Friday, March 26, 2010

How can Noynoy (still) win the Elections?

Recent surveys show that Sen. Noynoy Aquino is going down in popularity as far as Filipino voters are concerned. If the trend continues, Sen. Manny Villar seems posed to win the May 2010 elections leaving the LP camp confused as to what could have hit them.

I think Aquino’s waning popularity is the result of major mistakes committed by his camp rather than on what the competition did. These major mistakes include

1. Their complete reliance on winnability/popularity, and
2. The negative tenor of their campaign.

Sen. Aquino ran for President on the basis of the popularity he gained from the extensive positive media coverage of his mother’s illness and subsequent death. The initial survey results understandably reflect such popularity but it does not mean the majority of voters are ready to embrace him no matter what. Everyone already recognizes the Aquino brand and the senator does not need to remind us about it. However, he still made sure we are reminded by invoking his parent’s legacy every time he is asked to speak. Perhaps he didn’t realize that voters are looking forward to know more what is behind the brand rather than have the brand merely repeated to them.

Obviously, Aquino will not get elected on the basis of what he did in the past. His performance in his three terms in congress and three years on the Senate did not produce any significant results. The fact that his home province of Tarlac, for which he could have wielded influence, has not shown any remarkable success, did not help to create the idea that at least he could have done something. His usual defense, “’fiscalization’ is what he did” simply does not hold water. The word “fiscalization” itself cannot be found in the dictionary, while more people, other senators, who produced more results, certainly has a better claim to it.

Because of lack of past performance to talk about, the Aquino camp banked on mere popularity to forward their cause. They used celebrities led by her controversial sister, popular actress and host Kris Aquino. They used surveys to create a bandwagon and to arrogantly turn the tables on the voters. Up to this day, Aquino ads are saying that it is the people who wanted him to run (obviously referring to the surveys), and not him wanting the Presidency. Now that the survey numbers are not favoring his argument, people would wonder: will he stop his run and go back to his slumber in the senate?

Aside from too much reliance on popularity, the other major blunder of Aquino is his negative campaign. First, his camp has shown their complete obsession or aversion of anything with Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in it. His platform says it all, he is just about anything but Arroyo. Meanwhile, his campaign says he will not steal, meaning everyone else are thieves. Also, they try to create the image that his main rival Sen. Manny Villar is the Arroyo reincarnate. While Aquino is not far behind in ad expenditures, his camp insists that Villar is using money to buy the Presidency and everyone on his way. The Aquino camp does all these while trying to create the illusion that their own campaign is a campaign of and by the people.

But there is truth to the saying that when you point an accusing finger, your other fingers will surely point at yourself. Of course, Aquino has been hounded and hurt by his lack of leadership and transparency, to put it in its mildest, on the Hacienda Luisita issue – the issue that could even eventually tarnish the legacy of his mother.

Instead of correcting their mistakes though, the Aquino camp is now resorting to stoking fear to get votes. They now talk about different far fetched scenarios such as “failure of elections” and military junta as they regularly attack the integrity of the Supreme Court and the Commission on Elections. They are now talking about leading “People Power”, presumably in case they would not win.

I think the Aquino camp has got to stop its arrogance. Rather than bank on popularity while branding everyone else as “evil” to continue their negative campaign, Aquino should instead sit down and reflect on real solutions that he can offer the country. Instead of simply mouthing platitudes and meaningless generalities which Villar is similarly doing, the Aquino team should differentiate their candidate by really studying the problems and coming up with and presenting real solutions, with details down to the last centavo needed to implement them.

I am not sure if Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III still has time to do this, but if he cannot explain his past, he should at least fully explain and show us the next six years of the country if we would have him as President. This I think is the only way now that he could win the May 2010 elections.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Forum Fatigue?

It seems now that the camp of Aquino (and seemingly concurred by the Villar camp) are promoting the idea that forums and debates is a waste of time in order to justify not joining them.

The leading candidates has missed attendance to some important forums among them the healthcare forum in the Medical City (by the Phil. College of Physicians), attended only by Gordon and Teodoro, and the Mindanao forum in Zamboanga, attended only by Delos Reyes and Perlas.. (BTW, we also heard of both candidates' absence in the Quiboloy forum..)

I can now imagine that from now up to election time, both these candidates will not be talking anymore about their positions, moreso their policies if elected president. While Noynoy is doing a FPJ, seemingly ignoring/avoiding the invitations, Villar is doing a GMA by not attending the forums unless Noynoy is there.

I think that with this attitude of the two leading candidates, if proven true, they may both be considered cheaters and cowards at the same time. Cheaters as in they want to win the election without giving too much of themselves, and cowards as not being able to stand up as true leaders when the electorate requires their submissions.

Obviously, the battle is not about good versus evil, but Noynoy's Glitter versus Villar's Gold.

Of course, mass media should have been criticizing both candidates to high heavens with these underhanded electoral strategies. And of course we see that again, mass media is reneging on its job.

Well, we can only lament the fact that nothing has changed.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Supreme Court under Attack?

The following is a commentary to be read tonight at Sentro ng Katotohanan:


Kahapon po, naglabas ang Supreme Court ng desisyong nagsasabing pwede raw mag-appoint ng Chief Justice and Pangulong Arroyo, at hindi raw nag-aapply ang election ban on appointments sa pagkakataong ito.

Malinaw na malinaw po ang desisyon ng korte. Pwede raw pong mag-appoint ang pangulo. Ang hindi po malinaw ay ang reaksyon ng maraming tao tungkol dito.

Kanina, sa radyo, nakikinig ako ng mga opinyon. Si Ted Failon ng DZMM parang kinukutya ang desisyon ng korte suprema. Ganun din si Arnold Clavio ng DZBB. Si Ted Failon, nagbasa ng mga text messages sa kanilang programa. Halos lahat ng mga text messages nila na natanggap ay kumukutya sa desisyon ng Supreme Court. Ako ay nagulat sa mga komentaryo dahil ang dating sa akin e para yatang naging mga eksperto sa batas ang mga tao. Hindi sila naniniwala sa Korte Suprema, siguro tingin nila mas matatalino sila kaysa sa mga Justices doon.

Pero ang mga tao ay gumagaya lang naman po kasi sa mga ibang tao na matatalino.

Kagaya for example ng dating CONCON delegate at dating Comelec Chairman Christian Monsod na nagsabi sa GMA ng ganito:

“I was disappointed”, ‘This looks like a Marcos court, and now it’s an Arroyo court.’ They seem to be especially accommodating the wishes of the president. [Its] reputation and image has suffered a great deal," Monsod, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, told radio dzBB.

Ang pagkakaalam po natin, si Christian Monsod po ay supporter ni Sen. Noynoy Aquino.

Ang kandidato po sa pagka Vice President ng Liberal Party na si Sen. Mar Roxas ay nagsabi naman po ng ganito sa isang statement:

“It scares many of our people that even on a very crucial issue of constitutionality and decency in government, the Justices of our Supreme Court would bow to the mighty powers of this President, who has bent the rules and even our Constitution to suit her whims,” Roxas said in a statement.

“It sends a chill into our people’s hearts that a scenario of a failure of election could really happen, especially now with automation of the elections under question by many sectors and experts,” he said.
“With this decision, one of the most sacrosanct rule governing our democracy — that of co-equal branches of government serving as a check and balance to each other — has been thrown out the window. It sends a foreboding message to the people whose faith in the democratic system has been tested too many times, yet has never wavered.
“Whoever rules now makes the rules. The blindfold of Lady Justice has now been stripped off, and she is now being coerced to tip her scales in favor of President Arroyo and her clique who intend to keep power at all costs.
“This is not how a democracy is supposed to work. Mangling the spirit of our constitution to serve the whims of the present administration sets a dangerous precedent: Where once we had a glimmer of hope for the return of decency’s reign, now that glimmer has dimmed considerably. Future generations of Filipinos will now have to live under a system where the strong and mighty defines what is right and wrong.
“Hindi tayo papayag na yurakan ang demokrasya at ang ating Saligang Batas para mapanatili sa poder ang mga tiwali sa ating pamahalaan. Huwag nating biguin ang matagal nang inaasam ng ating taumbayan na pagbabago sa ating bansa.
“Kasama ang buong sambayanan, lalaban tayo!”
Ang mismong presidential bet ng LP si Sen. Noynoy Aquino ay nagsabi ng ganito sa report ng GMA New.TV:

“Is this because the SC is now packed with Arroyo appointees? Ito pa rin ba ang hustisya at katarungan sa kalakaran at pamamaraan ng kasalukuyang pamunuan? Ang palagay ko ay hindi makatarungan ito (Is this justice under the Arroyo administration? I think this is a form of injustice)," he said in a statement.

Sa palagay ko, kailangan pong linawin ng mga taga Liberal Party ang ibig nilang sabihin. Gusto ba nilang pamunuan ang mga taong bayan na huwag nang maniwala sa Korte Suprema. Ganito po ba ang ibig nilang sabihin?

Kung ganito po ang kanilang ibig sabihin, palagay ko po ay sinisira nila ang ating bayan para lamang sa kanilang ambisyong pamunuan ito, at pamunuan ito kahit sa anong paraan. Kapag hindi na po naniniwala na mga tao sa korte suprema, wala na po tayong pwedeng paniwalaan. Anarkiya po ang magiging kasunod noon, at mawawalan na po tayo ng pag-asa bilang isang bayan.

Wag po nating ipagbale-walang bahala itong mga ganitong statements. Alam niyo, sa mga statements na ganito makikita ang tunay na integrity ng mga kandidato.

At ito ang Sentro ng Katotohanan.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sentro on "Small" Corruption

Yesterday, Sentro's Arnel and Iya discussed corrupt practices that ordinary Pinoys engage in. Sometimes, everyone is hell bent on cursing corruption in high places while we disregard those that we ourselves regularly do. If we want real change, the challenge is that we must all change.

Moreso, the smallest corruption we all engage in when put together adds up to the culture of corruption that we see and abhor in our society.

Listen to yesterday's broadcast from the following link:

Sentro on "Small" Corruption

Thursday, March 11, 2010

OMAG on Sentro

Last Tuesday, Sentro ng Katotohanan have as guest Atty. Troy Banez of OMAG (Outdoor Media Advocacy Group). It will be noticed that OMAG has been spreading the Vote Wisely message through billboards in EDSA lately. Learn about the group and their advocacies by listening to our archived broadcast.

Sentro with OMAG

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Teacher" Neric Acosta goes to Sentro

Yesterday, we had LP Senatorial candidate Neric Acosta with us for an interview at Sentro ng Katotohanan (DWBL 1242KHz 8.30-9.30PM T-Th). Mr. Acosta, or "Teacher", as his campaign would like to call him, is a former congressman, a three termer, from the first district of Bukidnon. He is a stalwart LP member, and is the party's Vice President for Mindanao.

Mr. Acosta's stint in congress produced major legislation, The Philippine Clean Air, Water Management and Solid Waste Management Acts, among them. Before being a congressman, he was a provincial board member, but he maintains he is a teacher first before entering politics. During the interview, we found out that his father is a scientist (agricultural geneticist), while his mother is a politician (former Mayor, and former Congresswoman). He is the only politician among the brood of three. He is married to a Thai national whom he met in the US during his post graduate studies there, and they have a son.

Learn more about Mr. Neric Acosta by listening to our archived interview via the following link.

Interview with "Teacher" Neric Acosta