Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Potential impacts of Mangkut/Ompong

The last times there were typhoons comparable in perceived and actual physical impacts, the socio-political impacts also eventually manifested. Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) in 2009 dumped record rainfall across a wide area that included Metro Manila, Central Luzon (Region 3) and Southern Luzon (Region 4A). The government's response then and the issues that came about afterwards essentially contributed much to the doom for many of the administration's candidates in the 2010 elections including its standard bearer who was Defense Secretary at the time. The follies of many politicians and government agencies were also exposed and most people judged them for that in the elections.

Come 2013, another typhoon, Haiyan (Yolanda), laid waste to much of the central Philippines. It was a super typhoon that again caught most, especially government, unprepared for the devastation that was its outcome. It spelled disaster, too, to many political aspirations with the then Interior Secretary becoming the poster boy somewhat for the government's failures. Apparently, many of the lessons of Ondoy were not heeded despite gains here and there in weather forecasting and disaster preparedness. But then these were perceived to be more on the side of politicians. There were no lack in politicking, self promotion and grandstanding. And there was even more drama among rival sides in Philippine politics. There was enough material for fodder come 2016.

The current administration is much aware of the issues and the dangers of playing into the same script. After all, they created much of the political storm that led to an almost complete defeat of the previous admin's ticket (the current VP survived that and hopefully gets to finish her term instead of being replaced by the ambitious son of a former dictator). But the present set of leaders and wannabees are not lacking for distasteful maneuvers as relief goods are being prepared by government agencies and local government units bearing the name (and sometimes even face) of aspirants for electoral posts in the 2019 elections. Among these are a Presidential "alalay" who is somewhat desperate for a senate post if only to protect himself from charges once his sponsor(s) bow down from power.

Will Mangkut/Ompong effect positive change in the country? Perhaps so and we can only hope it will be for the better.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Disruption and entropy in November.

November 8, 2016 will be a most memorable day. It is memorable in the Philippines due to the infamous decision by the Supreme Court paving the way for the dictator Ferdinand Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. This was historic due to many aspects of the decision and the eventual burial of Marcos at the cemetery that is supposed to be reserved for people recognized as heroes including past presidents, war heroes, national artists and others who were found to be deserving of the site. 

While Marcos was a soldier, an officer in the USAFFE during World War 2, his claimed exploits and decorations have been found to be bogus. It is a wonder how the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine government continues to recognize him with its highest Medal for Valor when he was proven to have faked his accomplishments during the war. 

Marcos was also a former President of the country. He was supposed to have presided over a country during a period when the Philippines was second only to Japan in Asia in terms of economic development. What many apologists and fans fail to mention though was that it was all downhill from that position in the 1960s not just because of turmoil at home and abroad but because of the rampant corruption and abuses of the government under him. 

While it is true that a lot of infrastructure were completed under his term, many of these were implemented under shady conditions and usually with costs that included much that he and his cronies pocketed and benefited from. The brilliant minds he surrounded himself in the form of cabinet officials who appear to be only too willing to collaborate and do his bidding for them to attain their own glories have no excuses for the horrors of Martial Law. It is sad to know many including relatives and friends denying the murders, corruption and other atrocities during that time simply because they did not experience these first-hand. I can only pity them while trying to understand their position and lack of empathy and perhaps even humanity and critical thinking.

November 8 is also memorable in the United States, a country with whom the Philippines seems to share similar fates with in the past 100+ years. The US just elected Donald Trump as their President, trumping (pun intended) the country that elected a self confessed killer, womanizer only last May 2016. I won't delve into the so-called qualities of Trump but history will now record the US as a nation still unprepared for a woman to lead them, instead choosing a person who has yet to serve in any capacity (he has no previous elective or appointed posts in government and he is has not served in the US armed or police forces) that country, and likely one who has also cheated in his taxes.

These two are already realities people have to face even if it seems to many that these were like something shoved up their asses, forcibly and painfully. The only positive thing I see here so far is that these events should be wake-up calls to those who consider themselves progressives but who have also let their guards down to allow these people to rise in power. Disruption and entropy should be considered as likely blessings for us to learn and become more proactive in education and be protective against revisionism of our history.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Some thoughts about the current Philippine situation

I find it amusing that many apologists react quickly about the President's comments; providing their own interpretations - twisting here, wagging there, spinning everywhere.  There's really no need for such if the guy can just control his tongue assuming of course that he can also control his thinking. Its not an excuse that he told people he was like that and still they voted for him. He, too, must rise to the occasion and be the President people voted for. 

We didn't vote for a Mayor last May and if he wants, he can always go back to being one instead if president. I suspect though that many but not all those around him want him to stay put simply because they have so much at stake here especially in terms of power. I won't go into the details of whom I suspect are the ones with much interest here but I am sure many observers would not find it difficult to  identify these. Perhaps they will end up losing a lot of money from the favors they get from being in power and in the position to peddle influence?

As for the apologists, the attempts to explain, justify, attribute (e.g., the person being a master strategist, of being adept at foreign policy and geopolitics, etc.) and even glorify fail in the face of facts. Unfortunately, there are so much misinformation going around and the very same apologists seem to fall for information that fit their beliefs rather than lift a finger or two to determine the veracity of the (mis)information they also tend to share in social media. I have encountered many who similarly believe in hoaxes and are quick to click the share button on Facebook. And then of course, there are those at a safe distance (i.e., abroad and probably for the long term if not for good) whose views and arguments are questionable. These include those who would likely (if they have not yet done so) vote for Trump in the next US elections.  

Kawawa naman iyung mga napapaniwala (o naloko?) noong kampanya.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Some realizations from the recent election campaigns

Writing, they say, can be cathartic. And so I write about some realizations from the run-up and aftermath of the recent elections:
  1. Many close relatives and friends do not share your politics. You will be surprised about their choices despite their being supposedly educated, experienced and, on any other day, could be logical, wise. 
  2. One should learn to move on and accept that these same relatives and friends are basically good people whom you can rely on despite your differences in political leanings.
  3. People you know can actually become quite different when online and behind what seem to them a cloak of anonymity.
  4. People who claim to be religious and who proclaim their praises to God online (and especially those can be quite inconsistent and contradictory to their so-called faiths.
  5. Scientific people can become the opposite and disregard even the most basic mathematical, statistical and scientific principles and thoughts if only to make explanations conform to their positions.
The list can go on but then I probably already covered much of the negative stuff that I just wanted to have out there. I rarely post about religion and politics on my social media accounts. And if I do, I am usually very serious about it so I would respond to those who offer the opposite or even sarcasm. Truly, respect is earned but one cannot claim it if one cannot be humble enough to accept truths especially the inconvenient and painful ones.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Some thoughts on the eve of election day

I write this on the eve of national elections in the Philippines. This would be my fourth time to vote in Presidential elections. My first time was in 1992 when I was among the many young people who voted for the first time since the snap elections of 1986 that eventually led to the EDSA revolution that same year. I voted for Miriam Santiago and Ramon Magsaysay, Jr. then and I still believe Miriam would have been and should have been President because she lacked the machinery that could have protected her votes from manipulation. I was not able to vote in 1998 when I was abroad and there was no over overseas voting yet. 

To my memory, this is probably the most divisive elections and that is not in small part due to social media. It is so easy for (mis)information to spread at least for people who are online or who have access to apps like Facebook and Twitter. I have learned to screen much of the information I see and I am usually very patient. But apparently for many people including those I consider friends and those who were former students, social media is like the saying about TV goes..."If it's on Facebook it must be true!" 

Tomorrow we again elect people whom we think are the most qualified to lead us at the national and local levels. I have made up my mind about who I will vote for at the local level but I must admit it is very difficult to decide who to vote for as President. We all have our criteria but and some people will have personal connections with particular candidates. As such, it is inevitable to have personal biases because we know this and that person directly or indirectly (through relatives, friends, etc.). That can be dangerous because it has been established fact that if you or your kin know someone personally, then there is the high likelihood that you will be spared from the abuses or bad things that the person did or will be doing. Let's face it, if you are related to a bad person, that person would still appear good to you because bad people may still be good to family. Not to others though and that is what a lot of people forget because they don't pay attention to history or can be generally blind to inconvenient truths.

I think we should be critical about our candidates and we should be careful about the information we get including and perhaps especially about where such information comes from. It is easy to poison our minds with all the misinformation out there including those by people who should know better and are regarded as experienced and experts. Do not be misled by people who have been astray themselves despite their past. I think the saying about one being as good only as his last performance applies to many politicians, analysts and other people involved in these elections. But we should not disregard past faults that have not been atoned for and for these elections at least, I believe that such is a big factor.

Good luck to us all and may we all be guided in our decisions tomorrow. Whoever wins this one will be responsible for a lot and regardless of who wins there will be change. Whether that change will be for the better of most people, we will likely know real time and well into the first year of the next administration. Think about your children or grand children. Think about their futures and the environment they will be living in. Perhaps that thinking alone can help you get closer to a decision on election day.

Monday, April 25, 2016

On decisions towards the May 9 elections

The Clairvoyant and I have been talking about who we will vote for in the coming elections. For local posts, we decided we will just scan the relatively short list of candidates for the posts of mayor, vice mayor, councilors and congressman for our city. We changed our residence a little over a couple of years ago and decided to change where we voted. I used to vote in Cainta where I resided for a long time at my parents' home and the wife voted in Quezon City where she also lived with her parents. Even after we moved together and found residence elsewhere, we had retained our venues for voting as a matter of preference. That changed when we moved into our new home in 2014 and decided to register in our new barangay.

Electing officials for national positions is quite a different matter and so far we have only decided on our preference for the Vice Presidency. That will be Leni Robredo, the first term congresswoman from my father-in-law's hometown of Naga City. Meanwhile, we have also started to finalize our list for 12 slots for Senator. Among those we are certain to vote for would be people we actually know and that includes reelectionist Senator Ralph Recto, whom the wife worked for when he was still a congressman at the House of Representatives. There is also former Sen. Kiko Pangilinan who is a friend of my brother-in-law from his college days. Though it may seem that we are voting for these people simply because we know them personally, I would rather that they be elected due to their good, hard work being lawmakers. Granted that they have been involved in some controversial issues (Recto, for example, for VAT) but these were necessities and despite the bad press, their legislative works are widely considered sound and with positive outcomes for most people. For myself, I am considering 10 other senators for my list and this includes familiar names like Dick Gordon (a former senator himself) and Risa Hontiveros whom we have supported from the time she first ran for the senate. I will likely include Walden Bello as the country needs someone with the firm grasp of social and economic issues and who is unwilling to compromise in addressing these issues via mainstream avenues. I met him a couple of years ago and found him to be a very wise and reasonable person who knew how to listen while also offering frank opinions on the constructive side.

I will likely post about the rest of in my list as election day approaches. And for the Presidency, let's just say that I am closer to a decision. But then as any responsible parent should be doing, suffice it to say that I will most likely vote for whom I think will lead this country to secure a good future for our children.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Other notables for 2016

I forgot to mention two other persons in the previous post on the upcoming Philippine presidential elections in May 2016. One is a candidate for vice president and another a pakipot for the presidential race. The first is a senator, whose claim to fame is supposedly his penchant for exposes and investigations of anomalies in government, all supposedly in aid of legislation. Others have observed that this is good work for someone who has little credential at all prior to running for a senate seat. He supposedly won on the strength of his father's name. Talk about someone having something in common with many of the other candidates and even the incumbent chief executive of the Philippine government. They are their parents' children, which speaks a lot about Philippine politics and the grooming of leaders from the same gene pool. Indeed, this candidate's family is at the early stages of establishing their own dynasty in a city that has two faces - a modern face in what is among the fastest growing CBDs in the country and a backward face in what is a congested and somewhat blighted old town. This candidate currently has no partner and is said to be trying hard in his courtship of the pakipot candidate.

The pakipot candidate is a current mayor of a major Philippine city in the south. He is well known for what is allegedly a death squad that is under him. Supposedly he is a no nonsense person but then a closer look at a phase in his political career, a time when he was congressman, shows that he is not at all what it seems. Many seem to be enamored or amused of his reputation, and perhaps due to the failures of past administrations and the current in curbing criminality as well as the indecision of our leaders, many clamor for his style of leadership. He is pakipot because you know that he covets the presidency and yet wants assurances from his supporters and various sectors that he will have solid support and not just become an also-ran in the 2016 elections. He has said several times that he is not seeking the presidency in 2016. This, despite all the loud campaigning among his supporters for him to run. It seems that many of these supporters have the idea that under him, the country can have a federalist government and that such a transformation will solve the country's woes. I believe such is quite far from the truth but my explanation deserves another article in the future. Meanwhile, pakipot has kept his cards close to him and few if any know whether he will eventually run for the top post this coming May.


Monday, October 26, 2015

The 2016 circus has began

I usually refrain from writing about politics or posting something about it especially on social media. However, the times when you can't just help commenting on articles or posts pertaining to the current political atmosphere in the Philippines seem to be increasing. Fortunately, I have good self control as I am also aware of the sensitivity of some people, many of whom are friends, when it comes to politics and the state of the nation. However, I do have some thoughts about the declared candidates for president and vice president, which I will share here.

The current crop of candidates for the presidency and vice presidency of the Philippines is not as exciting or interesting as previous elections. One candidate was supposed to have been the standard bearer of his party in 2010 but ended up giving way to the current president and eventually losing to the incumbent vice president who is also running for the presidency. While the latter is saddled with so much heavy baggage from allegations of corruption, the other candidate is saddled with allegations of ineptness. It doesn't help that the same candidate is part of the elite, the oligarchs who have influenced the country for a very long time and who have been accused at many times of pursuing their interests first before the country's. 

The elite candidate has as running mate a widow of a popular mayor turned local government secretary. She has been thrust into the limelight to bring legitimacy to a platform of reform and straight path despite her being a bit green in politics. Though attractive to many who are seeking good governance, there are questions if she is 'winnable' compared to her rivals for the vice presidency. One of those rivals is a former leader of coups against the government who seems to have mellowed down over the years but represents military adventurism in the country. He is also one who seems to have been napilitan lang tumakbo (forced to run by circumstances) as many possible partners have distanced themselves from the current VP.

Then there is one who fashions herself as a fresh personality but is not without controversy considering her becoming a citizen of another country in the past. Add to this allegations about her nationality stemming from her being a foundling who was adopted by showbiz royalty. She is being tagged as a puppet of her running mate, who is skillful and wily enough to be believable in concocting something to that effect. This vice presidential candidate was supposed to have been among the architects of the vice presidential defeat in 2010 of the presidential candidate due to the support given to the incumbent VP by this senator.

Last among the presidential candidates is a person who could have won the presidency back in 1992 when she first ran for the highest government post in the country. She didn't have the political machinery back then but it was she who captured the imagination of the youth back then. Her defeat probably was due to the first instances of dagdag-bawas before this was 'perfected' by a slew of candidates who have been branded as trapo (traditional politicians = corrupt politicians). Then as now, this candidate has been alleged to be brenda (brain damaged), an allusion to insanity. But then you have to be insane to run for president of this country and try to solve its myriad problems, right?

What is most interesting about her now is not her but her running mate. In 1992, she partnered with the son of arguably the most loved (if not the best) president we ever had - Ramon Magsaysay. Today, she is running with the son of arguably the most vile (if not the worst - depending on what angle you are looking at) president we ever had - Ferdinand Marcos. Questions abound of the complicity, the awareness of the son in the sins of his father and the rest of his family and their associates. And many of these are legitimate making his candidacy and the prospect of him becoming president (yes, there is such a possibility) is unpalatable to many.

These are the presidential and vice presidential candidates we have now in the Philippines and God help the electorate choose who among them will be leading the country for the next six years from 2016. Hopefully, we do get to vote wisely and have leaders who would be wise and decisive in transforming this country into a progressive and equitable state.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Today is an historic day in the Philippines as the Senate voted 20-3 against the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The overwhelming vote on Article 2 effectively impeaches the Chief Justice, a first in a country where leaders have been known to use loopholes in the law to justify anomalous practices. This one should be something that will be the subject of many further discussions and opinions. The drama in the weeks leading to the decision was certainly educating as well as entertaining but this should also be a template and a strong message to others who are consciously and wrongfully hiding assets, also using loopholes for their immoral acts. We now hope that we can move forward and perhaps effect more reform that will lead to progress and benefits to the Filipino people. After all, the latter are what are supposed to be the end result desired from such exercise as the impeachment of a high official according to what was perceived and now proven to be bases for removal from office.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A miracle in a resignation?

A friend asked "Why would a senator resign if he were not guilty of committing and/or benefiting from alleged election fraud four years back?" I replied that it was probably to "stop the bleeding" given that the atmosphere these days pertaining to the election controversy the senator was entangled in would have led to more exposes should he have held on to his seat. It is perhaps a case of damage control on the part of the young politician and something that is much like a gambit that was able to solicit, so far, the desired outcome of his move. Note that the unexpected announcement "shocked" not a few people and silenced many critics and naysayers who doubted his being elected in the first place due to the unusual circumstances in Mindanao during the 2007 elections.

Still, I would like to believe that conscience and the good in him and his family have had a significant influence on his decision to resign. But then again, he could have spared us from his trapo speech. Whatever he accomplished while he was considered a senator was expected of him or whoever was deemed elected by the people. We cannot and should not expect less from a nationally elected official and so he is indebted to us rather than us to him as what his speech seems to be suggesting. Indeed it is a well calculated move that drew applause and praises but we should be ever vigilant, aware and informed about such situations. Our memories should not be so short as to forget about seeking the truth regarding these matters. As my friend concludes, we should pray that the truth be revealed and that the guilty be punished accordingly and justly. This will ultimately define us as a people and perhaps many other politicians should take his lead if only to show everyone that there is still decency left in this country.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Inauguration 2010

As I await the inauguration of the newly elected Philippine President, Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, there is a feeling of both relief and anticipation. Relief because of the reality of a change in the leadership and anticipation because of the unknown future after today. I do not fear this change and this uncertainty in the air. And I know that I, we, must embrace it and put forward our best effort in making this country great again. It is, after all, our responsibility as citizens of this beloved country to make things work rather than sit, sulk and put the blame on others and not ourselves.

I was pleasantly surprised with Noel Cabangon's song and his asking the public and the people on the stage and the grandstand to join him in singing and pledging to become good citizens of the Philippines. Indeed, that is what we need to become and not just by our words but by our actions. I just hope the public and our leaders understood the message, and embrace and live the change that we need for the future of this nation.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Post elections

Last May 10, I did my part by casting my vote for the leadership of this beloved country of ours. I stuck to my list and voted according to assessments of candidates I made together with the Clairvoyant. I am still hesitant to post my choices here but I have exchanged quite a few notes with relatives and friends regarding whom I voted for at the national level. I think that it's enough that only they know of my preferences at this time.

Of the 12 senators already proclaimed winners by the Comelec, I count only 4 who got my vote. I was not surprised at all at this result as popularity and pedigree seems to have been the leading factors in the last elections and the results validated this. Revilla and Estrada topped the senate race followed by veterans Santiago, Drilon and Enrile. But pedigree alone probably is not enough considering that the likes of Ople, Roco, Pimentel, De Venecia and Tamano failed to get the nod of voters nationwide.

It wasn't really that hard for me to choose from among the long list of senatoriables though I had to confirm the accomplishments and advocacies of the lesser known candidates I voted for. Obviously, I didn't go for popularity though I tried to come up with a list of "winnables" if only to help assure that certain candidates get into the Magic 12. Among these "winnables" I voted for is Recto as I agreed with the assessment of progressives that without VAT, the country faced a fiscal crisis (And this maybe because either a lot of people didn't pay their taxes or the government failed to collect the right amounts.). It also helped that the Clairvoyant and I fondly call him Ninong and personally knew the guy and his governor wife.

Unlike the 2007 elections when the main battleground was represented by the senate seats up for grabs, these elections were more focused on the highest post in the land. A lot has been written about the backlash on the outgoing administration leading to the defeat of its candidates in 2007. This time around, it seems there was no backlash at all at the senate level. Rejection was evident from the outcomes of the Presidential and Vice Presidential races where one candidate's brilliance and potential to become a good leader just was not enough to shake off the heavy baggage of his association with the current administration. The last elections also showed that playing with the truth about one's early life also didn't help and showed that voters could indeed see through such attempts at packaging oneself as poor and one with the masa. Of course, the latter case should be tempered with the significant numbers who voted for a man convicted of plunder and later pardoned in what was seen by many as a form of "moro-moro."

Perhaps there is a bright future ahead of us and indeed there is so much promise for the new government. This despite the unresolved case for the VP that is still very much the talk of the town in as far as conspiracies and intrigues go. I am hopeful and I look forward to doing my part, realizing that our responsibilities are not limited to casting votes every 3 years but to what we actually contribute (in our own ways) in every day of our life.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Thoughts on exercising the right to suffrage

It's May and unlike other years this one is on an election year. We registered voters get to go out and exercise our right to suffrage. This time is also quite different as it will be the first time elections will be automated in our country. I'm probably among the many who are crossing their fingers, hopeful that the elections will go relatively smooth with only minor glitches despite the potential for a major disaster like the one predicted by critics (including of course those who are perpetually pessimists).

I am also hopeful that in these elections we would be able to choose better leaders for our country. But I am also wary of the hordes who are mostly unaware either by choice or by circumstance who would be voting unwisely or based on perceptions of promises of quick fixes being realized by candidates who would do anything to get elected. I say do anything because there are many out there who are conscious candidates and have long ago aspired (or had ambitions) to become president, senator, congressman, governor or mayor not because of a higher calling and objective but because of a more diabolical and personal goal. In fact, many of those who are running with or without pedigree may have dubious personalities including attitudes of entitlement. Such is often part of the foundation for the political bog we are now in. Deep shit is a word not for the exclusive use of septic tank contractors after all.

For the purpose of reflection, I have drafted a tentative list of candidate I will vote for at the national level. I still haven't quite finished a scan of local candidates though I have strong opinions for and against candidates in the district where the Clairvoyant will cast her vote. I am probably more familiar with candidates in her district because I work in the area. In a few days I make my final decision. Perhaps I could change two in my tentative list but as of now I think I've pretty much made up my mind.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I read a news article about a candidate for vice mayor in a large city in Metro Manila who descended, along with the candidate's henchmen, on a group of MMDA personnel who were just doing their duty removing campaign materials from light posts and railings. The candidate allegedly accused the MMDA personnel of singling out the former's posters and proceeded to bully the personnel. According to the article, if not for the timely arrival of a police vehicle, the MMDA personnel would have been roughed up by the henchmen.

I guess the subject of the article represents many, but I hope not most, of those presenting themselves to be voted for public office this coming May 10. One word seems most appropriate for these people - abusive. If they are already abusive and act as if they are above the law while campaigning, what can we expect from these people when they do get voted into office?

Among my pet peeves are motorists using sirens (aptly referred to as "wang-wang" in Pinoy onomatopoeia) to get ahead of others in traffic. Then there are those who do not use their signal lights to indicate their intention to change lanes. These days, I've observed that many of these vehicles are those of candidates and their supporters. I am usually incensed that they do not have any regard for other people time and property and I've seen many incumbents running for reelection (or have their kin running in their stead) using government vehicles and police escorts to their advantage.

Transportation and traffic being an important part of what I am (I make a living in this field.), I can strongly conclude that one reason we do not have good transportation systems in this country is because our elected leaders do not have to contend with traffic congestion and the specter of being involved in a traffic accident. They get special treatment at airports and do not get to experience first-hand the inconvenience of queuing at immigration and waiting for your flight in sweaty departure areas. They don't experience the sardine-like conditions in trains and the mediocre services of our jeepneys, buses and tricycles.

It is sad that despite his claims to know what to do about traffic, a former MMDA Chair in fact rode a motorcycle escorted vehicle together with a convoy of about 6 to 8 vehicles and never got caught in traffic like most of us voters do. I know, because I've experienced being waved away from the convoy's path. Then there are those sporting the all too familiar license plates declaring they were senators and congressmen who seem always in a hurry for something.

I do salute public servants I know who are doing their darn best to improving traffic and transport and seem to have too little time to do their thing. Many of them remain nameless even after assuming positions of influence. But there are a few who have made a name for themselves for being mavericks in their own ways. Sadly, these people might be out of their jobs once a new administration is elected this May. I do hope they remain in their offices and am crossing my fingers that we do not have abusive people replacing them.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hope in an Election Year

I was thinking of an appropriate topic to start my blogging in 2010. I'm used to reading about New Year's resolutions, horoscopes (especially predictions based on the Chinese variety), and all the other articles that tackle our hopes for 2010. For one, I found the forecast of El Nino to be welcome considering what we went through in 2009, a La Nina year. Climate change may have indeed changed equations and lives but there's no reason to look forward to something not like Ondoy or Pepeng.

2010 is an election year and need I say that a lot of people, never mind their status in life or society, are pinning their hope for a bright future on whoever's going to become Philippine president after May. There are plenty of candidates to choose from and it seems that a few strong ones are much lesser evils compared to those in the previous elections. I am currently leaning towards Noynoy but am getting frustrated by how his campaign is going. I'm all for him citing his parents but therein lies his weakness considering that the informed person also knows other information contrary to the positive that is associated with Cory's administration. In my mind and in my heart I always counter this by saying that indeed, Noynoy is offering something the others don't - and that is hope. Hope that we can still change this country of ours. Hope that we can change our citizens from the apathetic people we have become (or "manhid" sounds better) given that many have given up and are trying to find ways to leave this country for better lives abroad. Indeed, we need such hope if we are to stave off the degeneration of our families as OFW culture (its negative impacts) takes over.

The other candidates do not inspire me. Villar claims (as mentioned in his annoying jingle) that he will end poverty when his campaign at this stage has already cost billions of pesos that I am sure he will spend the next 6 years (assuming he wins) recovering and significantly increasing, of course, at our expense. Gibo is intellectually gifted and may have promise but I don't believe he is his own man with so much baggage from the current administrations "sins." I even suspect that he is not the "real" admin candidate - Villar is. Don't even get me started on Gordon and the rest of the also rans. Sure Gordon is a good speaker and perhaps we should look into his resume, which includes his stints in Olongapo and Subic. But I dare say that I would like first to see him attack Villar the same way he attacks Noynoy. I also suspect him to be a Villar proxy. Running so that he can have time to do a demolition job against the front runner while not even saying a piece about C5 insertions and other (alleged) anomalies of his Senate colleague.

I will defer talking about the other candidates (VP, Senate and my choices and analyses for local governments) to future blogs. For now, I look at the presidential derby and hope - and maybe pray - that 2010 will indeed be a better year weather notwithstanding.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Real Deal: US Politics

The clairvoyant and I enjoy talking about anything under the sun. It's probably among the things that attracted me when I first met her - online. These days, politics seem to be the flavor of the past few months, what with the recent Democratic and Republican conventions confirming the presidential and vice presidential bets of the two parties.

After what the world has gone through the last 7 years under the Republican Bush administration, I would like to believe that Americans would like to see a change in leadership, a change in how things are done at the very highest level of their government. The world seems looking forward to that. After all, how can a country project itself as a leader when its own leadership is being questioned by both its allies and enemies. The time is ripe for a significant change in the political atmosphere in Washington that would return the US to the moral high ground it used to have. 

But how do we view US politics here? How do Filipinos see Obama and McCain? Biden and Palin? If you ask me, two items that appeared today in the same Philippine newspaper clearly shows how people in these islands view the events in the US. 

My take and my opinion is closer to the first article. The second one probably deserves closer scrutiny as the author projected the Republican VP candidate as a commoner while at the same time stating that the Democratic presidential candidate is an elitist. But then again, those interpretations, those perceptions may be correct if we are to view such as the former being unfit to become VP as she is unqualified, having only the looks and the guns (i.e., pro-gun) to speak of and a lot of biases and flaws that the media and the public are just beginning to see.

You see, the US dug itself a huge hole and has had much difficulty getting out. What it probably needs, and much of the outside world sees this, is an elite person to lead them out and reconcile them with the world and - reality. This reality is manifested in the oil crisis, the relationship with what are branded as "rogue states" and the growing influence of China. This reality, more importantly, is manifested in a global environment where the US would need to physically, morally, and wisely assert itself in the form of a man who would become the first non-white leader of that country. One who will show the world that America means business and that business is genuine reform that would serve as a model to other nations.