The Body as a Currency: The Case of Political Combatants in the Province of Aklan, Philippines

Frederick I. Rey1,*

Author Affliations

1The Graduate School, Thomas Aquinas Research Complex, Department of Sociology, Political Science Department, University of Santo Tomas, Espana, Manila, 1500


Political combatants participate in an electoral process by rendering armed services to politicians. By making their bodies as a medium of exchange, they obtain symbolic or material rewards. This article argues that political organizations in the province of Aklan recognize the various roles of combatants in the actual conduct of democratic contests. Furthermore, the triumph and glory of political organizations reside in the skillful maneuvering of the instruments of power and its constant attempt to in- crease its monopoly in the use of force. This vicious landscape may appear despicable and disgusting but one must remember that the world of politics is a world of countless paradoxes. Through creative balancing among different actors in a political system, the entire structure attains its symmetry. These pre-modern gladiators invest in a postmodern political-economic transaction that locates them at the forefront of Aklan politics.