Erap back to the Palace?

Former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada eat his words. He told the nation that he will not seek elective position again. He assured that his participation in politics is meant to unite to opposition. However, he threaten to run if the opposition failed to unite.

Now, Erap is positioning himself for 2010. And he and his cohorts are determined that he will get back to Malacañang.

While other presidential aspirants spend millions for their radio and TV infomercial and spend a lot of time politicking to get media mileage, Erap follow a different trail. Erap goes to countryside through his ‘lakbay pasasalamat’.

Lakbay pasasalamat is not just an act of gratitude but an obvious early political campaign. Recently in Cebu, Erap even started to endorse candidates.

Indicators are clear. Erap will run in presidential battle in 2010. Earlier, I wrote that Erap can aspire but cannot run. I still stand on that. But the question if Erap can run or not will still be subject to long legal battle. No one can foretell what the opinion of Supreme Court on this.

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Ed Panlilio: from the Altar to Capitol and soon to the Palace?

Although expected, it was still surprising to see Gov. Ed Panlilio among five presidential aspirants during leader’s forum, Countdown 2010, hosted by ABS-CBN.

His presence had given me strong feeling that he has strong desire to be the next president. Gov. Ed Panlilio seemed to be inserting himself to the president-to-be short list.

Gov. Ed Panlilio

I thought the first Filipino Roman Catholic priest elected as provincial governor in the Philippines will continue to serve Pampanga, the province that gives him chance to get noticed in entire country. I imagined that Gov. Panlilio will campaign for his second term.  But I was fooled with my expectations that Among Ed will prove his worth in Pampanga provincial capitol and the worth of his suspension as priest.

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ABS-CBN, the Lopezes, and the 2010 election

ABS-CBN’s Boto Mo, I-Patrol Mo: Ako ang Simula is a good example of how mass media take part in the transformation of our society. While it’s too early to talk on the impact of  Boto Mo, I-Patrol Mo: Ako ang Simula, it’s launching in May 11, 2009 proved on how citizens get excited on being involved in getting and sharing information.

Which way ABS-CBN will take in 2010? As TV giant and with its nationwide reach, it surely gets high impact among voters. While ABS-CBN project itself as an independent media, we cannot forget the fact that media companies cannot always distance itself from its owners. Will ABS-CBN’s coverage in 2010 elections cannot be tinted with bias to politicians the Lopezes are siding with?

The Lopez family has businesses to protect so it is difficult to believe that the family remains neutral in 2010.

To whom will Lopez family side with in 2010? Most likely, ABS-CBN supports to candidates who also sided with its owners. Of course, the biases of ABS-CBN, whatever they are, are highly unnoticeable.

Recently, ABS-CBN news anchor Korina Sanchez her love affairs to Mar Roxas gets heavy airtime in various program in ABS-CBN. We all know that Mar Roxas is aggressively positioning himself to win in 2010 and ABS-CBN’s exposure to her relationship with Korina will surely gets impact.

Here’s the question: Are the Lopezes favor Mar?

Blog authored by batang buotan: (Link opens in new window)

Loren Legarda versus Chiz Escudero in 2010

Yes, you read it right! In 2010, the most dramatic political battle will be Loren Legarda’s quest to get the NPC’s presidential nomination.

Earlier, NPC patriarch Danding Cojuangco announced that NPC will have Loren and Chiz. However, it was not clear if it will be Loren – Chiz tandem or Chiz – Loren tandem.

After the announcement, Loren Legarda’s body language seem tell everybody that she is the anointed one and she has the sure fire in 2010.

Will Loren gets NPC nomination?

That makes Loren so annoying. Yes, she is visible in surveys but her arrogance make her an annoying political material. Imagine, until this time, she still believes that she won in 2004! In her political ads, she spoke about corruption but she had been more visible as kidnapping negotiator rather than a figure in the battle against corruption.

When asked by reporters about her plan, she confidently revealed that she is ready to lead the Philippines. That raised the eyebrows of some. She even attempted to announce officially that she will run as president in 2010 during her birthday.

The best thing Loren must do now is to concede to Noli de Castro and control her smiles on TV. She will gain sympathy that way.

Will Chiz be the next President?

Here comes Chiz Escudero, a soft-spoken, close to the youth, humble and a fresh political material. Chiz is getting the attention of many. Many likes the way Chiz deals with his fate. He did not show arrogance. He never grow as proud as Loren. Filipino’s wisdom see that difference.

There are many chances that Chiz will be nominated as official presidential candidate of NPC. As reported, NPC will hold a national consultation. There are already indicators that most of NPC members will favor Chiz over Legarda.

A special consideration will also be the resistance of many to a woman president. In addition, Loren had shown her narrow view in joining a party. She just joined NPC becuase of personal reason.

Remember, Loren was vice president of Lakas but left the party becuase she run as vice president of Fernando Poe Jr.

Loren has just joined NPC. I think, NPC men will remember that. Besides, Loren appears to desperately want to get the highest position for political vindication.

Loren needs ‘to eat more rice and salt’ to get NPC nomination. Most likely she will be asked to run as Escudero’s vice president in 2010.

I doubt Loren will agree to run as vice president. Loren will have to either agree with party’s decision, or go back to the senate, or leave the party and run as president under other party.

Postscript: Chiz must also control his public appearances endorsing a product. He looks better as senator and future president rather than a product endorser.


The whole nation has been relieved upon hearing that the abductors finally released ABS-CBN reporter Ces Drilon and her companions in exchange of “livelihood package”.

With deep humility, Ces Drilon apologized for causing ‘headache’ to ABS-CBN. Media reports said that Drilon also apologized to her children, mother, brother, sister, and to Encarnacion’s children, saying she felt “so irresponsible”.

Indeed her abduction by few men identified themselves as Abu Sayyaf was an extra-painful not only to ABS-CBN, family, and friends but also to the good people in Sulu, the goverment authorities, and the nation as a whole.

I agree with Drilon’s word that she had been so ‘irresponsible’ for putting her life and the life of her companion at risk. More than what she thought, she also endangered the life of the negotiators and the lives of the people of Sulu.

However, I do not blame Ces Drilon for going to Sulu for a journalistic assignment which instead of resulting to common good, became a national disaster. I am certain if I shoot my stern look to the Military for failing to secure the “special coverage” of Drilon and her team. Should I curse the government for its repeated commitment to crush the Abu bandits yet repeatedly failed to do so? I could not. Doing such will make me insane.

I point my finger to her abductor. Wherever they come from, those bandits always pose as threat. They are like frustrated actors waiting for a cue to upstage the ‘famous’ and take the lead role mainly to get their dubious desire. And there we are, negotiating, pleading, compromising, appealing so that no life will be lost.

We are trapped into this vicious cycle. This already happened many times – bandits abduct, set deadline, terrorize the nation with their threat to behead their captives. During these times, we bargain, we compromise, we give in. Life is more important than the rule of law, after all.

Have we forgotten the Burnham and the other innocent victims of Abu bandits? How much have we wasted in an effort to crush them? How many opportunities have we lost?

Albert Einstein has reminded us that ‘the world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.’

And he added that ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’ is called insanity.

Blog I author (Bisaya): Ambot Lang!

Is it time to Cha-Cha?

For several times, we rejected the proposal to amend our constitution out of fears of ‘hidden motives’ that are already widely discussed. Whether the ‘fears’ had basis or not, those were not important. The past proposals were all archived for ‘good’.

During the Ramos administration (in 1997), we witnessed the first attempt to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution. The proposed amendments became very popular as Charter Change or “Cha-Cha.” Criticism stormed the proposal. It never prospered, of course.

Ousted president, Joseph Estrada had also his own version of Cha-Cha called Constitutional Correction for Development (CONCORD). Again, it never got much support. Unlike the previous proposal, CONCORD was more attractive because of the keyword, “economy”.

In 2005, then Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. led several congressmen in pursuing a move to amend the Constitution through the Constituent Assembly. Once again, criticism rained the proposal. On December 2006, de Venecia declared, “Con-ass [constituent assembly] initiative is now dead.” [1]

In April 2008, 11 Senators (It increases to 16.) backed Joint Resolution No. 10 – a new tune of old Cha-Cha. The lower house expressed support as long as the change is after 2010. The keyword “Federalism” excites many.

Now, Cha-Cha is no longer danced – it becomes talk of the town. Is this the right time to Cha-Cha?

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Walk for Truth

It was absurd. The so called “Walk for Truth” of Senators Allan Peter Cayetano and Benigno Aquino III, Rodolfo Lozada, Jr., and their supporters was ridiculously unreasonable.

Needless to say, the Senate has the right to file motion for reconsideration to Supreme Court’s March 25 ruling that the three questions that Romulo Neri refused to answer were covered by executive privilege. But did Senators Allan Peter Cayetano and Benigno Aquino III and friends needed to dramatize it?

Cayetano was quoted in Inquirer.Net report saying, we participated in this activity because we want to inform the public that the NBN-ZTE controversy is a big issue that should be dealt with thoroughly.

I want to inform the good senator that the public has known already that the NBN-ZTE controversy is a big issue. And the public deal with it thoroughly.

The most ridiculous, irresponsible, and unreasonable statement came from Senator Noynoy Aquino. In a QTV report, I heard him saying:

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