Philippine Online Chronicles
Published 7 December 2009
Andres Bonifacio’s birthday on Nov. 30, 1863 marked the coming of a great Filipino martyr who led a revolution. Yet ironically, political aspirants, some of whom leading the campaign against progressive groups, figured on the commemoration of Bonifacio Day last November 30 as they flocked to the Commission on Elections to file their certificates of candidacy (COC). In the words of Comelec legal chief Ferdinand Rafanan in an Inquirer.net report, the historic day marked the start of a political circus.
Among those who filed their candidacies were retired army major and Bantay Party-list Rep. Jovito Palparan, who was tagged the “Butcher” and “Berdugo” for his bloody human rights record. After his filing, Palparan said he will “campaign against the left-wing forces of parties and candidates.” His proclamation of senatorial bid on Bonifacio Day in the name of counter-revolution starkly contradicted what the working class hero fought for.
Also last November 30, President Gloria Arroyo announced her congressional bid for the second district of Pampanga. The announcement clinched what was supposedly a day of commemorating Bonifacio’s heroism and revolutionary ideals as an ominous day for the perpetuation of corrupt and moribund politics beyond 2010. Multi-sectoral alliance Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) described the day of Arroyo’s announcement as a “dark day for the Philippines.”
True enough, the ironies of the times highlight the need to continue the Supremo’s unfinished struggle for national liberation and for the democratic interests of the people. Likewise, the persistence of the likes of Arroyo and Palparan in today’s political arena hints at how elections have minimally changed the brand of politics that the country has today – making Bonifacio’s ideals and principles more relevant than ever.