As teachers prepare to do their duty, the Comelec claims it will release election results in record time, The military and police continue to be the focal point of press interest. AFP announces mission accomplished in Metro Manila’s slums: whether they were really just building toilets or were campaigning, is of course, up for debate. Talk of a conspiracy theory aside (and the usual denials that Ellen Tordesillas says are ineffective), Ricky Carandang reminds us that what could have been an institution and trust-building effort, to keep the military out of the elections, has basically been trashed. And that the military may be trying to exercise its own command vote:
An officer from the 2nd Infantry Brigade based in Southern Luzon said that on May 1st, the Commanding General of the Philippine Army met with leaders of the 2nd IB and ordered the officers to compel their men to vote straight for Team Unity adminstration senatorial candidates. The officer says he was present the next day when his commanding officer gathered them and gave the order. After the soldiers voted, the ballots were surrendered to the officer and checked for compliance. The officer I spoke to says the group complied with the order and voted straight for Team Unity and the Bantay partylist of retired general Jovito Palparan.
…For Team Unity candidates, the Command Vote makes sense. There are about 200,000 men and women enlisted in the AFP and theoretically, an order for all of them to vote Team Unity could spell the decisive difference for adminstration candidates within striking distance of the Magic 12. But its not a perfect solution. The 2006 Cruz memo prohibits the use of the military for partisan purposes… But whoever was behind the order apparently believes these are minor considerations. Cruz is long gone and remains in vacation mode, Abalos can be counted on to look the other way, and the soldiers can grumble all they want, but at the end of the day they’ll suck it in and go back to work.
An anonymous police officer suggests wiretapping equipment and technicians may be out of control;
Poring over party-list nominees is proving interesting, too:
Marilou Arroyo, sister of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s husband, Jose Miguel Arroyo. Ang Kasangga is campaigning for her in Iloilo.
Folks, note that the scuttlebutt first broached here in July 2006 has proven accurate.
In the punditocracy, my Arab News column for this week is Your Leader is Like You.
Manuel Buencamino has some choice words concerning Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales’ implied support for the administration. H. Marcos C. Mordeno is astonished that the opposition’s managed to retain public support. His views seem to similar to those in Inquirer Current, where John Nery says the candidates have helped reduce the potency of the midterms-as-referendum issue. Butch Dalisay seems to have a similar take on things. See, too, the views of Glenda Gloria and Julkipli Wadi.
Steven Rood has his own take, from a non-citizen’s point of view, posted in the Asia Foundation blog, on the elections (his is moderately hopeful).
Patricio Diaz says we have learned the importance of coalition politics in winning elections, but not in governing. He says we have to return to the two-party system.
In the blogosphere, A Nagueno in the Blogosphere gives an eyewitness account of last night’s Naga City rally in support of Jesse Robredo. He says candidate Sabas Mabulo pretty much confirmed the news I got regarding soldiers being sent in support of Dato Arroyo’s candidacy.
Yugatech says he doesn’t think he’s cut out for a reporter’s hectic lifestyle.
Mock election, fora, and survey fever: Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan on voters’ preferences, and University of Santo Tomas’ survey: see The Varsitarian report; Ateneo de Manila and UP jointly sponsor a forum: see The Guidon’s report; also in online fora, see kuro.ph and USTexters, and campaigning threads in philippinepolitics.net.
Bloggers of course are revealing, and discussing, their senatorial and other wish lists: Filipino Librarian wishes he could vote for Danton Remoto. Memories of Water, hit the jackpot, atomicgirl (who isn’t even a registered voter, but is flexing her citizenship muscles, I think such exercises are great), discuss deciding on which senatorial candidates to vote for.
A surprising amount of commentary concerning GMA7’s Isang Tanong senatorial shindig. My question to Victor Wood regarding charter change resulted in some interesting entries. katataspulong thinks Victor Wood embarrassed media; other views from T.I.N.A.ntholgies, from Mister Vader, Inexplicable, summer sa buhay ni je, more on the black rainbow of sorrow
Though the most thorough response to the program, I think, came from My Journey: My Life.
RG Cruz reproduces the transcript of an interview he conducted with Luli Arroyo, who seems to be poised to take on a more public role in the wake of her father’s illness. And here’s a snazzy use of our taxes: Presidential Close-in Photographer’s Office.