Posts tagged ‘philippine elections 2010’

a failure of elections it ain’t

despite technical glitches and other issues related to the new automated voting system, the filipino people were able to cast their ballots on monday and elected their new president. as of this writing, benigno aquino iii is leading in the latest unofficial tally.

as with previous elections, this one came with a few surprises of its own. with his vaunted well-oiled campaign machine, manny villar appeared to win it all in the beginning. he ended up lagging behind joseph estrada in third place. and who would have thought that jejomar binay would surge ahead of mar roxas in the vice presidential race? that’s simply amazing.

it’s hardly surprising that president gloria macapagal-arroyo won her congressional seat, which is generally believed to be her stepping stone to staying in power. first, she would run for speaker of the house and then push the shift to a parliamentary form of government where she’d serve as prime minister. it’s doubtful, however, if she will get the numbers to win the speakership.

so far, the election results show that even though arroyo won her congressional seat handily, her favorite gofers who decided to run for office aren’t doing well, affirming the notion that being associated with her is tantamount to a kiss of death. these include eduardo ermita, agnes devanadera, hermogenes esperon, joc-joc bolante, prospero nograles, and norberto gonzalez.

aquino has pledged that should he become president, he would have arroyo investigated for corruption and vote rigging allegation. it’s a tall order for sure, especially for somebody who is the least experienced among the presidential candidates. i don’t think he possesses the political savvy yet to make it happen. besides, under the current political climate, no corrupt national official has been prosecuted and put to jail in the philippines. take the case of the big kahuna himself, former president joseph estrada, who was kicked out of office and charged with plunder. although he was convicted after a long trial, he didn’t spend a day in jail. president arroyo pardoned him for his indiscretion and sent him scot free.

many are advising aquino that he should play it cool and not appear like an avenging angel. he should heed their advice. it would be wise to consolidate his powers first before running after arroyo and her cronies. there’s no doubt that she has broken the law and enriched herself in office. she might have even committed treason in her dealings with the milf to create an independent bansangmoro state in mindanao and in granting china parity rights to oil exploration in the kalayaan islands. at this time, however, she’s still a formidable opponent. aquino must wait until her allies in congress start shifting their allegiances to him. in due time, it will come as day follows night. after all, he’ll have the pork to keep them in tow.

at any rate, even if arroyo doesn’t go to jail, stepping down from the presidency would probably be enough punishment. for one who’s so obsessed with power, she’ll never enjoy that privilege again. being a has-been is the pits. everything goes downhill from here on out.

May 14, 2010 at 2:28 pm 6 comments

philippine elections 2010

on may 10, the filipino people will elect a new president. of course, president gloria macapagal-arroyo and her cronies don’t want it to happen. they’re hoping for a failure of elections that will enable them to hang on to power. the defense secretary himself has been floating that scenario as late as of last week with the revelation that two presidential candidates are wooing election officials, the military, and the national police in order to rig the elections on their behalf. he has so far refused to name names and to provide proof in support of his allegation, making one wonders if he’s just making it up. is this part of a sinister plot to undermine the electoral process? let’s wait and see.

the coming elections has been considered the most expensive in history. money is no object to the leading candidates. as the saying goes, the sky’s the limit. anyway, it’s considered a wise investment. once in power, it’ll surely come back many times over as day follows night.

can president gloria macapagal-arroyo serve as a role model to her successor? if she can help it, she wants to stay in power beyond her term even to the extent of amending the constitution to make it possible. it must be a real power trip to rule over 92 million subjects, eh? that’s more than the population of canada (34 million), england (62 million), france (65 million), germany (81 million), or any other european countries. besides, it has enriched her for all her troubles. it has made her a multi-billionaire right up there with the likes of the queen of england. generous to a fault, she has made her relatives and staunchest supporters wealthy beyond their dreams, too. well, that is gloria.

at the same time, her successor should ask at what cost to the nation? during her term, the philippines has become one of the most corrupt countries in the world. as i wrote in a previous post, she has run the country under a mafia-style patronage system that rewards loyalty and blind obedience above all else. under this scenario, those in power can do anything with impunity as long as they toe the administration line. anybody caught with his hand in the cookie jar can absolve himself just by taking his hand off. dissent is tolerated but never encouraged. whistleblowers find themselves whistling in the dark. they become heroes for a day and end up dead, missing, being sued, or losing their jobs and reputations.

whoever wins in the coming presidential elections will have his hands full as it will take several generations to undo the damage that the current administration has done. based on our experience with ferdinand marcos and gloria macapagal-arroyo, we don’t need the best qualified and most talented candidate to be our next president. what we need is an honest leader who won’t use the office for plunder and personal gain and has the political will to curb graft and corruption in all levels of government. given the enormous challenges that he faces, it’s unlikely that he will meet them all to our satisfaction. but nevertheless, we expect that he will keep the ship from sinking and set it on the right course. it’s the least he can do, everything else will be a bonus.

May 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm 4 comments

From The Book Thief

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