ADVOCACY MINDANOW: Comelec chair drama?

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 28 April) – The recent caper of Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes reminds me of that favorite medieval scenario: slaying one’s own self-invented imaginary dragon to show how brave and heroic one is.

Out of the blue, Chairman Brillantes said he was fed up, tired and wanted to retire. He kept the nation on edge by making his thoughts known. Sorry to say but it was the height of irresponsibility for him to even announce it on the verge of elections, although he was perfectly entitled to feel that way.

Now, he says he is NOT retiring after all because he wants to continue helping the country. Now, he announces his much-awaited decision to stay, as if the nation now owes him a big favor. “Kunting tampo lang,” he explained. Playing games, eh?

And lo and behold, his first announcement after his “return” is that DOMINION company will NOT make available the SOURCE CODE of the PCOS machine, a vital element for us to check and verify on the integrity of the electronic election machines.

What drama! I hope this tactic was not intentionally intended to downplay and overshadow the more disturbing – and explosive – source code issue. HOCUS PCOS, anyone?

VIOLENCE – Too much violence happening all around us now that elections are nearing. It is tragic that a democratic exercise has to go through very undemocratic – and bloody – process.

I had been in public office myself for some time. Some friends asked me: What is in it that prompts people to kill, cheat and do violence just to be in office?

Is it power, money, greed, honor, ego, etc. etc? Or ALL OF THE ABOVE?

All of us can have our own answers. The fact is: we are in deep shit simply because those killings and anomalies remain unsolved. And those responsible are still merrily laughing their way to public office – with impunity.

LADY OF MANAOAG – A fluvial profession at Punta Dumalag in Matina Aplaya, Davao City in honor of Our Lady of Manaoag was held last weekend with the devotees praying the Holy Rosary on board bancas cruising and circling the bay. This has been an annual event for years now since 1987 . “Viva Maria!”

DIVINE MERCY IN THE MOUNTAINS – A modest chapel for the Divine Mercy devotees is also slowly taking shape on a separate hill on the way to the waterfalls area at the Seagull Mountain Resort. When finished, it will be open to the public.

(Lawyer Jesus G. Dureza was government peace panel chair in the negotiations with the MILF under the Arroyo administration from 2001 to 2003 and was later named Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (2005 to 2008). He heads Advocacy MindaNOW Foundation, Inc. and was recently named publisher of the Davao City-based Mindanao Times. This piece is from his syndicated column, Advocacy MindaNOW).