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

Views from columnists

Posted by akosistella on May 12, 2010


Learning from Lee Kuan Yew
AD LIB By Greg Macabenta

The management team that the new chief executive would assemble, along with his vice-president, will either lighten his load or add to the burden. This would depend on his choices and his ability to deal with them individually and as a team. Even the best advisers can become a burden when ego and self-interest prevail over duty.

The heaviest burden of all would be the culture of patronage, personal loyalties, utang na loob, short-cuts, nepotism, special treatment and misguided priorities and values — ingredients of a culture of corruption.

Click Greg Macabenta

Return of optimism
LEFT FIELD By A. R. Samson

Optimists are not always welcome to a televised discussion. They are too often dismissed as out of touch or too naive. The belief that things will turn out well in spite of the naysayers which media like to feature often seems almost irresponsible. And when things do turn out well and the sky not only failed to fall but features a blue sky and a yellow sun shining, optimists are not allowed to say — I told you so.

It is said that if pessimists like our so-called IT experts (our modern-day Cassandras) see Christ walking on water, they are likely to say that maybe he can’t swim. Optimism is certain to be making the rounds in the next few months, mostly having lunch with businessmen. She will be gaining more supporters and encountering fewer wet blankets. Optimism has always been the businessman’s mistress, someone he hides and keeps out of sight but loves with a passion. Inside the businessman’s body beats the heart of an optimist.

Click A.R. Samson

Beginning and end
THERE’S THE RUB By Conrado de Quiros

NINE MONTHS AGO, RAIN FELL ON THIS earth but the people refused to budge. They had tumbled out of their houses to join the procession, and even as the wind swirled and the water poured, they refused to break ranks and seek shelter. That was the procession to bring the remains of Corazon Aquino to her final resting place.

Observers would place the size of the crowd at equal, if not indeed more than, the one that brought her husband, Ninoy, to his own final resting place 26 years earlier. All the more remarkable for man (or woman) and nature conspiring to not make it so. The woman had declared that day a holiday ostensibly to honor the dead but more than likely to dishonor it by luring the people, the students especially, to the Mall of Asia rather than the pall of ages. And nature had sent a storm to daunt the dauntless, the skies adding more tears to the copious ones shed by a grieving nation.

Click Conrado de Quiros

The temptation of expediency

We have a new president. We now shift our focus on Congress. Who will lead the Senate and the House of Representatives? Will the new Congress reclaim its status as a co-equal and independent branch of government, or will it continue to be the servile assistant of the Executive?

The House is weak because its members defer to the president’s dedazo, the act of pointing a finger to indicate one’s preference. Jose de Venecia Jr. became Speaker when Gloria Arroyo pointed her forefinger at him. He lost his job when she pointed her middle finger at him. It need not be that way.

Click Manuel Buencamino

A gracious political act
ANALYSIS By Amando Doronila

IN JUST 15 HOURS, OR LESS THAN A DAY after the close of voting in the country’s first computerized election on Monday, Sen. Manuel Villar, who was running third in the tally of presidential poll results, conceded defeat to Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Villar’s concession stamped a historical landmark as the swiftest ever in the annals of bitter Philippine presidential elections, in which losers seldom conceded defeat in polls often marred by violence and rampant cheating. The concession came in the wake of a deluge of results announced by the Commission on Elections at 11:11 Monday night, showing Aquino leading his nearest rival, former President Joseph Estrada, by more than 3.3. million votes, based on 57 percent of the election results electronically counted by the Comelec. At that moment Aquino tallied 8,958,396 votes, against Estrada’s 5,678,821, and Villar’s 3,058, 942.

Click Amando Doronila

Usurping Congress’ canvassing mandate
FRONTLINE By Ninez Cacho Olivares

What the Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioners are doing is all wrong, in the sense that they as a body, are not empowered by the Constitution to announce the results of the elections on the presidential and vice presidential level, since this rightly belongs to Congress, that is tasked to canvass the results of the top two political posts, automated or manual, taken from the provincial certificates of canvass.

The task of the Comelec en banc, constituted as a national election canvasser, is to strictly announce and proclaim the senatorial winners.

Click Ninez Cacho-Olivares

A little paranoia led to vigilance at polls

The news so far has been encouraging. We took our sacred duty in a democratic society seriously. A little paranoia, a nagging fear that you-know-who could try something fishy to stay there beyond June 30 led to an EDSA 1 like experience at voting centers nationwide. The act of voting was not easy. But people knew they had a lot riding on this election and were willing to make the sacrifice.

It was very encouraging to see people of all ages taking responsibility for their lives by enthusiastically voting. I suspect media warnings of dire consequences made people want to send an extra strong message that they will not stand for any more funny tricks from power hungry politicians. This time around, no one can accuse the Pinoy of being complacent …of taking the electoral process for granted.

Click Boo Chanco.

Automated victory

WE won!

We all did, even those who lost. We were able to pull off an automated election with minimum bother. Sure those pesky and temperamental PCOS machines never lived up to expectation but we Pinoys did something unimaginable. We patiently learned how to use the machines and never wavered even when, in some cases, we were tested to the limit.

Via Ducky Paredes

Revisit Pary-list
BIG DEAL By Dan Mariano

The weekend before E-Day, talk in online social networks, coffee shops, parish courtyards and elsewhere no longer swirled around the presidential candidates. Just about everyone assumed that the presidency was already in Noynoy Aquino’s bag.

Instead, discussion among many citizens centered on the so-called party-list system, particularly Pampanga Rep. Mikey Arroyo’s gambit to remain in Congress as number-one nominee of Ang Galing Pinoy (AGP).

Click Dan Mariano

Stormiest selection ever of Chief Justice
GOTCHA By Jarius Bondoc

It was the stormiest selection ever of a Chief Justice. Bitter words exchanged. The Supreme Court’s image waned as the last bastion against absolute power. Bared was the vulnerability of the Judiciary — even of the fighting Senate — to influence by the Executive.

Dark clouds began to gather in December, long before CJ Reynato Puno’s retirement on May 17 would create a vacancy. The Judicial and Bar Council that vets judgeships was told that early to nominate replacements to Gloria Arroyo. At once authors of the 1987 Constitution and leading lawyers opposed admin Rep. Matias Defensor’s “premature” suggestion. Supposedly it would make Puno a lame duck in his last five months of jurisprudential leadership. Moreover, they said, the departing President had no authority to name a CJ on May 17. The date falls within the constitutional ban on midnight appointments, 60 days before a presidential election till the June 30 end of the President’s term. Draw up a shortlist if you must, they advised the JBC, but give it to the next President who’d still have time to meet the Constitution’s 90-day rule to fill up vacancies in the Supreme Court. Everything depended on Puno, as head of both the Court and JBC.

Via Phil. Star


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