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Showing posts from October, 2015

Santiago's political decision

My October 20, 2015 column.


Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has always been a political gadfly.  She has never been known to conform to anyone’s idea of what is acceptable, consequences be damned.  She has also been renowned for never holding her punches, often spewing what many would consider outrageous statements.  She has never been known to have long-term loyalties, or to have a core ideology, other than looking at herself as a Messiah of sorts. It would seem as if Santiago’s main purpose in life is to challenge conventions and in the process, annoy or infuriate others.  Of course there are those who think the world of her, but it would be difficult to find someone other than her family members who has consistently been pleased with her actuations or statements.  Santiago is who and what she is; and it is unreasonable to pick the things about her that we admire and those we find repulsive. Her decision to run for President, therefore, should not have come as a surprise.  It’s in …

A surplus of presidential hopefuls

My October 1, 2015 column. On the first day of the filing of certificates of candidacy for national positions last Monday, a total of 22 individuals trooped to the national headquarters of the Commission on Elections to manifest their supposed earnest desire to offer their lives in the service of country and the Filipino people as President. As of Thursday evening, there were close to a hundred presidential hopefuls! The number was astonishing because for a while back there, most of us were actually bewailing the utter lack of choices for the 2016 presidential contest.   Of course, we all know that the number of hopefuls would be decimated in a few weeks’ time when Comelec declares some, if not most of them, as nuisance candidates. Nevertheless, there are a lot of things that can be said about the surge in the number of people who actually believe in their heart of hearts that they could and should be President of the Republic of the Philippines. We can all take an optimistic view of …

Grain from chaff

My October 13, 2015 column.
The circus officially begins this week when those aspiring for national office start trooping
 to the Commission on Elections at Intramuros to file their respective certificates of candidacy. 
The whole exercise will be marked by all kinds of gimmickry which people will try to pass off as
ceremonial pomp and pageantry.  There will be ati-atihan dancers, marching bands, cheer leaders,
confetti, and hordes of placard-waving and shrieking supporters garbed in whatever colors the
candidates have chosen to represent themselves.  What all the extravaganza has to do with the occasion baffles the mind. When we come to think
about it, the filing of certificates of candidacy should be a solemn, if not sacred, moment.  It’s when
a candidate declares under oath his or her sincere intention to serve the people.  It is supposed to mark
the moment when the proverbial die is cast, when a candidate makes a date with destiny.  Why candidates
 cheapen such a potentially poignant moment …

Choosing the lesser evil

My October 11, 2015 column.


It’s too bad there won’t be a box in the ballot in next year’s elections that says “none of the above” because I am sure there will be quite a number of voters who will choose to leave the slot for President or Vice President blank. Of course there is the possibility that some people will still have a change of mind as the candidates begin to engage voters more aggressively during the official campaign period, but there will be many who will not be swayed. I know quite a number who are firmly convinced, this early, that no one among Mar Roxas, Grace Poe, Jejomar Binay, and Rodrigo Duterte—who are considered the frontrunners for the presidency—deserves to become President of the Republic. I, personally, have not made up my mind on who to vote for President or Vice President in 2016. There’s just no one among the four putative candidates who inspires confidence in me. However, I believe that leaving the spaces blank in the ballot is not a wise option in an elec…

Twerking to infamy

My October 4, 2015 column. The official campaign period for the 2016 national elections hasn’t started yet, 
but the circus has already come to town. The circus acts are bound to be more risqué 
and the gimmicks dirtier because of, first, the intense competition among the various 
political parties, and second, it is just so much harder now to entice people to come 
to political gatherings just so they can listen to some candidate regurgitate shameless 
self-promotion propaganda.  Gyrating dancers clad in sexy attires; singers who slither onstage and flirt with candidates 
and the audience; lewd and bawdy jokes and statements with double entendre 
or laden with innuendoes­—these have always been the staple of political sorties 
for as far back as I can remember. My earliest memory of a political rally happened 
when I was a little boy and it involved a female singer in sequined shorts singing 
“Saging ni Pacing” onstage while feeding a mayoral candidate and his slate of mostly 
male candidates rip…