The latest SWS Survey on the senate race is out. The Inquirer says 7 fighting for last 4 slots in Magic 12. Mahar Mangahas says the main contenders (14 candidates) have remained unchanged over the past month. It’s also noteworthy that the number of undecided has shrunk, not by much, but in a statistically significant sense (from 14% to 10% give or take 3%).
Incidentally, An OFW Living in Hong Kong wonders if Alan Peter Cayetano will be disqualified, see a related Manila Times story. Latest update: the nuisance Cayetano’s been disqualified. And so has Danton Remoto, but not Victor Wood.
In response to the survey, the Palace says they’re not playing the surveys game (instead, as Alex Magno takes the lead in pointing out, salvation lies in statistics: he says 9 out of 10 Filipinos of working age are employed).
Local candidates start filing their candidacies. Patricio Diaz looks at scuttlebutt that Lakas-CMD is building an alliance with the opposition (which, incidentally, now has a blog of its own). But what of the what After All calls the “battle royale” between the Speaker and mayor Benjie Lim?
The Asian Development Bank says growth has some ways to go before making a serious dent on unemployment.
Also, the survey on hunger continues to trigger reactions(my thoughts exactly said the President has called three emergency cabinet meetings): Blackshama discusses food security and the reactions of organized religion to hunger; Peryodistang Pinay says it’s a matter of misplaced priorities, and says over-priced lampposts are a good example of what she means. village idiot savant noticed something I’ve noticed, too: people seem smaller these days. Uniffors describes a recent round-table discussion held by the President.
Speaking of La Presidente, Philippine Commentary, it seems to me, has made his peace (grudgingly) with the President because he believes there’s bigger fish to fry and everyone should lend a hand in giving her a backbone:
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is no Marcos because she doesn’t have the balls that Marcos had. She may have flirted with the idea of declaring martial law last year but apparently had enough sense to take the contrary advice of the former US Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte after he dropped by all of a sudden in November 2005 (as revealed by resigned Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz). As long as the Senate and Supreme Court are there to keep her excesses in check, it’s really her capitulationist tendencies and overeagerness to give ransom to terrorists from time to time that we really have to worry about.
An attitude he seems to share with the Cardinal Archbishop of Manila. Speaking of the President, katataspulong takes a look at Diosdado Macapagal and says the President learned from her father’s bitter experience with Marcos, and has decided, no more Mr. Nice Guy. The Bunker Chronicles says GMA7 and the Inquirer have become biased in favor of the president. (In defense of the paper, the headline for the day, March 26, was the indictment of the administration by the tribunal in the Hague, and the same banner was carried on the website).
Davao Diaries on being strip-searched when visiting a jailed colleague.
The Purple Phoenix does not like Michael Defensor, to put it mildly.
The Quackroom recounts running into the nation campaign as it descends on Naga City. Davao Today points to a YouTube video showing how some soldiers are campaigning in urban areas (Philippine Star reports soldiers intend to stay where they are). Also writing from the same city, A Nagueño in the Blogosphere reacts to my column yesterday, and points to another hundred years hence and his attempt to reconceptualize the democratic process.
Overseas, In Asia (the Asia Foundation blog) discusses the wait Cambodians have for justice in the case of Khmer Rouge killers.