Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2009

Months before campaign, politicians test the power of 'advocacy ads'

By Jam Sisante, Mark Merueñas, and Howie Severino
06/23/2009 | 10:53 AM
The first in an occasional series on political advertising.

Officially, the campaign period for next year's election will start eight months from now. But who's waiting?

In only the first three months of this year, just three possible candidates have already spent a total of P230 million in "advocacy ads" -- thinly disguised campaign commercials on television and radio.

Roxas and Villar lead in "advocacy ads" spending

Nielsen Media Research identified the three as Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas II (P140 million), Senator Manuel Villar Jr. (P80 million), and Senator Loren Legarda (P10 million). All three have given indications they're running for the presidency next year.

The early electioneering is obvious to many TV viewers. But the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has already determined that the so-called advocacy ads do not violate election campaign laws since the…


One senator running for re-election saw my campaign manager, a transgender named Bemz Benedito, and told her: "Hoy, 'yang boss mo, ang lakas-lakas ng loob tumakbo ng senator. Wala namang partido. Wala ring pera. Mataas man siya sa mga surveys at mock polls ngayon, surveys at mock polls lang 'yan."

To which my campaign manager just arched her well-trimmed eyebrows. I have trained her to ignore stray dogs.

Miffed, senatorial candidate added: "And you can tell that to your boss!"

The problem with Bratinellas (brats who become senators) is that, after winning by a fluke because of a TV melodrama about their family's life, they think they can now win the top spot in the 2010 senatorial elections. Because that is what this reelectionist wants, to be on top of the heap in 2010.

I have said it before and I am saying it now: The youth vote will be a youth quake in the 2010 elections. Boto mo, ipatrol mo, is growing by leaps and bounds. Previously apathetic young peo…

Mag-ingat sa tuso

By Ellen Tordesillas

Kayo ba ay naniniwala na talagang tatakbo si Gloria Arroyo bilang kongresista ng Pampanga sa 2010 eleksyon?

Malakas ang kutob ko na isa na namang pakulo niya ito at meron talaga siyang ibang maitim na balak. Suspetsa ko diversionary tactic lang ito.

Nakakapagtaka kasi sila mismo ang nagpapalutang. Si Arroyo mismo. Sinabi nya sa kanyang talumpati, “anong malay nyo, baka tumakbo akong kongresista sa Pampanga.” Ito ay sinundan ng mga pahayag ng kanyang deputy spokesperson na si Lorelei Fajardo na wala namang batas na nagbabawal na tumakbong kongresista.

Ang pinakahuli nilang drama ay ang ikinuwento ni Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman sa mga reporter sa Cotabato City na sinabi raw ni Arroyo sa kanila sa miting ng Legislative-Executive Development Council ang kanyang planong pagtakbo bilang kongresista ng Pampanga.

Nang inilabas ng Inquirer, deny ang Malacañang. Walang sinabi raw si Arroyo sa miting. Atras din si Pangandaman. Ginawa pa y…

Who's hot and who's not

By Tony Abaya
Manila Standard Today
June 16, 2009


You may disagree with what Manong Tony says, but you have to agree he writes it with just the right amount of salt. Or pepper. Or dash of acid.


Political events in the country have accelerated so fast in the three weeks that I was away that I must postpone my Letter from Oakland and Letter from Chicago to a later date so that I can catch up with the dizzying pace, as we spiral down toward a perdition.

The mega event of those three weeks was, of course, the shameless passage last June 2 of House Resolution 1109 that would empower Congress to convene itself into a constituent assembly in which members of the Lower House and the Senate would vote jointly, not separately, to amend the Constitution.

The resolution was passed by acclamation, not by secret or open vote, perhaps to hide the identities of those who voted for it so that they will be spared a backlash from irate voters during the 2010 elections.


Same-sex partners to get Fed benefits

By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press
June 17, 2009

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama, under growing criticism for not seeking to end the ban on openly gay men and women in the military, is extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

Obama plans to announce his decision on Wednesday in the Oval Office, a White House official said Tuesday. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the president hadn't yet signed the presidential memorandum.

The official said Obama would release more details on Wednesday.

The decision is a political nod to a reliably Democratic voting bloc that in recent weeks has grown frustrated with the White House's slow movement on their priorities.

Several powerful gay fundraisers withdrew their support from a June 25 Democratic National Committee event where Vice President Joe Biden is expected to speak. Their exit came in response to a June 12 Justice Department brief that defended the Defense of Marriage Act, a prime target fo…

Imperial Conquests

by Danton Remoto
Remote Control
Views and analysis
June 16, 2009

God’s Dust: A Modern Asian Journey
By Ian Buruma
Phoenix Books, London
2008 reprint, originally published in 1988

The last 20 years has seen an enormous rise in interest in Asia among travel writers from the West. Verily, it is a tradition that goes many centuries back, when the first Westerners set foot on Asia and returned home with fabulous tales about our “exotic” continent of legend and wealth. This kind of travel writing reached its peak in the 19th century, which was also the century when colonialism was most widespread. Western chroniclers sent home “travelers’ tales” that reported the strange customs, the different rites and rituals of the East. The general idea, of course, was that the people of the East should be saved from their backward and primitive lives, with salvation coming from the West. In short, these travel narratives provided a convenient weapon of words for the imperial conquests.


Noisy Republic

By Ricky Carandang
rogue Magazine

This fearless forecast predicts more of the sameóterm-extension schemes, shifting political alliances, and continued combat in Mindanao with the dubious consolation that other Southeast Asian nations will share some of our indignity next year.

Politics in this country is like the stock market . . . volatile and difficult to predict.

The only thing anyone these days is willing to say about the market is that it will be volatile and unpredictable. It’s probably safe to say the same thing about politics in 2009. Chances are, it will be another noisy year.
Where will the noise come from?

I believe that attempts by the Arroyo administration to amend the Constitution to extend the president’s term beyond 2010 will come to a head early next year. With the Senate now in the more openly friendly hands of Juan Ponce Enrile, the Palace probably sees an opening to dance the ChaCha.

Far-fetched? Remember this: every president after Cory Aquino has tried…

Two allies urge Arroyo to rest after term ends | 06/11/2009 7:29 PM


Of course, they would. The cracks are there, and the exodus away from the PALAKA (Partido Lakas Kampi) has begun. There will be more statements of positioning and distancing in the next few days, weeks, months.

The GMA presidency is playing out like one of the tragic plays of Shakespeare: to be powerless, to be alone, and to be betrayed by those whom you trusted, alack and alas, that is how the wheel mercilessly turns.


If President Arroyo were to seek their advice, Quezon City Rep. Matias Defensor and Nueva Ecija Rep. Rodolfo Antonino would tell her to forego any plan to seek another elected post after her term expires in June 2010.

“Definitely, she can't run for president. But if it's for another office, she can run. She can run as congresswoman or member of Senate. Pero nakapagsilbi na naman sya sa bayan. Siyam na taon na naman. Wala naman talagang public clamor for her to stay in office. Siguro, tama naman na magpahinga na,” Defensor, …

Independence Day

By Maria A. Ressa
Head, ABS-CBN News & Current Affairs;
Managing Director, ANC | 06/11/2009 1:42 AM

You are powerful. You will make a difference. If we all come together now, we will reach the tipping point when change becomes inevitable and irreversible. These are the ideas behind Boto Mo, I-Patrol Mo: Ako ang Simula, and there is no better time than now.

When friends and family overseas ask me what it’s like to live in the Philippines today, I tell the story of a famous science experiment that’s been used to describe the Middle East, global warming, and in my book, Indonesia right before the fall of Suharto. It’s about a frog and its survival instincts. If you throw a frog in a pot of boiling water, it immediately jumps out. But if you put the frog in the pot on a burner with cool tap water, it stays there. Then you slowly turn up the heat. The temperature rises. The frog, which can jump out of the pot at any time, gets so used to the water that it doesn’t feel th…

Papayag ba tayo?

By Ellen Tordesillas
June 9, 2009

Bukas, magkita-kita tayo sa Ayala ng ika-lima ng hapon.

Ipakita natin ang ating pagtutol sa panloloko na ginagawa ni Gloria Arroyo sa pamamagitan ng Con-Ass na kanyang isinusulong pra siya manatili sa kapangyarihan habambuhay.

Sabi ni Rep. Mauricio Domogan, isa sa may-akda ng nakakadiri na House Resolution 1109, na kahit mag-ngangawa ang mga tao sa kalsada, wala silang paki-alam. Itutuloy nila ang kanilang ilegal na gawain.

Sabi niya sa susunod na buwan bubuu-in na ng mga congressman ang Constituent Assembly. Sabi niya kina-calibrate o tinatanya nila ang mga pangyayari.

Tama yun, sa isip nina Gloria Arroyo, hindi na mangyayari ang people power. Magra-rally man ang mga tao, isang araw lang yun. Sa hirap ba naman ng buhay ngayon, sino naman ang magtityaga na magprotesta. Kaya, maari nilang gawin ang ano man na pambabastos ng batas, alam nilang hindi mangyayari ang nangyari noong 1986 kay Marcos at noong 2001 kay Estrada.

Hawak ni Glor…

Tipping point for cha-cha

By Mon Casiple

The congressmen who voted for the holding of the GMA constituent assembly feel the universal heat. Putting up a brave face, many of them contemplate the possible impact of their decision on their candidacies and political future. Some even blamed the Senate (?) for the HOR Con-Ass decision.

There is a miscalculation of the public’s anti-GMA sentiment–it’s transferable. In the 2007 elections, it translated to losses of erstwhile high-rating senatorial candidates. It also led to Senator Trillanes’ victory who ran only on this single issue. The GMA kiss of death, despite Secretary Gilbert Teodoro’s optimism, is a major factor in the coming 2010 elections, particularly if GMA continues at the helm of the current government.

The congressmen went out on a limb when they–for their own reasons–chose to push forward with the Con-Ass initiative. In many places, even in their own dynastic heartlands, GMA is the current issue. Combined with the rising anti-…

My fearless forecasts

We have to thank the Arroyo administration for making it possible for the Catholic, Protestant, Born-Again, Muslim leaders and followers to close ranks. As Barack Obama said, let us listen to those who have faith -- and to those without faith. I am sure the agnostics, atheists, and those in the balag ng alanganin are also agitated, angered, even insulted by the nerve of Congress to push for a Con-Ass resolution near midnight. They always do it in the dark: the proclamation of GMA as president, her visit to Boao in China to witness the signing of the NBN-ZTE deal, the banishment of Joe de Venecia from his lofty perch as speaker of the house.

On second thought, I am happy that Ang Ladlad was not allowed to run in the last elections. I am sure we would have won two seats, but that meant sharing space with the vomitable amongst us.

And my foreless forecasts:

1. Lakas-Kampi-CMD will have wider and deeper cracks and will not be the behemoth party it is being touted to be. Blame it on human nat…

Tipping point, at last?

By Dan Mariano
The Manila Times
June 8, 2010

Dan Mariano is a friend of mine and one of the most astute political analysts in town. Read most especially the list of congress people who voted for the pro-GMA bill. For that is what it is, a pro-GMA bill. A few of those in the list are friends of mine. I am sure the political wind will blow another way in November of 2009, when we have filed our certificates of candidacy and the GMA ship of state would be shot full with holes, the rats scampering away from the sinking ship. But by that time, will I still take the phone calls of my so-called friends?


Flashback to January 2001. The opposition walks out of the Senate impeachment trial of then-President Joseph Estrada. Filipinos, first, by the hundreds, then by the thousands and finally by the hundreds of thousands, gather in protest and indignation at the EDSA Shrine.

Then-Ambassador Ernesto Maceda pooh-poohs the significance of the daily demonstrations at EDSA. Give those people f…

'Padyak' ads, Korina factor pull up Mar's ratings

by Carmela Fonbuena, | 06/02/2009 11:58 PM

I said this before in this blog. That -- even though reviled by the middle-class and those pretending to be middle-class in their blogs and private conversations -- the Padyak ad of Mar Roxas is effective among the 80 percent who comprise the masses, the bulk of the voting population. You need an image, a storyline, to endear yourself to the masses. Just try talking in English, or spewing statistics, or talking about your political dynasty, and it means the end of your political career.

And questions abound: why was my name not listed, again, in the latest SWS senatorial survey? Simple. I am not a subscriber to the survey, which in monetary terms means I did not pay P50,000 for my name to be listed there, as one of 65 people aspiring to be a senator of the land. Well, if in your heart of hearts you know you are a strong candidate, why waste $1,000 every quarter to see your name there?

Just a thought on this gray day.