Monday, May 09, 2016

Election day: Police and soldiers and helicopters oh my

Joy was in Manila, where she said traffic was worse than usual and she had trouble getting home. She arrived 11 pm last night.

The problem is not just the usual traffic, but the many people visiting their moms for mother's day, ( ot just in Manila: here it took Ruby 15 minutes to get to the mall last night) and then the many "last minute rallies" for the candidates. Strong man Duterte had the largest, but then the InC tends to be good at organizing large crowds, so it may or may not mirror his actual popularity.

 Election is today.

We had a shooting in the next barangay the other day, so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

Duterte has the lead in the presidency, and this article puts into perspective he is not the worse politician, espeically since here if you family did it you bear some responsibility for it. People don't run as people: They are partly judged as members of their clan. And they are all related to each other.

Think Kennedy clan, with steroids. Or the Bush's, although in the Bush's case they don't have groupies like the Kennedys.

IN the provinces, there are several families who are rivals for political power in the governorship.

And ditto for mayor:
Which is why we are opposing the present mayor,...

so how do they keep out of jail? from the article in the Inquirer:

He said politicians facing criminal charges use high-priced lawyers to delay legal proceedings and then, while the process is stalled, they get elected. "(Afterwards) they can use that public office as a springboard to pressure the court," said Mr Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform.
Due to the strict libel law, they only list "convicted" felons. Those who are guilty and everyone knows they are guilty, but not actually indicted are not listed.

pressure the court after being elected sometimes means looting government or contract funds to bribe those in charge of the case. Or sometimes just going to court over and over to delay justice until the wlitnesses give up/hide/disappear.

In our nephew's case, it was delayed for years, and the minute the arrest warrent was issued, he "disappeared", only to be found a few years later in the Manila area receiving dialysis. He died before going to trial.

we have had four election related shootings in the province, one nearby, so far and the suspected source of the hit is the same family behind our nephew's murder.

We are supposed to have foreign observers to observe the election, and the hope is that the electronic voting will keep it clean. Presumably it will be harder to hack the machines than to steal ballots and mark them with the correct candidate and then send them along to be counted. And there is a promise of "no brownouts" so that the machines will work.

Schools are usually used for voting, and teachers, who are usually apolitical, often do the counting.

so how do you get elected? You buy votes of course.

tee shirts and "stuff" are common, but cash is preferred by the poor.

I'm not sure why I keep hearing helicopters around: there are extra cops, army personnel, and of course foreign observers in the area to try to keep things quiet.

However, this year I have been too sick to leave the house, but so far this morning, I have heard another one helicopter and one siren (ambulance? Police?)

In the meanwhile, we are still in a terrible heat wave that is affecting much of east and south Asia. The ElNino is to blame (reminds me of the last one, when our generator died). Luckily we have had few brownouts compared to previous years, but we are hoping for monsoon any time now, which will cool things off: both tempers in the election disputes and literally.

The monsoon will mean time to plant the rice...

Addendum: the Inquirer says 5000 Filipinos were among those evacuated from the Canadian wildfire.

no jobs here, so the best and brightest emigrate.

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