My grandchildren are not allowed to visit because of all the reports of terrorism in the Philippines.

Stuff like this one: Four killed in bomb attack.

Well, yes, must be Alqaeda related: a billard parlor bombed, can’t let people have fun, now, can we?

You see, if the attack was “business as usual”, the rival billiard parlor would have just sent in someone to shoot the owner.

The irony is that the terrorist attack didn’t make the headlines, since being killed in the crossfire between politicians is more likely than being bombed by J.I. or assorted terrorists who are now on the run thanks to the Philippine military.
Besides, we are having local and Senatorial elections, and the body count is nearing 100…which is actually lower than normal, leading Professor of Political Science Benjamin Lim to comment:

“The stakes are much higher in local contests. If they lose, they will lose everything — prestige, money and connections — because political offices in the Philippines have been a source of good income for our politicians.”

Well, yes.

Think feudalism. The Lord of the manor rules over the peasants, and gives them gifts in exchange for their loyalty. And, of course, it helps that if he runs the government, he can give lucrative contracts to his relatives or in exchange for gifts.

Or think Gunfight at the OK corrale, as in this gunfight between local politicians and their bodyguards. LINK2

Which side shot first? Depends on which story you read.

But we hope that the injection of troops will calm things a bit, and that Comelec supervising the vote counts will prevent threats against schoolteachers and bureaucrats who do the counting.

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philipipnes. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket. 

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