There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honour. Benjamin Disraeli
WE normally spend our first two weeks in college changing and dropping some of our enrolled subjects before the official classes begin.
In Philippine politics, traitors also adopt the same Draconian technique when they feel certain candidates in their parties have lagged behind and appeared to have no more chance at all of landing in the winning column.
They secretly drop and change some of the characters in their line-ups and, que horror, go as far as forging a devils pact with other parties.
Changing and dropping shift also happens if some candidates fail to deliver or chip in a large sum of cash intended for the campaign.
In politics, there is also no such animal as free lunch.
Its not actually a case of all-for-one, one-for-all battle cry.
No money? No honey.
Its a go-out-on-your-own or bahala ka sa buhay mo dilemma if you have no contribution for the party machinery.
The sinister scheme is carefully and secretly discussed by key strategists in both opposing camps–or a third party — and arent supposed leak even to some of the candidates immediate family members.
When the treachery has been uncovered its too late for victims of changing and dropping tactic to make a drastic step or avert the inside hatchet job.
The discovery normally occurs on the day the voters will cast their votes and several hours thereafter when ballot boxes have been canvassed and results were starting to show the numbers and who are in the lead pack.
And also when supporters have discovered sample ballots with missing names of their candidates or the names of their candidates covered by stickers bearing the names of rival candidates from another party.
Then a word war erupts among warring party members; the losers and the winners in the same party start to swap bombs accusing one another of being a Judas.
Because some of the candidates in the same party won and some lost, a civil war becomes inevitable; angry and frustrated party mates blowing each other to smithereens for the grand treachery.
It happened in the past gubernatorial, congressional, and mayoral races not only in Western Visayas but also in other parts of the Philippines.
In 1998, Iloilo City congressional aspirant Salvador Buddy Britanico and his party mate, mayoral candidate Geronimo Jerry Trenas, became enemies after the elections.
Before the elections and during the campaign sorties, they were like sweethearts–inseparable.
After the elections, they were like North and South Korea.
I received my Overseas Voting Paper Seal from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) via The Special Ballot Reception and Custody Group c/o Philippine Consulate General 556 Fifth Avenue New York City, NY 10036 U.S.A. on May 1, 2019.
My Ballot I.D. No. is 91070187 and my Ballot Envelope No is AES-0516444.
Any day before May 13, 2019, I, and other US-based Pinoys, can cast our votes ahead of our countrymen in the Philippines.
Accompanying the envelop sent to me by mail was an instruction for voters (AES) and the official ballot containing the names of 62 senatorial candidates and 181 party list candidates.
This will be my second time to cast my vote away from the Philippines.
In 2016, I also cast my vote in the Philippine Consulate General here in New York during the presidential elections.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)