Everything you've wanted to know about RP politics, but were afraid to ask.

From the columnists

Posted by akosistella on April 26, 2010


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Erap vs. Villar: ‘Lintik lang ang walang ganti’
Big Deal by Dan Mariano

Estrada added that Villar violated the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (Republic Act 6713) when he lobbied on behalf of his private business interests with the SEC and PSE. Villar was Senate president at the time.

To all this, Villar has responded with the oft-repeated claim that he did nothing illegal.

Using an argument reminiscent of Estrada’s own attempt to justify his ties to jueteng syndicates, Villar now insists that his representation—i.e. lobbying—for his companies with the PSE and SEC did not cost the government anything. He even helped raise millions of pesos for the National Treasury in the form of taxes, he added.

Click Dan Mariano

Agra shocker: Diversionary tactic?
By Ellen Tordesillas

WHILE everybody is busy moving heaven and earth to prevent Justice Alberto Agra from clearing Zaldy Ampatuan, former governor of the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao, and his uncle Akmad of complicity in the Nov 23, 2009 massacre in Maguindanao, the government panel negotiating with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Muslim rebel group are moving towards signing an agreement that officials say would lead to peace in Mindanao but others are concerned that it could spark another round of war.

via Ellen Tordesillas

THERE’S THE RUB By Conrado de Quiros

OUR editorial last Friday pointed out what was monstrously wrong with it. Andal Ampatuan could not have mounted his, well, moro-moro—my profoundest apologies to Moros—last week, which was to don yellow and swear undying loyalty to Noynoy Aquino with the same fanatical fervor with which he swears death to his enemies, without the collusion of his jailers.

via Conrado de Quiros

Single issue voting a disservice to nation

One of the unfortunate developments in this election season is the rise of single issue groups. The issues at stake in our election are too complex to justify selecting a candidate on the basis of his or her stand on a single issue. Yet that is precisely what some groups are doing, to the utter disservice to our nation.

 It is an American thing, essentially propagated by the so-called Right to Lifers. But the Pinoy copycats are not far behind. Perhaps, it is something to be expected in this age when religious bigots are on the rise. The Taliban phenomenon is not just a Muslim problem but a Christian malady as well. Fundamentalist Christians are as unreasonably intolerant of contradictory views as their Fundamentalist Muslim counterparts, a condition anathema in a democratic society. 

Click Boo Chanco.

Comelec misinterprets parallel manual count
GOTCHA By Jarius Bondoc

For two weeks the Comelec has been resisting proposals for a parallel manual count (PMC) of ballots. The poll body is doing so out of ignorance — even bad faith and deceit.

Three-dozen info-tech professional associations had thought up the PMC for believable election results. Only one of every two surveyed voters trusts the automated election system and believes the Comelec ready for it. So the IT men studied time-and-motion the manual checking of votes only for President, Vice President and Mayor. The process took only three, four or five hours, depending if clusters consisted of three, four or five precincts (600, 800, 1,000 voters). Such delay before transmitting tallies to canvassers on Election Day would be worth it, given a bridging of the credibility gap. With three teacher-officials manning each of the 76,340 clusters and 1,440 canvass centers, it would cost about P300 million in overtime pay. Again, a far cry from the P700 million that the Comelec was prepared to waste on useless but overpriced ballot secrecy folders. Business and lawyers’ groups liked the idea, and began lobbying with Comelec to adopt it.

via Jarius Bondoc

Election time legalities
Sounding BoardBy Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J.

FORGET about the President’s power to appoint a chief justice or even about gerrymandering in Camarines Sur and elsewhere; but do not lose heart. Just remember what one writer said about the Supreme Court: “Because the key phrases of the Constitution have such grand ambiguities, the Court has wide discretion in passing on matters with a constitutional dimension, and because such matters are likely to concern and affect the larger issues of life, the Court, in passing on them, exercises great political power . . . . The special burden of the Court, then, is to exercise great political powers while still acting like a court, or if we prefer, to exercise judicial powers over a wide domain while remaining, realistic, and alert as to the political significance of what it is doing.”

via Fr. Bernas

Avoiding a majority at all costs
THE LONG VIEW By Manuel L. Quezon III

WITH two weeks to go before Election day, there are four competitions simultaneously taking place when it comes to the presidency and vice presidency. The first is, of course, for frontrunner Benigno Aquino III, to maintain and improve his status. The second is for second place, between Manuel Villar Jr. and Joseph Estrada. The third is among everyone else, so that they can make a respectable showing and perhaps open up the possibility of a Senate bid in 2013 and another run for the presidency in 2016.

via Manolo Quezon


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