Commission on Elections insiders yesterday confirmed that former Comelec Commissioner Virgilio “Garco” Garcillano had met with them to ensure a 9-3 victory for the senatorial candidates of the administration’s Team Unity (TU) in the May 2007 mid-term polls.
The Tribune’s latest article seeking to destroy the credibility of the coming polls reads more like a conspiracy theory in its attempt to stitch several separate issues together into a seemingly coherent whole which, not surprisingly, points to a foregone conclusion: that the elections will be rigged. The whole mess isn’t even original; just another page torn from the anarchist’s cookbook.
To my mind, it follows a distinct pattern shared by all forms of black propaganda:
Start with an ogre – a discredited figure that many people already dislike and distrust. The more hated the person is, the better the net effect of the propaganda. In this case, who better than Garcillano?
Posit a scheme so audacious that people will have to believe it to be true. Hitler once said that the people are more likely to believe a big lie than a little lie, so the grander the scheme, the better. In this case, have Garcillano be the orchestrator of a grand plan to ensure a staggering majority victory in the senatorial race; add to the mix a statement like ‘compliance is a must,’ which carries with it the implicit threat of reprisals.
Of course, even with Garcillano in a starring role, the scheme still isn’t big enough, so rope in all the other controversies already swirling about in the political atmosphere: take etta rosales’ claim of sham PL organizations and implicate a Senatorial candidate, and for a bit of historical footing, insinuate that this whole grand scheme is just a continuation of an earlier failed attempt to subvert democracy.
And then, leave the whole thing hanging. No concrete conclusions, no concrete accusations. Just a report by an anonymous bunch of ‘insiders’ who, for added drama, are portrayed as ‘gnashing their teeth’ in anger at being told what to do. A basic trick known even to freshman psychology students: the human mind need only be prodded in the right direction and it will, on its own, pursue that road to the end.
And this is what the people behind this article are counting on: that all they have to do is plant the idea that there are evil deeds in the offing and leave it to the public to fill in the blanks, to define the ramifications, and to forecast the possible outcomes.
Indeed, there is no hell quite as frightening as the hell of your own design.