Skip to main content

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 administration, 7 from the opposition, and 3 from the third force,” according to Maceda. The senior opposition leader said he does not see any major difference in the candidates’ platform of governance, which will mostly be anti-Gloria, as a pro-Gloria stance would be a kiss of death. “But the key will be the credibility of the messenger,” he emphasized.

Moreover, the long-time senator added that a substantially complete line-up, from president, vice-president, senators, 81 governors, about 212 congressional seats to about 1,500 local officials, would be crucial to having a decent campaign.


But the veteran politician surmised that perhaps, the question that needs to be answered first is whether there will be elections or not.

Villafuerte, who authored the House resolution calling for the convening of a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) that will amend the 1987 Constitution, calmed this fear, saying that there is no provision in his resolution for term extension of the President down to the local officials. The Bicolano congressman foresees the 2010 elections not to be an entirely opposition-administration battle. “There will be realignments as the election nears,” predicted the feisty law maker.

Former Senate President Drilon, however, argued that Congress, which is dominated by the administration coalition, is pushing for charter change to allow the incumbent to run again. He said a shift to a parliamentary system would allow Mrs. Arroyo to run as member of parliament and then become prime minister. This, according to Drilon, is driven by the fact that while the opposition may be divided, the administration does not yet have a viable candidate.

Drilon, who is backing the candidacy of Liberal Party President Mar Roxas, brushed aside possibilities that the LP would support another presidential candidate in the event of a merger with other parties. He said they will stick it out with Roxas as their standard bearer.

Economy first

“It is still too early to talk about the presidential elections, and I think it is better to focus our efforts on the economic meltdown,” said administration ally and Lakas spokesman Prospero 'Butch' Pichay. But he said their party will meet soon to identify potential standard bearers.

Among the presidential bets for the administration include Vice President Noli De Castro, Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando, Senator Richard Gordon, and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) chief Ephraim Genuino.

Representing Manny Villar, who is believed to have the deepest war chest, Nacionalista Party spokesman Gilbert Remulla expressed optimism that the ‘Sipag at Tiyaga’ message of the former Senate President will linger in the minds of voters. Villar rose from being a Tondo boy to being an industry leader to being a public servant. “And this is figuring in the trust ratings he is getting,” the former lawmaker said, referring to the recent good showing of Villar in the surveys.

Demographics, debates

Meanwhile, the emerging tandem of Senators Loren Legarda and Francis 'Chiz' Escudero of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), backed by former Ambassador Danding Cojuangco, can be explained by the emerging young demographics, according to NPC secretary-general Jack Duavit. “The young people are able to relate to them [Loren and Chiz],” said the youthful party leader.

A viewer from Legaspi City sent a comment to the program saying, “America just elected a young President. Do you think it will be good for the country if we will also have a youthful President? “

Maceda believes that the electorate will be more inquisitive in 2010. Congressman Villafuerte, in response, suggested that “presidential debates be conducted as early as now” so the people will get to know the candidates better.

As in previous elections, the 2010 polls may also see the emergence of third force candidates. Among those who come from non-traditional political organizations, whose names have been floated, are Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio, Jesus is Lord's Brother Eddie Villanueva, and El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde.


Popular posts from this blog

The Heart of Summer, a short story

On the first day of April, we moved to a row house in a subdivision carved out of the Antipolo hills. A row house is a nice word for houses that somehow managed to fit into 120-square-meter lots. They looked like matchboxes, really, built near the riverbank. The larger houses, of course, stood grandly at the center of the village, in front of the chapel. We’d be renting the house from the mayor’s mistress, one of three houses she owned there.

The living room of the house spilled over into the kitchen. The house only had two tiny rooms, but it was enough for us. The owner of the apartment we had been renting in Project 4 wrote to us (in pink stationery with the letterhead “Dr. Antonina Raquiza, Ph. D.”) to say that she’d raise the monthly rent to five thousand. If we couldn’t agree to her new terms, we’d have two months to leave. Mama glared at the letter, then said something obscene about our landlady’s father. A day later, she began poring over the ads, looking for cheaper rent in …

A teacher's tales

by Danton Remoto
Remote Control

I’ve been teaching for 22 years – the longest job I’ve had. This will be my last year of teaching. I will take sabbatical leave beginning April 2009 – a paid leave for one year that senior professors take every seven years, to sleep the sleep of the and come back to school fully energized. But in my case, I will not just sleep and read and gain weight. I will spend my sabbatical leave organizing Ang Ladlad’s campaign, and my own political campaign, for the May 2010 elections.

But because I stayed here longest, that means I love this job. I admire those who’ve spent 30, 40 years teaching without repeating themselves. They’ve taught for 30, 40 different years, not just one year repeated 30, 40 times. Teachers like the now-departed Dr. Doreen G. Fernandez and the retired, but still teaching, Professor Emmanuel “Eric” Torres come to mind. Both have taught with us at the English Department of the Ateneo de Manila University.

Doreen and Eric …

Review of "Pulotgata" The Love Poems"

This is a review of my book that I just read in the Internet today. It was written by Ralph Semino Galan of UST and was published in the Inquirer. It comes in two parts.

Honeymooning with Words, Part I
by Ralph Semino Galan

Love is a favorite subject among Filipino poets, regardless of gender. For despite the influx of modern and postmodern ideologies, the pervasive influence of the Romantic spirit is still prevalent in Philippine literature, especially in poetry. It therefore comes as no surprise that even a gay-identified writer like Danton Remoto has composed extensively verses expressing the intricacies of love and lust, desire and devotion, passion and compassion.

In his third book of poetry aptly titled "Pulotgata: The Love Poems" (Pasig City: Anvil Publishing, Inc, 2004, 88 pages), Remoto delves the depths of the human heart through lyrics in English and Filipino that sing of the anxiety and the excitement, the agony and the ecstasy which accompany the act of love.

The …