That title’s from a 1909 Free Press editorial. How apt it is. Saying it was in the interest of fair play, the Secretary of the Interior backed down in the latest attempt to unseat Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay. Damage control, of course. The act raised too many questions (I’m not sure if it was simply a diversion, though).
When it comes to different (and differing) views on the Mayor of Makati, the disagreements boil down to three assumptions:
a. The administration is interested in dispensing justice.
b. The administration is capable of dispensing justice.
c. The administration upholds institutions of justice.
If you assume all three, then the whole thing is a non-issue. If not, then the whole thing becomes a very big issue, or at least, a disquieting sign. Your answer to the three questions will determine your vote, in some cases.
You cannot divorce the Binay (whom many love to hate) case from another (someone almost universally admired): that of Jesse Robredo, outstanding mayor of Naga City, and now suspended on a question of citizenship: colleague John Nery in Inquirer Current says the Comelec division decision is “the essential document of the 2007 vote”. In their columns, Winnie Monsod and Conrado de Quiros (who is Bicolano) took up the cudgels for Robredo.
A Nagueño in the Blogosphere (who is affiliated with the mayor) says the case is energizing Naga City folk:
The message that most roused the hundreds who massed for their weekly flag rite came when Robredo pointed out that the issues involved is no longer just about him. Rather, it is about teaching powerful politicos here and in Malacañang that the people of Naga will not back down from fighting for what is right and true and just.
He also emphasized the importance of sending that message now to prevent evil-minded politicians from doing the same to the next generation of Nagueños.
See the Inquirer editorial on the issue.
OhMyNews International, though, focuses on how many Filipinos are hoping against hope to keep the elections clean.
In the punditocracy my column for today is Vote of confidence. The column has the reasons why, so straight on to my final decision on 12 senatoriables:
1. Aquino, Benigno III
2. Bautista, Martin
3. Cayetano, Alan
4. Escudero, Francis
5. Lacson, Panfilo
6. Legarda, Loren
7. Pangilinan, Francis
8. Paredes, Zosimo II
9. Pimentel, Aquilino III
10. Roco, Sonia
11. Sison, Adrian
12. Trillanes, Antonio IV
For party-list, I hope you’ll consider Akapin, which is a party-list for the disabled (watch their video, or listen to their jingle in Bisaya by Yoyoy Villame). There are only two other party-lists I’d propose, and of course those are Kabataan party-list which has Mong Palatino as one of its nominees, and Akbayan (my own personal politics are perhaps closer to Akbayan’s than to Kabataan’s).
Billy Esposo (who predicts a Lacuna victory in Manila, and a Benjie Lim victory in Pangasinan) says an emerging story is military interference in the elections: and he claims there remains a real possibility of a failure of elections:
The political actions against Robredo and Binay reek of desperate measures that result from desperate situations. To avoid impending defeat, the Arroyo regime may be attempting to provoke reactions from an enraged citizenry that will justify canceling the elections. Thus, the political objective goes beyond the cities of Naga and Makati and has everything to do with Madame Arroyo’s obsession to retain power at all costs.
What we may be seeing is the graduation of the Arroyo regime’s climate of impunity to a climate of insanity.
Amando Doronila on the other hand, thinks both sides have been unable to directly address the opposing side:
This is not the way the Arroyo administration and the opposition are looking at the elections. Both sides have avoided a head-on collision on issues concerning policy alternatives. Both have been derelict in their responsibilities to the sovereign people — that is, to present and clarify options. In this campaign, the issues have not been joined.
In her attempt to deflect the focus from the human rights issues that elicited international condemnation, Ms Arroyo has shifted the agenda of debate to the economy.
The opposition has refused to take up this gauntlet. Instead, it has focused its campaign on corruption and poverty, and evaded the human rights issue. This is not to say these two issues are not important. Thus, both sides have been talking past each other. Both have avoided the human rights and political liberties issue as though they were a plague on both houses.
If a cursory look at the partlists and their nominees can immediately raise questions like these, imagine what a more detailed examination could unearth. And yet the Comelec wanted the voter to simply trust their judgement and vote blindly for their partylist reps. By keeping the names under lock and key, Comelec facilitated the sale of partylist seats and exposed voters to the danger that they may actually be sending someone to Congress that did not represent them or their interests.
While Susan Ople points out the controversy is just one of many that are hounding this election.
In the blogosphere, my entry last Friday for Inquirer Current was on democracy’s design: whether or not improvements in terms of improved representation and responsible governance, can be gained from changing the system of voting.
What’s at stake in Mindanao? If you accept the figure of 10 million votes in Mindanao, then a significant chunk may be up for grabs. Then the belief of The Philippine Experience, who has grim expectations of what’s to come, has a basis. Evolution has a funny entry on politicians and makeup. blackshama has an entry on an anti-opposition campaign jingle.
The Filipino Blog explains why the legitimacy issue remains a non-starter for some people. big mango on apathy and leadership. The Construct by Alex Maximo wants outside-the-box ideas on lowering government’s costs.
A charming graduation speech by the artist BenCab, courtesy of Pinoycentric.com.