"STUMPED" is how their media comrades described the reaction of the militant Bayan Muna, Gabriela and Anakpawis party list groups over a precipitous drop in public opinion polling numbers in the April 14-17 SWS-PDI survey of voter preferences for the May 14 midterm elections, which are just weeks away. The biggest loser was Bayan Muna, whose public support plunged by almost two-thirds from an euphoria-inducing high of 27.6% in March to just 10.4%; the radical women's group Gabriela went from 5.8% to 2.7% while Anakpawis likewise lost half its support dropping from 6.2% to 3.2%. Happily, my favorite party-list group, AKBAYAN has surged from 3.9% to 9.8%, threatening to overtake Bayan Muna and top the coming polls among them.
Reaching for straws, several illogical theories have been propounded by the militants and their allies to explain the disastrous loss of public support. These include the alleged loss of media attention--despite being featured in newspaper headlines, prime time broadcasts, radio interviews and being cottoned to by folks like Joker Arroyo and Ralph Recto, who naturally got the groups' endorsements today (a big red kiss of death from Jose Maria Sison, I hope.) Opposition Sen. Panfilo Lacson, also playing to the peanut gallery, offered the strange idea that the presence of military officers and men in several barangays in Metro Manila considered bailiwicks of the leftists has scared people into dropping their support for the militants, which of course flies in the face of the nationwide scope of the survey, and perhaps reveals his own cast of mind.
OCCAM'S RAZOR cuts through all this differential and integral calculus and reveals what would seem to be the simplest explanation for the changed public sentiment, namely, that the Public believes the multiple murder charges filed against Bayan Muna leader Rep. Satur Ocampo may be true and aren't about to vote for an alleged mass murderer. Satur Ocampo was arrested on April 3 based on a warrant issued by a Leyte province Regional Trial Court for allegedly ordering (while under detention in Manila) the summary execution of suspected government spies whose corpses were buried and recently discovered by the Philippine Military in a mass grave in Inopacan, Leyte.
These "Killing Fields" were part of a widely reported and well-known series of paranoiac purges that seized the CPP-NPA leadership near the end of the Marcos martial law dictatorial regime that brought about a deadly killing spree throughout the insurgent rebel network. The high-flying communist party leader was released two weeks later in an extraordinary Supreme Court ruling in which, contrary to normal Court procedures, the High Court itself granted him bail, which legal practitioners say is the first prerogative of the lower courts. But then again, these aren't impartial judges on the High Bench--they're publicity hounds just like the politicians. Immediately after he was released, there was jubilation all over Leftistan, with bright predictions of rolling into Congress with a huge electoral victory. We have never seen such a massive change in SWS voter preference numbers in so short a time. It's a stampede that qualifies as an, uhmm withdrawal of support!
The comparatively moderate party list organization, Etta Rosales' Akbayan Citizens Action Party, which has accused Bayan Muna or the NPA of murdering several of its members in Nueva Ecija, meanwhile jumped from 3.9% to 9.8% and is now in a statistical dead heat with Bayan Muna. At this rate, Akbayan could indeed overtake Bayan Muna and top the party list election in May. That would suit me just fine since Akbayan was not mentioned by Joma Sison in that famous video of his bragging about and naming his various National Democratic Front organizations in the Philippines.
It is not clear now whether Bayan Muna will actually be able to keep all three of its seats in Congress. If their total on May 14 is less than 6%, they would lose one seat, two if below 4% and lose them all if they get below 2%. I am not counting on this but it could happen. Meanwhile Gabriela and Anakpawis are in real danger of losing their seats in Congress as they are both nearing the 2% threshold level to retain them since the sampling error of this survey was plus or minus three percent.
On a technical note, the rest of the field are also within the sampling error of the 2% threshold. I don't think a 1200 respondent survey with a sampling error of plus or minus three percent can reliably tell us which of the groups that are near 2% have actually exceeded it, although the SWS-PDI announcement cutely (and incorrectly) tries to squeeze milk from stone.
I do hope that the Left will someday give up its violent insurgency so that Teddy Casino doesn't have to play so cute with the Filipino people in denying that they ARE fronting for the CPP NPA. They can campaign all they want for Marxism Leninism Mao Zedong Thought, but they aren't fooling anybody with their fancy denials and hairsplitting. The people can't be infantilized by their lies about their real sympathies and secret activities. They've no credibility at all when it comes to this issue, because the people simply are not that stupid or blind to the truth. Neither should they.