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May 17

The Long View: The mandate

The Long View
The mandate
By Manuel L. Quezon III
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:29:00 05/16/2010

BACK in April 2009, Rep. Raul T. Gonzalez Jr. filed a bill proposing a “surgical” constitutional amendment to permit run-off elections for the presidency three weeks after the May 10 polls if no candidate achieved 50 percent. I’ve long been a proponent of run-off elections as a more democratic alternative to turning back the clock to the old two-party system (and with the Indonesian experience in mind).

Had Gonzalez’s bill been taken seriously the country would be gearing up for a showdown between Benigno Aquino III and Joseph Ejercito Estrada, with the end result being a president the country would know was supported by at least fully half of the electorate.

But Gonzalez Jr. filed his bill when the Frankenstein Coalition was pushing the Villafuerte and Nograles formulas for ramming through Charter change. This was in order to institute a one-party parliamentary state and thereby save the President and her people from ever having to bother with public opinion in national terms.

The effort would continue until August of last year, when it was quietly dropped, coinciding with the President’s return from her visit to Barack Obama in Washington. The proposal for run-off elections was never seriously considered as the least of the Palace’s priorities was to facilitate a mandate for any potential successor: particularly after Cory Aquino died and the nightmare scenario of a second Aquino presidency surfaced. Not until January of this year, though, did the Charter change attempt officially go belly up.

We should never forget the desire of the administration to head off the result everyone saw coming by attempting to postpone the May 10 elections. Its brinkmanship failed even when it tried to enlist the Cardinal-Archbishop of Manila as an ally to fend off warnings of the risks its dangerous game involved. It seems His Eminence has since seen how he became a tool in a desperate gambit to stop the momentum of Aquino’s campaign (recall Estrada’s and Villanueva’s supporting the postponement proposal).

But the writing was on the wall; the surveys showed it; the public knew it on its own. The Comelec count (6:15 a.m., May 11) at present has Aquino with 12.2 million or 40.19 percent of the vote and Estrada 7.7 million or 25.4 percent. The PPCRV (7:10 p.m., May 15) has Aquino with 13.8 million or 41.85 percent and Estrada with 8.7 million or 26.4 percent; with a turnout ranging from 57.21 percent to 64.62 percent (from Comelec’s pre-election expectation of 85 percent).

It is the largest plurality since the present Constitution came into force; and only the second indisputable presidential win in a generation. It ends the legitimacy crisis of 2001-2005. It has even been called a landslide.

This is not a landslide as traditionally understood in the context of the Quezon (1935, 68 percent; 1941, 81.76 percent), Magsaysay (1953, 68.9 percent, the largest first-term mandate ever); and Marcos (1969, 61.5 percent) landslides. Nor is it a majority like the Roxas (1946, 54 percent), Quirino (1949, 51 percent), Macapagal (1961, 55 percent), Marcos (1965, 54.78 percent) or 1986 Aquino victories.

But it potentially surpasses the only pre-martial law plurality victory: that of Carlos P. Garcia (1957, 41.3 percent) which not even Joseph Ejercito Estrada managed to beat in 1998 when he obtained 39.6 percent. Over time, with an ever-expanding population, it is the percentages that matter (even with the cheating, Fernando Poe Jr. garnered more votes in 2004 than Estrada in 1998 though the former’s percentages may not have been larger than the latter’s).

Estrada’s 1998 win was a landslide in terms of his getting twice as many votes as his nearest rival. In that sense Benigno S. Aquino III’s victory over Estrada is a landslide, too, though not as vast. But whether in absolute votes or percentages, it eclipses Estrada’s 1998 victory and puts his victory at the very least at par with Garcia’s 1957 election. He won in 51 out of 80 provinces (plus the overseas vote), in contrast to Estrada who won in 23 provinces. A 63 percent victory in provincial terms: a landslide.

Many have seized on the multiparty nature of our elections to point out a large majority of the electorate did not vote for Aquino. This overlooks the reality (and flaw, to its critics) that in a multiparty election with no runoff, achieving a majority is not the built-in purpose of such an election: it is fostering many choices as a more democratic means to select leaders. Had the framers of the Constitution believed in the necessity for majority presidencies, they would have put in place run-off elections.

Even if one adopts the flawed belief that the election revealed a majority opposed to Aquino, it can also be said even more overwhelming numbers voted against the other candidates: if 60 percent can be said to have gone against Aquino, then 75 percent went against Estrada, 85 percent against Villar, 89 percent against Teodoro, 97 percent against Villanueva, and 98 percent rejected Gordon, and so forth. So the end result is the same: more Filipinos wanted to confer a mandate on Aquino than on any of his rivals; and the end result is that the national will has been expressed and a national mandate conferred.

Automation does make instituting run-off elections a practical possibility, especially since this election was also a referendum on the presidential system. After over a decade of sustained efforts to abolish it altogether, the country has shown it overwhelmingly prefers to directly elect its head of state and government. It puts in place the parameters that should confine any talk of constitutional reform.

And tells us why the game plan of Aquino’s critics is to downplay the significance of his mandate and to create artificial controversies like the chief justice appointment. They cannot allow the meaning of this mandate to sink in: Our first indubitably legitimate government in nearly a decade.

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  1. UP n Grad

    Noynoy won! By a LANDSLIDE, too!!!!

  2. thecusponline

    One other way to create a majority without going to a run-off is to make voters rank their candidates in order of their preference, the preferential voting system (PVS). Voters would have to put a number across the name instead of shading a bloc. Automation could be used to tally the preferences quickly too with handwriting recognition software for example.

    This would allow voters to pick the person who represents the best alternative who might not have high ratings, while selecting as their second preference one of the leading contenders.

    After initial tally of first preferences, if a majority is not attained by any one candidate, second preferences are distributed, then third and so on. One way of describing this system is as David Miliband suggests, it enables voters to vote with their heart as well as their mind. They are not forced to stick to the lesser of the evils due to the winnability factor.

  3. ramrod

    Manolo, whats your take on this palace speaker of sorts with the beard saying something about “impeachment” for Aquino if he doesn’t recognize Corona earlier? Are they really that strong?

  4. Carl Cid Inting

    Less than a month ago, Manolo Quezon spoke of how the “Black Swan” of Cory’s death would lead to the “Tipping Point” of Noynoy’s majority mandate. (The Long View: Avoiding a majority at all costs, April 25, 2010)

    In all probability, that was said in a moment of giddy euphoria. Because he’s now obfuscating and covering his tracks with defensive reasoning and obfuscation such as:

    “”Even if one adopts the flawed belief that the election revealed a majority opposed to Aquino, it can also be said even more overwhelming numbers voted against the other candidates: if 60 percent can be said to have gone against Aquino, then 75 percent went against Estrada, 85 percent against Villar, 89 percent against Teodoro, 97 percent against Villanueva, and 98 percent rejected Gordon, and so forth. So the end result is the same: more Filipinos wanted to confer a mandate on Aquino than on any of his rivals; and the end result is that the national will has been expressed and a national mandate conferred.”

    Whew! What a circuitous excuse for the fact that 60% of the people didn’t vote for Noynoy! Why not just say “a win is a win, and we’ll take it”? It’s as simple as that.

    Were a run-off election to be held, there is no guarantee that Noynoy will defeat Erap and get his majority mandate. Erap may have had reasons to delay the elections. He was only getting stronger by the day.

    I hope that this won’t be just the beginning of many defensive articles that Manolo will have to write to cover up for his president’s shortcomings. Time should be better spent by rolling up one’s sleeves and starting the hard work to get our country moving forward, instead of drawing up rambling obfuscations.

    And by the way, there is no legal or factual basis to include the “1986 Aquino victories” alongside the historical majorities of Roxas in 1946, Quirino in 1946, Macapagal in 1961 and Marcos in 1965. It was Ferdinand Marcos who officially won the 1986 election. Aquino was installed as de-facto President by the revolutionary government that took over after EDSA and Marcos had fled the country. Electorally speaking, there was no majority, but a loss, for Aquino there.

    If Manolo wants to refer to the ratification of the “Cory Constitution” as an “Aquino victory”, that happened in 1987.

  5. The Equalizer Post

    Palace ‘reminds’ Aquino: 60% did not vote for you!

    We ask the Palace:What % of voters actually voted for Gloria Arroyo in 2004?

  6. Lead Philippines

    Isn’t it too convenient to use what is unique in Aquino’s numbers to define a “mandate”? Isn’t it too convenient to say that Estrada’s (1998) 39.86% and Arroyo’s (2004) 39.99% are less of a mandate because it is lower than Aquino’s (2010) 41%?

  7. mlq3

    That is a misreading of the possibility of a majority which I wrote about on several occassions. The last article you pointed to indicated my view that every effort would be made to avoid a majority. A majority win would not only be unprecedented, it would definitely settle the public’s judgment on the administration’s record over the past nine years. From the very start (August) it became a matter of trying to whittle down the numbers by any means possible. Even in the closing stages of the campaign, when Aquino’s numbers showed signs of returning to where they were in January, the last move was to try to postpone the elections in the hope of eroding the numbers again. As it turned out the numbers are what others consider a landslide in post-1987 terms. And discussing the numbers is precisely because it’s not as simple as you’d like -it requires assumptions that aren’t necessarily held as valid by others. The argument that 60% voted for Noynoy is only useful when viewed in isolation and not in context. Both in terms of Constitutional design and also the results of the other candidates.

    As for Edsa the people went to the streets for their belief in Cory’s mandate: recall the civil disobedience campaign launched with a massive showing of numbers and which started taking its toll on the targets of the civil disobedience campaign. The ratification of the 1987 Constitution was a plebiscite on Edsa but that, in turn, grew out of the certainty in the public’s mind of Aquino’s snap election victory.

  8. mlq3

    A comparison was made of the existing mandates conferred by elections.

  9. mlq3

    As Mon Casiple said on my radio show this morning, it’s the President’s game plan to bog things down and explore all avenues for mischief.

  10. Lovely Soul

    The majority of Filipino citizens has spoken. They elected Mr. Aquino as their new president. No small group of “sore losers” could de-rail that.

    In a democratic process, the outgoing administration must be ready to vacate the presidency and prepare for a peaceful transition. NO “IF”s or “BUT”s. They should not spend the rest of their few days by appointing “friends” into lifetime government positions. That is an underhanded and awful way of government corruption.

    The Filipino people must prepare for the inauguration. The International community will watch in anticipation.

  11. UP n Grad

    Next metric about the mandate — speaker of the house.

    And because Malacanang’s has inherent power on when to release funds to the congressional districts, this should grease the skids for a very easy win for Belmonte (or whoever becomes the Noynoy manok).

  12. alden40

    “Whew! What a circuitous excuse for the fact that 60% of the people didn’t vote for Noynoy! Why not just say “a win is a win, and we’ll take it”? It’s as simple as that.”

    I totally agree with Carl on this. Everyone believes that Noynoy won and thats it. There is really no need for his supporter or avid fans to keep FOOLING the people that he was elected by the the majority. Because everybody in his right mind knows that majority is 51% not 40%

    I do believe that its proper to say that Noynoy won by landslide.

    And I do believe that Nonoy can easilly get the support of the majority once he took his oath. He only need to do one thing – PERFORMANCE.

  13. alden40

    I was just thing why the spin of elected by majority keeps coming from Noynoy supporters. I dont hear much compalin from his non supporters about his winning by minority. Is it becuase his supporters that been very vocal about Gloria legitimacy or unpopularity?

  14. alden40

    Now I think I would prefer PVS that was suggested by Cusp over run-off

    And I think there is a data or survey that showed that Nonoy will easilly win 61% if we do PVS.

    And very sure erap will not win by maority if we do PVS

  15. Lovely Soul

    Mathematics is an EXACT science. There is no way you could use a perfect factoring when you have so many candidates for presidency. Unless, some candidates ended with zero votes. In this case of multiple candidates, there is no way you could come up with a 51% over 49% It is IMPOSSIBLE.

    You must also take account of absentee voters.

    In a democratic country where there is a Primary elections held to weed-out excessive candidates, the last two standing representing a two-Party system will have a “run-off” election.

    It is only then, that the percentage of votes will equate a more viable and higher percentage divisible by 2. At any rate, if Mr. Aquino garnered the highest percentage, that is still considered the voice of the people and therefore, he has the mandate to be declared the president elect.

  16. alden40

    Mandate is not the issue that is being raised it the spin that he was elected by the majority. As you out it rightly, he garnered the highest number of vote. and his madate came from that. Thats it. There is really no need to “falsely brag” or devote a column or debate about elected by the majority.. Noynoy won and thats it.

  17. Erineo

    I agree with alden40. Why insist on the spin that Aquino was elected by the majority, when the numbers are very clear that he was not? As alden says, 40% isn’t a majority.

    I also agree with what was said, that a win is a win. And any candidate should just take it at face value and not argue whether it was a majority or a plurality.

    All the other presidential candidates who mattered, except for Erap, have conceded.

    Well, 3 other presidential candidates, of no consequence, haven’t conceded. But it’s only because they can’t accept their insignificance, because they were outvoted by the disqualified KBL candidate, Veteliano Acosta. So that’s only a humorous sideshow.

    So the majority has accepted the fact that Aquino won, regardless of whether they voted for him or not. Like alden, I find it silly that Aquino’s own supporters would still make a fuss about that, making a case that he had the majority of voters behind him.

    As pointed out, performance will be the best gauge from hereon.

  18. mlq3

    I think you’ll see I was careful to put his plurality in the context of other pluralities -including the exaggeration of Estrada’s 1998 plurality which I have been pointing out had to be viewed in the context both of his own win and comparison to other elections. Just as actual number of votes in the long term is less useful a measure than percentages, something I’ve also covered in the past and should be covered.

  19. SoP

    Extra! Extra! Read all about it! MEDIOCRE PRESIDENTIABLE GETS A MANDATE!

    We have a mandate for mediocrity!

  20. SoP

    A victory for democracy this is!

  21. Carl Cid Inting

    OK, we’re speaking of pluralities, not majorities. Now we’re talking! Anyway, panalo naman yung manok nyo, Manolo! So we’ll see how he governs. This time, he’ll have to OWN the problems. Nobody else to blame but himself if he fails.

    Here’s some food for thought from old Philippine hand Phil Bronstein, EVP of the San Francisco Chronicle and former Editor of that paper, which has a wide Fil-Am readership. He was also the former husband of actress Sharon Stone and intimate companion and confidante of some of the more articulate and beautiful Filipino women:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/phil-bronstein/ninoy-noynoy-no-no_b_571998.html

  22. thecusponline

    When you consider the fact that the nation has spoken by possibly electing a divided ticket for the top two spots and a divided govt in terms of executive and legislative branches, the business of interpreting “the mandate” becomes fraught with difficulty.

    If we respect that decision, then the LP should not seek to gain a majority in the lower house by the usual route through pork barrel spending. It would seem that the people want change but want the different parties to come together and work cooperatively in an amicable fashion to solve a lot of the problems that besets the nation.

    It appears they don’t want to entrust the entire govt to one party no matter how noble its leader is regarded. It seems they still want checks and balances to prevent the possibility of over reach by overzealous idealists or opportunism by wolves who have disguised themselves in sheep’s clothing.

  23. nick

    If Noynoy can wrap himself in an impregnable mantle of an excellent reputation as a clean, honest, and effective president, then he has nothibg to fear from an opposition Senate/Congress, or even from an opposition/bias Supreme Court. He will have an invincible army, the souvereign people, the Filipino People, behind and around him, to protect him from the vultures and crocodiles in and outside government who may want to bring him down. Nothing to fear! If that happens, everybody, including the oppositions, will gravitate toward him, not because of perks and dole outs as what happened under PGMA, but because its the most proper thing to do under such circumstances for the good of the country and the people.

    Tall order, but doable.

  24. taxj

    My view was: anybody except Noynoy. But I must bow to the clear mandate.

    Time to move on, if we can. On line is Gloria’s accountability. Is this possible with the lackey nine around? I think he shares the view that they alone exempted the SC from the ban on appointments, not the Constitution! The path though could be too rough for Ninoy and Cory’s son. Already, he shows signs of diverging.Well?

  25. SoP

    Yes Nick, people will gravitate around Noynoy like we did with GMA during Erap’s ouster.

    Not to say Noy will become like GMA, but my money is on him becoming like his mom.

    Stagnation will then make people clamor for a strong man. Such is the fickleness of the public.

    We can prevent this of course by voting in someone like Ramos. I still think Villar could have been that guy (disclaimer I didn’t vote for him as I abstain).

  26. UP n Grad

    Noynoy can widen his mandate — covert more anti-Pinoys to believe in his leadership — by performance. He already has a simple challenge : by All Souls Day November2010, Noynoy to deliver one of his key campaign promises. Noynoy had said that he has a list of names of smugglers and tax-evaders that he will send to jail in his first month of office.

  27. SoP

    A list? That’s it? Anybody can make a list. Hell I can make a list of smugglers and tax-evaders. Manolo is on top of that list.

    My prediction is this will be tied up in litigation. It will be delayed in the appeals court and overturned by the supreme.

    Anybody can be jailed. But most courts will allow to post bail. So Noynoy maybe playing semantics in saying that he will jail them.

    The important question is, is it jail time by conviction or jail time by arrest? I doubt he can arrest, try, convict the people in the list in a month. That’s fucking bullshit man.

    This Noynoy can’t fool me.

  28. SoP

    Because first, there has to be evidence of smuggling and tax evasion. Can evidence be collected in a month by customs and BIR, or the Ombudsman or DOJ if we’re investigating the former? That’s fucking bullshit man. Investigation takes months of man hours. You don’t collect evidence in a month.

    And now that this Noynoy has pre-announced that he’s coming hard at the bad guys, this will stifle the investigators because they’ll cool down now that the heat is on them.

    How ’bout the pre-trial prep by the lawyers? Can lawyers prepare evidence into a case narrative in less than a month? More bullshit.

    Will the lawyers of the defendants allow discovery to be rushed by less than a month? How ’bout disposition? Can this be done in a month?

    Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit I say!

  29. SoP

    I would have been converted by this Noynoy if he were more realistic and announced structural changes: more money for the Ombudsman. More lawyers and accountant amongs its ranks (there are only currently 1000 personnel in the office of the Ombudsman, handling 3 cases/complaints per person per week. Their conviction rate is in the low 20%).

    As I said, just legalize jueteng. It’s estimated the bribes amount to 2.5 billion per year (that’s in 1995). If it were legalized (thus increasing patronage) and at current rates, the take to the government could be around 10 billion. That’s 10,000 million. That could hire tje president 10,000 more lawyers and accountants at the going rate of 1 million annual salary/person to increase the DOJ’s and Ombudsman’s ranks.

    Then give them and the police the tools to convict tax cheats and graft and corrupters: abolish bank privacy laws. Make it easy for forensic accountants to open up bank accounts so we could trace the money. Does Noynoy have the will power to sway his phantom legislative coalition majority, who will be the ones to be investigated by the way, to change our banking laws in alignment with international standards of transparency? Of course not! That’s what you get when you don’t have a legislative agenda in your campaign. Shallow promises won’t get our republic nowhere.

  30. ramrod

    SOP,
    I suggest you send Noynoy your resume and apply as his adviser as you seem to have a lot of good ideas. Have you been successful selling them to any entity? This country needs people like you…ideas are good but they need to be acted upon otherwise…

  31. UP n Grad

    Lack of a legislative agenda is not a surprise from a candidate who said “…Pilipinas has enough laws already”.

    But Noynoy DID promise as he spoke of a list of smugglers and tax evaders.

  32. baycas2

    Culled from here:

    To take an oath is to swear. In addition, to swear is to call upon God to witness that we speak the truth (declaratory oath), or that we will keep a promise (promissory oath).

    The conditions necessary for a lawful oath are truth, judgment, and justice.

    —–

    On affirmation:

    …Pierce chose to “affirm” his Oath of Office on a law book rather than the Bible, becoming the first president to do so. Pierce is one of only three presidents to “affirm” the Oath of Office, the two other being Herbert Hoover, who chose to “affirm” rather than “swear” because of his Quaker beliefs, and John Tyler.

    —–

    President-apparent Aquino ought to say this:

    “Mataimtim kong pinanunumpaan (o pinatotohanan) na tutuparin ko nang buong katapatan at sigasig ang aking mga tungkulin bilang Pangulo ng Pilipinas, pangangalagaan at ipagtatanggol ang kanyang Konstitusyon, ipatutupad ang mga batas nito, magiging makatarungan sa bawat tao, at itatalaga ang aking sarili sa paglilingkod sa Bansa. Kasihan nawa ako ng Diyos.” (Kapag pagpapatotoo, ang huling pangungusap ay kakaltasin.)

  33. Carl Cid Inting

    Noynoy will first come to realize that he now OWNS the Philippines’ problems and he will have to seek solutions for them. It was easy being a critic-at-large and denouncing anything that caught his fancy. Now, it’s about solving those problems.

    He’ll have to learn to be careful about talking of mounting another EDSA. He’ll have to be more circumspect about the separation of powers and dealing with the Chief Justice and the Supreme Court. He’ll have to embrace the power of the pork barrel as well, among many other things.

  34. mlq3

    Again you overlook the point -the mandate must indeed be taken within the context of a system less interested in majorities and more in allowing everyone to ventilate their views. But tht the mandate is as the system allows it, a remarkable one that has deep implications those who were repudiated by it are studiously trying to sweeup under the rug.

    As for the old hand. He toes the Fallows line. Which makes the most of Tropical Baroque but really says nothing: because having parachuted in, overlooks some dynamics that ought not to have surprised him (the remarkable thing isn’t that Imelda won, but that her earlier wins in Leyte has been duplicated in Ilocos); the only difference is FM Jr.’s senate win -but one would have to study the loyalist vote which nearly won them the presidency in 1992 if IRM and Danding Cojuangco hadn’t split it.

    http://www.policy.aim.edu/downloads/GLS/70_Reaction_to_A_Damaged_Culture.pdf

  35. mlq3

    You do realize the point where the legislative agenda comes in is the State of the Nation Address?

  36. Carl Cid Inting

    Manolo, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Our society has, on different occasions, been called feudal, weak, or dysfunctional, aside from “damaged”. The only way to dispel these notions is to prove them wrong. So far, we haven’t. And we can’t just chauvinistically wave this off by citing the “uniqueness” of our culture.

    Elections seemed to bring out the worst in us. Violence, vote buying, electoral fraud, non-stop litigation, disputed and unresolved electoral results that last for years, warlordism, political dynasties, etc. There are universal standards, and we can’t pat ourselves on the back for meeting the minimum of civilized standards.

    Automation has now given us the hope that, next time, we can fix the kinks and perfect the system. And hold elections in an acceptably civilized manner.

  37. thecusponline

    The emergence of India from its period of Hindu growth to one rivaling that of China is something that the country needs to emulate. The majority of Chinese and Indians have an optimism about their future that Filipinos at present do not share.

    The triumph of election automation needs to be mirrored across govt from customs and tax collection to license and permit issuing. Only when the bureaucracy begins to resemble less of a raj state and more of a modern one will the business climate improve.

    Some areas that need upgrading are the aviation, ports and national broadband networks. Imagine if the NBN project had been properly implemented, the transmission by PCOS machines might have been seamless. The country needs some disruptive innovation in terms of new products and processes for it to grow much more rapidly.

  38. Erineo

    Yes, getting automated elections right should only be the beginning. It should be a cue that will spur us to replicate something similar across the bureaucracy, making our society and our economy more modern and competitive.

    Most of all, it should be used to level the playing field. It should be used to open up more opportunities, and lessen the odds that are presently stacked overwhelmingly against ordinary, non-elite, Filipinos.

    This should be taken as a challenge for the present and future leadership of this country.

  39. alden40

    And like it or not. Automaion of election happened during Gloria’s term. And there fore that will be her obe of her greatest legacy.

  40. alden40

    ?

    “SOP,I suggest you send Noynoy your resume and apply as his adviser as you seem to have a lot of good ideas. Have you been successful selling them to any entity? This country needs people like you…ideas are good but they need to be acted upon otherwise… ramrod on Mon, 17th May 2010 10:47 pm”
    =============================================================

    Ang ba namanng klaseng sagot eto. Ang yabang. This is a blog and is all about ideas. Ther is ireally nothing wrong with SOPs suggestion . As amatter of fact I find it relly good.

    If you sarcacticaally ask SOP to be submit his resume. Then Manol should also submit his resume and be ask kung bumenta ba ang mga ideas that he presented here. Also Cups and also everybody…

  41. apanfilo

    I was just wondering why LP continues to put its head in the sand regarding a Binay vice presidency. They even accuse the Binay camp of mind conditioning, a ridiculous assertion considering that the elections are already over. Anyway, all the votes should have been counted by now because of automation, right? I guess we’re lucky the presidential race was not close. We simply can’t afford another six years of instability due to unresolved electoral issues.

    As for the vice presidency, Roxas should just cut his losses. His supporters should do him a favor by not coming out with these wild accusations — nag-mu-mukha lang atat na atat si Mar. Remember all the fulsome praises heaped on him for his supposed statemanship when he gave way to Noynoy?

    Even if he loses the vice presidency, Roxas should still get a juicy Cabinet post under an Aquino adminstration — he will never be out of the public awareness so that should take care of his 2016 ambition. Binay could be relegated to some middling government post, but I do hope President Aquino exercises good judgment and puts the man where the country can really benefit from his experience. DILG, perhaps?

  42. Carl Cid Inting

    This early, there’s already feuding among the Aquino supporters. How to divide the spoils? Most likely. Chiz Escudero warns about jockeying for positions. Click here:
    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20100518-270727/Aquino-campaigners-should-not-accept-Cabinet-postsEscudero

    Escudero also challenges Aquino to reveal members of his so-called “search” committee, as they themselves are jockeying for government positions. Click here:
    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20100518-270737/Aquino-asked-to-reveal-members-of-search-committee

    Then there’s finger-pointing and gnashing of teeth regarding the Mar Roxas debacle. The Roxas camp blames Kamag-Anak Inc. for the double-cross, particularly Peping Cojuangco and his henchman, Boy Saycon. Others blame Roxas himself. John Nery can’t believe how the supposed champions of EDSA can take the side of a trapo like Binay, who Nery claims “is just as compromised as the Villaroyoed Manny Villar”. Click here for John Nery’s article:
    http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20100518-270621/Uncharitable-unkind

    Others in the Roxas camp are warning about Binay’s insistence on taking the DILG post. They claim that Binay (along with Peping Cojuangco and Kamag-Anak Inc.) wants to take over “jueteng” all over the country through DILG and the PNP. This will provide a huge slush fund to keep friends and potential enemies in line. Not to mention that control of local officials and the PNP will come in handy during elections.

    What will be a sure thing is that Noynoy will use pork barrel to win over Congress. Erin Tanada himself has said that the LP will do this.

    Now, Frank Chavez is accusing THE FIRM, the Villaraza law firm, of pushing their weight around in Noynoy’s camp. He is accusing THE FIRM of attempting to corner several positions of power in the Aquino administration, after doing so in the Ramos and GMA administrations.

    Aba, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Abangan!

  43. SoP

    Well SONA is only a formality/ceremony of the legislative agenda.

    Our constitution, and Filipinos in extension, seem to know the superficial features of democracy, but not the essence.

    The essence of true democracies is to present the electorate with the legislative agenda during the campaign. The people then vote on which legislative agenda they like.

    I seem to remember this being a point of contention during the past few months, with most of us complaining of the lack of platforms.

    If Noynoy deems we have enough laws to capture tax cheats and graft and corruptors (we don’t) and that he can use these laws to convict them within the first month (he can’t), then I’m sorry to call him on his bullshit.

    And for you to ignore his wild assertion of jail time (whether by conviction or preliminary arrest) within the first month and saying the laws to make this possible will be presented during SONA, seems like blind loyalty to Noynoy on your part.

    I just have three questions for you:
    1. Do you honestly believe he has the evidence to convict those people on his list?
    2. Are there really enough laws to make evidence gathering effective?
    3. If you answer “no” to the those two questions, would you agree then that Noynoy is just showboating? That his words are typical election-time empty promises of a desperate candidate?

  44. SoP

    Alden40, ramrod is dead serious about me being an adviser to Noynoy. He’s read my suggestion in the past and he’s one of the posters who who see eye to eye with my ideas.

    Thing is, my suggestions aren’t nothing new. Most of my ideas I “steal” from western countries.

    If Noynoy enumerates these two western-type reforms in his SONA, then I’ll shut up and change my view of him:
    1. Reforming bank secrecy laws-the idea that the government can open anybody’s bank account and see how much money they make seem foreign and taboo to us. Some western countries don’t give a shit if you’re a street crook or the Ayalas or Ampatuans. If you’re involved in criminal activity, they’ll pry into your bank account.
    2. Introduce asset forfeiture laws – if you gain assets from criminal activity, then the government can seize those assets. If the Ampatuans were convicted in some western country with asset forfeiture law, you can be rest assured they’ll seize that big mansion of his, the guns, and the automobiles. They’ll sell the mansion and use the money as police funds. The guns and automobiles that they can use will become police property. All else will be auctioned and the money to be included in the police budget.

  45. d0d0ng.0fw

    Carl on “He’ll have to be more circumspect about the separation of powers and dealing with the Chief Justice and the Supreme Court.”

    1. The constitutional crisis was created by the recent SC (Puno’s court) decision to exempt its members from midnight appointment ban.

    2. Puno’s court is clearly a departure from SC decisions regarding similar case, as when Chief Justice Andres Narvasa recognized the midnight appointment ban and prevented then President Ramos to appoint his legal counsel Renato Corona to become SC justice.

    3. Puno’s court tarnished its credibility and soiled the reputation of the judiciary as institution with its controversial ruling.

    4. The president-elect as separate power should not unnecessarily become a party to such judicial error by taking oath under a questionable new SC chief. Aquino can take oath with a barangay official to comply with the law.

    5. Let the Supreme Court fix its error and remind them as institution to look back at the decision made by then Chief Justice Andres Narvasa.

  46. mlq3

    The evidence is there. Prosecution as impossible in the past, esp. in the case of smuggling.

  47. UP n Grad

    to SoP: The statement “I have a list of evaders/smugglers. In the first month, I promise to send a number of names to jail” is but a part of a bigger picture. The bigger issue — Noynoy’s promise to the Makati Business Club of “No new taxes!”. “No new taxes!” because Noynoy’s admin will fund the budget deficits by plugging the corruption leaks from… you got it… smugglers and tax evaders. Noynoy has a list, and he intends to use it!!

    “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been bad or good so….” jailtime by November, that was Noynoy’s promise.

  48. Carl Cid Inting

    Empty talking heads can’t change the reality that the Supreme Court has spoken. The final arbiter has spoken. Arguing until one’s face turns blue about something which has already been deemed fait accompli is simply a waste of time.

    If better-informed minds like Chiz Escudero, Miriam Santiago and Reynato Puno have accepted the reality and legality of it, there’s no point in engaging opinionated nincompoops in what can at best be called the realm of speculation.

    My neighborhood barber’s two cents worth is probably more constructive. 🙂

  49. d0d0ng.0fw

    Carl on “If better-informed minds like Chiz Escudero, Miriam Santiago and Reynato Puno have accepted the reality and legality of it”.

    Too bad, even Reynato Puno is afraid of his own shadow (he did not want to be remembered as Puno’s court) already concerned of the looming constitutional crisis, could only ask the President-elect to lend credence on new SC chief. It speaks volume that highest arbiter is lacking finality.

    And Miriam Santiago “hell hath no woman’s scorn” over alleged Ramos electoral fraud was only scoring on the ex-president reminder to the new SC chief on ethical standard.

    The better knowledge is Puno’s predecessor ex-chief justice Artemio Panganiban who disclosed that the court erred in the ruling.

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