BENGUET is the wettest part of the country, and also in the world. We still hold the highest rainfall rate in a 24-hour span for more than 50 years now.
And with rains come landslides.
With our monsoon already hitting us for almost a month, localized landslides are expected.
So in preparation, we decided to look at ‘how to prevent landslides in the future’ (too late for us now) and saw some parallelism with the methods to prevent election landslides as well in 2022.
It would be OK if a really likable candidate sweeps the elections. But if the landslide is artificially induced, beware! And we should be prepared.
According to scientific textbooks, “a landslide can occur when earth, soil or rock can no longer hold itself up and gives way to gravity due to earthquakes, volcano or rainfall. Landslides can move slowly or quickly with disastrous effects.”
Similarly, a fraudulent election landslide when all the basic institutions of the country could no longer give up and give way to cheating, intimidation, apathy, and violence.
The basic pillars like the legislative, executive, and judicial institutions should be independent of each other and should not be made of flimsy materials as we have now. Luckily we have the fourth which should make us aware of these checks and balances and this is the media but they are also being pushed and swayed by evil forces.
“One of the quickest and easiest ways to prevent a landslide on a slope is to vegetate it. This landslide prevention method works best on slopes that are not too steep or if the movement hasn’t already begun,” the manual said.
To prevent fraudulent election landslides, we should plant the seeds of reform in our voters. We should take out the weeds of gimmickry, hypocrisy, epalism and pakitang-tao being shown by our politicians. Instead, look for plants with deep-rooted ones like the vetiver which prevents the ground from falling. These are the statesmen and politicians with community service and welfare in their hearts. They are rare indeed, but they are there and we should find them and sow their seeds.
“A solid, well-designed retaining should be made of sturdy materials such as masonry, brick, stone or steel. Drainage materials behind the wall help increase the stability of the wall,” the manual added.
The retaining wall is the people who can connect and bind themselves into one wall to prevent electoral landslides. There should be no intrigues and discord among the stones so the wall would find strength in each other. A good leader is like an Igorot riprapper who could find the design among the stones so they could be one and binding. Cementing them would be genuine service and volunteerism.
“Building pathways to divert debris is another option to prevent landslides on your property. You can create these pathways with the help of retaining walls,” the manual said.
We need alliances to connect to each other but we also need to know our differences so we can create the paths where the flow of discord and destruction may pass. We should not be too close and too monolithic so that freedom of information and free will would be forbidden. We need these to improve ourselves like retaining walls need holes for water to pass through.
“For temporary landslide prevention, sandbags can be used to divert water from uncontrolled spilling just as retaining walls or diverted pathways do. Another method is to protect unstable areas with plastic sheeting, tarps or even burlap, especially in areas without vegetation because of recent fires,” the manual also said.
By these, we need to be vigilant of new technologies and unforeseen circumstances. Evil does not take a rest and neither should we. We should be aware of new methods of cheating so we cannot be caught unaware. We should seek alliances outside our places if we need to. We should believe that our land is ours and no one acting on behalf of invaders should prosper. And finally, let us stay dry and keep watch.
A hard rain is gonna fall, Bob Dylan. Let us prepare and let us win.