureaucracy had she been given the chance to become president. Such people conveniently forget that during the impeachment trial of Joseph Estrada in the Senate, Maid Miriam was the number one defender of the plunderer.
Lest we forget the present incumbent PDu30, he still enjoys a lot of support from the masses despite his having denigrated the checks and balances system in government by berating the Commission on Audit for flagging anomalous transactions or actuations of high ranking government officials which point to corruption. This was followed by his stopping officials or individuals involved in the Pharmally caper from testifying in Senate investigations on how our money as taxpayers had been corrupted through overpriced good in response to the pandemic, to the tune of P12 billion.
PDu30 is still aggressively defending those involved and his phalanx of supporters who call themselves DDS (Diehard Duterte Supporters) are still on a rampage and they will be so in the coming months, campaigning for who will be anointed by PDu30.
The pinnacle of the evidence on such stupidity are the Marcoses. Despite their wll documented sins to the Filipino people, Bongbong Marcos is a front runner among the presidential contenders.
And so it has come to pass that the most important qualification for a candidate is being able to lie with a straight face. With that, even in the face of clear evidence of wrongdoing, a lying candidate can readily fool the masses even if they suffered, or are suffering, due to the candidate’s anomalies.**

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