By Ka PARAGO SANDOVAL
1st Pulang Bagani Battalion, NPA-Southern Mindanao
It’s high time to change the politics of sheer self-perpetuation and coercive partisanship in the areas of Southern Mindanao and particularly in the rural districts of Davao City. The sordid politics have only resulted in the further exploitation of the masses, more so during the season of elections. Thus, the New People’s Army welcomes any opportunity, any development that would puncture the dynastic arrogation of power, particularly in the second congressional district of Davao City.
The NPA finds objectionable the current bullying character of local political campaigning in Davao City’s second district. The masses that have temporary relief in the sudden deluge of cash through patronage politics are forced to toe the line of the Garcias.
Never mind that this ruling class family has smoothly perpetuated itself to power by whipping into line village and district functionaries, vote buying, military hamletting, employing of excessive number of Garcia “assistors” during election day, and a host of other dirty tricks.
At the expense of real development and progress for the people, the Garcias have lorded it over for more than 20 years in the Davao City’s second district and have perfected the use of psychological warfare and terror sweetened by largesse during election day, especially in Paquibato district and outlying areas. Officers and men of the 69th Infantry Battalion, 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army are staunch private armies of the Garcias in perpetuating the garrison-like campaigning and voting in Paquibato and other parts of district 2.
With no real performance or track record to speak of at the level of reactionary politics, and with no inclination to represent the interests and aspiration of the Lumads, workers, peasants and other basic sectors in the Halls of reactionary Congress, a change in district 2 leadership could mean a reprieve for the masses from the murky politics that have characterized the past administration.
The people should seize the opportunity to repudiate the politics of status quo and atrocious election campaigning, and support candidates who may possibly rise to the challenge of representing and working for the people’s interest and welfare or who would at least deliver badly-needed basic services for the marginalized communities.
Likewise, local city leaders should encourage the burgeoning of novel ideas by new aspirants, make Paquibato and the whole of Davao city a free zone for all candidates, and dismantle the monopoly of traditional patronage politics.
As the NPA distances itself from directly participating in the reactionary elections as a matter of revolutionary conduct, it will exercise as the people’s army, ready to defend the masses from atrocities and human rights abuses.