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Tag Archives: 2010 Philippine National Elections

2010 Filipino of The Year — President Noynoy Aquino!

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For the hope and inspiration that he gave to politics- and poverty- weary Filipinos during the last presidential elections, FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS would like to honor President BENIGNO SIMEÓN III AQUINO Y COJUANGCO this year’s not-so-prestigious (but soon to be!) 2010 FILIPINO OF THE YEAR!

Thank you, President Noynoy, for inspiring the Filipinos to move forward with optimism and hope. That is so important to a nation long battered with all sorts of bull. But not all presidential reigns end up in roses; remember your unpopular predecessor and her predecessor, most especially. So we will be watching — and continue hoping. And as long as you remain steadfast —and sincere— to your promises of a corrupt-free Philippines, then the whole nation will continue to rally behind you.

May all Filipinos welcome 2011 the way they welcomed Noynoy to Malacañang many months ago!

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2009 FILIPINO OF THE YEAR

Noynoy’s proclamation: a brief observation

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Senator Benigno Simeón “Noynoy” II Aquino y Cojuangco was proclaimed as the 15th president of the Philippines yesterday at the Batasang Pambansâ. In the same historic event, former Macati City Mayor Jejomar Binay was declared as Noynoy’s Vice President. Earlier during that day, Joseph “Erap” Estrada finally conceded (through the lips of his son Jinggoy who was reelected into the Philippine Senate).

But wait… I thought I saw Charo Santos de Concio in the crowd! She was seated with the Aquino sisters (accompanied by Boy Abunda) who were all dressed in black. That “special appearance” finally puts to rest the allegations that ABS-CBN was favoring a presidential candidate during the recently concluded 2010 Philippine National Elections.

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The crowd was in a frenzy. Some were still holding the “Laban” hand sign. There were cheers of “Noynoy! Noynoy!” and “Cory! Cory!” Some even cheered “Noy-Bi! Noy-Bi!”

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It took some time before Noynoy was escorted into the podium. Media reporters dashed onto him in a mad scramble. In a mad and futile scramble as always.

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Juan Ponce Enrile was in a pensive mood all the time. But when Jejomar went up the podium, his face beamed with delight! Meanwhile, his congressional counterpart, Próspero Nograles, was furiously banging the gavel whenever he had the chance.

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After the proclamation was the press conference. Vice President Binay didn’t join Noynoy in that event. Not a surprise. But what was surprising was the way Noynoy handled the interview. He always had a quick and ready answer to all the questions the media threw at him. He was, however, a bit irked with a reporter from Radio Veritas. That reporter questioned Noynoy’s stand against the controversial RH Bill to which Noynoy had a quick retort: that he had already explained his stand on the issue numerous times during his campaign sorties. But he still patiently enumerated his plans about the reproductive health issue.

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With regards to the status of the nation’s coffers, Noynoy said that he will be very transparent about it. As much as possible, he said that he will update the nation of our true economic state no matter what. It appears that he will not “paint a rosy picture of our economy”.

Shades of Erap.

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He was asked many times about what his plans are during his first 100 days. Even the last reporter who asked him –a Japanese lady from the NHK media network– threw in the same question. A visibly irked Noynoy, who was still all smiles, finally refused to answer it and said that he will just have one of his staff give the Japanese reporter an English translation of what he said just a few minutes back. The Japanese reporter didn’t give up. So Noynoy cleverly told her that he’s not a jukebox that can be made to repeat itself by someone ¡Ang taray!.

Shades of Tita Glo.

The torch was passed to clamorous cheers in a blaze of yellow as Congress Wednesday proclaimed Sen. Benigno Aquino III the country’s next president and Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay vice president.

It brought a festive end to eight days of contentious canvassing following the country’s first nationwide automated elections.

Wild applause and loud cheering filled the session hall of the Batasang Pambansâ in Quezon City as Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Speaker Próspero Nograles raised the hands of the country’s next leaders.

Aquino was declared winner at exactly 4 p.m., paving the way for a peaceful transition of power as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is set to step down on June 30 after nine years in office. Binay was proclaimed at 3:56 p.m.

The winners’ families joined them at the podium, but Aquino’s girlfriend Shalani Soledad remained seated in the VIP gallery.

Ex-President Joseph Estrada, ousted in a popular uprising in 2001 and later convicted and imprisoned in 2007 on plunder charges only to be pardoned weeks later, accepted his political defeat.

“I join our people in extending unqualified support to the new President with both hope and prayers he will serve our country faithfully and will perform his duties honorably without fear or favor,” Estrada said in a statement read by his son Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada.

No objections were heard at the joint session as the floor leaders moved for the proclamation, and the affirmative rulings sent the Aquino and Binay supporters into a frenzy of chanting.

Binay’s supporters were more vocal, loudly chanting “Binay, Binay” at every chance they got.

The side of the gallery filled with Aquino’s supporters, who formed a sea of bright yellow, also chanted “Noynoy” and “Aquino” at various intervals, but their shouts were sometimes drowned out by the Binay supporters.

At one point, the Binay side of the gallery chanted “Noy-Bi,” but the Aquino side did not join it. Aquino’s running mate, Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, was not present at the proclamation.

The cheering got so loud that Enrile had to remind the gallery to maintain order and to sit down.

Aside from their supporters in the gallery, Aquino and Binay did not lack for backers on the floor. Lawmakers from various political parties lined up on the aisle where they would walk, waiting to offer their congratulations. Inquirer.net

Philippine elections: a failure even from the very beginning

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The controversial convention at Barrio Tejeros. Many historians acknowledge that the first election in Philippine history was held here.

Significantly, our country’s first president, Emilio Aguinaldo, was not elected by the Filipino people. He was elected by his Katipunan comrades and fellow Freemasons in Tejeros, San Francisco de Malabón (now General Mariano Trías), Cavite, a controversial historical event which is now known as the Tejeros Convention. That first election was exercised not to choose a leader to lead a nation but to lead the rebellion against Spain because during that time, the revolucionarios were divided into two factions: the Mágdalo, led by Aguinaldo and his cousin Baldomero Aguinaldo, and; the Magdiwang, led by Mariano Álvarez.

To pacify and unite the warring factions, which already have their own respective local governments in most of Cavite and other neighboring provinces (those that they captured from the Spanish government), Álvarez invited Katipunan supremo Andrés Bonifacio to mediate in a convention that was supposed to discuss military matters against Spain. But in the end, an election was held to decide who should lead the rebellion once and for all. This happened on 22 March 1897.

The closed-door election among these high-ranking Katipuneros/Freemasons resulted in the presidency of Mágdalo’s Emilio Aguinaldo (who was absent during that time). The convention chose Magdiwang’s Mariano Trías as Aguinaldo’s Vice-President. Meanwhile, Bonifacio was chosen as the Director of the Interior.

Alas, a certain Daniel Tirona questioned the results of the election. He argued that a lawyer should rightfully hold the position of Director of the Interior, even going as far as suggesting another person for the post. Naturally, this insulted Bonifacio. If not for intervening hands, Bonifacio would have shot Tirona. The angry supremo subsequently nullified the result of the proceedings before walking out from it, declaring that he is still the undisputed leader of the Katipunan from which both factions originated. This of course didn’t sit well with the other officials. The rest, as they always say, is history (Bonifacio’s orchestrated trial and execution, the proclamation of a premature independence, the US invasion, etc.).

According to eminent historian Ambeth Ocampo, however, the Bonifacio-Tirona tussle was not enough reason for the Katipunan Supremo to walk out of the proceedings just like that. As per Ocampo’s investigation, one major reason for the walkout was electoral fraud.

Yep, then as now.

Aguinaldo’s cohorts were supposed to be the first “sons of democracy” in this country, but they proved not to be worthy. Understandably, though, the situation back then didn’t allow suffrage a clean chance. For one, the first election was not even national — it was strictly Masonic. Secondly, the first “politicians”, most of whom were Freemasons, were still being taught the rudiments of republicanism and the ideals of democracy — the scourge of a monarchical form of government which had secured and succored the archipelago for hundreds of years. Thirdly, the Philippines was not only at war with Spain but was also wary of US military presence (particularly the fleets which arrived in Manila Bay) brought about by the Spanish-American war. But still, the process was tainted with irregularities, a sickening legacy which we still carry on even in this age of automated elections — the new system, sadly, still has the stigma of distasteful imperfections (“birth pains” or no “birth pains”) because a number of Precinct Count Optical Scan machines bogged down; and just when things seemed to flow out smoothly, sh!t happens!.

However, during the American interlude, the right of suffrage as we know it today was born. Technically, the first election that took place was a municipal one; it happened in Baliuag, Bulacán on 6 May 1899 under the auspices of American military Governor General Arthur MacArthur of which not much is known. But the first national elections in which the whole country was involved were held on 30 July 1907. The Filipinos elected the members of the first Philippine Assembly, the legislative body during the first few years of the US’ illegal reign in the country. Eighty one delegates to the National Assembly were elected while non-Christian provinces and districts having their own special governments were represented by appointees of then Civil Governor James Francis Smith.

Curiously, the newly elected assembleymen were no different from Noynoy Aquino who, as of this writing, is leading in the canvassing of votes in the recently concluded 2010 Philippine National Elections: most were generally young (between 31 and 40 years of age), well-educated, and filthy rich. Around 20 had a stint in the Spanish colonial government, and more than 50 were officials of the ill-fated Malolos government.

Then as now, the elite ruled the legislature. Worse, one of the first bills that these pro-American pigs passed was an increase in their per diem salary! And some even attempted to pass a bill exempting their properties from taxation!

Their apologists may claim that they were still inexperienced when it comes to democratic governance, that a republican form of government is not for personal aggrandizement nor profit. But the abovementioned political immaturity metamorphosed into a much higher form of (subtle) notoriety today. Take this one for instance: don’t you find it insanely immoral to impose Value Added Tax on food, a very basic commodity? If you don’t, I guess I am but a talkative, cynic, and unprincipled ignoramus doltishly questioning as to why the poor are always hungry. And then we have the C-5 road extension and the NBN-ZTE scandals, political dynasties, lawmakers lashing out unparliamentary language against each other, and the like. And such @$$hole-like behavior provokes some of their colleagues to become mentally out of control.

This is the true historical picture of our Philippine electoral system. Conclusion: we have not learned much from our past mistakes. No wonder Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville quipped that “in a democracy, people get the government they deserve.”

You allowed yourselves to be fooled by emotions brought about by last year’s unprecedented events. You allowed yourselves to be fooled by ABS-CBN. You thus allowed yourselves to vote for a color that has been long dead and proven ineffective. You, therefore, deserve the consequences. You will get the government you deserve.

Democracy —the warmachine of the US WASPs, and a clever disguise for mob rule— is but a sham. And history proves it every time.

Philippine general election 2010

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The first time I voted was in 1998. It was a hilarious experience. I voted in Tondo, Manila, my mom’s hood. I rooted for Manila hizzoner Alfredo Lim, then a known crime buster. I even had the rare chance of voting with him in the same precinct. Lim was sitting right in front of me. The crazy media was all over him. And since I was sitting behind him, they were all over me too. Some crazy photojournalist even stepped on my desk just to photograph Lim while casting his vote. Thus, my ballot had this photojournalist’s shoeprint. I was too young to protest nor complain. Sana palá sinumbóng co cay Lim. Sayang.

The late President Cory Aquino endorsed Lim. Fellow hispanista/filipinista, the late great Nick Joaquín, even wrote his biography: May Langit Din Ang Mahirap: The Life Story of Alfredo Siojo Lim. I was too young back then, 18 years of age. I could easily be coaxed. And many of my peers in the university were communist/socialist supporters. I voted just for the experience. However, my choice for the presidency was genuine: I really wanted Lim to pulverize crime and corruption, something that he was known for during his cop days (or so I was told). But Erap won that game.

Through the years, my disdain for local politics was like a festering disturbance in the brain. Politics worsened, and so was my opinion of it. Like many disgruntled Filipinos, I lost hope in the electoral process. Heck, I lost hope in politics altogether. And during my reevaluation of Philippine history, world history, philosophy, and religion, I figured out that we were actually better off under a monarchial form of government (seriously; but I will expound more on this in a future blogpost). I viewed democracy from another standpoint. I realized that it will not work without theological guidance, something frowned upon by hardcore fundamentalist democrats. Filipino nationalist and philosopher Dr. Salvador Araneta proposed for a Christian democracy (published in his 1958 opus Christian Democracy for the Philippines), but he was ignored to the point of even being marginalized.

In 2004, the issue of the National Identification System was top news. Many politicians were proposing that all Filipinos should have a national ID. During that time, I wasn’t really following the news; I had my own personal crisis to take care of, something far more important for me than the caprices of the powers that be. But if I understood the events of that time correctly, those who were eligible to vote but will not register for that year’s election will not receive this important National ID. Yep, I was suckered to vote. As if I had no choice. Whatever. So I chose the lesser evil: FPJ. Me and my wife voted in Pásay City (where we used to live). I was able to cast my vote. She failed to do so — her name was missing for crying out loud! And countless others in the same area were not able to cast their votes as well.

During chats that we had with those unfortunate ones whose names were missing in the voting precincts, I found out that most of them –if not all– voted for Erap back in 1998 (Yeyette herself voted for him). A clever move.

A few years later, “Hello Garci” became one of the most celebrated and best-selling records of all time, of all time! And that was it for me. I told myself, “never again”.

So that is why I did not register for this election. And I vowed to myself that, after what they did to FPJ last 2004, I will never for the life of me waste my time practicing my right of suffering… suffrage I mean.

And so I would like to extend my sincerest apologies to our family friend, Mayor Calixto Catáquiz of San Pedro, La Laguna, who is running for reelection (I did not vote, but I prayed for your victory, sir).

But fellow hispanista/filipinista José Miguel García is wittingly correct with his comment on my Facebook wall: “Pepe, participating in election today, is interacting in a social game, which is very entertaining and diverts us from the stress of the real world for a few weeks or months at least. Do you not like to be relieved of pain even just for a few months?”

Hmmm… sure, why not? It only comes once in a couple of years. It may already be too late to vote. But it is certainly not too late to enjoy the show!

So I went out this morning to take a couple of photos of this circus called the 2010 Philippine National Elections!

The town plaza (with the municipio behind it) seemed so peaceful.

The entrance to the municipio seemed deserted. Not much action here...

...because most of the action is here at the Paaralang Sentral ng San Pedro. Many public schools throughout the country have been converted into voting precincts for the rest of the election period.

Ready to help the helpless.

Voters waiting for their turn are made to wait in vacant rooms.

Here they go!

Thankfully, the voting process in Paaralang Sentral ng San Pedro is peaceful and orderly. Hopefully, the rest will be the same throughout the archipelago.

Last-minute campaigning.

San Pedro Roadmap 2020: will this project (and other similar projects nationwide) ever materialize?

Only God knows...

After taking photos, I treated myself to a Capampañgan delicacy in a nearby restaurant: sisig! No, this is not in honor of GMA, a heartless and shameless Pampangueña. To my mind, feasting on sisig is better than voting. =)

Villar sh!ts on PSE for more money?

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Great. How timely.

Just when I’m all set to buy some stocks from listed companies in the Philippine Stock Exchange, then sh!t like this happens…

Estrada, Enrile accuse Villar of pressuring PSE on stock sale

Sen. Manuel Villar, Nacionalista Party standard-bearer, earmarked for his presidential campaign P5 billion which he raised from an allegedly irregular transaction three years ago involving his real estate firm’s shares, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said Thursday.

The P5 billion came from the P26 billion that the family-controlled Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc. (the corporate successor of real estate developer C&P Homes Inc.) raised in the stock market, said Enrile, senatorial candidate of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).

Enrile accused Villar of influencing the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) board in June 2007 into approving his request to release almost 30 percent of his shares in Vista Land from the lock-up period in violation of stock exchange rules.

“If he can do this when he is still not the President, how much more if he is already the President of this country?” Enrile said at a news conference at the campaign headquarters of former President Joseph Estrada’s PMP in Mandaluyong City.

“Is this the type of person that the country should install as the next President of the Philippines?” he added.

Prohibition

The lock-up requirement is a prohibition on all listings and public offerings of shares of stock of private corporations.

It prohibits major shareholders like the Villars from selling their shares within a certain period to protect small shareholders from the devaluation of the shares, according to Enrile.

“In simple terms, those who want to generate funding for their companies by selling their shares to the public are prohibited from selling or dumping their own shares within a certain period because such will affect the price or value of the listed shares, thus unjustly enriching the majority shareholders at the expense of and to the detriment of the public,” Enrile said.

Villar at PSE meeting

Enrile presented minutes of a supposedly confidential PSE meeting in 2007 and a letter of PSE chair Hans Sicat as proof of his allegations against Villar. (Sicat joined the PSE board and became its chair only last year.)

The minutes showed that Villar was present at the PSE board meeting on June 29, 2007, when the board approved the release of 29.28 percent of his shares. Enrile said it was Villar himself who requested an audience with the PSE directors.

“From the record of all these proceedings, there is no doubt in my mind that Sen. Manuel Villar himself lobbied and exerted pressure to railroad the approval of his family-owned company’s request for exemption to enable him and his family to sell their shares which were otherwise subject to lockup at a hefty premium!” Enrile said.

How does his election campaign song go again?

♫ Hindí bawal mañgarap
Ang mahirap
Bastá’t maáabot itó
Sa malinis na paraán… ♪

Click here for more of the Villar-PSE debacle.

Fidel Ramos’ “toilet humor”

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I like this guy Eddie’s humor — it’s full of cr@p, hahaha!

Ramos compares automated polls to his hi-tech toilet

Former President Fidel Ramos Tuesday compared the country’s first automated election system (AES) to the sophisticated toilet in his Macati City office. Ramos showed reporters pictures of the toilet at the Export Bank Plaza with auto-flush, auto-faucet and auto-light features.

“For any modern technology, there’s always a manual override,” said Ramos, just like the precinct count optical scan machines to be used in the May 10 electronic balloting.

Asked if he thought the AES can also be manually overriden, he replied, “That’s correct. In this case, who has the control of the system?”

Ramos then turned his head toward the wall where a picture of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo hung, to gales of laughter from the reporters and the crowd at the airport lounge.

Click here for the complete cr@p, err, story, hehehe…

Brownouts are back — a “dry run” for the coming elections?

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The frequent brownouts in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces have led to speculations that this is a “dry run” of sorts for the upcoming May elections. One cannot help but suspect this scenario because next month’s elections will be the first time in history that COMELEC will use a computerized system of collecting and counting votes.

Below are more details of the recent power failures…

Brownouts back in oven-hot Metro, Luzón

As if the sizzling summer were not enough, rotating brownouts are back in Metro Manila and Luzón, shutting down air-conditioners and electric fans that help people cope with the heat.

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s biggest power distributor, said all cities and towns in its franchise area were affected by the outages Wednesday as a result of the huge power supply deficit in the Luzón grid.

In Metro Manila, traffic in certain areas like the South Expressway at the Pásay Road, Buendía and Vito Cruz intersections were particularly heavy. The traffic lights went dead.

Policemen had to direct the traffic to keep the vehicles flowing.

Meralco said it implemented two-hour rotating brownouts between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. in the whole of Metro Manila and in the provinces of Batangas, Bulacán, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, Quezon and Rizal.

The power supply deficiency in the Luzón grid reached 662 megawatts (MW), bigger than Mindanáo’s deficit of 538 MW as of Wednesday afternoon, according to National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

Metro Manila and other parts of Luzón may continue to experience one- to two-hour rotating brownouts on Thursday as several power facilities are not operating.

Acting Energy Secretary José Ibazeta said the power situation would normalize in Luzón by “next week or so.”

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