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Feb 07

Cayetano’s slap on the wrist

The most recent list of amendments introduced by the Senate into the Anti-Terrorism Bill are interesting. But who knows what will happen if the bill is passed and then gets processed by the bicameral conference committee.

Cayetano gets a slap on the wrist. But not without making everyone, opposition and administration, look awful on TV.

Thousands sell their body organs without government regulation.

The news on candidacies continues. Two filed their papers accompanied by their guards: Antonio Trillanes IV and Gregorio Honasan, and it seems they will be joining two opposite camps. Adel Tamano has decided not to run, apparently being strongly wooed by the administration, with the encouragement of some family members; but his own position on the issues would have put him in the opposition camp. Discretion being the better part of valor, he decided after much soul-searching not to be a candidate. There goes Muslim representation in either slate.

Villar’s keeping the Palace at arm’s length is interesting, showing confidence in his own candidacy (and resources) an an appreciation of where he thinks true public opinion lies. the President knows it, too: she can’t afford to be too cozy with her own candidates (though as Jove Francisco noticed, she will lobby with constituencies that are willing to listen to her under carefully-controlled conditions). She is focusing, instead, on the true secret for electoral success: segments of the armed forces in league with the Comelec. The bishops are angling for accreditation, true enough, but that’s a problem already taken care of. So long as they’re divided, the President rules. Still, they’ve helpfully tried to present issues.

Tha administration slate, as of today is 4+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1:

1. Gilbert Teodoro -NPC
2. Tessie Aquino Oreta -NPC
3. Vicente Sotto III -NPC
4. Richard Gomez -NPC
5. Edu Manzano -Lakas
6. Miguel Zubiri -Lakas
7. Prospero Pichay  -Lakas
8. Mike Defensor -LP (Atienza Wing)
9. Edgardo Angara -LDP
10. Joker Arroyo -PDP-Laban
11. Rafael Recto Jr. -NP
12. Gregorio Honasan -Indep.

This opposition lineup as of now is 2+2+2+2+1+1+1+1:
1. Loren Legarda -PMP
2. JV Ejercito -PMP
3. John Osmeña -NPC
4. Chiz Escudero -NPC
5. Benigno Aquino III -LP
6. Kiko Pangilinan -LP
7. Allan Peter Cayetano -NP
8. Manny Villar -NP
9. Koko Pimentel -PDP-Laban
10. Ping Lacson -Be Not Afraid
11. Sonia Roco -Aksyon
12. Antonio Trillanes IV -Indep.

But based on party representation, the picture is different:

NPC: 6
NP: 3
Lakas: 3
LP (both wings): 3
PMP: 2
PDP-Laban: 2
Kampi: 1
LDP: 1
Aksyon: 1
Indep.: 2

But what’s even more interesting is the manner in which the parties are jockeying for position. What’s at stake are two things: first, who will emerge as the more reliable, or useful, power base for the President? Second, and it’s dependent on the first, who will then be in a good position to influence the transition from one administration to the next (or the extension of the current administration beyond 2010 if all else fails).

So far, the President’s pet party, Kampi, has been successfully cannibalizing Lakas-CMD. Another party increasingly in play is the NPC, busy attending to its Big Boss’ back yard, while sensing opportunities in other local races. Don’t forget the NPC is a break away branch of the NP, and I suspect, though haven’t done the research yet to prove, that its existing bailiwicks are old Nacionalista bailiwicks, just as the LP today continues to do well in what were pre-martial law Liberal bailiwicks (which would say something interesting about our party system). Even the NP straddles both sides of the fence.

In the punditocracy, my Arab News column for this week is The Warsaw of Asia: How Manila Was Flattened in WWII.

the Inquirer editorial looks at the government’s Mindanao fire-breathing rhetoric.

Two views on the Melo Commission, both of them calling it a farce: courtesy of Amando Doronila and Manuel Buencamino.

Connie Veneracion takes a look at the expulsion efforts against Cayetano and says the House of Representatives isn’t really interested in disciplining its own ranks (I think this column is one of her best).

Tony Abaya calls Manny Pacquiao an “idiot candidate.” He proposes the Confucian model of qualifying examinations for political candidates. Statements like this from Rina Jimenez-David makes me impatient:

In other words, the “opposition” these days resembles nothing more than a rowdy conglomeration of personalities united by a rather flimsy ideology — anti-Gloria, anti-Charter-change, but pro-what?

Flimsy compared to what? The administration? Oh, please. Credit the Palace spinmeisters like Reli German, who demonstrates how well the Palace has made use of Kit Tatad and has the President’s constituency buying into the talking points.

In the blogosphere, Tingog.com looks at showbiz candidates and analyzes their weaknesses: but says the main thing is for everyone to commit to clean and credible elections.

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9 comments

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  1. ricelander

    You forgot Chavit. Where in your list is Chavit?

    Aha, he’s in the hospital, in the list of aneurysm patients?

  2. manuelbuencamino

    so its not going to be an erap versus gma thing after all. It’s going to be erap versus Gabby claudio assisted by former erap loyalists. call it Mike’s coalition.

  3. cvj

    Hats off to Adel Tamano for resisting the temptations of GMA. (Rego was right to trust him.)

  4. bogchimash

    NPC ≈ old NP? That sounds true. NP and NPC are strong in the hacienda/big business sectors. LP is also similar to the old LP because admission required academic prowess and it is home to do-gooders who can actually be bought at the right price. I hope we do not go back to the old system though because none of the two genuinely fought for the masses. Recto, Diokno and Tanada were associated with them as party members or friends only because it was less protective of the elite. Much may be desired from the Marcos dictatorship but one good thing it did was to dismantle the old Congress, Manila’s 400’s rubber stamp.

  5. bogchimash

    There’s also much to be desired in the leadership of JDV. Is he going to allow Mike Pidal to use his house in getting back at Cayetano? If I were the speaker, I’d extend my sympathies to Pidal but will caution him not to degrade my house.

  6. rego

    The article by Connie Veneracion is very true! This is the reason why I dont like bloggers to label people like Connie and Bong Austero. Because you end up constantly updating your. “ay arroyo GMA defender sya, ay hindi pala. If you want to identify yourself as anti GMA so be it. Let others identify themselves.

    Kunsabagay, GMA haters will constantly seek justification and validation from like minded people. people.

  7. by-stander

    i cant understand the beef of tony abaya against peoples champ manny pacquio. he is not a communist and he is a perfect candidate for the senate. he is sure to win and winnability is the prime qualification. that chamber is inutile anyway and its members are just wasting the peoples money on stupid investigations without passing legislations. my hero will be very effective in handling the sports committee, ethics committee and public works committee.

  8. cvj

    Antonio Abaya suffers from the arrogance typically found among intellectual types who tend to privilege their own kind of expertise over others. Pacquiao is a distinguished sportsman. Richard Gomez is a much awarded actor. Lito Lapid survived jumping the San Juanico bridge. To people like Abaya, all of these achievements count for nothing. Of course, in a democracy, it is his right to criticize Pacquiao (and be criticized in return).

    What is more troubling to me is, just like Nandy Pacheco of the Kapatiran Party, he does not trust the judgment of his fellow citizens which is why he wants to substitute the people’s decision with qualifying exams. Talk about loading the dice. In a democracy, while everyone has the right to criticize, all of us still need to respect each other’s prerogative to choose our respective sacred cows whether it be Pacquiao or the Communists.

  9. james

    yes mlq, anti- everything but pro what? what can the gma haters offer as an alternative? wipe out all politicians?

    so you see senate has clearly lost its relevance. unicameral?

    the way we elect our local reperesentatives is certainly several notches better than the way we do our senators.
    and at a lesser political, econimic lost to us all.

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