On Election 2010: Choose the Way of God

In a pamphlet, Cockfight, Horserace, Boxing Match (Why Elections are Covered as Sport) published by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (2004), journalist Sheila Coronel wrote:

Philippine elections have always been intense political exercises. […] No other event can mobilize so many citizens in such a concentrated period of time as election can.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) observed:

[The] Philippine politics – the way it is practised – has been most hurtful of us as a people. It is possibly the biggest bane in our life as a nation and the most pernicious obstacle to our achieving of full human development.

(stated in 1997 Pastoral Exhortation on Politics)

The Vote God campaign launched recently by the Dilaab Foundation serve as our guide on May 10, 2010.  It calls us to take roles on the most intense political exercises we have in this country. Instead of hurting each other; instead of shaming each other; we can work together to make election the most pleasant experience for all of us.

If you have seen the video I shared in An Election without Vote Buying, you have witnessed how the people in Calidngan in Carcar City, Cebu was transformed. Why they succeed? The reason is simple. The people in Calidngan choose the way of God.

Vote God

Together, let us take roles for a clean, honest, and peaceful election. Let us choose the way of God.

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An Election without Vote Buying

An election in the Philippines without vote buying happened recently. Thanks to the people who continue to believe and continue to have faith. Thanks to God.

I used to believe that vote buying cannot be eradicated unless people are totally wiped out. I’m felt so sorry for this wrong thoughts.

When I saw the video on the case of Calidngan. I felt the shame to myself. There was a moment of guilt. Then, I was inspired and felt blessed.

Calidngan is a mountain barangay nine kilometers away from Carcar City, Cebu and 40 km away from Cebu City. The main way of living there is farming. The people in Calidngan prove that an election without vote buying is possible. Please watch this video.

Small beginnings – The Calidngan Story Part 1

Small beginnings – The Calidngan Story Part 2

Let’s continue to believe on small beginnings. Now tell me, it is possible that we can have an election without vote buying? Yes, it is. Yes we can.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia for Vice President?

Cebu’s first lady governor might become Philippines’ first vice president!

Gibo-Garcia tandem_Photo credit: Micheal Ong

Gibo-Garcia tandem. Photo credit: Michael Victor Ong

Today’s top story of The Philippine Star, Gibo-Gwen tandem emerging for Lakas, hints Gov. Gwen’s alliance to administration’s presidential bet, Defense Secretary Gilbert ‘Gibo’ Teodoro.

Has Garcia tempted to seek higher position? No one knows yet. The report in The Philippine Star says:

The tandem of Lakas-Kampi standard-bearer Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro and Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia for the 2010 elections is emerging as negotiations for what the administration sees as a powerhouse team-up are nearing the homestretch, officials said yesterday.

The report only mentioned ‘official’ and ‘the source’ making the story appears like test field of Teodoro-Garcia tandem. Gov. Gwen’s vice presidential bid remained as rumor.

Several months ago her name has been floated as good candidate for vice president. Gov. Gwen was cold on that hot news. She manifested that she will continue to serve as governor in Cebu rather than seek national position.

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What’s good for Cebu: BRT, LRT or Both?

Like garbage or solid waste, traffic congestion becomes major by-product of Cebu’s urbanization. One of Metro Cebu’s major challenge is how to address the worsening traffic congestion. One good option is to have a mass transport system within the metropolitan area.

Metro Cebu’s traffic demand will continue to experience rapid growth of over three percent towards the next century, says the case study Metropolitan Cebu: The Challenge of Definition and Management by Ruben Mercado of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies.

Several other studies recommend the need for a mass transport system in Metro Cebu. But the kind of mass transport system Cebu needs is currently discussed.

Mass transport system is almost synonymous to Light Rail Transit (LRT) or the Metro Rail Transit (MRT). The LRT/MRT system is suggested for Metro Cebu. Cebuanos, upon hearing this, get so excited until the cost of constructing and maintaining it was revealed.

Cebu  City Mayor Tomas Osmena, has been suggesting and pushing Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT). Obviously, Mayor Tommy’s mind is already nailed to BRT although several studies are yet to be done.

There is unsolicited proposal for Cebu Light Rail Transit (LRT) pushed by most of Metro Cebu chief executives and the DOTC. It seems Cebu LRT is coming too close not until Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena announced that he still wait until the studies of BRT are done before he can give a stand (recommendation) to LRT project.

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Hilario Davide III as next Cebu governor?

Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia, unlike 2006 election, now has reason to tighten her belt with the entry of Cebu City councilor Hilario Davide III in the scene.  Councilor Davide is not a big threat to Gov. Gwen Garcia but he is a very good political material for Cebu province. While the governor must tighten her belt, councilor Davide must prepare because he must be sweating too much to beat Garcia.

Perhaps Councilor Hilario Davide III must consume a ton of Sinanduloy and do Suroy-suroy sa Sugbo as fast as he could to win in Cebu gubernatorial race.

The talk about councilor Davide started when presidential aspirant Noynoy Aquino appointed as chairman of the Liberal Party (LP) in Cebu province. The party has yet to reveal its bet for Cebu governor in 2010. When asked about running for Cebu governor, councilor Davide told reporters that he is ready to run.

But he has yet to work on his qualifications. Hilario Davide III is currently serving as Cebu City councilor. Cebu City residents do not vote for Cebu provincial governor. Davide’s residence issue is being solved. According to reports, he will transfer his voter’s record to Argao. When he does, he needs also to resign as Cebu City councilor.

Transferring his voter’s record on or before October 30 will still not solve the residence issue.

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Nerissa Soon-Ruiz: The next Mandaue City Mayor?

Rep. Nerissa Soon-Ruiz (6th district, Province of Cebu) confirmed to reporters that she will run for mayor in Mandaue City in 2010 national and local elections. Rep. Soon-Ruiz denied earlier reports that she will run for mayor in Lapu-Lapu city.

Rep. Soon-Ruiz is now on her third term as Representative.

Rep. Nerissa Soon-Ruiz, however admitted that her husband, DILG Undersecretary Lito Ruiz, might run for mayor of Lapu-Lapu City if majority of the people asked him to run.

Thus, we can say that Nerissa is for Mandaue City; Lito is for Lapu-Lapu City. If both won, Nerissa Soon-Ruiz and Lito Ruiz will be the first couple to lead Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu City at the same time. If that happens, Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu City will not only be tagged as bridge cities but couple (conjugal) cities as well.

Nerissa Soon-Ruiz, a member of KAMPI and the One Cebu party, has been elected five terms as a member of the House of Representatives, representing the 6th district of the Province Cebu from 1992 to 1998, and from 2001 to present.

In 1995,  Nerissa Soon-Ruiz run as Mandaue City mayor but lost to Thadeo Ouano. She eventually returned to Congress.

If the present mayor of Mandaue, Jonas Cortes run for second term, then he will be facing against a seasoned politician, Nerissa Soon-Ruiz.

As the the present administration of Mayor Jonas Cortes is hurled with criticism of ineptitude, the people of  Mandaue will likely turn to Nerissa Soon-Ruiz who knows how to pamper constituents.