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Cancel

Postpone the ARMM elections? Why not just cancel the damned thing.

Elections simply don’t work in the ARMM because they don’t have a democracy down there; they have feudalism. And this is bolstered by the fact that, even in this republican day and age in the Philippines, there are still Sultans and Princesses in the ARMM.

There are several royal families still going strong in the ARMM, and it is from these clans that the leaders of the ARMM are drawn. It makes sense. Only the royal families have the wherewithal to send their children to fine schools; only the royal families have the means necessary to win elections; and it is only the royal families that have access to all sorts of privileges. Is it any wonder then that leadership roles fall mostly to members of the royal families? It’s almost like leadership positions are hereditary in the ARMM; like I said: feudal.

So, in a feudal society like the ARMM, elections serve only one purpose – to add a veneer of democracy to the way leaders are selected. Elections, therefore, are a farce. Like Herod marrying a Jewish princess to gain legitimacy for his pretensions to the Seat of David. Everyone in the ARMM knows that, and no one really cares.

A vast majority of the ordinary folk in the ARMM are poor enough – and lack access to education enough – that they remain in the grip of the peasant-liege lord relationship. Not that they mind too much; despite being poor by most modern standards, they are, after all, well taken care of. And just like the peasants of old, most ordinary folk simply accept as a fact that there are some aspects of their lives that they are not free to determine independently. This includes their right to vote under a democratic system.

As a result, voters in the ARMM typically look up to their hierarchical superiors to tell them who to vote for. Tacit in this arrangement is the acceptance that their hierarchical superiors know better than they do, and that those superiors only have their best interests at heart.

And just like in those feudal years gone by, dominance in a particular territory is determined ultimately by wealth. The richer you are, the more you can afford to take good care of the ‘peasants’ under your thumb; the more peasants you keep happy, the more supporters you have and therefore the more influential you become.

The more influential you are, the more you attract the attention of political overlords in Manila. These political overlords then funnel more money to you, which increases your ability to take good care of the peasants, which then increases the number of peasants …. well, you get the picture.

Which brings me back to the question – why bother letting them vote at all?

Think of it as the Philippine version of Hongkong’s “two systems, one country” paradigm. The ARMM will be run like a hereditary feudal state, while the rest of us maintain the charade of democracy. The trade off, of course, would be a token allegiance to the rest of the Philippines, along with a lopsided trade agreement that would be the euphemism for tribute. The democracy experiment in the ARMM will end, and taxpayers will be spared from having to fork over billions of pesos just to conduct a electoral exercise that is really nothing more than a sham.

So, legislators, please go ahead and cancel the elections in the ARMM. That’ll fit right in with the concept of a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity.

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6 Responses

  1. Jeg says:

    Better yet, withdraw all military forces from the ARMM. Let them work things out in their own; let them do things according to their culture and traditions. If they want their own country, give it to them. The Czechs and Slovaks knew they couldnt force themselves into a single nation and separated rather peacefully. The Croats, Serbs, Bosnians, etc., not so peacefully.

    Either than or let’s have a federal republic with only common defense from foreign invaders the role of the federal government regarding the federated states. Everything else local.

  2. cvj says:

    Isn’t the feudal situation in ARMM not that different from that prevailing in most of the provinces in the rest of the Philippines?

  3. UP n student says:

    Jeg: There is no clamor for “its own homeland” among the Muslims of Mindanao. When the Muslims running away from MILF thuggery go, they go to Manila, Leyte, Bicol, Cebu.

  4. Jeg says:

    When the Muslims running away from MILF thuggery go, they go to Manila, Leyte, Bicol, Cebu.

    They go to Manila, Leyte, Cebu etc, because of the opportunities there. And we welcome them. They dont come here to escape MILF thuggery. If theyre escaping anything, their escaping war (it takes two to tango as the cliche goes) and lack of opportunity.

    (For the record, I think anyone who makes a political point through force of arms is a thug. That goes for both MILF and the government.)

  5. Bencard says:

    jeg, there a BIG difference. the authorities are entitled to enforce the law with force of arms. it’s not only a right but a duty. so it’s not thuggery, never has been, never is, never will be.
    outlaws and criminals have no RIGHT to use arms to enforce their will. doing so is thuggery.

  6. Jeg says:

    Sure Bencard. But if you read my comment again, youll know that I wasnt talking about law enforcement.

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