The starter gun to the Philippine elections was fired quietly more than 24 hours ago when the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) declared 09 February 2010 the commencement of the 90-day campaign period for those running for President, Vice President and 12 Senators of the land.
It's the actual campaign season once again. I am surprised at the abrupt end of what were the more sedate, more polite and proper forums the candidates were given the chance to attend which gave us, in turn, the occasion to listen so we can make informed choices.
Campaign sorties are nothing but empty rhetoric, of preaching (and ditching), mostly to the converted. Like any event related to politics, campaigns are an arena of mud and grime confined within thick, choking air. And thanks to modern-day amplification, one comes out of it near-deaf, too.
This is the culmination of years of politicians' yearning to rip one another apart; no matter how immoral, the campaign season makes it right and justified.
It's an insane season. It is costly, tiresome, and divisive.
It is contrary to what every politician and candidate have ever muttered in the days when they were wooing the public and they, in less subtle ways, wanted to be wooed into party inclusion: "peace and unity".
Sadly, there will be none of these in the next 3 months. And none in the days after election day.