Whom the gods wish to destroy

By Alex P. Vidal

“Clowns are the pegs on which the circus is hung.”—P. T. Barnum

FOR three months starting February 8, the start of the official campaign period for the May 9, 2022 Philippine election, the Filipinos will have to endure listening to the bizarre campaign promises of politicians vying for various local and national positions.

The period between February 8 until May 9 would be “too short” for those enjoying watching the clowns gyrate and doing acrobatics on stage, and “too long” for those who hate the circus, especially when everyone is still trying to clear the cobwebs of pandemic from their imagination.

The sources of “discomfort” and “inconvenience” of the Filipinos could come mostly from the candidates’ self-serving, freakish and weird campaign jingles and media advertisements.

Both the reelectionists and the first-timers, in many ads, heap praises and accolades upon themselves through the “ordinary hoi polloi” who credit them for being “hulog ka ng langit” (you’re heaven sent) and “ang galing-galing mo, iba ka talaga” (you are so good and really different).

Other candidates also lift their own chairs through the catchphrase and sound bites of “nang dahil sa iyo” (because of you), and “salamat sa iyo ganito na kami ngayon” (thank you, we owe you a debt of gratitude for what we are today).

If some politicians aren’t ashamed to insult our intelligence, it’s because we have been willing spectators cheering and clapping our hands when the circus came to town a long time ago.

We must not forget what Donna Brazile had told us about the politicians and their antics: “I think people involved in politics make good actors. Acting and politics both involve fooling people. People like being fooled by actors. When you get right down to it, they probably like being fooled by politicians even more. A skillful actor will make you think, but a skillful politician will make you never have to think.”


If we think the Creator of the universe, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Father of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, will destroy the false prophets who build empires they call “Churches of God”, rape minors and sexually exploit blind women followers, we can be wrong.

As Christian believers we know that God, the Father Almighty, does not wish to destroy anyone.

Not even the disgraced alleged child sex trafficker and money smuggler Apollo Quiboloy.

Unlike the Greek gods (“whom the gods wish to destroy they make mad first”) who were quick to take offense at any transgressions of their rights by humans and affronted above all by the sin of hubris, the Christian God wishes the sinner to turn from his wickedness and live.

God may punish to bring him or her to repentance. But that is different.

If Quiboloy were Greek, the gods of Mount Olympus certainly would destroy him because of his hubris.

But we are certain Quiboloy, 71, will soon be arrested now that he is in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) “Most Wanted” list.

And he could spend the rest of his life in jail, sex trafficking being a serious offense in the United States, that spares no one when it comes to execution of federal laws.


We’re surprised that only 12 candidates in Iloilo province reportedly vowed not to buy votes on May 9.

What happened to the others? Was their “silence” or failure to participate in the pledge “a cause for alarm” for those advocating for a fair and honest election?

For sure, there are more than 12 candidates vying for various positions at the municipal, congressional and provincial levels.

If the election in the Philippines is clean, in the first place, there’s no need for some candidates to make a pledge in public not to prostitute the voters.

Because vote-buying has been rampant and almost a cancer in Philippine elections for so many decades now, many sincere and honest candidates have to band together and make a commitment not to repeat the sins of the past.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)