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.
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:
LP (both wings): 3
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.
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.