Election time in the Philippines
22nd May 2007
What to do?
Some people scrambled up the elevators, some scrambled down the elevators, desperate to be anywhere but here. Some peered out of shop windows, hoping they'd be would okay if weren't noticed. Other stills slammed down the roller doors on their shops before they dashed to the exits.
Me? I was just annoyed that something was interrupting my Internet time.
Chris and Lorelei had only just arrived in the Philippines and were looking a little nervous. Since I had survived tear gas attacks in Uganda, it fell upon me to take the lead. I queried a few people and learned that there had been a bomb threat. Scary, yes, but not as scary as the gunshot I subsequently heard. I figured that a possible bomb threat was better than definite gun shots and so suggested to my companions that it might be best if we stay put.
Raising Political Funds Filipino Style
The robbers got away with a large sum of money. All the security guards fled and offered no resistance. I don't blame hem in the least. There is no way that I'd take a bullet to save a bank from losing some money.
But, who was behind the bank robbery?
It was almost certainly organized by a Filipino politician in order to raise money to buy some votes in the upcoming elections. Here in the Philippines, money = votes. If you can buy more votes than your opposition, then you'll almost certainly win. Failing that, you can always shoot the other guy (seriously).
Not heading south
For a more detailed account of exactly what went on during the recent elections, I suggest you give this a read.
2005, 2006 and 2007 Malcolm Trevena.