Friday, February 23, 2007
Dear Senator Angara,
Last night I pulled down a large 8 ft x 8 ft poster bearing your face and those of your fellow senatorial candidates. The poster was nailed in the middle of the night to the wall of the subdivision I live in.
As a “lawmaker” you are supposedly aware these posters violate election rules with penalties that include fines, a jail sentence and disqualification from public office. Yet, you seem to be a party to this illegal act.
Our subdivision guard told me that menacing thugs set up the poster and were accompanied by a policeman who would not reveal his name. The guards were reluctant to pull your poster down so I had to initiate it.
You in your rarefied Senate surroundings or in your secure enclave may not understand what has happened since last night. Now the guards are worried that the thugs will come back and harm them. There have been people killed for having taking down campaign posters in the past.
I now have to be doubly careful about people who ring my doorbell. My partner cautions me and I wonder if my duty as a citizen is worth the aggravation. All this for a stupid illegal poster of yours.
Of all the candidates on that poster, I thought to write you because of your involvement and support of the arts, culture, and the National Museum where I work. Therefore, aside from being aware of the law banning posters outside designated Comelec areas, you must have some semblance of aesthetics. Illegal election posters mar our beautiful country. You’ve only proven to lack aesthetics and uglify our country just so you can win. A typical trapo mentality.
Despite the fear your thugs cast on me and the people in my subdivision I will continue tearing down as many illegal posters of yours and of the opposition when time and energy permit. I will encourage all my friends to do the same. Doing it together emboldens us and strengthens our resolve to be upright citizens compared to you “lawmakers,” now the lawbreakers of our land.
I enclose photographs of your illegal posters and our tearing them down.
In the ten years we concerned citizens have spoken on the matter of illegal election posters, there has actually been a marked increase in public awareness over the issue and government agencies have this year, taken the initiative to warn politicians about the laws on posters. It’s the second week of the election campaign and despite some infractions, including yours, the city and the country looks fairly clean.
But the situation is fragile. And your postering encourages only more and we may be back to square one and more lawbreaking lawmakers.
Tell your campaign people to take down these illegal posters immediately and to stop posting them. Failure to do so will force us to take legal action against you and your party.
John L. Silva
National Museum of the Philippines