The other day I attended the second session of taping for GMA7’s “Isang tanong, isang sagot” senatorial forum, which will be broadcast this Sunday and the next (I represented the Philippine Daily Inquirer for the second session, the first session had Conrado de Quiros). It was interesting watching the different candidates react to the questions and their interaction (or lack of it) with one another. As the first shift was leaving, I ran into de Quiros and in our brief chat he expressed concern over what people are going to do if and when the massive cheating in the coming elections takes place, and people start to find out about it. Something worth thinking about.
During the taping, the scuttlebutt among media colleagues was that Senator Joker Arroyo didn’t show up, because he was in an emergency meeting because of upcoming survey results (the results came out a day or so later, for SWS and most recently, for Pulse Asia: Joker’s concern seems to hinge on the need for a candidate to be safely in the top 8, otherwise it’s a mad scramble to protect votes during the counting). From what I gathered, Joker’s survey results were such, that he was very much concerned over the possibility of being junked. It wasn’t clear to me, though, who would be doing the junking, although afterwards reading the views of colleagues such as , perhaps the danger is this: a loose cannon (from a Palace point of view) like Joker could be junked, to accommodate the election of a more malleable candidate like Gringo Honasan. As it is, the various camps are already in the thick of speculating -and accusing- each other of preparing to junk candidates.
One thing concerns me, as the campaign enters its final stages, and the Palace tries to frame the election favorably to itself. The decision by the Left to endorse a mixed list of senatorial candidates is, I think, a strategic mistake. So is Senator Lacson’s decision to endorse non-members of his slate, but his decision is less of a mistake than the Left’s: they are still oppositionists. The Left’s endorsement of a mixed bag of candidates blurs the line between the administration and the opposition -it makes it politics as normal, when there are issues that are abnormal and which thus require a more rigid line between those siding with the President, and against her. When you start blurring the issues, what your group stands for gets blurred in the minds of voters, too. You’re just another political player in a disreputable exercise. That may account more for Bayan Muna’s drop in the surveys, for example, than it’s merely not hogging the headlines.
In the punditocracy, My column for today is Misplaced emphasis on English. (For those who read the language, see the reaction of Sulat Kapangpangan to my column).
See the Pleading that will be filed before the Supreme Court tomorrow. Philippine Commentary pens a rebuttal.
Randy David’s views.
The views of Conrado de Quiros.
The views of Patricia Licuanan. See also the views of Juan Miguel Luz, formerly of the Department of Education, in ‘English First’ policy will hurt learning.
My views on the English-Filipino debate were put forward in a column I wrote in November last year, Practical Languages. I believe a distinction has to be made between the need to provide a solid, basic, education to the public, and the requirements of advanced learning in various academic disciplines (see also the chef at chez panda, for her thoughts on whether a food blog can help teach English).
As for other columnists: Federico Pascual writes about the candidacy of Fr. Panlilio for governor of Pampanga; Billy Esposo on the candidacy of Manny Pacquiao; Bel Cunanan on the candidacy of Speaker de Venecia. Regarding the political bounty offered by our glorious Secretary of Justice, the Inquirer editorial gives him a good thwack. Now Gonzalez has recanted -but it has to be asked, is he getting senile?
In the blogosphere, my entry in Inquirer Current yesterday was The Wily Filipino.
Uploaded my talk on diplomacy at San Sebastian College in 2005, to ourmedia: there’s part 1 and part 2. At long last.