Too late

Oral objections to the inclusion or exclusion of election returns in the canvassing shall be submitted to the chairman of the Board of Canvassers at the time the questioned return is presented for inclusion in the canvass (Sect. 20 RA 7166 and Section 36 COMELEC Resolution 2962). Compliance with the period set for objections is mandatory. (More on ABS-CBN)


Clear lessons from muddled elections

Candidates who bought votes everywhere collectively have ruined the country. But only a few voters noticed. (More on ABS-CBN)


Sore losers

For certain politicians, accepting defeat can mean their death – literally.
ANA MARIE PAMINTUAN/The Philippine Star (5/23/2007 2:25:49 AM) (More on ABS-CBN)


A message with dire warnings

MANILA, Philippines — As a more than casual observer of Philippine politics and as a South Asian concerned with peace and development issues in the Third World, I am always in touch with Filipino colleagues with whom I discuss the sorry state of Philippine politics. (More on Inquirer)


Stopping poll fraud

Among the beneficiaries of this anomalous situation are certain lawmakers, which could be one reason why no significant legislation has been passed to address poll fraud. Will the 14th Congress be any different? (More on ABS-CBN)


Losers, it’s not end of the world

FOR those who lost in the last elections, it’s not the end of the world. Remember Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest presidents of the US? (More on Manila Bulletin)


MANILA, Philippines — Getting our act together for our country’s future begins, as Bro. Mike Velarde says, with the President herself accepting the public’s verdict at the polls: Only when she accepts political reality can others contemplate cooperation. (More on Inquirer)


Retail cheating gives way to wholesale


Any candidate from any party is welcome to cheat, so long as s/he can afford the price. Not only Malacañang candidates but their foes too phoned Garci in 2004. (More on ABS-CBN)

Worst practices

Last updated 11:38pm (Mla time) 05/14/2007

What’s wrong with Philippine elections? One is tempted to answer: Everything. Or, almost everything.

To begin with, we have no real major political parties that have differentiated platforms and that abide by certain articulated principles. What we have, particularly during presidential elections, are groups built around personalities. In senatorial elections, and in the present one particularly, what we have are temporary alliances formed for the purpose of wresting majority control of the Senate. (More on Inquirer)

Vote-buying and vote-selling

As usual, rampant vote-buying reportedly happened in the last election. While this practice is penalized by law, it is hard to stop because the vote sellers themselves may also be liable for prosecution since vote-selling is also penalized by the Omnibus Election Code. (More on ABS-CBN)

Isolated cases?

Last updated 01:09am (Mla time) 05/16/2007

MANILA, Philippines — Romeo Macalintal, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s election lawyer, together with Tonypet Albano, spokesman for the administration’s Team Unity, yesterday held a press conference assailing exit polls and the media for reporting cases of electoral fraud. “It’s not true that there’s cheating,” Macalintal complained, adding that the media were poisoning the minds of the youth and giving a black eye to the country since international observers might pass on reports of fraud. “These are just isolated instances,” he said, and so, “let us support our government.” (More on Inquirer)

Faith in the vote


With the midterm elections over, we should move to get at least some of the reforms in place before the general elections in 2010. By then, every vote should be properly counted, and should make a difference. (More on ABS-CBN)

How I voted
By Adrian E. Cristobal

I WENT out to vote yesterday with two things in my mind, thanks to the CBCP and Malacañang. The former, through Bishop Lagdameo, told me to vote according to my conscience, the latter, through Press Secretary Bunye, told me to be “more mature and discerning.” I thought that following their counsel would be easy. It wasn’t. (More on Manila Bulletin)


Final Push

The President has transferred the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office back to the supervision of the Department of Health.

I found this news item, on a slum community that spontaneously protested on behalf of the armed forces, very interesting: More on Manolo Quezon’s website

The right choices

The Philippine Star 04/27/2007

Making the right choice and deciding whom to vote for seem to be getting harder. In the coming election, it looks even harder. Most candidates competing for the numerous local and national positions from Councilors to Senators are the same old faces who are still there or have been there but have done nothing to improve our lot. Surveys show that they are poised to win mainly because they belong to political parties with lots of money, well-oiled machinery and mass based support built on popularity or political patronage. Many thus say that the choice has narrowed down to which of them are the lesser of two evils. (More on Philippine Star)
Tough nut to crack

There are many nuts in this country, more than coconuts there are other nuts. – Secretary Raul Gonzales

By Adrian E. Cristobal

I’M going nuts over the brouhaha Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales provoked with his promise to give R10,000 to any barangay which gives Team Unity a 12-0 vote. Is this legal or illegal? (Who should we vote for?

“The members of Congress consume time in enormous quantities in their quaint Congressional process….. They recess; they junket; they arrive late and leave early; attend conferences out of town and out of the country; fly off to give speeches; sip and chat, and endlessly party.” – John Erhlichman (More on Manila Bulletin)

Buying votes

The Philippine Star 04/27/2007

With several quarters complaining about vote buying, this is a good time to define what constitutes buying votes.

The cases mentioned so far involve activities that are so common those accused of buying votes or being beneficiaries of the act are calling their accusers hypocrites. (More on Philippine Star)

Choices, promises, & shifting sands

By Floro M. Mercene

ALI Atienza topped all the mayoral bets in the Manila mayoralty race in a survey held last week by the Asia Research Center. He got 34 percent of the vote from 3,000 respondents in six districts. (More on Manila Bulletin)

Support pouring out for Pampanga priest

POSTSCRIPT By Federico D. Pascual Jr.

ANGELES CITY — Residents of this chartered city do not vote for a governor, but many of them are going all-out anyway for a Catholic priest running for Pampanga’s top elective post. (More on Philippine Star)

Pacquiao as traditional politician

AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 04/26/2007

Manny Pacquiao may be one of the world’s best boxers but for the sake of our country, let us not overdo our tribute for the sports icon by closing our eyes to the dreadful possibilities that could happen if he did become a congressman. (More on Philippine Star)

Powerful, beautiful

THAT’s Vilma Santos. Sharon Cuneta. Cynthia Villar.

Mrs. Ralph Recto, the star for all seasons whose tears can move the masses. Mrs. Kiko Pangilinan, owner of a vast fortune and a vaster following of loyal fans. Mrs. Manny Villar, member of a well-entrenched political family; she’s landed, she’s rich, the wealthiest in a wealthy House of Representatives. (More on Manila Bulletin)

On the campaign trail

FROM THE STANDS By Domini M. Torrevillas
The Philippine Star 04/26/2007

We’ve been doing our own campaigning to promote the AGHAM Party List, and, to our pleasant surprise, from up north, in La Union and Pangasinan, to down south, to Zamboanga, Davao, Misamis Oriental and Occidental, and Central Mindanao local scientists and students responded positively to the possibility of their being represented in Congress. How their declared commitment is going to be translated into votes is to be seen, of course in the coming elections in May. (More on Philippine Star)

Great expectations

There were so many candidates on the platform and there were not enough promises to go round. – Ronald Reagan
By Adrian E. Cristobal

IT’s nineteen days before another historic day. But except for the candidates of the principal warring parties, Team Unity and Grand Opposition, I don’t feel any excitement in the air. (More on Manila Bulletin)

Hope springs eternal

Before every electoral exercise, various groups come together for a covenant to work for honest elections. No study has been made on whether such covenants have affected the way elections are conducted in this country. But the numerous accusations of fraud in previous elections indicate that cheating is a habit that has become hard to break. (More on Philippine Star)
Elections in a Depreciated Democracy

THE FRAMERS of the 1987 Constitution thought they were doing our democracy a service by abandoning the old two-party system and opening up the electoral process to anything declared a political party. The outcome of that is the elimination of political parties as a factor in Philippine politics. (More on PCIJ)

Restarting the Political and Electoral Reforms Train

THE PRESENT crisis facing the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo underlines the necessity for far-ranging changes in our political and electoral systems. It also poses both a threat and opportunity as far as these reforms are concerned. As such, careful handling is needed to neutralize the threats and seize the opportunities. (More on PCIJ)

The End of Popularity
Institute for Popular Democracy

It is a common belief that celebrity candidates have a higher chance of winning in elections compared to non-celebrity candidates. Joseph “Erap” Estrada won when he ran for a Senate post in 1987, then for vice president in 1992 and for president in 1998. In the coming 2007 election, two well-known actors, namely Richard Gomez and Caesar Montano, have decided to enter the world of politics hoping that their celebrity would easily translate into a seat in the Senate hall. (More on ABS-CBN)


With easily 50-60% against her and her own military and police forces not totally under her control — Gloria can only provoke her greatest nightmare. (More on ABS-CBN)

Green or grey?
Posted by: Ma. Roma Marqueses on 21 April 2007 at 10:34 am

GENUINE Opposition (GO) candidates are the “greenest” of all senatorial bets, the results of the 2007 Green Electoral Initiative (GEI) survey show.

Topping the survey is GO candidate and political neophyte Sonia Roco, followed by Loren Legarda, Aquilino Pimentel III, Manuel Villar Jr. Independent candidate Gregorio Honasan also made it to the top five green circle. Team Unity’s Miguel Zubiri, who describes himself as an avid environmentalist, did not rank high on the list. (More on PCIJ)

Rewarding poll fraud

The Philippine Star

Six months may be asking too much, but it’s time for authorities to set a strict deadline for resolving election protests. The Supreme Court is considering proposals to speed up the resolution of electoral complaints. Similar moves must be made by other bodies tasked to handle complaints of poll fraud. (More on ABS-CBN)

May 14 Election: A Subtle Trick of Candidates
written by hirayamalaya

Time and again the public is destined to convene in a different yet substantial chapter. This was assumed to be a momentous and a historic one in touching the heart of every concern citizen. Another milestone of alteration that aims to advance, revise and standardize not only the systems of the government. As well as the kind of living of almost 80 millions Filipinos that cry for modification come election epoch. (More on iTAlkNews)

Popular Expectations and Political ‘Miracles’

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)

Shall we ignore marital history of candidates?

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. (More on Inquirer)

Guarding the vote is true test of political maturity

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. (More on Inquirer)

Abalos brother leads group of tricycle drivers

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). (More on Inquirer)

In support of Lacson

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)

The seven Ms of dynasty building



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 — (More on PCIJ)

Smoke Signal

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

The miseducation of Manny Pacquiao

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. (More on Inquirer)

Between hope and history
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. (More…)

People love as boxing hero, and not as politicians

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. (More…)

Corruption and Incompetence

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

Rules meant to be broken

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. (More…)

A change for change

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. (More…)

Campaign audit
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. (More…)

Good Start

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. (More…)