Saturday, May 15, 2010

Let Us Keep This In Mind

What does this "A little while" mean? (Jn. 16:16-20)

God's time is not our time. We want everything explained and resolved and repaired now. But there are things to be learned by waiting. Patience and insight and growth all come slowly.

I must admit that I'm sitting on pins and needles, waiting for my vice president to be named. I also hoping that my senator, Risa Hontiveros would land in the magic 12. Impatient as I may be, my Mom sent me this wonderful message. Binay maybe in the lead now but it's too close to call as those coming from Mar's bailiwicks are yet to be counted. There seems to be an attempt to set a trend and to condition the mind of the people. I cannot blame the COMELEC as there seems to be unseen hands that are working in the shadows to give Binay a reason to cry cheating should Mar finally overtake him.

Reports of vote-buying and pre-shading are true. The foreign observers have reported this. From the far-flung to the nearby cities in Metro Manila, there was cheating. Voters were forced to feed pre-shaded ballots into the PCOS machines. A foreign observer even watched as a BEI told the voter to just feed his ballot into the machine. The media concentrated too much on the candidates and precincts where they voted. Those located in the depressed areas and hidden from public view were seldom covered. This is were the intimidation, vote-buying and pre-shading took place. Whether the BEIs were terrorized or paid, we will never know. Automation or not, unscrupulous politicians and their goons will find ways to cheat. I am sure that time will come when we can truly say that our elections are clean and credible.

Now we are at the crossroads. We have a tight vice presidential race and the one leading the race is claiming victory. With 3 to 5 million votes still to be counted and with a lead 800,000, everything is still up in the air. No one can say how things will go. I hope that my vice president would come out victorious. We cannot have an administration with a clean president and a vice president with skeletons in the closet.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Whose Endorsement Mattered Most

During the campaign, endorsements from everybody was sought by all aspirants. From the national candidates to the local aspirants, getting the right endorsement mattered. A friend from San Juan and an Iglesia Ni Kristo member told me how they toed the church's line. I was told that Erap was disappointed with this. In fact, they gave the Erap-Binay tandem a big fat zero. I was also told that in the New Ear precincts, Erap and Binay suffered the same fate. Obviously, the INK is the only church that observes command voting.

Gibo Teodoro may have gotten Quiboloy's nod but look at where he is now. Quiboloy is not what he portrays himself to be. God may have punished him for using His name in vain. I don't think Quiboloy's endorsement will not be sought again at least in the near future. Teodoro's poor showing is testimony to a false prophet. His endorsements of Erap and GMA were mere coincidence. Beauty queens may have endorsed Gibo, but this is a presidential race, not a beauty contest. I would rather see Gibo run for the senate first before gunning for the highest post of the land. Mike Vekarde was more cautious. He probably saw where Manny Villar presidential bid would end up. So instead of endangering his congressional aspiration, he chose not to endorse any candidate. After all, majority of his followers favored Erap.

What about the celebrity endorsements, how did they fare? Manny Villar thought that the big guns would help him weather the presidential race. Revillame, Dolphy and Pacman did not help a bit. Attached to the three were moral issues which the majority of voters shunned. Pouring millions in concert-cum-rally did not help. Those who went attended because of the bands and celebrities and nothing else. The number of attendees did not translate to votes. Villar lost massively. Loren Legarda had Sarah Geronimo as endorser but she is no Judy Ann Santos. Geronimo did not have the same influence as Judy Ann's. Geronimo's endorsement also was not able to lift up Legarda's public image.

Noynoy Aquino may have a celebrity sister. Kris maybe a scandal-magnate and tactless at times, but that's what makes her credible because she just cannot keep a secret. She's as transparent as she can be. You must admit that Kris's endorsement of my favorite congresswoman, Risa hontiveros has done wonders for Risa. She's virtually unknown in the national level. She doesn't have a political pedigree and yet is still there in a strong 13th place. But Kris nor the likes of Regine Velasquez and the other stars was Noynoy's best endorser, the fact of the matter is that Noynoy has the legacy of his parents to thank. Of course he also has his clean name that convinced people he is a worthy president. Despite the "trash" thrown at him by the likes of Bayad Muna and Pacquiao, he held his own. The people took his sincerity and his message of hope. At a time when hope is the only thing we have, a leader who can inspire is what we need.

So there, that's how endorsements succeeded and failed in this elections. At the end of the day, the voter relied on themselves and the promise of a new life. We all know the trials and hardships we will be facing, but I'm sure we won't squander it this time around. We are now more vigilant and participatory in the dealings of our government. The patience we showed in enduring the heat for hours just to cast our votes showed that we are definitely focused on real change.

Whose endorsement mattered most? It is ours, the electorate's endorsement that mattered most.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Aftermath

It has been a day since we trooped to the polls to decide our destiny. I must admit that I am satisfied so far with the speed of the results. I must say I am disappointed however with the slow pace some of the results are being transmitted which makes some people suspect trending. I've heard from friends far south that operators are hard at work. Could this be the reason why problems of transmission seem to crop up? Even Cebu which has a modern telecom system seem to be encountering problems. I am not surprised with Lanao and we all know very well how Mindanao has always been an operator's haven.

Despite the promises of automation, I am wary of its performance. Disenfranchisement, pre-shading and even vote-buying were reported. I myself witnessed how jeepney-loads of voters were brought to the polling center and were fed before voting. Even disinformation was used to prevent voters from voting. Certain volunteers of a party-list were telling voters that the elections was extended to 11:00pm when it fact it was extended only by an hour.

In the bailiwick of a losing candidate, I got reports of intimidation and harassment. Voters in the depressed areas were fetched from their homes and brought to the polls. They were made to insert pre-shaded ballots into the PCOS machines. In fact, my very own mother complained to the BEI because her secrecy folder bore the signature and logo of a candidate. The PPCRV volunteer merely took the folder. My sister even got into an argument with a PPCRV volunteer. Paging PPCRV, do really vet your volunteers? You may have moles in your organization. You are supposed to be impartial and just. Obviously you have questionable volunteers.

Pace of results have slowed down considerably. The speed last night was amazing. The entire day today, only trickles of updates were given. Notice how small the number of votes are? The lack of information about where the votes were coming from leads to speculations. Even if my candidate is leading, I would like to know where the results were coming from. I'll be giving the COMELEC the benefit of the doubt, but are we really getting the right results? I now question the wisdom of random auditing. How I wished the parallel count was allowed.

The next few days will be crucial. I remain vigilant and regularly check COMELEC's website to check which precincts have sent their reports. It maybe a tedious task but that's the only way for me to get the real score. I hope everything works out. So much is riding on this elections. We cannot afford to be complacent. Unseen hands can still manipulate the outcome.


Monday, May 10, 2010

5 Hrs, And It's Worth It

I did not vote that early. I went to the polls at around 9:38 am only to see a throng of eager voters lined up waiting for their turn to vote. I was told that those who voted at 7 am took 30 mins. to finish up their democratic right. What followed is 5 hrs. of standing in line. At around 2pm, those whose number is 550 and below were herded to a classroom adjacent to the polling precinct. The lady in front of me who came a few minutes earlier asked a volunteer why the pace was so slow? She was informed that they were processing 5 voters at a time. This got the goat of the lady.

She called someone on her phone. She called the person on the other line, Tito Rene. That Tito Rene was none othe rthan Rene Sarmiento of the Comelec. She told him about the slow pace and passed the phone to the one in charge. Like a snap of a finger, the pace was hastened. From the snail-like 5 at a time, it became 20 at a time. By 3:08 pm, I was done. It took me 7 minutes to vote. The 5 hrs. of waiting was all worth it. Despite my aching feet and tingling knee, I was happy to vote.

I must apologize to my friend Leah because I kept bugging her about reports of irregularities in Las Piñas. At least I had someone to suffer with. I did not bother to have merienda. The long wait made me lose my appetite. I did drink about 2 liters of water when I got home. It was a draining experience but it was worth it. The true test of the automated polls is the counting and transmission. We really have to be vigilant and patient.


Sunday, May 09, 2010

A City Held Hostage

As things are going, Manny Villar's presidential run maybe over. In fact, the specter of losing even his hometown of Las Piñas is highly possible. The once formidable Villars could be losing their grip. It's somehow their fault as their base, the informal settlers of the city has dwindled in number and those who remain have discovered how "unnecessary" their existence is to the Villars. Alas, some form of persuasion is needed to get their influence back.

The majority of homeowners of the different villages and subdivisions in Las Piñas never liked the Villars. If not for their base, the Villars wouldn't win in the city. The residents of Philam Life is rabidly anit-Villar. In fact, coercion and intimidation is the name of the game. Any household who bares any form of support for Noynoy Aquino will have to deal with uncollected garbage. Stores which hang yellow ribbons or banners of Noy-Mar are threatened with with closure. But the Villars and Aguilars have upped the ante. They are now wooing the house-help, drivers of both private and public transports and the remaining informal settlers.

Last Sunday, May 2, drivers and house-help of Philam were approached by Villar coordinators and asked to sign up and invited to a meeting the following day. May 3 at around 4pm, they went to the covered court of Remarville (a village beside Philam) where the daughter of incumbent Las Piñas mayor Nene Aguilar was there to meet them. April Aguilar then started her short talk. This is how the event was told to me by one of those present.

"Sabihan niyo na ang mga amo niyo, lahat ng di bobot ko Manny Villar ay di bibigyan ng Friendship Sticker(this is the sticker given to all car-owners of the city as a pass to enter the other subdivisions in Las Piñas). Hindi sila tatanggap ng kahit anong sebisyo mula sa munisipyo. Lahat ng may negosyo ay di bibigyan ng permit o lisensya. Kung may pending papers or documents for release ay sisiguraduhin naming matatagal ilabas. Alam namin kung sinu-sino sila at kung sino ang kanilang iboboto kaya di sila makaligatas. Ayaw ko na sarili niyang lugar ay matalo si Manny Villar. Nakakahiya ito pag nangyari."

Warn your employers, everyone who will not vote for Manny Villar will not be issued Friendship Stickers. They will not be extended any service from the city hall (i.e. medical, garbage collection or other social services) . Those applying for business permits or licenses will be denied. We will make sure that those whose papers or documents are pending release will wait a very long time. We know who they are and who they will vote for and they cannot escape us. I don't want Manny Villar to lose in his hometown. This will be very embarrassing.

After her speech, those who attended, around twenty of them, were fed with Minute Burger and Zesto Juice. Another meeting like this took place a day after. This time around, poor folks and tricycle drivers were invited. Around 700 attended. The same stern warning was issued and were also fed afterwards. In both meetings, all attendees were given P400 each. I was able to interview a tricycle driver yesterday. I teased him about the check sticker (Villar's campaign logo) on his trike. I even offered him a yellow ribbon. He politely declined and said, "Gusto ko po pang makapag-trabaho (I still want to work)."

Sadly, not one of those whom I inteviewed is willing to come out officially. They are all afraid of the Villars and Aguilars. So this is what is happening in the little city of Las Piñas. Coercion and intimidation is the norm. Last March, persons wearing orange shirts and claiming to be local Comelec officials went house to house asking how many voters are there in every house. Will the elections in Las Pinas be clean? Will intimidation get to the nerves of the voters and allow themselves to be used in cheating? This is an example of traditional politics at its purest.

To the Villars and Aguilars, you may own 3/4ths of the city but you don't own the people of Las Piñas. Your little kingdom will someday crumble too. Your goons and gold cannot subvert the people's will. Isn't the wealth you now possess enough? Mahiya naman kayo, hindi kayo mga diyos!


Friday, May 07, 2010


Manny Villar may have circumvented the law, but the people of Norzagaray, Bualacan has something to say to him. This is how ruthless, Manny Villar is. How can we trust him when he can do this to the poor farmers and Dumagats? Villar obviously knows what he's doing. He knows the tricks of the trade. He knows who to deal with to legitimize his land grabbing. Come Monday, May 10, you know who not to vote for. Unless of course you want someone who can turn the country into one big subdivision.


How My Ballot Will Look On May 10

I never believed in block voting. I always wanted a balance. But with the candidates paraded before me, balance is out of the picture. I cannot in my conscience choose anyone from the Nacionalista Party nor from Erap's Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino. Joey de Venecia may be a good alternative just because he chose to expose a vukgar transaction. And yes, P500 million is a huge amount to turn down. Ang Kapatiran is too extreme for me as I believe that you can be morally upright without extremism. Any PaLaKa candidate is a big no-no for me. I guess by now you have an idea of who I'm voting for. Contrary to my usual practice, I'm voting straight Liberal Party.

No. 2 AQUINO, Benigno Simeon C. III

Vice Pres.:
No. 6 ROXAS, Manuel A.

  • No. 1 ACOSTA, Jr Nereus O.
  • No. 5 BAUTISTA, Martin D.
  • No. 7 BIAZON, Rozzano Rufino B.
  • No. 14 DRILON, Franklin M.
  • No. 19 GUINGONA, Teofisto III D.
  • No. 23 LACSON, Alexander L.
  • No. 26 LAO, Yasmin B.
  • No. 28 LIM, Danilo D.
  • No. 4o OSMEÑA, Sergio III D.
  • No. 48 RECTO, Ralph G.
  • No. 51 ROCO, Sonia M.

My choice for Party-list is No. 58 Akbayan. Ang Ladlad (No. 89) is also a good choice because they have bigger balls than Bayad Muna and because they actually need official representation in congress.


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Accountability and Moving Forward

If we believe that going after crooks in government is mere vengeance, then we'll never get out of the rut we're in. If moving forward is turning a blind eye to the transgressions of outgoing officials, then let's just open the gates of corruption. Gibo Teodoro maybe intelligent but certainly not an agent of change. It utter stupidity not to go after the criminals who brought our institutions down. Gloria may have given him the break in his career but as president, he must uphold the law. To leave it to the people to go after these grafters says much about what kind of public servant he really is.

Look at how the current commissioners of the PCCG are treating the Marcoses. They've literally given them a "pat" on the hand. These bungling buffoons are mere 15/30 employees satisfied with getting paid doing nothing. How can we ever move forward when history keeps repeating itself because we let these hoodlums get away with their loot? There simply is no justice to be had. Erap may have been convicted but look at where he is now?

It's high time we teach these scoundrels a lesson. The elections will decide where this country will head to. We need a leader who will not only inspire us but one who will give us justice. He needs to be committed to the mission of getting back all the monies these thieves stole from our country's coffers. We've already heard them speak. Only a few speaks from the heart. Only a few are willing to end corruption. Only a few are sincere.

We've already lost billions because of these looters. We don't need someone who will let those who brought this country to the brink of destruction go free. Come May 10, vote for someone who you believe will prove that crime does not pay.


Sunday, May 02, 2010

Tres Babaeros

Finally, the Tres Babaeros have come to Manny Villar's aid. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines could not have put it better, "don't vote for candidates endorsed by womanizers." As expected, the trio of Willie Revillame, Manny Pacquiao and Dolphy came out with an ad exalting Villar to high heavens while doing a demolition job on Noynoy Aquino. The common denominator of the three is not their influence on the poor but as abusers of women. But there are statements uttered that deserves attention.

Willie Revillame said, "Mabuti na ang masaktan kesa ang manakit." Maybe Willie has forgotten how much pain he caused by using the desperation of the poor and lured them to a stampede that cost so many lives. Ganyan nga Willie, lokohin mo pa ang mga mahihirap at mangmang. Wala ka nga bang sinaktan? Maybe you should have looked yourself in the mirror and recalled the not so distant tragic past before you uttered these words.

Poor Mr. Dolphy. His children did not fare well in life. This is a person asking us to entrust our children's future in a man whose shady dealings have ruined investors' lives while enjoying a life of bounty. Dolphy sure is a good judge of character. If you are to ask me, I wouldn't believe a person who has children with very troubled lives. It really is so selfish of him to father so many kids he couldn't take care of. Would you now risk our country's future and live it in the hands of a man who have done so many wrongs to investors who trusted him? What about the thousands of informal settlers in Las Piñas? They have no place in any of Villar's plans. Paano mo mabibigyan ng bahay ang walang bahay na Pilipino kung sa mallit mong siyudad ay napakaraming walang tirahan? What about the future of farmers whose lands were converted into subdivisions? Oh com'on.

Lastly, Pacquiao should have studied Aquino's record first before saying na puro laban sa salita pero wala pang nagagawa. He maybe a good boxer but certainly do not know a thing or two about public service. Or maybe mahilig din siyang magbuhat ng sariling bangko. After all, Noynoy works quietly and does his work without much fanfare. Unlike Pacquiao, Noynoy doesn't need hype or publicity. Ikaw Manny, alam kong may nagawa ka na. Ilang "milagro" na ba ang nagawa sa asawa mo? The late Pres. Cory Aquino was never a public servant yet the people put their trust in her. Another bad judge of character, Pacquiao just adores the likes of Chavit Singson and Gloria Arroyo. What a fine lot to be identified with.

Three (in)famous womanizers are appealing to us voters to support a candidate who has muscled his way to riches. They want us to vote for a man who has lied, cheated and abused his position to enrich himself. Will you be swayed by their endorsement? I'd like to believe that the Filipinos are not stupid. Here are three men who have clearly abused women and children by their lifestyle. They are all materially rich but morally bereft. I would never listen to people who have questionable moral values. The Tres Babaeros may have hit it big in their own fields. They maybe richer than most of us. But I can face my family everyday because I have been loyal to them. What counts most in this elections in not just what you have achieved. What counts most is integrity, credibility and sincerity. Villar obviously does not possess these qualities.

Sadly, even the Tres Babaeros will not be able to save Villar's candidacy. Overconfidence brought Villar down. Overselling himself did him in. Villar thought that with the right story, he can become president. He may have gotten away with a lot of things in his rise to power, what he forgot is that there is such a thing as karma. At least he's used to wearing orange. Who knows, he may someday be elected as the BJMP's best dancer and YouTube's next dancing superstar.