Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The unhappy spectre of Mr. Danton Remoto

When Comelec Chairman Abalos called Danton Remoto's Ang Ladlad a party of phantom voters, was it an underhanded reference to the popular phrase multong bakla or did he mean that Remoto, despite the pink barong, looked unpalatably achromatic?

As I understand it, the main reason for disqualifying Ang Ladlad is that the organization lacked a nationwide organization. Lacking a nationwide organization is quite different from having phantom voters. Bert Gonzales's party-list organization, for example, has a nationwide organization but has phantom voters (as evidenced by its lackluster performance in the previous polls.) Ang Ladlad may lack a nationwide organization but one could hardly argue it has phantom voters. As Danton Remoto piquantly stressed, one need only visit the Greenbelt mall to see that Ang Ladlad's constituency is real and, in fact, thriving.

In any case, the only definitive way to settle the question of Ang Ladlad's spectralness should have been to include it in the ballots and see how it fares.