By Alex P. Vidal
“Never insult an alligator until after you have crossed the river.”—Cordell Hull
THE social media again became the nerve center of both the winners and losers in the just-concluded October 30 Barangay and Sangguniang Elections (BSKE) in the Philippines.
Many protagonists reinstated their enmity and grudges in the social media even after the winners and losers have been known.
The itch to swap insults and barbs didn’t end with the results of the election.
Friends and sympathizers added insult to many injuries by not only “liking” the social media posts that ridiculed the losers, but also by making incendiary and provocative comments.
“Paano indi mapierdi kay asta paryente ya gani wala nag boto sa iya.”
(No wonder he lost because even his relatives didn’t cast their votes for him),” screamed one comment.
Money has always played a major role in any election. Without it, it’s impossible to woo and win the support of the voters.
In their X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok posts, many losers—especially in the race for village chief—blamed “lack of funds” to be the major reason for their defeat.
“Lack of funds” could be misconstrued for “lack of money to buy votes” or “lack of money to pay poll watchers and poll campaigners.”
“Vote-buying was rampant in our barangay. I knew I wouldn’t make it because I didn’t have the money; I didn’t want to buy votes,” a frustrated punong barangay in San Miguel, Iloilo moaned in his X post.
Others pointed to “black propaganda” as the main culprit for their loss. “My opponents used lies and other forms of black propaganda to paint me as a bad person and many voters believed them,” a punong barangay in Mandurriao district who lost for reelection, lamented in her Facebook post.
Like in any other competitions there are always winners and losers. That’s why we have been exhorted to “be magnanimous in victory” or be very kind to a person or persons we just conquered in competitions.
After all, a magnanimous person has a generous spirit.
We have been told also to “be humble in defeat” or “humble in victory, gracious in defeat”. It’s showcasing a high character no matter the result, because others are watching and will recognize it.
IF I were a United Nations (UN) representative, I would vote for a “ceasefire” or in support of any resolution that calls for a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza Strip and its surroundings.
The Philippines “abstained” from voting on the recent UN General Assembly resolution calling for a truce between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Abstention is a sign of cowardice or lack of principle. Dante said the hottest spot in hell is reserved for those who refuse to make a stand in moments of moral crisis.
What prompted the Philippines to abstain, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), was the lack of “factual information” on the October 7 attacked in Israel that massacred 1,400 civilians and a “condemnation” of Hamas’ atrocities in the UN resolution.
Any call for a ceasefire should have no condition or strings attached.
I support Israel’s rights to defend itself in as much as I also support the rights of innocent Palestinians, especially children, women, and elderly, to live and be protected from violence and terrorism since they have nothing to do whatsoever with the hatred and animosity that triggered the clash between the Jews and the terrorist Hamas.
I am for ceasefire because more children are being killed—and continued to be killed in non-stop rocket and ground attacks—as long as Bibi Netanyahu wouldn’t call to stop the Israel ground assault and carnage in Gaza.
I am for ceasefire because I believe in the saying that violence begets violence.
I am for ceasefire because I hate war—a protracted war that benefits no one but the merchants of violence and mayhem.
I am for ceasefire because, basically, I am a Christian who advocates for peace and love for mankind.
Most of all, I love life like most Jews, Palestinians, and all the races and religions in the world.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)