‘Political butterflies’

September 4, 2021 People's Tonight 531 views

IN a country of election-crazy people, impoverished Philippines is teeming with “political butterflies,” “turncoats” and “chameleons” before and after a national or local balloting.

In the view of many, including the ordinary citizens not only in the metropolis but elsewhere, the presence of these politicians is ample proof that democracy is “alive” in the country.

There have been moves to penalize “political turncoats” or “balimbings,” but the Filipino people, particularly the electorate, seem to accept frequent changing of political parties.

A “political butterfly” floats from one political party to another party for convenience and other personal interests. Usually, politicians flirt toward well-oiled political machineries.

With just 27 days before the filing of certificates of candidacy for the May 9, 2022 national and local polls, it’s certainly time to discuss the pros and cons of penalizing “balimbings.”

During this “critical time,” politicall observers expect some local politicians to cross party lines.

“Napapanahong pag-usapan ang isyung ito dahil abala ang mga partido sa pamimili kung sinu-sino ang mga ikakandidato nila sa darating na halalan,” said a retired state employee.

But he admitted that “hindi mo masisisi ang isang kandidato, lalo na ang mga lokal na politiko, kung lilipat siya sa partidong alam niyang makatutulong sa kanyang kandidatura.”

“Ang talagang nakakahiya,” he said, “ay ang bumalimbing pagkatapos na pagkatapos lang ng halalan para lang mabigyan ka ng magandang puwesto o pabor.”

And with many political parties, it’s certainly a free-for-all contest in many parts of the country.