In Davao's outskirts, voters wait for 'night crawlers'

Subscribe Now May 09, 2022 at 01:43am

DAVAO CITY – Up to the early hours of Sunday night, many ordinary residents were waiting for an economic miracle from what they call night crawlers from politicians.

“We are waiting. Our doors are open, we will be waiting,” said Leandro, 47, who was among a group of bystanders inside Gravahan, a riverside community where many of his village mates were already relocated for a government river dike project and a commercial

His companions, Butod, 52, and Pahak, 49, stood beside a rickety sari-sari store as they sipped a plastic bottle of orange-colored soda while some 15 children without face masks nearby played and sang merry go-round.

Pahak said they got P150 the last election from a local candidate but it was bigger, at P300, sometimes P500 in the previous elections in the last two decades, all courtesy of national candidates, including from a Presidential and senatorial candidates.

“Those who give are usually those who are in a close fight,” he said.

Butod said the middlemen usually get the bigger pie, like “we hear that they are supposed to give P500 to us, but give us only P200, or if lucky, P350”.

A group of women inside the Bankerohan Public Market were also talking and waiting for “mangamang (crawler)” as they joked around and craned their necks as if they have seen someone they expected.

Giggling, Marya, 55, in tattered skirt wrapped around her 50-plus-something-inch waistline, said “who knows someone crawls tonight to give us to buy rice”.

“We would be the happiest tonight if someone knocks on our door,” she said.

Tricycle driver, Lucas, 62, plying the Mintal route around the public market, says it would be not possible to expect them here. “There’s no rivalry among local politicians nowadays. Well, if someone does crawl to us tonight, then thank you.”

There was no political activity on Sunday except for the teachers and police inside the public schools that would be used as polling centers.

Many teachers were seen posting the list of voters at the doors, some did some final testing and sealing of the vote-counting machines while police loitered near the gates.

The streets were dead silent with political announcements while many political posters remained pasted on street walls or hang from strings, some creatively stretched across canals and bridges and strung on tree trunks and street electrical posts.


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