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Showing posts from January, 2009

Drilon's Liberals go for Roxas

By Fel V. Maragay
Manila Standard Today

Senator Mar Roxas is the uncontested presidential contender of the Liberal Party, party leaders said yesterday.

“The process of choosing our standard-bearer for the 2010 elections is just a formality we have to go through. Our candidate is Mar Roxas,” said Franklin Drilon, who heads a faction of the second oldest political group.

Party bigwigs, including provincial chapter chairmen, took part in a forum on Charter change and a multi-sectoral rally at Plaza Miranda on the occasion of the party’s 63rd anniversary. Another faction headed by Environment Secretary Joselito Atienza denounced Roxas and Drilon for misrepresenting the party.

Roxas, national president, thanked his party mates for their “endorsement’ of his presidential plan.

“But as president of our party, I have to respect our process. I will have to go through that process. In the meantime, based on the party’s guidelines, we are focusing on public service, not politics,” he said.

Roxas …

Road to 2010: credibility, logistics will be key

By JANRYLL FERNANDEZ, ABS-CBN News Channel | 01/27/2009 6:27 PM

The heat is on!

Fifteen months to the 2010 elections, one can already feel the looming heat of the upcoming presidential showdown. On ANC’s Talkback with Tina Monzon-Palma, leading figures from the major political parties gathered for a preview of what promises to be the most participated and potentially most expensive presidential derby in Philippine history.

Present during the program were former Ambassador and Senate President Ernesto Maceda of the United Opposition, Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (KAMPI) President Congressman Luis Villafuerte, Nationalist People’s Coalition secretary-general Congressman Jack Duavit, Liberal Party chairman and former Senate President Franklin Drilon, Nacionalista Party spokesman and former Congressman Gilbert Remulla, and Lakas spokesman and former Congressman Prospero Pichay.

“There are 17 names that have been mentioned who will run for president--7 from the administrat…

Escudero plans to run for president

By Eldie Aguirre, Orlando Dinoy
Mindanao Bureau
First Posted 16:50:00 01/31/2009
Philippine Daily Inquirer

DIGOS CITY, Davao Del Sur -- Senator Francis Escudero on Friday said the Philippines needs a man like Barack Obama so that Filipinos could dig themselves out of their difficult situation, even as he announced anew his intention to run for president in 2010.

"I am running because we need a leader that can provide solutions to the unemployment problem, the clamor of teachers for higher salaries and [I am] a man that could address the issue on hunger and poverty," he told reporters here.

Escudero said what the country needs is a leader who has a vision similar to that of the first black American president.

He said he was not comparing himself to Obama but that he believed he could be a good president with the help of the people, especially the youth.

"The problems of the Philippines must be solved by Filipinos. Empowering the youth sector of the society is essenti…

Ilocos Norte Dreaming

Danton Remoto
Remote control
Views and analysis

Ilocos Norte dreaming

When I was younger and ten pounds lighter, I went to Ilocos Norte and remember the brown nipa huts and the empanada I ate near the church. I also remember reading the marker on the house of the poet Leona Florentino.

A few months ago I returned, and saw that the brown nipa huts have been changed by sprawling houses with Mediterranean designs – orange and yellow and red. The empanadas are still there, bigger and hotter than before. And the roads are cleaner, wider, and, as the ads say, smooth as silk.

I went there to visit Sitio Remedios owned by St. Luke’s Medical Director Dr. Joven Cuanang and talk to some leaders up in the north. “It evokes one’s childhood,” I told the good doctor as we sat down to a lunch of inabraw (boiled vegetables), tanguinge sinigang soured with tomatoes, and big squid adobo.

The fishermen, their wives and children – around 100 of them – were just hauling in the nets from the s…

10 lessons learned from the US Presidential Elections

By COMELEC Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento | 01/19/2009 1:19 PM

“Martin Luther King said he had a dream, and I feel right now at this time, this is the dream he wanted.”—Judy Brown, 56, Jacksonville bus driver

I flew to Washington, D.C. on October 31, 2008 to represent Comelec Chairman Jose A.R. Melo in the 2008 US Presidential Election Program sponsored by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), a nonprofit, democracy development organization that works to give people a voice in the way they are governed. The election program was attended by election officials representing 41 countries.

On the second day of the program Sen. Barack Obama was elected after a historic quest for the presidency. The international program participants shared the sentiments of many that Obama’s election was “historic,” “revolutionary” and “record breaking.”

In its editorial, Chicago Tribune said: “When he [Obama] was born in 1961, African-Americans risked death merely to …

The emerging presidentiables

By Tony Lopez
The Manila Times

It’s fiesta time in the Philippines. The so-called presidentiables or those people with presidential ambitions and think can make it to the presidency have begun to fan out to the provinces in search of votes and voters.

The presidentiables make a long list, at least 11 as of this writing. But only four or five will eventually survive the winnowing process.

At the starting gate, the frontrunners, per recent surveys, are: Vice President Noli de Castro, 59, 31 percent; Loren Legarda, 49, 28 percent; Manny Villar, 59, 27 percent; Francis Escudero, 39, 19 percent Panfilo Lacson, 60, 14 percent; former President Joseph Estrada, 71, 11 percent; and Mar Roxas, 51, 10 percent.

Trying to close in on them with single digit ratings are two local officials, Mayor Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, 66, of Makati, and Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando, 63; and a corporate CEO, Chairman Efraim Genuino, 59, of the state casino monopoly Ph…


BY Lito Banayo
Ang Pahayagang Malaya

Jejomar Binay, his first name a contraction of Jesus, Joseph and Mary, has been mayor of Makati, enclave of the very rich, financial capital and fashionable shopping mecca all rolled into one, since the fall of Ferdinand Marcos. But for a brief interlude when he handed temporary power to his wife, Dra. Elenita, when he himself sat as MMDA chair and a member of President Estrada’s cabinet, the people of the city have kept electing him. His second round of three terms each ends on June 30, 2010. Indeed, it is time to move on.

Before Corazon Aquino appointed him officer-in-charge of the country’s then premier municipality, Jojo was a lawyer not of the rich, but of the poor, and together with legal activist Rene Saguisag, embraced human rights advocacies during the long night of the dictatorship. We were together when the first ever anti-Marcos rally in the financial capital rocked the political bearings of the dictatorship in the afterma…

Mar: Gloria corruption brings international shame

Ang Pahayagang Malaya

SEN. Mar Roxas yesterday lashed at President Arroyo for "bringing international shame to the country" for her deliberate disregard of the corruption that pervades her administration.

"Nakakahiya na talaga. This administration should be ashamed of itself. Si Joc-Joc Bolante, nahuli sa US; si General Carlos Garcia, nahuli sa US; itong mga euro generals, nahuli sa Russia; mga ilang contractors, nabuking ng World Bank," Roxas said.

Bolante, a former agriculture undersecretary, has been tagged as mastermind of the P728-million fertilizer mess.

Garcia, a former AFP comptroller, was convicted by a general court martial over undeclared wealth. Former PNP police general Eliseo dela Paz was involved in 105,000 euro money scandal.

"The entire world knows how corrupt our government is, even arrested these Filipino grafters when caught with their loot, but we cannot put them to justice," Roxas said.

Roxas also cited the deci…

Learning from Barack Obama

BY Fidel V. Ramos
Newsbreak Magazine

The assumption of Barack Obama as 44th President of the U.S. should be welcomed by ordinary Filipinos, given his liberal, anti-racial, pro-minority, and pro-poor tendencies developed throughout his youth, and during his immersion in a diversity of cultures and social justice advocacies.

Given the worldwide economic recession plus political instability in several regional hotspots -- and their impacts on the Philippines -- our elected leaders and decision-makers should seriously study and learn from the Obama phenomenon.

Leadership is what Barack prepared himself for and sacrificed for. His burning desire to excel was not just to satisfy a grand personal ambition, but to enable him to better serve the suffering and marginalized.

Obama's first book, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, published in 1995, was and continues to be a national bestseller. It describes Barack's grandfather, Onyango, as …

Real People, Real Change

By Karla Angelica Pastores blogs

THE first time I met Jesse Robredo, Grace Padaca, and Among Ed Panlilio, I wasn’t star struck. They did not have an air of superiority around them, and they certainly did not walk around waving to everyone and shaking hands with people whose arms are not even extended. To me, they did not look like politicians, let alone award-winning ones.

No, I wasn’t star struck when I met them. I was awestruck.

Over dinner at Club Filipino one June evening last year, I was listening to these three government officials talk about their problems in their provinces and offer solutions and support to each other. They were seated across from each other, engaging themselves in a lively conversation. As I sat there, a young, somewhat inexperienced fresh graduate, I felt very privileged to have met these leaders and be privy to their thoughts and ideas.

Several months and two more exceptional public servants later, my respect and admiration for Mayor Jesse of Naga …

Top 10 Messages Left on Sen. Roxas' Answering Machine

I am reprinting this because when I saw Sen Roxas in a party, the first thing he told me was, "Did you read that list of ten things that mentioned you twice?" And then he let out a wicked laughter.

I told him I am not the professional heckler and don't intend to be one, since I am part of the group (those darned politicians) that deserve to be heckled. I am reprinting this because it is still going the rounds, and being quoted out of context, and being mangled. As they say in Lit Theory class, let us go back and retrieve a fair copy of the text. So here goes:

10 Messages Left on Mar's Answering Machine:

10: Senator Roxas, this is Yolly Ong of Campaigns & Grey. I think you’ll need our help.

9: Mar, Si Archbishop Cruz ‘to. Amen!

8: Hello senator, Danton Remoto here. Naloka ako sa ‘yo!

7: Hi, it’s Teddy Locsin. I thought my “Fuck You” then was good. But your “Putang Ina” was awesome!

6: Mar, si Erap ‘to. Salamat sa pagmumura mo. At le…

EU monitoring progress of 2010 poll automation

By Carmela Fonbuena
Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Representatives of the European Union on Tuesday met with Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Jose Melo to monitor the progress of the automation of the 2010 polls.

“We met a team of about 13 commissioners. They were in full force. They are showing very great interest in the coming 2010 poll elections. They are asking a lot of questions,” Melo told

The EU team was led by the head of the delegation Ambassador Alistair MacDonald and Czech Republic Ambassador Jaroslav Ludva. Melo was joined by National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) chair Henrietta De Villa.

Barely a year before the May 2010 presidential polls, the Comelec is in the thick of preparing for the automation. Melo said he reported to the EU members that the Advisory Council—which is tasked to oversee the technical aspect of the poll automation—is set to finalize on Friday the terms of reference for the project bidders…

Gay readings

BY Danton Remoto
Remote control
Views and analysis section

Even if Rep. Bienvenido Abante of Manila’s sixth district is still bent on blocking the Anti-Discrimination bill in the 14th Congress, this congressman who sought the banning of the film The Da Vinci Code in Manila would turn pink with prissy dismay at the sight of our bookstores, where the hottest books flying off the shelves are gay.

Whether you are talking about National Bookstore, Fully Booked, or your friendly bargain-basement tiangge in the mall, gay-related titles are a smash. The Ladlad series that Neil Garcia of UP and myself have edited had never gone out of print, since the first edition came out in 1994.

Our other books – Black Silk Pajamas, Buhay Bading, Misterios, and Pulotgata, along with those of Jessica Zafra and Bob Ong, dominate the Billboard Charts of shelves in National Bookstore. My new gay books now in the bookstores include Ladlad 3 and Rampa: Gay Essays in Filipino, as well as the book o…

Desperate hope

George Orwell was one of the shrewdest, clearest political writers of all time. His book, "1984", is a departure point for a well-argued editorial in today's issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Read on.


1984 is once again upon us. We refer to the novel by that title by George Orwell, a prophetic, nightmarish vision of a “negative utopia.” In Orwell’s generation, and even up to now, no other novel has stimulated so much loathing for tyranny and so much desire for freedom.

In “1984” the slogans of the Party are the following:




Under the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration, the following might be the slogans of the times:




At no time in the history of the current administration has the truth of these supposed “slogans” been more strongly demonstrated than the present. Consider the following:

An upright, incorruptible, right-thinking Chief Justice …
1984 is once again upon us. We refer to the novel by that title by George Orwell, a prophetic, nightmarish vision of a “negative utopia.” In Orwell’s generation, and even up to now, no other novel has stimulated so much loathing for tyranny and so much desire for freedom.

In “1984” the slogans of the Party are the following:




Under the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration, the following might be the slogans of the times:




At no time in the history of the current administration has the truth of these supposed “slogans” been more strongly demonstrated than the present. Consider the following:

An upright, incorruptible, right-thinking Chief Justice is proposed to be impeached, whereas a President who has been charged with corruption, violation of many provisions of the Constitution, and other serious crimes, has always gotten away scot-free every time articles of impe…

Teodoro seen to bolt NPC as political forces realign in 2009

By Jess Diaz
Philippine Star
Updated December 30, 2008 12:00 AM

I just dug this up from the archives, but still piping-hot news almost two weeks after it was reported. At nagtampo pa si Gilbert Teodoro sa uncle niya? If he wants to run as senator, maybe he has a chance -- of landing in the top 25 :-)


The start of the new year will most likely see a realignment of political forces in preparation for the combined presidential-congressional-local elections in May 2010.

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. will most likely leave the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and join the administration Lakas party together with his wife, Tarlac Rep. Nikki Prieto Teodoro.

Teodoro, who is eyeing the presidency, reportedly had a falling out with his uncle, billionaire businessman and NPC founder and principal financier Eduardo Cojuangco Jr.

He resents the fact that his uncle is leaning more towards NPC Senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Loren Legarda than to him when it comes to 2010 presidential…

NPC can field 2010 slate, eyes Escudero as standard-bearer

By Maila Ager
First Posted 17:42:00 08/28/2008


If the LP is there, can the NP and NPC be far behind? NP has also released its own patikim for 2010. And I am sure that my friend, the newbie Senator Chiz Escudero, will run for President of the land. He intends to grab the bulls' horns of being a self-declared version of Barack Obama (they have the same body frame, head shape, and hair), and give everybody a big fight in the 2010 elections.

I agree with Mike Duavit that it is easy to toss up names in the air, but the senatorial candidates' "winnability" is the most important thing. This is a national campaign. The name of the game is name recall, image awareness, and voters' endearment.

And I wonder who are the "three to four fresh, new faces" that Mike Duavit and Chiz Escudero are seriously eyeing to join the NPC senatorial slate in 2010?

As they say in the Tagalog komiks I so love to read: abangan ang susunod na kabanata.

My lips are sealed ve…

The Hamlet act

BY Lito Banayo
Ang Pahayagang Malaya

Read this shrewd political analysis from one of my favorite insiders.


Quote the Bard of Avon, "To be or not to be, that is the question" in his well-read Hamlet.

Quote Joseph Ejercito Estrada, dispossessed 13th president of the Republic, "To run or not to run, that is the question".

The question of course, persists only in the public mind, as Erap’s propaganda insists. The ostensible reason behind a run is the threat that if the opposition does not unite, he himself will run. Anybody with two cents worth of political experience knows that the opposition is not going to unite behind one candidate in 2010, and Erap’s premise is ipso facto and ab initio defunct. And the man knows it, but, "just like in the movies", he has to dissemble.

He has increasingly made his decision to run known to almost every person he has privately talked with. He has moved around the country, in what he bills as "lakbay-pasasalamat" mean…

Gov. Grace, Cory partial LP senatorial slate
January 10,2009

I am happy that some of my friends are in this tentative and partial slate, especially my textmate and sister Governor Grace Padaca. When people asked me today why I am not in this slate, I answered them: "I am not a member of the Liberal Party. Only those who are members of the LP were considered for the tentative slate."

And then somebody texted me later in the afternoon: "Will you join the LP?"

My simple answer? "I do not know." I have been informally invited to take my oath as an LP member, but frankly, why will take an oath at this point in the time-space continuum and bind myself so early in the political game?

The thing to do is to wait for all the cards to be tossed on the table. And aside from the LP card, there are four other cards ready to be tossed on that slippery political table.

Have a good weekend!


Two winners of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, a former education secretary, two members of the House of Representat…

Schools and communities for peace

BY Danton Remoto
Lodestar column
Arts and culture section
Philippine Star

The Schools for Peace is a project under the Act for Peace Programme of the United Nations Development Programme Philippines. A School of Peace (SoP) is an elementary or secondary school in conflicted areas in Mindanao. It is a school that seeks to strengthen capacities on integration and mainstreaming of the Culture of Peace principles, concepts, and values through Peace Education and Teacher Education.

Mainstreaming process involves integrating peace principles, concepts and values in all subject areas, both in formal and nonformal education through the use of Enriched Lesson Plans and Peace Exemplars, or role models.

As defined by the United Nations, a Culture of Peace consists of values, attitudes, and forms of behavior that reject violence and prevent conflicts by going to their root causes. The endpoint is solving the problems of conflict through dialogue and negotiation among people, groups, an…