Monthly Archives: November 2009

Senator Serge Osmena Will Run as an Independent

For the last two years, the Liberal Party touted Senator Mar Roxas as the most qualified among them to be the next President of the Philippines. Then, President Cory Aquino passed away, the crowds came out in droves to pay their last respects, and somebody thought, wait, maybe Senator Noynoy Aquino was the more qualified after all. (wink! wink!) And so, they plotted to “connect” the crowds that mourned the death of Mrs. Aquino to the possible election of Noynoy as President and while they were at it, why not revive the assassination of Ninoy Aquino to complete the “trilogy” or “trinity” or whatever, and come up with some sort of “passing of the torch” never mind it’s ambiguity. In fact, the more ambiguous, imprecise, hazy, the better, though one viewer of Noynoy’s recent “torch”  infomercial frightfully thought that the carrying of the torches by Noynoy and the “multitude” behind him in that infomercial meant the return of brownouts if he were to win. That, of course, was not the message at all… but that’s another story.

As for the Liberal Party’s Senatorial line-up, for want of Vilma Santos on their side, they were somewhat “forced” to include former NEDA head Ralfh Recto in their Senatorial slate and in the process, lost former Senator Serge Osmena who could not stomach being in the same ticket as Ralph – one who ran under the administration ticket the last time around and after losing, was appointed by GMA as  Chairman of NEDA, no less. Two months ago, Recto quit that position to prepare for the coming elections but soon after, unabashedly  “jumped ship” from his affiliation with the administration and boarded the LP together with his wife Governor Vilma Santos. His joining, and acceptance into, the LP was for no other reason than political expediency on both sides. It is easy to understand Mr. Osmena’s sentiment towards that onerous  “political deal” and even easier to praise him for bolting the LP slate in disappointment, if not disgust, and running as an independent instead — true to  form, if we may add. As for the LP? As we’ve said in a previous article, they are as trapo as trapo can get. And we will again sift more of that stench coming from their camp in the coming months. Let’s call a spade a spade.

Chiz Escudero’s ambition for a higher political office via the elections of May 2010 turned into “cheese-melt” when he announced last 24 Nov. that he would no longer be running for a higher office next year. It seems realpolitik got the better of his ambitions. In other words, “no money, no honey.”

While the politicians bewail the problem of “substance abuse” among the youth, the youth bemoan the lack of substance among the political candidates.

The problem is not so much the issue of pre-mature campaigning but rather “immature campaigning” – the ubiquitous celebrity in each rally, the awkward dancing and singing of candidates, and the general “circus” or “carnival” atmosphere of campaign rallies.

Filipino Efren Penaflorida bagged the CNN Hero of the Year Award 2009 besting nine other nominees from all over the world, all equally deserving of the award in their respective advocacies and programs. His Kariton Klassroom program brought basic education to poor out-of-school children who would otherwise have missed the boat of education our government has poorly navigated these last decades. We still don’t seem to get the direct connection between education and poverty alleviation that our neighboring countries like Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, have well understood and have positive results to show for it. When asked by an interviewer after receiving the award at the CNN event held at the Kodak Theatre, Hollywood Ca. whether he would consider going into politics upon returning to the Philippines, his answer was, definitely, a highly educated one: “no!”  Now, there’s a hero not wanting to be a politician as opposed to the common politician posing as a hero. Kudos to Mr. Efren Penaflorida, young educator and true Filipino hero!

Former President Ramos said in an interview that the people will have to wait three months, more or less, before he declares his choice for President and Vice-President. Someone will have to remind the people about this when the time comes because we doubt if anyone will be holding their breaths waiting for his announcement. The problem with becoming irrelevant, similar to when your spouse cheats on you,  is you’re usually the last to know. He should know that.

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Senator Aquino Cannot Ride on the Coat-tails of His Parents? Watch!

Opponents of Senator Noynoy Aquino warn him that he cannot ride on the coat-tails of his parents and expect the voting populace to elect him based on that and not on his record in public service. Well, Senator Aquino’s campaign happens to be where it is now precisely and only because he is the son of Ninoy and Cory Aquino and his on-going efforts in winning the Presidency will continue along the path of reminding the Filipinos who his parents are (the highly exaggerated version of course): “patrons of democracy in the Philippines;” and, the father a “hero,” and the mother a “saint.” And based on that, he will most probably win in the coming elections or, at the very least, be the man to beat. Is that a rational way of choosing a candidate? No; but since when did “rational” come into the picture in our present level of electoral maturity? For our democracy to flourish and be more meaningful, we must first educate the minds of our voters not in “knowing” who to vote for but in knowing what to look for in a candidate. We are still in that stage where we, media in particular, can actually brainwash our people on “what to think” – as opposed to teaching them how to think — by manipulating their emotions, exploiting their frustrations, creating new myths and rekindling old ones, and generating unrealistic expectations. Only when we have reached a higher educational level (where the vast majority of voters are at least high-school graduates) can we begin to choose our candidates for the “right” reasons and even then, mistakes can be made. Meanwhile, we’ll have to trudge along with what we’ve got.  So, “cannot ride on the coat-tails of his parents,” they say?  Watch! Oh, and add to that, “brother of Kris” – how could we forget?

Among the four serious Presidential candidates (Villar, Gibo, Noynoy and Erap), we  have two of them with wives that are Congresswomen, one whose girlfriend is a councilor, and a fourth has a wife that’s a Senator. But mind you, all are against political dynasties, in principle. Whatever!

The Lakas-Kampi leadership announced its Vice-Presidential candidate and running mate of Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, naming Edu Manzano as its choice. If this team were to win in next year’s May elections, then we would have seen the most dramatic come from behind victory in the entire history of Philippine elections. As Senator Gordon would say: Wow!! And that would seal Secretary Puno’s reputation as the most astute political strategist / campaign manager this country has seen in the last two decades or so.

During the question and answer forum held last Nov. 13, 2009 at the UST auditorium with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton as guest of honor, a student asked Mrs. Clinton how much longer did she think it would take before a woman would finally get elected President of the United States. She replied, gamely, that “God knows I tried” but said that she should instead be asking us, Filipinos, the answer to that question and would herself like to know from us the “secret” in electing a woman President, having already elected two here in the Philippines. The secret, Madame Secretary? [Press: PLAY] “Hello, Garci….”

This month commemorates the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. That and the subsequent domino effect on the rest of the Soviet bloc countries of yesteryears has been one of the most dramatic if not glorious events of the last century. For someone that’s visited Berlin several times when the wall was still up, the fall of the Berlin wall has been an event many like us thought would never occur in our life time. Still, there are other walls to break, for sure, and not as visible and “concrete” as the one that divided the east from the west in the great city of Berlin. The challenge now for the world community is to continue to break down these other walls — “invisible walls” — that divide the rich from the poor, the educated from the illiterate, Muslims from Christians, and in still many areas, the women from the men.

Manny Pacquiao did it again. His display of amazing speed, awesome power, and focused determination proved too much for the Puerto Rican pugilist. Days before the fight, Manny had already booked an outlet at the Hotel of Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, for the evening of fight day to party with his friends and celebrate with a mini-concert where he planned to sing eight songs with his newly formed band. Pre-fight confidence? You bet! Mabuhay si Manny Pacquiao! Mabuhay ang Pilipino!

The impact of yet another Pacquiao victory has brought again a positive unified energy Filipinos could use in their daily lives to help our country move forward. It’s got greater power than we think. And…let’s forget what the politicians have to say about the Pacquiao win so as to keep the victory “pure.”  You know what we mean.

Famous quotes of past and present Filipino leaders:
“There are many things we do not want about the world. Let us not just mourn them; let us change them. ” – Ferdinand Marcos
“The youth is the hope of our future.” – Jose Rizal
“Brotherhood is the very price and condition of man’s survival.” – Carlos P. Romulo
”The great ‘legitimizer’ of government is the ballot not the bullet.” – Ninoy Aquino
“Sue me.” – Congressman Mikey Arroyo

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