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WHEN ANDRES Montejo became mayor of Malalag, Davao del Sur in 1994, he dreamed of turning the fifth-class municipality into an agricultural center of Region XI. His town, unfortunately, was not strategically located, stiff competition drove the value of its people’s produce down, the locals lacked technical skills, and municipal employees did not have the necessary capabilities for development planning, resource development, fiscal management, and enterprise development. Neither did Malalag seem to have the capacity to generate its own funds; at the time, it was almost fully dependent on its share of the Internal Revenue Allotment. (More on PCIJ)
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Posted April 10, 2007 23:54:00(Mla Time)

The recent opinion surveys on senatorial candidates sadden me. Former senator Loren Legarda, Sen. Francisco Pangilinan and Sen. Ralph Recto are faring very well in the senatorial race.

Legarda had a marriage preceding her union with Antonio Leviste. Pangilinan went through a marriage ceremony with Sharon Cuneta, who earlier married Gabby Concepcion and gave birth to KC Concepcion. Recto exchanged marriage vows with Mayor Vilma Santos, former wife of Edu Manzano and mother of Lucky Manzano.

According to the Holy Scripture, “[t]herefore, what God has joined together, let no human being put asunder.” (Mark, 10:9)

The previous marriages of Legarda, Cuneta and Santos were annulled? Yes, but by man’s authority, by force of a Family Code which is full of semantics to conceal that it allows divorce in the Philippines.

One related observation. Our judicial records contain final judgments that the fathers of KC Concepcion and Lucky Manzano were psychologically incapacitated to contract marriage at the very outset. But does anybody care? (More on Inquirer)

Originally Posted at

Eleksyon 2007: Major trends in campaig
By Winston A. Marbella
Last updated 03:25am (Mla time) 04/11/2007

(Last of three parts)

MANILA, Philippines — If Commission on Elections Chair Benjamin Abalos were to have his way, clean and credible elections would be just a text message away on May 14.

Announcing the Comelec’s “voters’ info-text service,” Abalos trumpeted, “Essential election information such as the national, local and party-list candidates and election results may be just a text message away with this service.”

Abalos said the new service will be available nationwide and allow the public to report electoral fraud and complaints, bringing “immense benefit to the electorate and encouraging them to take a more active role in safeguarding the elections.”

The service will also provide information on voting precincts when the Comelec comes out with the final list of voters. A unified number for the service is to be announced shortly, Abalos said.

The Comelec has accredited the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) as its quick count organization for May 14. Working together with the hundreds of thousands of volunteers for the Comelec’s official watchdog organization, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), the Namfrel could do a better job than its previous quick count, which ground to a halt with 80 percent of the vote because of problems with text messaging. (More on Inquirer)

Originally Posted at

Posted March 27, 2007 05:19:00(Mla Time)
Christian V. Esguerra

MANILA, Philippines — What does a doctor of medicine have to do with a group of tricycle drivers seeking representation in Congress?

Not only that, Dr. Arsenio Abalos is also the elder brother of Benjamin Abalos Sr., chair of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Akbayan party-list Rep. Loretta Ann Rosales Monday raised the issue before the Comelec, questioning the legality and propriety of the body accrediting a supposed party-list organization involving a close relative of its chair. (More on Inquirer)

Originally posted at

Posted March 27, 2007 05:07:00(Mla Time)

Our country right now needs not an economist or a politician but a public servant to uplift the lives (financially and morally) of the Filipino people. We are glad that Panfilo Lacson has the wisdom to address the root cause of poverty and a hard stance against corruption, injustice and disrespect for the Constitution. (More on Inquirer)

Originally posted at

Posted by: Avigail Olarte on 19 March 2007 at 9:29 pm

CAMPAIGN sorties, jingles, slogans, and personalities dominated media’s coverage of the senatorial elections in the first three weeks of the campaign.

This was one of the key findings of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) in its initial report on the 2007 elections coverage. From February 13 to March 2, CMFR monitored the coverage of the three major dailies — Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, and Manila Bulletin — and six television news programs from ABS-CBN 2, GMA 7, ABC 5, and NBN 4. (More on PICJ)

Originally posted at


Money, machine, media and/or movies, marriage, murder and mayhem, myth, and mergers — they are still the methods of choice even of the newer clans that like politics so much they have made it the family business.


The families that endure and survive political upheaval are more likely to be those that have a sustainable economic base to finance their participation in electoral battles. Philippine elections are costly — a congressional campaign in 2004, according to campaign insiders, could have cost up to P30 million in Metro Manila. In rural areas, the price tag is much less: P10 million on average, although campaigns can be run for P3 million or less in smaller districts where the competition is not too intense. (More on

Originally posted at

Posted March 15, 2007 11:27:00(Mla Time)

FIRE prevention month’s main commemorative activity was the burning to the ground of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) building. Only in the Philippines!

Destroyed were documents and evidence concerning pending and past election protests from 1995 to 2004, allegations of unethical behavior and illegal or corrupt contracts entered into by Comelec officials, and most significantly, to our mind, verification reports submitted by Comelec field offices concerning the registration of party-list and other political parties for the 2007 elections. (More on Inquirer)

Originally posted at

Posted March 15, 2007 11:29:00(Mla Time)
Joeber Bersales

WHOM the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad, the Greek philosopher Seneca once said. And Manny Pacquiao’s devil-may-care attitude towards running for a seat in Congress borders on madness. After prevaricating for a few weeks, he has finally come down the moral high ground the Filipino people afforded him, following untold victories in the boxing arena.

In a country bereft of modern-days heroes in the flesh (remember Ninoy Aquino had to die to be glorified), Manny Pacquiao was quickly embraced by all and sundry, for he was seemingly above the everyday and the ordinary. Now, everything is about to unravel. (More on Inquirer)

Originally posted at

Posted March 14, 2007 09:14:00(Mla Time)

Alex Villafania: Sir, good afternoon, Alex Villafania for I cover the Infotech beat.

Prospero Pichay: Yeah. Hi, Alex.

Alex Villafania: Sir, earlier you mentioned something about [the] business process outsourcing industry. Do you have any specific platforms regarding the IT [information technology] industry?

Prospero Pichay: Well, I think, as far as the IT industry, we already have the right infrastructure here, no? The requirement is at least two telcos. And we have PLDT and Bayantel. And we have places like Subic. We have Clark. We have other areas wherein you can really put up the BPOs. I think there’s no need for us to legislate. I think there’s a need for us to just invite these people who are into BPOs and show to them that the Philippines is a nice place.(More on Inquirer)

Originally posted at

Posted March 04, 2007 08:27:00(Mla Time)
Sylvia L. Mayuga

MANILA, Philippines — And so it came to pass – the five-ring circus of the May 2004 Philippine presidential elections siring the wild masked ball of the May 2008 congressional and local elections. Again, 70% of election expenses will go to funhouse distorting mirrors called political advertisements, mocking both the Filipino voter’s natural intelligence and hungry stomach.

Beginning with the ruling party’s sole binding philosophy of surviving the dubious mandate of 2004, here are scandals aplenty, but strangely enough, no real surprises.

Behold its senatorial candidates – turncoats, party lackeys, and “winnable” movie stars of dubious political sanity and training in public service. (Cesar Montano, you’re a great actor with a first-rate filmography – why on earth did you sign up for this major casting mistake?)

This brings us to a Commission on Elections in the ruling party’s pocket, its chair Benjamin Abalos the smooth-talking survivor of the infamous Hello-Garci election followed by the P2 B-vote counting machine scandal. The same Garci now runs for a congressional seat in Bukidnon in thick carabao hide as the Comelec continues along its idiosyncratic course.

This past week, Abalos casually pronounced the third Aquino candidate, dual citizen Theodore “Kuya Ted” Macabulos-Aquino, unqualified to run for the Senate because of “non-residency in the Philippines.” Aquino counters that he’s a part-time resident and international engineering consultant in the Philippines. As such, he submitted his ownership papers for a condominium in Makati, cedulas, and Philippine Immigration stamps on his passport when he filed his candidacy.

Information technology does not seem to be the Comelec’s strong suit, but these claims can be checked on a website built by Fil-American “Friends of Kuya Ted.” They say they’re rallying to share the fate of the homeland with their education and future investments – and could have no better representative in Congress than Kuya Ted.

(Noynoy Aquino filed a case for the Comelec to classify him a “nuisance candidate.” Kuya Ted counters that he’s a distant cousin willing to give all questionable Aquino votes to Noynoy, should it come to that.)

Meanwhile a pattern emerges in the Comelec’s record on party list candidacies, a provision in the 1986 Constitution meant as an instrument of post-EDSA people empowerment. Power to grant or refuse party list accreditation in the Comelec under Abalos continues to be a henhouse door wide open to the wolf of trapo politics.

This Armida Siguion-Reyna illustrates in her column, noting the recent accreditation of an association of tricycle drivers called Biyaheng Pinoy – with one Arsenio Abalos, elder brother of the Comelec chair, as director and national council member. She asks, why has Ang Ladlad, (“The Laid Out” or “Out of the Closet”) which applied for accreditation “at the same time if not earlier,” been rejected twice?

Ang Ladlad is of course the first-ever Filipino Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Trans-gender NGO cum political party, with students, intellectuals, and professionals in a stated nationwide membership of 16,000. Public curiosity has been pricked. For one, Miguel Antonio Lizada of the Sun-Star Davao wants to know if this rejection has “something to do with the fact that Ang Ladlad was leading in the race, next to Bayan Muna (Country First)?”

It is of course slightly different for Richard Gomez as a ruling party candidate for the Senate, another casting move for politics as showbiz. Blame the director for using Richard as nothing more than eye candy on the political stage. But blame Richard for seeing nothing wrong with running under the same pragmatic party that refused to accredit his cause-oriented NGO, Mamamayan Laban sa Droga (Citizens Against Drugs) – after he won as a party list candidate in the 2001 congressional race.

But what have we in the ranks of the opposition on the other side of this masked ball? There’s the real estate tycoon/ reelectionist senator Villar and his fellow reelectionist senator Pangilinan, both refusing to campaign on one platform with the “Genuine Opposition.” Does this have anything to do with the incarcerated ex-president Erap looming over them, moneybags ready to buy his freedom with a new dispensation?

Hardly over the trauma of the Hello Garci election of 2004, can the people prevent another vote-counting and canvassing fiasco in 2008? Such is public cynicism that the first sound of “boycott” emerged from a circle of former street parliamentarians the other night. The day before, it was a former Arroyo Cabinet member theorizing that creating confusion could precisely be a tactic of ruling party strategy – to turn off enough thinking voters from going to the polls at all, making it easier to manipulate results.

The mood is uncertainty. Not only are we confused about what the season’s candidates stand for besides themselves, we can only guess what’s behind their masks and try to remember where they really belong.

Armida Siguion-Reyna, sister of lifetime politician Juan Ponce Enrile, puts it well, “Our multi-party structure is no longer simply multi-party, but multi-multi party, with splinter groups further splintering. It’s as if national affairs are run by Partido Starbucks, with a branch in almost every kanto. It didn’t use to be like this.

“Our political landscape has been littered with turncoats, but at least in the older days one knew if a candidate was a former Liberal Party member who had skipped to the Nacionalista side.

Now you have to figure out how the former Liberal joined the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) , and then went with Lakas ng Bayan (Laban), to Lakas/National Union of Christian Democrats (Lakas/NUCD), then Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), to LDP/Laban ng Masang Pilipino (LAMP), and finally the National People’s Coalition (NPC), if not the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (KAMPI). ”

Under the umbrellas of those acronyms, the names presently on offer with their mixed motives, crossover platforms, and eccentric fundamentalist platforms don’t even add up to an acceptable half dozen for the Senate, but strangest of all is how this chaos is turning out to be a learning place.

Another instinct is kicking in from somewhere between hope and history. My take is to forget “winnability” for the moment, and instead vote for time. What do I mean? Think of these elections as a live exercise in the power of ideas in minds free of the old fears and compulsions of traditional politics. Think of it as a gamble to get those new ideas, if not voted into power, at least heard nationwide for the first time.

Last week was about Noynoy Aquino’s coming of age as an aspiring Senator for a new generation of Filipino voters. This week, beyond his shock value as the first professed gay candidate for public office in Philippine history, it’s all about the eminent sense Danton Remoto makes behind that trademark swishiness.

Seen for what he is, this multi-awarded Filipino poet, Ateneo professor, and associate member of the Manila Critics Circle behind the National Book Awards bears his scholarship and solid reputation with the deceptive levity of true intelligence. He is also the last of his blood family to stubbornly remain in the country, all the rest (five successful engineers included) already in Diaspora. Here’s Danton Remoto, unedited.

On that shoestring campaign supported by students, OFWs, closet gay businessmen and professionals, schools and fellow artists in People Power 2007, Remoto continues to fight for accreditation as Ang Ladlad party list candidate in a deeply compromised Comelec.

A globalized gay world is watching our masked ball. So are the poor in the slums, the broken-backed teachers of the Philippine public school system, and the marginalized members of Ang Ladlad watching and learning from this “snowball’s chance in hell.” Its lessons are investments in the future.

Posted March 03, 2007 08:19:00(Mla Time)

I was not surprised to hear that Manny Pacquiao would not pursue his political ambition over his boxing career. That’s good news!

However, this act also proves his incapacity to decide and stick to what he believes. It’s like getting into a boxing fight in which most of the decisions and strategies come from the coach. “With your strength and my strategy, we will win.” I wonder who said that is.

I personally do not doubt Manny’s intention to help the Filipino people. However, there are a lot of ways to do that.

I remember a respected host of a morning show who suggested that Manny should establish a foundation instead of getting into politics. Manny tactlessly responded: “Alangan namang galing na lang lagi sa sarili kong bulsa ‘yong pantulong ko” [The assistance I give can’t always come from my own pocket] — those may not be the exact words). That kind of reasoning is not enough for a person to run for office.

Last week, Manny got a high school diploma by passing an education department exam — and now he wants to become a congressman? That’s weird. Voters nowadays are more aware and informed about politics.

Everybody is asking if Manny knows something about lawmaking, or what could he say during congressional sessions if ever he gets elected. I bet his coach does!

I am one of the people celebrating Manny Pacquiao’s decision not to run for office. It is the most appropriate move for him to preserve his reputation and to spare his constituents from the intentions of people around him.

Everybody loves Manny Pacquiao as a boxing hero, and not as a politician.

MARK FRANCIS PARALLAG, Balili, Iba, Zambales (via e-mail)

Originally posted at

MANILA, Philippines — I am quite disappointed with actors running for office. Corruption is not the only major problem in our country; incompetence is another.

Why do entertainers run for office? The answer is that the entertainment business is on the decline, as people can no longer afford cinema tickets, which is why they buy pirated DVDs. And there is a lot of money in politics.

I have lost confidence in our country’s ability to progress because of the incompetent people in government. I feel so ashamed to invite my friends to go to our country for a holiday, as they themselves have lost their trust in us. I am tired of praising the country, although there are beautiful places for my foreign friends to see.

I hope the intelligent people out there will wake up and run for office. — Josephine Lewis, Channel Islands, United Kingdom (via e-mail)

* * *

In the research company where I work here in Boston, most of my co-workers from different countries know about the Philippines and its political circus. I am so embarrassed that most of them make fun of our having several members of one family trying to grab seats in the Senate.

I would like to appeal to my fellow Filipinos. We need to end political dynasties. — Coco Alinsug, Boston, Massachusetts (via e-mail)

* * *

“I am, of course, saddened by the fact that after all these years, Erap [former president Joseph Estrada] will not endorse my candidacy,” Vicente Sotto III lamented.

What did he expect after abandoning ship? He is such a fool to even hope for an endorsement. — Constante Burgos, San Jose, California (via e-mail)

* * *

Actors Richard Gomez and Cesar Montano have this illusion of becoming effective and productive at the Senate. To them I say: Your gain will be the people’s million-dollar pain for the next 20 years. You can’t do the job and your brains are not meant for politics. But if your intention is just to get rich — filthy rich — then join the stinking bandwagon.

To Tito Sotto: I used to look up to you as a politician and lawmaker of principle, but your party-switching sucks! — Pablo Escobar, Cebu City (via e-mail)

* * *

I am not going to vote for Aquilino Pimentel III. I have just listened to the Q&A on the podcasts. The answers he gave were those of a neophyte. He needs more experience.

If this message reaches him, I would like to say: Sir, if you ever win, I hope you will do something that will change the lives of the people, especially the poor. I am sorry, but you have to convince me on why I should vote for you. — Stephen Vito, Mandaluyong City (via e-mail)

* * *

I have lived in Sydney for 25 years, and for my retirement years, I am very tempted to go back to my country of birth.

The economic indicators and the stable peso are an incentive for me to buy property in the Philippines. However, I am wary of the political situation in the country if the opposition wins the election and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is unseated through people power or impeachment. That would surely bring the peso down. That is the only downside I see in investing in the Philippines.

On the other hand, now is probably a good time for me to invest and just hope that the political situation will stabilize and the Filipinos will not vote for opportunistic oppositionists who will undo the six long years of economic hard work that the present administration has done. Emiliano de Guzman, Sydney, Australia (via e-mail)

* * *

I find Representative Francis Escudero very articulate and knowledgeable about most of the issues that our electorate needs to know. He deserves to win as senator, hands down. I hope that he will continue to keep his convictions even if the cost is high.

Long live all the GO candidates! Cheer up, for the good will always triumph. — Yoly Tuadles, Gardena, California (via e-mail)

The Philippine Star 03/01/2007

The Commission on Elections reminded political parties yesterday that they are required to file a statement of expenditures within a week after every campaign rally. Who knew? Probably not even candidates themselves. Campaign funding is among the most tightly guarded secrets in this country, and those tasked to compel transparency have so far failed to do the job.

A standing joke in this country is that certain individuals run for public office chiefly for the fund of it. The joke is on us. The failure to require transparency in campaign finance is one of the causes of corruption. With candidates disregarding limits set by law on campaign contributions and expenditures, there is no way of knowing who will cash in his chips after betting on a winning candidate, and whether this will be done at the expense of public interest. An individual or special interest group that invests millions on a candidate’s war chest will naturally want a return on investment if the candidate wins. The public has a right to know who these big campaign donors are and what they stand to get in return for their investments.

And the law does provide for that kind of transparency, but the law has never been effectively enforced. Even winners in presidential elections submit lists of campaign donors and their respective contributions that are good for nothing but comedy shows.

The Comelec can require candidates and political parties to submit their statements of expenditures. But can the Comelec verify the statements? Unless those statements can be audited accurately, there is no way of determining who is breaking the rules, already limited enough, on campaign finance. And unable to identify the rule violators, there is no way of imposing penalties. With no one getting punished, the rules will continue to be disregarded in every electoral exercise.

Originally posted at

Posted February 28, 2007 06:14:00(Mla Time)

Elections are coming and this is our chance to change our country’s situation — but we need to change everything and everyone.

First, we need to change our political format and we must find a way to get rid of political gridlock and grandstanding of useless politicians in the legislative and executive branches. We must also find a way to get rid of the popularity voting.

Second, we must get rid of the political dynasties at all levels, national and local.

Third, the pork barrel in Congress must be abolished and the government should create an agency that will handle projects at all levels, which must be free from corruption.

There must be a way to counter corruption in all government agencies, like for example the ICAC of Hong Kong or something
similar. Politicians spend millions to win an election; how could they get their money back if they don’t steal?

Most important, we must elect fresh and new politicians at all levels. If we have to vote for the same old politicians, then we are just wasting time and money. We cannot expect change in our country’s situation if we have the same old politicians in government. It will be the same old story of corruption and the same old story of misery for the people.

EFREN BANO, 29/F Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong (via e-mail)

Originally posted at

By Adrian E. Cristobal

IF GO (Genuine Opposition) is faced with funding problems, it’s confirmed by Team Unity (TU) Recto and Pichay’s statement that a senatorial candidate needs a war chest of R200 million.

That’s probably true of first-time candidates. On the other hand, reelectionists have already invested time and money during their incumbency. That’s worth more than R200 million if they have wisely looked forward to their reelection. There’s also the fact that a familiar face and name have an edge over firsttimers.

It would be more enlightening, however, if Recto and Pichay were to give us a breakdown on the R200 million. How much, for example, is allocated to local officials, campaigners, radio, TV, and newspaper propaganda, watchers, and Comelec personnel? Comelec officials will object to their inclusion, certainly, but it’s well-known that candidates employ lawyers for the Comelec count.

Elections are about the only time that an unprejudiced observer can reasonably take pity on politicians. They have to be wary about assorted experts, operators, and simple hangers-on who practically fleece them on the cynical philosophy of making them vomit what they have swallowed during their privileged hour.

Volunteer organizations, common in the US, are no longer convincing in our kind of politics. They are volunteers with a cost. “Friends” of A and Z get their funding from A and Z.

On the upside are the anonymous donors of every likely winner. They prefer anonymity for fear of retaliation or retribution in case they made a mistake. As the GO campaign manager claimed, many are afraid of the administration.

The exception is “star power.” As is well-known, stars and celebrities (and not just from showbiz) never had to worry very much about raising funds. Given the popular worship, money just kept pouring into their campaign coffers.

A text message going the rounds urges people to keep buying pirated videos in order to kill the movie industry. That’s cheap black propaganda, meaning it costs so little.

I don’t believe, however, that Recto and Pichay are saying that it’s money more than anything else that will make the difference in the elections.

But that’s the effect.

Originally posted at

Last updated 00:52am (Mla time) 02/20/2007

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) is starting the election period right by enforcing the ban on the carrying of firearms and the prohibition on the posting of campaign posters in places other than the designated common poster areas.

The campaign against the carrying of firearms netted 315 firearms and 182 persons as of Feb. 12. Judging from the many shootings and killings that have occurred in the past two weeks, many other people carrying firearms illegally may have escaped detection and arrest by the police. The Comelec and the police will have to enforce the ban more intensively and extensively as election day approaches to prevent violence and death in the battles for electoral posts.

The Comelec and the police have started their campaign against the illegal posting of campaign posters with great zeal and assiduousness. We have seen it all on TV: Cleanup teams immediately scrape off posters recently pasted on walls. We hope this campaign is not just a case of “ningas cogon” [flash in the pan], that it will not be like a prairie fire that will soon die out after a big, blazing start.

The rule on campaign posters, which was honored more in the breach than the observance in past elections, can be fully enforced if only the Comelec and the police would exercise political will. The enforcement of the rule would set an example for strict adherence to and enforcement of other rules governing elections. If the Comelec-police campaign can be sustained, this year’s elections may yet turn out to be the “cleanest,” in that there would be no posters, streamers and the like marring walls, buildings and trees. Can the Comelec and the police enforce the law until election day?

We hope that the coming elections would be “clean” in another sense, meaning honest, credible, unmarred by cheating, fraud and other political skullduggery. This requires first of all that the voters’ lists be purged of fake voters. If some polling precincts have to be transferred, the voters concerned should be informed at least a week before election day, so that they would not be disfranchised.

Comelec officials and employees who are suspected of having participated in the cheating in the 2004 elections should not be designated to handle sensitive tasks in this year’s elections.

Politicians should not be allowed to use guns and goons to influence the results of elections. The Comelec will have to act swiftly and place under its control provinces and cities where private armies are acting as enforcers of certain candidates. As of Feb. 16, seven election “hot spots” had been identified. More problem areas are expected to be discovered as election day draws near.

The coming elections are expected to be among the most bitterly and closely fought elections in the history of the country. So much is at stake in these elections, which is considered as a referendum on the legitimacy of the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Administration officials are said to have resigned themselves to facing a possible opposition edge in the senatorial fight, but are concentrating most of their resources and manpower on the House fights. They are said to be aiming for a 90-percent win in the House elections, to prevent any impeachment attempt from prospering in the 14th Congress.

Given the very tight, bitter fight between the administration and opposition groups in May, the Comelec and the law enforcement forces will play a crucial role in ensuring that things do not get out of hand. The Comelec, in particular, has to make the right decisions and take the proper actions to ensure that the coming elections will be clean, peaceful and credible. To repeat, it has made a good start by enforcing the rule on campaign posters and streamers and the ban on the carrying of firearms. Now it should complete its task by enforcing the other election laws equally and fairly. Then it may yet be able to redeem itself somewhat from the shame and scandal of the P1.3-billion poll automation scam and the “Hello Garci” affair.

Originally posted at

Posted by: Vinia D. Mukherjee on 17 February 2007 at 1:58 pm

PROFESSIONAL actor Cesar Montano is seeking a Senate seat under the administration’s ticket. Montano filed his certificate of candidacy at the Commission on Elections yesterday, substituting for Leyte Gov. Jericho Petilla who has decided to instead run for re-election to his same post.

A screen grab of Montano speaking to reporters after filing his certificate of candidacy.Montano brings to four the number of showbusiness professionals taking a shot at adding the word “lawmaker” to their resumé. He joins hopefuls, actor and TV host Vicente Sotto III, also a former senator, singer Victor Wood, and actor Richard Gomez.

Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, speaking for T.E.A.M. Unity, was quoted to have said the replacement for Petilla needed to be Visayan like the governor. Montano, whose real name is Cesar Manhilot, is from Bohol. Moreover, Montano is well-respected in the Visayas and has provided “strong support” to Malacañang’s 10-point agenda, Durano said.

Montano is regarded as one of the country’s finest actors, who once played the national hero Jose Rizal in a multi-awarded film. He is also a respected director.

This developed as the Comelec’s law department made a recommendation to reject the candidacies of more than half of the 80 who filed their intent to run for Senator. The Commission en banc will finalize the list of qualified candidates next week.

Originally posted at


This campaign is initiated by Student Leaders Forum (SLF), Kabataang Liberal ng Pilipinas (KALIPI), National Students League (NSL), and Center for Liberal Leadership (CLL)
June 2018
« May    

COMELEC Schedule

January 15, 2007 - Start of filing for Senatorial and Local Candidates --------------------------------------- February 12, 2007 - Deadline of filing for Senatorial Candidates --------------------------------------- February 13, 2007 - Start of Campaign for Senatorial Candidates --------------------------------------- March 29, 2007 - Deadline of filing for Local Candidates --------------------------------------- March 30, 2007 - Start of Campaign for Local Candidates --------------------------------------- May 14, 2007 - Election ---------------------------------------

Organizations Behind

Kabataang Liberal ng Pilipinas --------------------------------------- Center for Liberal Leadership --------------------------------------- Student's Leader Forum --------------------------------------- National Student's League ---------------------------------------


Concept and Project Director: Eric D. Caliboso --------------------------------------- Blog Master: Arlene C. Concepcion / Ivy Ganadillo --------------------------------------- Graphic Designer: Franz Robert dela Vega --------------------------------------- Writers: Reymundo de Guzman, Nysa Tolentino, Joenel Nudo, Shiella Poblete, Bless Alvero, Julie Turqueza, Rachel Bersamera, Francis Urduna, Kare Bernardo, Ace Gomez, Maricris Lorenzo, Fidel Esteban, Agape, Ivy Ganadillo, Alex Sevilla, Cecille Anyayahan, Mel Salise, Carla Vicente, Kathrina Manuel, Mark Anthony de Leon, Lawrence Villamar, RJ Rocks, Analyn Lopez, Donna Babadilla, Jhaecii Fajardo, Claudette Tolentino and Rob Ramos --------------------------------------- Spokesperson: Jan-Argy Y. Tolentino - (+63) 0917-526-2749 --------------------------------------- Contact Numbers: --------------------------------------- Smart No.: +63920 8213221 Globe No.: +63915 3152451 --------------------------------------- Landline Nos.: 7157040, 7158505 local 806 ---------------------------------------