IF YOU can’t beat them, kill them.

A Thomasian political analyst believes that the high cost of campaigning for election makes some politicians resort to violence to boot out opponents.

“These incidents of violence are the results of the war-like dynastic competition for political power,” Prof. Jimmy Jimenez, Social Research Center political analyst, told the Varsitarian. “It is also a manifestation of medieval politics where politicians use force and violence just to put oneself in position.”

As the elections draw near, incidents of election-related violence continue to rise.

The most recent case was a shootout in Nueva Ecija where four people were killed and 12 wounded between two rival politicians during a political campaign last April 28. Abra, one of the election hotspots in the country, also reported two killings last April 28 where a running barangay captain and a councilman were shot dead on separate incidents.

Other victims were congressional candidate Vicente Rabaya Jr. and Kalinga Vice Governor Romel Diasen, who were both gunned down by still unidentified suspects on separate occasions.

Thomasian alumnus and lawyer Edwin de la Cruz said that running candidates resort to violence during elections when they see their opponents as real threats.

“Killing opponents is the fastest way to eliminate competition. Of course, most of the time, the evidence is insufficient and the case becomes cold,” he said. “Because incidences of violence are becoming too frequent, we have been desensitized. Due process is never given to the victims since the incidents are usually dismissed as part of the game.”

But De la Cruz said that the masses have the power to stop such incidents during election by voting only for candidates capable of real service.

The Filipino survivor

“The mass must take a stand. We must change what has been considered ‘a common procedure’ during elections,” he said. C. R. R. Malupeng


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