The Electoral College

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It’s been more than two weeks since Donald Trump became the president-elect of the United States of America and for the first time since Al Gore, a Democratic candidate in Hillary Clinton won the popularity and lost the election because of Electoral College vote so to speak.

Now as a Filipino, I’m beginning to wonder what really is the Electoral College and why does it play a vital role in their election.

From the US Constitution

For starters I learned that the Electoral College is a system established by Article Two the United States constitution in their presidential election system to select their president and vice president, where citizens of the US in each state at a general election choose a slate of electors pledged to vote for a candidate.

The Twelfth Amendment of their constitution however requires each elector to cast one vote for president and vice president. In each state and the District of Columbia, electors are chosen every four years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and then meet to cast ballots on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. The candidates who receive an absolute majority of electoral votes among the states are elected President and Vice President of the US when the Electoral College vote is certified the US Congress in January.

As for the people involved in the process, there are 538 electors that corresponds to the 435 representatives in their congress, their 100 senators, and the three electors coming for the District of Columbia as mandated by their Twenty-third Amendment.

For the simplest explanation, the Electoral College is the group of people assigned to oversee the election in the state they are designated and they get to decide the outcome with the electoral votes based from the population size of the state. The vote people made only serves as basis, and these electors could change your vote.

The Bad Side of the Electoral College

What I don’t like about the Electoral College is how candidates must campaign hard on the biggest states in the US during their campaign season leading to their election year. Because to secure most of these states and their electoral votes is how a candidate can win the Electoral College. Namely these states are California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan. You can even consider Virginia.

Looking back on the recent US election, Donald Trump won the most of these states with its electoral votes. While Hillary Clinton only got California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois.

Which is why if you’re a candidate that only got a few of these big states like California, New York and New Jersey together with their traditional safe states that only has a single digit of electoral votes, you are surely to lose the election because your opponent garnered the most of the big states not only their traditional safe states. The opponent must have also campaigned hard enough to secure those states, most especially swing states like Florida and Ohio.

As mentioned in the first subhead, these people could turn your votes around because they are the electors.

If Only

If the Electoral College of the United States is already that complicated for international spectators, it would be a lot harder if a country like the Philippines did adapt this system. Since my motherland is the first colony of the United States.

If the election that elected President Rodrigo Duterte in power was an election that is decided by the Electoral College I am sure that he would still win the election and secure the whole of Mindanao. Most of the Visayas in Regions 6, 7, and 8. Northern Luzon which many Filipinos called “Solid North” especially in Ilocos Norte, even the National Capital Region.

If only we have the Electoral College and the electoral map is set and parallel to the political map, Luzon would always be a big battleground during election year. The biggest electoral number of votes may have to come from the region with the biggest number of registered voters, not with how big a region is since we have rural areas.

It could also be advantageous for some candidates because of the growing population of the Philippines.

The downside of the Electoral College if it’s in the Philippine setting is having the multi-party system, because in the Philippines no one is a third-party candidate but only nuisance candidates. More important is there’s no bipartisan system the way it is with the United States of having the Republican and Democratic parties. It will also be harder to set a “magic number” like the America’s 270 electoral votes to determine the winner.

The selection of electors in this kind of setup is even scary and you will never how situations like this can go bad since the Philippines will always have an election hotspot like Caloocan, Maguindanao, and Cotabato and these election hotspots don’t always intensify the national election but the local election intensifies it.

Farewell to Castro

Castro

We only know him as the main man of the Cuban Revolution together with Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

A full-bearded man smoking tobacco in fatigues and one of the few world leaders who had the big cojones to defy the United States, the Man is no other than Fidel Castro.

If Filipinos are still enraged with the surprise burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the national cemetery or Libingan ng mga Bayani, lucky for Castro he will have his burial without question and delay because Cubans won’t dare to oppose his burial.

Halfway around the world people living in the United States particularly Cuban-Americans in Miami are celebrating his demise. Because for them his death serves as justice to their sacrifice to get out of Cuba and free themselves from the oppression of communism that Castro has when he took power from the US-backed regime of Fulgencio Batista in 1959.

Before his demise, I once considered him as a strong stubborn man that is just too bad to die. I say this because first he survived more assassination attempts than Adolf Hitler, second he shaped the twentieth century not only with his encounters with the United States during the early 1960s but the Cuban Revolution that truly placed him in power by adapting Soviet communism as the political framework of his country.

If Guevara was least known for being a physician before he became a revolutionary, Castro was least known for being a lawyer and politician that already has that rebellious reputation.

In his lifetime however, he lived under eight Popes beginning with Pius XI who began his Papacy in 1922 and had encounters with three Popes with Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. He outlasted ten United States presidents from President Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush before he stepped down due to his ailing condition. He witnessed the fall of his country’s closest ally, the Soviet Union in 1991 to which his country suffered in the economic aspect. Although he stepped down in power due to his ailing condition in 2006, he is witness to how the United States elected and re-elected the first African-America president in Barack Obama then almost elected the first woman president in Hillary Clinton.

In his lifetime also, he was able to tell the world the demise of his fellow revolutionary, Che Guevara after Guevara was captured and gunned down in Bolivia in 1967. Thirty years later, Guevara’s remains together with his compatriots in Bolivia were recovered and presented to Castro to be buried properly in Santa Clara, Cuba.

As a lover of video games, I find it amazing on how the people behind ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’ depicted his failed assassination attempt during the Bay of Pigs invasion. It was not one of the difficult missions when you play the game but it gives you the feeling of what is like to kill one of the biggest pains in the neck of the United States and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Communism may no longer be that relevant in this world marred by terrorism to counteract western ideology, his ideals will live on in Cuba and to neighboring Latin American countries that admires his vigilance against the US.

Beyond Latin America, Russian president Vladimir Putin salutes him for his staunch ideals against the US. Which is no surprise to me for Putin was a former KGB.

Cuba may no longer be a force to reckon with in this world since 1962, we must not forget that a communist country like North Korea and China can instill fear worldwide.

The comandante truly lived his life to the fullest simply as a revolutionary just around his late twenties. Even in his twilight years as a leader and a person, he continues to divide his people from those who want to live and die in Cuba, to those who do not want to live in his rule. He truly made his mark in this world.

It’s just sad that Castro has gone to the next life while people like Juan Ponce Enrile are still given the chance to walk this earth. Even Imelda Marcos who outlived her husband, and it’s just too bad Imelda won’t get to be it buried next her better half because there’s no place her. In fact, why did we even let Ferdinand Marcos give that chance to be buried there.

The world may have lost a dictator in Castro but there will come a time where revolutions as well as revolutionaries will be brought back to the streets and guerilla warfare would continue for those smart enough to risk their lives no matter political ideology it may be to fight imperialistic countries.

It will take time. We will never know how and when it will be presented to us.

THE MASSACRE, THE FLAWED SYSTEM, AND THE FAITH TO BE RESTORED

 

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(C) Philippine Star

Seven years ago to this day, one moment in the history of this country discouraged me from taking up my current major or any other communication programs. One moment in my life where people around me telling bad jokes that to take up journalism is the fastest way to die, and that to take up psychology is the easiest way to become crazy.

A moment that truly placed the Philippines as one of the journalistic danger zones in the world other than war-torn countries like Iraq, North Korea or Syria for that matter, and that is the Maguindanao massacre.

It’s very, very disheartening that to this very day, no one from the Ampatuan family is convicted of the crime as they were pointed out by everyone. Most especially that backhoe with the branding of the city government at the time.

Television networks at some point counted the days from the massacre to the trial of the Ampatuans but the effort to count from that tragic day didn’t seem to move the courts to convict anyone.

It is one moment in history that still gives the Muslim-Filipinos (whether they are Moro or Maranao) that bad image, making them look like war freaks instead of hard-working Filipinos from the Southernmost region of the Philippines, Mindanao. Other than the radical image and presence of the Abu Sayyaf, and Nur Misuari’s rebellious reputation as the founding chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front.

In the six years that President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino ran the country no one was convicted. The family members who were left by the people who died in those fields are still fighting for justice. They were hopeful for the previous administration to convict the Ampatuans but it didn’t happen. They were that hopeful because the Ampatuans were close to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and again the “bright hope” that they promise for the families of the victims were there since the Noynoy Aquino administration was an upcoming administration.

If President Rodrigo Duterte and the Supreme Court could allow the burial of President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, people aggravated by this event seven years ago through their surviving family members of the victims especially Governor Mangudadatu should urge the president and the high court to swiftly convict the Ampatuans for this.

Convicting the Ampatuans within this administration may not forgive President Duterte and the Supreme Court justices who favored the burial of Marcos at LNMB overnight, it may at least bring back the people’s faith to the justice system of this country. But again, I am reminded that most people are losing faith with the system because of how a mayor in the province of Albuera in Leyte that unconditionally surrendered was gunned down within his cell. While small time drug pushers and addicts are easily gunned down without due process.

It would be unpatriotic to lose faith in the justice system just because it allowed a dictator to be buried at the national cemetery and a mass murder didn’t convict a family with a private army. The lack of reforms in the justice system tolerates situations like these. Why didn’t constitution just say in legalese that Ferdinand E. Marcos will never be allowed a hero’s burial. The number of appeals and the delaying tactics made by the lawyers of the Ampatuan clan let them live free despite the tragedy.

We will never know when the right time will be for the Ampatuans to be convicted. So no matter how screwed up the justice system is, we can only be hopeful that one day people like them will be behind bars.

Infamita

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The one moment in history that reminds me of the Marcos burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) is the burial of Joseph Stalin next to Russia’s “great leader” and founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin.

A burial made possible by loyalists of Stalin, until the De-Stalinization movement began during the 1950s years after Stalin’s death in 1953 under Nikita Khrushchev’s reign that began with the demolition of Stalin’s monuments along with renaming the places that glorifies Joseph Stalin like renaming Stalingrad to Volgograd. Then Stalin was exhumed out of Lenin’s crypt was in 1961 and placed him out of there to the Kremlin walls.

That is a communist setting to which Khrushchev did to denounce Stalin’s ‘cult of personality’, a trait of Stalin that he considered was inconsistent to the ideology of communism and their party’s ideology especially Lenin’s ideology.

In the Philippine setting, President Rodrigo Duterte did something what most Filipinos are not truly in favor of and that is his decision to allow the burial of the late president at the Libingan ng mga Bayan (LNMB). Duterte truly kept his promise to the people of Ilocos Norte that ensured him of votes.

For a guy like me, the cry of loyalists and the Marcos family to bury him at LNMB was nothing new since the news to allow his burial timely comes out. Just like how the endless reiterations of Martial Law both positively (by Marcos loyalists), negatively are presented on television and radically on social media.

If we think really hard about these events before this burial; Duterte allowing the Marcos burial and Duterte showing so much love and respect for Bongbong like a brother when he lost the vice presidential election is a sign of Duterte’s idolatry for the late strongman. The events happening right now could be a sign that Duterte might rule the county in the manner that Marcos did when he threatened to suspend the Writ of Habeas Corpus.

Let’s not expect too much of torture and severe human rights violations just yet, because extrajudicial killings is already a manifestion of Duterte’s vulgar display of power. Marcos’s vulgar display of power as we all know is forced disappearances, torture, and stealing the people’s funds that placed us in debt, and we are paying for it.

I won’t be surprised if Bongbong Marcos would soon get a cabinet position after the Commission on Election’s one year-ban on losing candidates to be appointed to government offices. At this point, we cannot just assume on what government office Duterte will place him.

The most disturbing part about this is the media blackout the Marcos family did to get his body out of Batac, Ilocos Norte that made people especially tourists dumbfounded that his body was about to go to LNMB while they keep on coming to his mausoleum. I even think the devil himself is caught off guard with these happenings now that Ferdinand has entered the Devil’s circles and the people in-charge of purgatory may have been reluctant of letting Marcos in and out of that place while his “body” was still enclosed in his glass coffin in Batac. Another is the Armed Forces of the Philippines telling the press that they were only rehearsing before the “actual date” but then again this is the date.

Now that this has happened under our noses, I expect less field trips to LNMB by schools in the province. Ordinary people like me can no longer come to the place again just to check out who’s who inside LNMB, and remember in what section Reynaldo Wycoco is buried and to find Angelo Reyes, who was once deemed unacceptable to be buried at LNMB by anti-Arroyo groups but again Reyes made the cut because he was a soldier. Not just a soldier, but a former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who took his own life before his mother’s resting place after the shame he got from Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in a senate hearing.

That being said, we are again the world’s laughing stock for allowing an ousted president to be buried in a national cemetery. Then people still loyal to the legacy of the first EDSA revolution would still flock the streets on February 25 next year. But to celebrate EDSA 1 has been meaningless. No thanks to the hatred that people have in President Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino’s and his incompetent administration. Next year’s EDSA celebration might only be an assembly to call for his exhumation from where he is now, and the following dates like August 21, Ninoy Aquino day, and September 21, the day Marcos signed the proclamation of martial law may have more louder demonstrations from this day onward.

As a student of journalism, I’m not really afraid of comments from people saying that I am a Marcos apologist, loyalist or even a sympathizer. I’m not even afraid of a enforced disappearance or sudden arrests that the government will make if they get to trace me if this government plans to relive the horrors of martial law.

This is a day of infamy for the Philippines.

An Election Like No Other

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(C) CNN International

With the United States presidential elections drawing closer and the world awaiting the outcome, it is really for the world to see.

For a Filipino like myself I only look forward on how President Rodrigo Duterte will coordinate with the winner of that election despite his declaration before the People’s Republic of China that he is separating us from the US in military and economic relations. I don’t expect that president-elect of the United States to deploy their forces just to help us in upholding The Hague’s ruling on the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea. Because America whoever the seating president is only putting their interest first more than anything.

Points to Remember

One reason why our president is separating us from the Americans is the Bud Dajo massacre in 1906 that took place Jolo, Sulu. For a man that hails from the southernmost region of the Philippines, Mindanao; he does not want to forget of this event because like he said, the events of the massacre happened like it was yesterday for the Moros.

Another issue on why he wants to separate us from the US is the practicality that we are closer to China and Russia.

In the long history of this love-hate relationship between the Philippines and the United States, the US has gained more on this mostly in a negative manner dating back to the Filipino-American war. For it is in the Filipino-American war that General Emilio Aguinaldo pledged to the stars and stripes, then assumed that the Americans would treat us fairly even assuring his compatriots that time the Americans are the country’s new friends. But I don’t want to go that far on detail of Aguinaldo.

Filipino veterans of World War II are not even recognized after all their efforts keeping the Japanese at bay for Douglas MacArthur to escape back to the United States. But the man did keep his promise coming back.

The remaining veterans of World War II in the country rather than go to the United States to fight for their right are still hopeless for compensation. I couldn’t bear to see a group of Filipino veterans protest outside the Villamor air base when President Obama made a official state visit years ago. While some well-off veterans that have raised their children very well to exercised their right to go to the US and claim whatever right they deserve from the United States Arm Forces in the Far  East (USAFFE).

Of Donkeys and Elephants to the Philippines

The political party that the US president represents does not play much of a factor but it is an important detail any spectator should pay attention to.

In the long history between the Philippines and the United States, seating US presidents coming from the Republican Party have been more involved with us mostly negative and less positive. This dates back to President William McKinley who was the president when the Benevolent Assimilation took place following the Filipino-American war followed by his successor Theodore Roosevelt, the president when the Bud Dajo massacre happened. William Howard Taft, governor-general of the Philippines from 1901 to 1903 before elected US president in 1909. Taft only did minimal help to make Filipinos independent. President Herbert Hoover was one president who refused the independence of the Philippines until the US congress rejected him.

Republicans like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan were pretty much involved with enriching Ferdinand Marcos, especially Richard Nixon who was rumored that he gave Marcos the green light to declare Martial Law on September of 1972. As for Reagan, he didn’t see any reason for Marcos to stay in 1986.

There’s not that many Democrat presidents that were involved in shaping the Philippines but Franklin D. Roosevelt was one Democrat president who paved the way for the 1935 Commonwealth constitution of the Philippines. President Jimmy Carter is one Democrat president who kept Marcos in power after Nixon and Gerald Ford, Nixon’s successor Nixon resigned after Watergate. Then Barack Obama, a president so reluctant to keep the Chinese away from our waters in the West Philippine Sea.

Whether it may be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, president Duterte would be reluctant to cooperate with either of them. The secretary of foreign affairs, Perfecto Yasay, Jr. would have his hands full when it comes to the Philippines and America. Yasay was already in Duterte’s place in an official photo op with other world leaders at Laos months ago. It’s really going to be hard for the secretary when the US president-elect makes a visit.

If I were an American

If I were a citizen of the United States, I only look forward for a candidate competent enough to rule as president.

I don’t care what kind of emails one candidate deleted, hacked or whatever and I don’t care how un-presidential one is for harassing women, as well as having his own world. Just get it done.

With the US dubbed as the most powerful nation on earth for so long, the main duty of President Obama’s successor in its first one hundred days is to regain that reputation because America is losing their ground not only in Syria but everywhere in the world where they have their interest. They are not only losing their military might, they are also losing their economic dominance to China.

This is one reason why Donald Trump is donning that slogan, “Make America great again”. It is always easier said than done.

As for Hillary Clinton, one of her objectives is to uphold the programs of the Obama administration that has already made America great already from her perspective. Just today, she’s really in the clear to run for president after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) cleared her of charges for her actions towards sensitive emails when she was secretary of state.

Whatever those emails may be, influence to the FBI does play a role.

One thing’s for sure

Whoever that president may be, the people behind Saturday Night Live have a lot of work to do with their political satire.

President Duterte will ensure independence that we will no longer depend on the US for anything and that he will anything in his power to get US forces out of here. Just like how US bases and its were brought out of Zambales.

What’s very certain is that their war on terror would still go on.

The Islamic State of Iran and Syria (ISIS), won’t be simply eradicated overnight and neither one of them can minimize the growing number of its members.

Eliminating its key members is not really helpful for the US because of the kind of succession these kinds of groups have.

The global economy might even go down if one does not really know its economic policy.

Their issue of domestic violence would only grow worse day-by-day because they have good reforms on their gun control laws.

The Same Circus With A New Bunch of Freaks

(President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Leila de Lima)

I’m really happy that I did not vote for Rodrigo Duterte during the last elections. But I did consider on voting for him along with the late senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. I’m also happy to see him argue with Senator Leila de Lima, a person who has been his nemesis since his days as mayor of Davao City, and de Lima who was then chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), respectively.

As of this writing de Lima still believes that there really is an armed group that gets rid of criminals in Duterte’s stronghold of Davao City which is the Davao Death Squad. There’s really no proof that there is a Davao Death Squad, unless you believe the statements made by Edgar Matobato during the Philippine Senate’s probe towards extrajudicial killings and summary killings.

Like Jack the Ripper and Loch Ness Monster, it has yet to be proven. More important is the leadership and authority of Duterte in this squad is yet to be proven.

I have never set foot on Davao City but to believe that there is a Davao Death Squad is simply absurd. Because if there really a Davao Death Squad in Davao, government officials should also have their own version death squads for the sake of getting rid of criminals or their political rivals in their city or province.

De Lima V Duterte and Aguirre

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Justice Secretary, Vitaliano Aguirre | (C) Marianne Bermudez, Inquirer |

It may look childish for some people that these government officials are arguing at any time of the day in this country, but to see it on the news or read about on paper is really entertaining than the soap operas provided by the networks in the Philippines.

What’s childish for me is Senator Antonio Trillanes IV versus Senator Alan Peter Cayetano arguing.

An ironic detail in this feud between Duterte and de Lima is they graduated from the same law school, San Beda College of Law. Duterte is years ahead of de Lima in their post graduate education. Even the appointed justice secretary of the Philippines, Vitaliano Aguirre II is a graduate of San Beda College of Law.

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De Lima and Aguirre | (C) Paterno Esmaquel II |

Recently, it is not only the president that de Lima is confronting; she is also confronting her successor in the Department of Justice, Secretary Aguirre who really hit it hard in presenting Herbert Colangco before the House of Representatives. De Lima answered back to Aguirre’s presentation in the House by telling the press that Aguirre forced Colangco to testify and the evidence is as false as the current secretary’s hair. To which I don’t care if Secretary Aguirre is wearing a wig.

Herbert Colangco

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Herbert Colangco

As for the involvement of Herbert Colangco he told the nation that de Lima gave him and his fellow inmates the full VIP treatment while he is in the country’s maximum penitentiary, the New Bilibid Prison.

Colangco is a convicted man for drugs and spear-headed a lot of robberies in the early 2000s. The most notable of Colangco’s crimes before he became a recording artist in prison, produced a music video, and a member of the ‘Bilibid 19’ was the robbery at the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation’s (RCBC) branch in Cabuyao, Laguna in 2008 that left ten people dead. He was arrested in 2009 in Iligan City then on October 2014 he was sentenced to life imprisonment before the Paranaque regional trial court.

The worst part with Colangco telling the nation what he knows is telling every person watching that hearing, Senator de Lima’s cell phone number. To which I texted de Lima saying, “How are you, you big fat monster?” and also, “Are you sleeping well?” if you are a advocate of the Liberal Party.

Valuable Inmate

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Jaybee Sebastian

The people only know of Colangco and his so-called rival Jaybee Sebastian. Two people who really lend their drug money towards the lady senator’s campaign back in May.

What’s curious about Jaybee Sebastian is why he demands to speak only to the president with what he knows about the Bilibid drug trade and other information, according to his lawyer.

Jaybee Sebastian is a valuable asset for some because he knows some things that would really place him in danger if he tells that information in public.

Whatever Jaybee Sebastian knows, it would definitely rock the nation. It would release a lot of evil just like how Pandora opened the box that released all of the evil in this world.

Recently, Sebastian is so valuable that the inmates being presented to the House of Representatives say that he had sexual relationships with de Lima when she was secretary of justice that makes de Lima look like a sugar mommy towards Jaybee Sebastian.

 

It’s just a shame that these events are getting the attention and curiosity of the people in a manner that’s very unethical to some people.

Paalam, Madam Miriam

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Photo by Efigenio Toledo IV, Philstar Global

Mag iisang linggo na pala.

So totoo lang, hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala na pumanaw na si Senador Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Kasi una, binoto ko siya. Higit sa lahat, ang boring na manood ng mga hearing sa senado, at hindi magbu bunganga ng ganito si Senador Leila de Lima sa kahit anong dahilan. Yan ay kung hindi nag hangad ang namayapang senador na tumakbo muli bilang pangulo ng Pilipinas sa pangatlong pagkakataon. Pero ayoko na rin balikan yung teknikalidad ng pagtakbo sa eleksyon.

Sa pag alala ko kay Senator Miriam, nakakatuwang isipin na ang kalihim ngayon ng Department of Justice na si Vitaliano Aguirre II, na noon ay abogado para sa prosecution panel noong kasagsagan ng paglilitis kay Renato Corona, taon 2012 ay naramdaman niya ang hagupit ng mga salita ng senador dahil sa pagtakip ng kanyang tenga sa harap ni Senador Miriam. Ang pinaka masama pa rito ay nasabihan pa na G-A-G-O ang buong prosecution panel dahil sa kanya.

Hindi lamang ito ang dahilan kaya talagang sinu subaybayan ang mga paglilitis na ito sa senado, apat na taon na ang naka lilipas.

Isa sa mga inabangan din ay ang pag imbestiga ng mga senador noon sa pork barrel scam kay Janet Lim-Napoles. Hindi ko man napanood mismo ang pagtanong ni Miriam kay Napoles na may soot na bulletproof vest, halata naman na gustong-gusto na rin itanong ng senadora kung talaga bang bulletproof ang soot niyang vest bago niya ito barilin.

At sinong makakalimot sa mga sagutan nila ni senador Juan Ponce Enrile? Isang tao na para bang nakakalimutan sundoin ni Dr. Kaye M. Tayan. Isang tao din na sinabi ng senadora na sa sobrang tanda ay present sa Huling Hapunan kasama ni Jesus.

Kung nakaupo pa rin si Miriam sa senado, malamang-sa-malamang ay sasabonin niya si Edgar Matobato sa paraan na inaasahan ko. Siyempre, bubungangaan si Matobato at panigurado tapos na agad ang senate inquiry bago mag Undas at hindi masasayang ang panahon at oras ng senado sa pagbuo at pagsasabatas ng mga panukalang batas.

Ini-imagine ko na lang talaga. Kung buhay pa rin talaga siya

Nakakalungkot isipin na dumagdag ang senadora sa tala ng mga tinubos ng sakit na cancer ngayon taon, tulad nina Alan Rickman at David Bowie.

Ang inakala kong mabubuhay pa siya at pwede pa namin sabihin na mali ang pagboto nila kay Pangulong Duterte pagdating ng 2022 ay hindi na namin magagawa dahil nga sa nangyari. Ganon pa man ay tinanggap ko ng buong loob ang resulta ng eleksyon ngunit hindi katanggap-tanggap na dinaig siya ni Jejomar Binay at naging ganon lamang ang dami ng kanyang boto dahil lamang sa kanyang kondisyon.

May ilang mga bagay lang din ako na hindi masyadong naunawaan noon sa huling niyang pag takbo, at ito ay kung bakit tila walang masamang tinapay ang senadora kay Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos kaya niya napili na makasama si Bongbong Marcos bilang pangalawang pangulo sa kanyang huling kandidatura.

Ang nasabi na lang ng tatay ko kaya walang masamang tinapay si Miriam sa nakakatandang Mmarcos ay dahil parehong abogado ang senadora at ang Pangulong Marcos. Tinuring na lang din ito ng iba na pag galang sa isang tao na nagtala ng isa sa mga pinaka mataas na marka sa kasaysayan ng Philippine Bar. Magaling na abogado bago sumabak sa larangan ng politika. Higit sa lahat, parehong sila nakapag tapos sa University of the Philippines College of Law, siyempre sa magkaibang panahon.

Walang papantay sa kung ano man ang nagawa niya para sa bayan nag lingkod sa tatlong sangay ng pamahalaan. Naging husgado, kawani ng gobyerno sa ehekutibo, at siyempre, senador na nasa lehislatura.

Nakapag tapos ng abogasya sa UP, pumasa sa Bar Exam, naging nominado para maging husgado sa International Criminal Court, boses ng kababaihan, pati na rin ng mga estudyante, at marami pang iba na hindi nakakamtam ng basta-basta.

Pinanindigan niya talaga ang pagiging “Iron Lady of Asia”, na kahit inaalmusal niya ay mga death threat, hate mails, at kung ano pang mga hate message, at hina high blood sa mga senate inquiry ay walang inatrasan, wala din sinanto.

Counting the Days and the Issues

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As much as I do not want to elaborate my perception towards the bombings in the Davao Night Market, I simply think that the explosion is a terrorist plot against President Rodrigo Duterte and the motive for me is psychological because it surely hit his stronghold and to redirect the president’s attention from his war on drugs to securing his stronghold, Davao and the country.

For the moment, the Abu Sayyaf Group is the one to blame for they are the closest terrorist group. Unless the Islamic State of Iran and Syria (ISIS) has truly invaded the country through influence. Another thing that made the incident possible is drug lords that sought refuge to groups like the ASG for the right price.

 

International spotlight

The one angle that made the Davao explosion happened is the president’s all out war on drugs. Through his close ally, Philippine National Police director general, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, that really caught the attention of the international media through which Senator Alan Peter Cayetao and Leila de Lima told their versions of what happening to Christiane Amanpour on CNN. Senator Cayetano is cleary on the president’s side since he was Duterte’s running mate, while Leila de Lima is on the contrary.

When the Philippines makes the international headlines in this manner, I’m not that thrilled because simply because it is negative but on the bright side, we are telling the world that we are taking action no matter what it takes.

President Obama was supposed to meet with Duterte in Laos while the G20 summit is taking place. I heard the news that it didn’t push through while I was on my way to school. Which makes me think that Obama is neither ready to face the rough-talking president or they are both occupied with their own obligations. It kept me wondering why didn’t the meeting push through.

This supposed meeting takes me back to what my professor in theology said in his liberal view last Friday. In which he said that Obama wants to meet with Duterte not to tell him of how he should handle the war on drugs properly but to ask Duterte if he could bring back US troops and reestablish bases here.

It’s not simply helping out the Armed Forces of the Philippines to make the Chinese forces run with their heels but for the US to pursue their interests here in the Philippines.

As the exaggeration begins on why President Duterte called President Obama a “son of a *****”, I am now thinking that our president deliberately called it off because he does not really want a foreign power like Obama and the United States to tell him how he should really address the war on drugs and this makes the Philippines defiant for some people. And the action driving the Americans away for us to be left vulnerable against China.

 

Towards Day 100

The president is beyond his fiftieth day in office for his first one hundred days. The one thing I’m glad about this is how his administration is taking action in each department.

Although questionable of the manner they carry out their operations, I have no issues with the police. The transport department is getting things done slowly but surely. I just hope that with Duterte’s term, they can truly restore the train lines and place more trains.

The justice department should really expand city jails. I pity the criminals detained for they are trying their best to make the most of the spaces they are in. And Jay Taruc’s documentary in GMA7’s i-Witness is enough evidence that city jails and penitentiaries across the Philippines need some expansion. More important is how one prisoner has been detained longer than he should have been because of how slow the process of justice here in the Philippines and reforms should be made to make the process beneficial for both sides.

 

It’s just a few weeks away before his first one hundred days are over. It’ll be over quick if one person would just sleep on the succeeding days or a person is preoccupied with academics that he fails to check the news.

There are more issues bigger than this in the days to come, and they have yet to unfold.

Why Bongbong Lost

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I do not regret that I voted for the man because of the trust and faith that I have in him which he won’t repeat the mistakes that his father made from 1972 until they were ousted by EDSA I in 1986. Other than that, I am just disgusted with the people from the Liberal Party from the outgoing president and anyone in the executive branch.

As a voter, I have accepted the defeat of Senator Bongbong Marcos to Congresswoman Leni Robredo in the vice presidential race.

As a Filipino, I have yet to accept this fact.

The one thing that still bothers me is the influence that the Liberal Party has towards the counting because when they released the partial and unofficial results it’s really disturbing that someone who is barely known in congress can get that many votes.

I voted for Bongbong Marcos more than any other candidate because I have trust issues not only with Robredo but also with Escudero who could turn Grace Poe into a puppet because of her inexperience if they get to win it, Allan Peter Cayetano who is just riding Duterte’s popularity as a respectable mayor of Davao, Gringo Honasan who is too old for this and Trillanes who should have just stayed in his bunker.

When the polls were closed on Election Day on May 9, 2016 it was no surprise for me that Rodrigo Duterte would be number one. It was disappointing that Miriam Defensor-Santiago was dead last and outnumbered by Jejomar Binay.

As for the vice presidential race, it’s really shocking if you’re someone who did not vote for Leni Robredo but voted for Escudero more than any other candidate because he was already shoe-in then the number of his votes would go down then be surpassed by Allan Peter Cayetano.

 

If there was “Hello Garci” back in 2004 now there has been rumor and conspiracy that “Hello Andy” has happened another is the “Hello Garcia” which refers to the Smartmatic personnel who messed with the hash code.

The Hello Garci refers to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s phone call to then Commission on Elections (COMELEC) commissioner, Virgilio Garcillano to transfer some votes in favor of Macapagal-Arroyo in order to win the Philippine Elections of 2004 against Fernando Poe Jr., Raul Roco and Jesus is Lord Leader Bro. Eddie Villanueva to name a few. Hello Andy now refers to present COMELEC commissioner, Andres Bautista who was once the head of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) a commission that started during President Corazon Aquino’s term in 1986 with the objective to recover the ill-gotten wealth made by Marcos along with his cronies then became a government agency in the years that followed.

With Bautista’s background as former boss of the PCGG, others believe that Bautista might have done something in favor of Robredo.

 

I no longer want to stress myself on how Leni Robredo got that lead in our sleep during the partial and unofficial count until this day of the canvassing of votes but here’s what I really think on why Bongbong Marcos lost:

 

  1. The Marcos Stigma

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ILL-GOTTEN WEALTH, HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, DISAPPEARANCES, RUSHED CONSTRUCTION OF THE MANILA FILM CENTER.

DO I EVEN HAVE TO STATE THIS?

It is a never-ending debacle on how the Marcos era or Martial Law was the best at the same time the worst moment in the history of the Philippines.

People would always tell how prices were so low that everything is affordable. Traffic was not as bad as it is today.

The infrastructures made like the San Juanico Bridge, the Cultural Center of Philippines Complex were the glory and achievements that we still make use of today while some are being electrocuted, raped, torture by the authorities. Some celebrity at that time was rumored that he was forced to ride a bike for eight hours straight when he made fun of the Bagong Lipunan (New Society) and its slogan which states, “Sa ika uunlad ng Bayan, Disiplina ay kailangan.” (For the Nation’s development, Discipline is what we need) changing discipline to “bicycle is what we need”, bisikleta ang kailangan.

 

If we really think that the election for president would divide country, it did not because the people have really spoken. The election for vice president really tore us apart and with Bongbong Marcos involved in the Vice Presidential race, activists and anti-Marcos groups alike were on the move again.

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It’s like they were kept in a time capsule with a sign that says, DO NOT OPEN UNTIL A MARCOS RUNS FOR A GOVERNMENT POSITION HIGHER THAN A SENATOR or frozen in time like Captain America and his friend Bucky Barnes who is more known as The Winter Soldier.

People in the internet have been praising and also demonizing the Marcoses like its 1986 to 1989, the year Ferdinand Marcos died in exile until they were allowed to return here in the Philippines during the early 1990s.

Point is that he will carry that burden until the day he dies.

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Don’t get me started on what happened to the Beatles in 1966 in which Ferdinand Marcos was already a year down with his presidency.

 

  1. Sandro Marcos stepping into the limelight and his involvement during the campaign.

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Okay girls and Marcos loyalists do not get me wrong but this kid is pretty much involved in his father’s letdown.

12985431_1006306216118288_4601854055357783501_nWe have heard of Sandro Marcos’s mistake during the election and how cute he is for some girls but a kid like him should not have been involved campaigning with his father with the idea that Marcos Jr. would garner votes through his son thus filling in the void when his father gets to be invited but unable to give a commencement speech in some college or speech in diplomatic forum.

Bringing your children to work is never good no matter what line of work it is. But knowing the history of the Marcoses, the older Marcos got his children involved from Imee, the mother of Borgie Manotoc, Irene Marcos-Araneta, Ferdinand and Imelda’s second born who has kept a low profile since their return to the Philippines and Bongbong himself especially when they got older and they had the capacity to think and be part of a government organization.

 

Another issue on why you should never bring your children to work is because bringing your children to work is bad publicity.

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Bad publicity is not always tweeting something wrong if you’re a celebrity because for some, it’s showing off what others can’t afford and I assume that I am not the only one who has seen Grace Poe’s son, Brian Llamanzares wear those pair of Nikes that replicates the one pair of Nikes that Michael J. Fox wore in Back to the Future Part 2. As for Brian and his involvement during her mother’s campaign, he was pretty much break dancing in those dance numbers other than pulling in actors like Coco Martin to yell their hearts out.

The kid is too sensitive and easily gets affected by the issues towards his father.

In the Philippines, politics is always business and personal. I hope this guy would understand that.

  1. Bongbong’s inability to say no as Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s running mate.

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For some people, Bongbong running as VP of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago is his way of redeeming the Marcos name and getting back to Malacanang and trying his best not to shed a tear if he really won the election which are tears of joy and reminisce along the way in the convoy to Malacanang after the president and vice president took their oath.

Some even think that it is one way of boosting Miriam’s numbers in the pre-election polls all the way to the election but for some, it is even a kiss of death.

If Bongbong Marcos knew how to say no, he would have just ran for senator again and I would still vote for the guy but no because people are still mad about That Martial Law Thingy which is why he lost to Leni Robredo.

 

In my humble opinion, Bongbong Marcos is too naive or perhaps to blind to see that he really can’t win even if he came this close to winning the canvassing and getting back to Malacanang even if it’s only the vice presidency.

 

So for Senator Marcos, you have fought the good fight. Let’s just see if Leni would be competent and participative enough with Duterte as president.

Let’s hope and pray that the Liberal Party’s “Plan B” is not true.

Finally, like many people who have great fear of Duterte as mayor I don’t think they will be able to double-cross him by having him impeached with those human rights violations that Carmelita “Etta” Rosales, Senator-elect Leila de Lima, and Chito Gascon are claiming when Duterte was still mayor of Davao.

Duterte is a lawyer like MDS (Miriam Defensor-Santiago) he knows the pros and cons of the law and if that happens, he will fight his way through it.

As for Leni Robredo, PROVE US WRONG.

Prove us wrong that no one is pulling the strings on you. Prove to us that there really is no Plan B by the Liberal Party and you will not run for the presidency in 2022 when President-elect Duterte steps down six years from now.

Because Jejomar Binay aspired for the highest office in the land as the Noynoy Aquino administration’s days were drawing to a close and the campaign period was about to begin. So it’s impossible for you not to aspire for it as you assume office. More important is when the Duterte administration draws to a close on the last quarter of 2021 until 2022.

Eve of Reckoning

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Three years ago I was suppose to vote during the midterm elections. I did not vote for the midterm election of 2013 because the bitter memory of the Corona trial was still fresh to me since it was just a year after all the proceedings and the day that the late chief justice Renato Corona got his verdict was also that day was the day separation of powers died. It is one reason why I am not voting for any senator seeking re-election this year and I will only limit my vote for senators to only six and those are new faces and names because most of them were the senators who voted guilty for the late chief justice.

Renato Corona’s verdict almost got me in a heated argument with my Dad because of my belief that he was only doing his job and being an Arroyo appointee is the one issue that got him into trouble with the Yellow government especially the things that he didn’t disclose to his SALN (Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth). Call me crazy if you want because looking back to another issue that got him impeached was his decision favoring the farmers of Hacienda Luisita and Hacienda Luisita is Aquino country so go figure.

Another issue on why I did not vote that year because the local election that year really got me torn between Alfredo Lim and Joseph Ejercito Estrada who were running for mayor of Manila. More important was I had a flight to catch so that I can go to my older cousin’s wedding in Agusan del Sur. The one thing that was very disturbing about the 2013 Election is when my lola was around, she brought home a DVD containing a anti-Erap documentary from a customer who strongly supports Alfredo Lim. The DVD basically was projecting Erap and incumbent Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno demons, incompetent and stealing Manila’s money. More important was Isko Moreno switching his side from Lim to Erap.

 

In the days drawing close to tomorrow’s election, I’ve been reading about some conspiracies about the PCOS Machines for this year’s election saying that one vote for Duterte won’t go straight to Duterte, so instead of Duterte it will go to Mar Roxas. Another is that one vote for Miriam Defensor-Santiago will go to Binay. In other words, the machines will be programmed to make this election a tight race between Binay and Roxas. Everyone won’t like it myself included. I just hope the Vice Presidential election won’t get rigged.

 

I’ve had enough of Mar Roxas screwing around especially last night when I accompanied a friend on her way back home because as we left UP Diliman, we got stuck for a bit on one portion of the Elliptical Road leading to Quezon Avenue. It’s just irritating to know that vehicles leading to Quezon Memorial Circle were not properly parked and they call themselves even their supports decent or even disciplined when they clogged the inner portion of the Elliptical Road. It’s even disturbing that the jeeps that surrounded Elliptical Road are tagged with Roxas and Robredo banners. Do these drivers ever learn? I know that some of these drivers have limited access to the internet but should I remind some of these drivers that Pantawid Pasada is not enough to supply their needs when they drive especially diesel and gasoline.

For Jejomar Binay, I don’t care on where has he gone too yesterday but I’m just happy that he didn’t not ruin me and my friends night as we went our ways going home. I just know that Binay no longer stands a chance as a presidential candidate when his fellow member in UNA Manila Mayor Erap Estrada has given his support to his goddaughter Grace Poe which to me is not a surprise since the friendship of Erap and the late Fernando Poe Jr. goes way back to the days they were actors.

In the months that Binay campaigned, I just feel bad for the people who were forced to campaign him especially the people who had setup speakers to AUVs and playing the Binay jingle over and over. It’s just sad. It’s like Malcolm McDowell200_s when he had this contraption strapped to his head in the Stanley Kubrick classic, ‘A Clockwork Orange’.

As for Grace Poe, I still can’t believe that she still has the guts to piss people off especially commuters because last week when I was on my way to summer class I saw a stage being set up again for her slate and I’m just lucky that I went out of Letran early because I do not want to suffer another traffic jam caused by a miting de avance.

Grace Poe is so star-studded from her “parents” to her endorsers that she had Coco Martin yelling his heart out to the people just to vote for Grace Poe.

As much as I hate to say this towards Susan Roces because the hit show in ABS-CBN, “Ang Probinsyano” is even a medium for Susan Roces to campaign Grace Poe. IN FACT, ABS-CBN is Grace Poe’s and Mar Roxas’ place to go (Even for the Liberal Party) to get themselves celebrity endorsers. If you find this offensive, SHUT UP NA LANG.

 

Some candidates are so desperate that they keep themselves busy to make an Anti-Duterte ad featuring kids who were forced to portray to be disgusted with Duterte. I feel bad for the parents of the children who mixed up their innocent children into this.

I don’t care if Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is behind it because if he really did it out of bitterness when Duterte himself did not show up in BPI Julia Vargas branch in Ortigas to show the true amount of his account then bye, bye Sonny. In the first place, Sonny Trillanes should be considered as a nuisance candidate like Ely Pamatong or Eddie Gil. The very reason that he was not labeled as a nuisance candidate for vice president is simply because he is a senator.

IN FACT, I am tired of extremists like him and this no longer the mid 2000s and the late 2000s in which he led those coup attempts. This is no longer the 20th century because in those days he was still trying hard to be Rambo and Commando. We can even label him as a trying hard Gringo Honasan when Gringo orchestrated those coups during the Cory Aquino administration. The difference is just that Gringo fired weapons, brought it to the streets then went into hiding until he got caught not like this guy who never fired a weapon because he brought his coup attempts to luxurious hotels, making Oakwood change its name to Ascott after the Oakwood mutiny of 2004 and ruining a wedding at Manila Peninsula in 2007 thinking that Arroyo would step down just like that after those coup attempts. Up to this day, I still don’t get why he would stage his coups at those hotels.

 

Most people are so hooked with the candidates in the national position. I’m one of the few who wants to know and wants to see a piece of action in the local election particularly in places like Caloocan (a well-known election hotspot), Maguindanao, Quezon City, San Juan, Isabela, Ilocos Sur, Cavite, and Laguna. Local elections in this country intensify the election other than the presidential and vice presidential election having a tight race in a city or province.

 

Only one day to go and I will be voting for the National Election.

The people have made up their minds and I just hope that the PCOS machines will not screw with our votes because if my vote for Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Bongbong Marcos does not count for them and that their votes will only go to other candidates, I will not just shave my head out of frustration. I will also try my best to convince one of our relatives overseas to get us out of the Philippines if one of them does not win because one of my friends is willing to ask her uncle to get her family out of here and go to Singapore.

It even sickens me to see friendships, relationships and families fall apart because of this election just because one person votes for a particular candidate and the other person has a different candidate in mind.

So people relax. You should not unfriend, unfollow, block or even report someone because of their political belief because I know someone who is in a relationship, they have not talked to each other for quite some time because the guy wants to vote for Duterte and Marcos while his girlfriend wants to vote for Santiago and Robredo. Another is a bunch of friends who were drinking buddies until they had a different decision of who they will be voting for president. Three of them wants to vote for Roxas and Robredo, another three plans to vote for Santiago and Marcos then the two remaining friends are voting for Duterte and Marcos.giphy-facebook_s

The campaign and the jingles are temporary not unless it’s President Ramon Magsaysay’s jingle or Manny Villar’s jingle when Manny Villar ran for president back in 2010 but on a serious note, a few things that will only last is what the president-elect will do or what they plan to do.

 

We should be serious in voting and we should not make the same mistake AGAIN.

God bless the Philippines and the Filipino people.