Monday, July 09, 2007

The Trillanes's Mandate

The editorial of Inquirer is quite incisive. To quote:

Should [Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV] accused of leading a coup d'etat be allowed either temporary or conditional liberty, to allow him to discharge his duties as a new member of the Senate? Should he enjoy a change in his custody status, from military detention to perhaps the custody of the Senate? Not least, should his election to the Senate, on the strength of over 11 million votes, be considered as absolving him of his liability?

A friend who is now a Dutch citizen lamented that in the Philippines, anybody who wants to be a senator must first stage a coup d' etat. Just like Honasan and Trillaness. Such a thinking, he continued, makes the Filipinos an "inexplicable political morons".

(Well, my friend isn't Miriam Santiago. Too bad he isn't that we can't rid a country with at least one genius liar.)

Well I may not be proud to be a Filipino. Neither am I proud to be an inexplicable political moron. But if such a moronic state could give sanity to elections, so be it. The way I read the signs, the election of Trillanes simply means a wake up call to those "seated in the most high". If the Filipinos are satisfied, why would they exchange chocolates for "delimon"? Or a castle for a "barong-barong"? Nobody would even want a "tinapa" in exchange for a beefsteak (unless he/she is a Hindi).

At first I also believe that the Filipinos are an irrational voter. It's hard to predict what they want and who will they choose. Add the mud that the Catholic church spread by saying "Ang pera sa bulsa, ang boto sa balota". But th was before. It was only lately that I realized Filipinos are what Samuel Popkins call as a "Reasoning Voter". They vote retrospectively and prospectively. They want to punish their officials for not performing well, and they sometimes have "moronic" choices because they think that someday, somehow, things will still change. And for that reason, they chose Trillanes.

But as to Inquirer's question on the fate of Trillanes, the only possible reply is: Read the signs. The signs are clear and these are written already on the ballot.

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