The Search for a Good Shepherd

【Photo】Candidates' Campaign Posters Flood the Side of the Road=May 10, 2022., Negros, by Kayoko Teshigawara.

Engr Trelly A. Marigza (Lead Convenor for Women Working for Justice and Peace Network: JaPNet)

I am literally having chest pains and shedding tears. I want to sleep and hope to wake up to a better day. I want to avoid thinking of those noted red flags and that the Duterte strategy is a success. I want to escape the scenarios of a bleak, no, dark future for this generation and the next. The six years of the legacy by the present administration that has lowered the morals of most might continue or worsen. I fear worsening insomnia with these thoughts lingering in my mind.

The Philippine 2022 elections, as polarizing as it can be, were not just about facing a tyrant or a rotten politician, but about standing up for truth, preventing history from being erased, and blocking Duterte’s gambit to stay in power and avoid prosecution by the International Criminal Court.

― Bongbong ran with the UniTeam in cohorts with Duterte and the past plunderers

Reviewing a little history here, Ferdinand Edralin Marcos came to power in 1965, the longest-serving president with 20 years and 57 days in office by imposing martial law in 1972. His tenure lasted until 1986 when he was deposed through the People Power Revolution.

This election year, he ran with the UniTeam in cohorts with Duterte and the past plunderers (Imelda Marcos, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Joseph Estrada). Bongbong is running for president together with Sara Duterte, daughter of the present president, Rodrigo Duterte.

― Heavy vote-buying, tremendous black propaganda, disinformation, and rebranding of Marcoses

The 2022 election is about preventing a tyrant’s family to be back in power and continue plundering the country. Bongbong is the key to the Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth. This election saw heavy vote-buying, tremendous black propaganda, disinformation, and, as Rappler reported, rebranding the Marcoses by the Cambridge Analytica group. Credibility issues hound the electronic vote-counting system. Imee Marcos (Bongbong’s sister) chairs the Committee of Electoral Participation in the Senate. Duterte appointed Bongbong’s former lawyer to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).

COMELEC signed the Php535.99 million contract with F2 Logistics, owned by Duterte’s ally Dennis Uy, for the distribution of ballots, vote-counting machines (VCM), transmission equipment, SD cards, and other election paraphernalia. F2 Logistics is in charge of forwarding and reverse logistics for the equipment related to the automated election system, and the delivery of official ballots, ballot boxes, voters’ lists, and other related supplies nationwide. The social media trolls machinery is well-funded and more menacing in destroying the opposition led by Maria Leonor “Leni” Gerona Robredo and to condition, the minds of the people as the campaign period reached its end.

The Robredo campaign was based on the concept that it is “more radical to love” with a platform for honest government and uplifting the lives of the people, and has inspired a new people’s movement giving hope where democracy is failing in a country that is so broken.

― God will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep (reference Ezekiel 34)

Several hours after the casting of votes ended on May 9, almost 80% of election returns have apparently been tallied by COMELEC despite thousands of voting machines failing, and hundreds of voters still waiting in line at various polling places. Votes were reflected on national tallies but data from local polling places have not been received in the provinces. COMELEC Commissioner George Garcia announced earlier that it would take seven days for them to count votes for the President and Vice-President. During the vote-counting process, the ratio of the number of votes cast for Bongbong to the number of votes cast for Robredo remained consistently at 6 to 3 which is kind of unnatural. We have the slowest internet in Asia but now we have the fastest manipulated results.

I need that small voice and flickering light from this new people’s movement to boom and burn bright and not turn into embers. We continue to search for the ultimate shepherd that will deliver us, God’s flock, safely to good grazing ground. We await God’s covenant of peace with his people that will ensure God’s blessings of protection, fruitfulness, and freedom in the land. The struggle goes on.

Trelly A.  Marigza: (BSChE,  MaEd-Math,  MAT-Science) does consultancy work on gender,  environment, and good governance; a visual artist; involved in different NGOs and has been part of the UCCP gender justice program.







Painting:Maria Sol Taule, Human Rights Lawyer and Visual Artist