Nobel laureate Jose Saramago’s recent novel Seeing details how the plague of blank ballots would turn politicians vapid and malicious. Saramago’s enchanting story clearly depicted the extent of the power in a vote and how the voting power, when unexercised, would render the whole essence of democracy meaningless. I find such political allegory in Saramago’s words relevant for the Filipino psyche in their understanding of the electoral process and the whole lie that surrounded it during the recently concluded elections.
One of the President’s minion was quoted as saying that why protestations still pervade among the opposition party when the results show that they are leading in the Senate run. Short of saying that: Nanalo na nga kayo, reklamo pa kayo ng reklamo. But the point is, would the citizens be ever so calm and unperturbed in the same way that the opposition party reacted when the election was plagued with violence and widespread cheating? Thank God, the overwhelming voice of the people did not match the political machinery deployed by the incumbent administration to foil the elections. But, unfortunately, lives and rights are trampled upon in their unflinching desire to maintain political security in the next few years. Bitterly, these evil forces wrecked havoc on civilian lives in utter disregard of the laws and the Constitution.
Soon after the Maguindanao COCs were canvassed, everybody could do nothing but laugh. A 12-0 in favor of the administration slate in the province was never been logical to the learned. And there was Musa Dimasidsing, the Chairman of the Board of Election Inspectors in said province, confirming the commonsensical improbability of the results; that massive cheating was done-ballot switching, tampered electoral returns, and all. He exposed the naked truth that backlashed at the ego of the perpetrators, thus his life became the price. His death marked the paradox of the times: that adhering to truth and justice in this country has never been so punitive and that in stark contrast, falsehood is always benefited with deplorable impunity.
There’s wisdom in Saramago’s words: “. . . we pervert reason when we humiliate life, that human dignity is insulted every day by the powerful of our world, that the universal lie has replaced the plural truths, that man stopped respecting himself when he lost the respect due to his fellow-creatures." Quoting and inferring from him, I can say that in this country, reason is often perverted. But still, I believe that many souls in this country refuse to pervert reason. However, they’re constantly dwindling in our country where the government seems to monopolize over its steel hands to shut the horses’ mouth. Maybe, I’m wrong with this. But one can't just help to think in this direction when the present government still stays in power amidst its many blunders.
Hope springs from brave souls like that of Musa Dimasidsing. Let him be a living memory and a constant source of angst among us to live by the truth and to assert before the government and its infamous President that sovereignty always resides in the people!