I write better when I smoke. Don’t ask me to reduce it to a science.


It takes a good leader to make hard decisions. It takes an awesome leader to make hard and unpopular decisions just when he needs to be popular – like in the run up to an election year for example?

From this news report, it seems like Noli de Castro knows what an awesome leader is. I mean, sure, it was Cerge Remonde who said

I think we should not glorify and glamorize these people by giving in to their demands as to whom they would want to negotiate with. I think that could be a very bad policy.

But the way things work around here, if de Castro wanted to score a few easy brownie points, he could’ve easily overriden sensible voices and gone on to Sulu for the photo ops. It is, I think, to his credit that he seems to be toeing the reasonable line with this one. 

Which prolly begs the question, when has he ever gone against this government? I’m all for that whole loyalty thing, but there comes a time in a politician’s life when, if he can’t break ranks, he can at least make his discomfiture known. Has de Castro ever done that?

The answer to that question will be relevant to those who are now considering him for 2010. He’s done a significant amount of good, sure; but a person who has kept his ass too safe will turn off the voters.

All told, de Castro might know what it takes to be an awesome leader, but is he good enough to actually be one?


Filed under: 2010 watch, news, politics, , , , ,

Mar Roxas is a moron

“Putang ina! … Patayin ang Gloria-forever Cha-cha na ito!” 

Real classy, moron.



Filed under: 2010 watch, politics, ,

Who died?

Who died and made Anakbayan the boss of Manny? Who died and gave politicians the right to ‘advise’ people not to go into politics and – essentially – to not quit their day jobs?

In case these party-list types haven’t noticed – or maybe because they had a deadened sense of irony – they letting anyone run for office these days. So what makes Manny Pacquiao less suited for a career in politics than, say – a former news anchor? With the proliferation of lawyers in this country, politicians – party-list representatives included – do not even need to have skillz in law-craft. In this benighted country, politicians are expected only to look good and speak well. Sincerity trumps integrity, and celebrity hands sincerity its hat and kicks it out the door. 

Manny shouldn’t run. And as a fight fan, I am perfectly within my rights to voice the opinion that he shouldn’t risk the country’s place of honor in the international arena. It’s his fault for getting us there. Now that we’re there, it’s his responsibility to keep us there til someone comes along and takes over for him. Atlas can’t just put down the world and walk away. 

But politicians condescendingly telling Pacquiao to stick to boxing? WTF? No one – least of all party-list representatives – have the right to tell people with no political background that they can’t jump into the sandbox. Last I checked, politics was an old-boys club by dint of circumstance, not design. SO although the way things are practically guarantee that only politically connected people can have a real chance at winning elective office, theoretically, if anyone can get the same level of winnability even without a pedigree, that person is just as entitled to a shot at public office.

The root cause of all the hackles raised at the thought of a Pacquiao candidacy is fear. Fear that his overwhelming popularity will be used by the administration one way or the other. Well, duh. Tough. Deal it with it, Anakbayan.

First off, you don’t know Manny’s mettle as a pol. He may talk dumb, but like generations of your populism have pretty much ensured that politicians don’t need to be eloquent except with their wallets and their dance moves. 

Second, don’t try to pretend that you’re above using celebrity to further your causes. If Manny Pacquiao were critical of the government, you people would be creaming your panties trying to get him to run under your crimson banners. 

Third, everyone has a right to be voted for. If actors can run for office, so can dumb jocks, aryt?

Fourth, if the guy wants to flush his career down the toilet, that’s for him to decide, for us fight fans to crucify him for, and for you politicians to live in fear of. Not that he’s going after your turf anyway.

So leave Manny alone! (cue blond-emo-gay-video :D)

Filed under: 2010 watch, politics, sports, , ,


Well, well. Lookit

Citing initial field reports, Jimenez said day one of registration in Quezon City’s 1st district yielded 79 new voters; 303 for the 2nd district and 61 for the 3rd district. In Manila, its 5th district recorded the most number of new registrants with 256; followed closely by the 4th district with 221. 

So that’s fairly impressive, right? I thought that this registration thing would be greeted by something like a huge collective yawn by voters so thoroughly indoctriinated against trusting the system. As it turns out, people are still excited about being able to vote in 2010.

Good thing too. The way I see it, these numbers represent a rejection of regime change short-cuts. There is hope, after all, that not everyone is taken in by the allure of yet another ersatz revolution. 

The challenge now is to keep the numbers this high – or to better them even – in the coming months. All of a sudden – for me at least – the idea of an involved youth doesn’t sound as far-fetched as it used to.

Filed under: 2010 watch, musings, politics, society, ,

The Out of town Killers

With the arrest and possible extradition of Ping Lacson’s flunkies – Cesar Mancao II and Glenn Dumlao – we might be coming closer to finally closing the book on Bubby Dacer’s and Emmanuel Corbito’s murders. ‘Course, the Lacson connection will be the subject of much discussion – or at least I hope so.

Y’see, people who find it difficult to believe that Bolante acted without the President’s knowledge (including me), will have to accept that it is equally difficult to accept that Lacson’s hands are pristine in the killing executions of Dacer and Corbito.

The logic in the case of Bolante is that the expenditure of 700+ million pesos is so out of the ordinary that the President could not have possibly been NOT interested; well, liquidating two people – one of them very highly placed – could not have been such a run-of-the-mill event either that the Chief of the PAOCTF would not have been at least consulted. And besides, if the President is presumed guilty to some degree because she is a known micro-manager, what does that make Ping Lacson?

In any case, the first switch has been thrown. I, for one, will be very interested to see how this Rube Goldberg contraption we call the Philippine justice system will run with the case. And, naturally, I’ve started taking bets on when Ping Lacson will start wailing “POLITICAL PERSECUTION!”

Filed under: 2010 watch, law and order, politics, society, , , , ,

And that’s how you get a Committee Chairmanship … or three

After all the hulabaloo about Villar being sacked – yep, he was sacked. that canard about resigning was a face-saving measure, make no mistake about it – because of his highway robbery, it should now be abundantly clear that the true value of the Senate coup – and perhaps the prime motivation – was the divvying up of the spoils. And who gets the lion’s share is really no surprise: the gunslinger Ping Lacson. Yep. He gets Ways and Means, Ethics, and Accounts.

What do these Committees do?

Accounts has jurisdiction over all matters relating to the auditing and adjustment of all accounts chargeable against the funds for the expenses and activities of the Senate. Rule X, Section 13 (3); Ways and Means deals with All matters relating to revenue generally; taxes and fees; tariffs; loans and other sources and forms of revenue. Rule X, Section 13 (5); and the Ethics Committee deals with all matters relating to the conduct, rights, privileges, safety, dignity, integrity and reputation of the Senate and its members. Rule X, Section 13 (2).

So basically, Ping gets to handle nearly everything related to money – including how the Senate uses its funds and he gets to sit in judgment over how other Senators conduct themselves. This is a funny position for someone who – while sitting in the Bicameral Conference Committee that was supposed to vet the 2008 budget – totally let the alleged double-entry slip through unchallenged, only to later use it to bushwhacka rival for the Presidency of the country. 

Don’t get me wrong. If there was something anomalous about that entry, then yeah, Villar should get the boot. But then again, shouldn’t Lacson also be penalized for letting it slip through? I mean, letting-the-crime-happen-because-you’re-going-to-use-it-as-a-political-bludgeon-later isn’t in the approved list of mitigating or extenuating circumstances yet, is it? More to the point, Lacson shouldn’t be allowed to profit by his nonfeasance.

Aside from all that, why is Ping getting the money and ethics committees anyway? He’s a cop for cryin’ out loud! Couldn’t he have been given Public Order and Illegal Drugs? That seems right up his alley. I mean, the crooks already know to fear this guy’s trigger, right? Or how about Urban Planning and Development? As a cop, he must have first hand knowledge of how the city lay-out works and what would be the best way to adjust those lay-outs to help fight criminality. Come to that, why not Local Government – then he can flog all the de la Pazs of the world.

Oh. Wait. Maybe Enrile was playing a joke on us. Give money to the Cop and trust him to have ethics. Haha. There must be an oxymoron there somewhere. Or at least a moron. LOL!

Filed under: 2010 watch, politics, society, , , , , , , ,


Well, hell. Binay’s folk think he’s the Filipino Obama, do they? Boy, are they waaaay off the mark. Still, as far the Filipino’s penchant for labels is concerned, the tag isn’t much of a surprise. In fact, it might have been inevitable even, the only question being who would do it first.

Still, I don’t think he’ll insist on the tag; Bayani Fernando might, if it were ever applied to him – his ego is big enough. Sure, Binay’s got a monster ego of his own, but I don’t think it’s big enough that he could actually convince himself that he can be compared to Obama. 

For starters, their approaches to politics are different. F’rinstance: Obama was steady enough not to pounce on the economic crisis the way McCain did. Binay, on the other hand, is precisely the type who goes for theatrical grand gestures – just like McCain. I mean remember him running around in military gear, brandishing a gun? 

Another example: As much as people hated George Bush, Obama never resorted to name calling and advocating insurrection. Binay? Heh. At one point, it seemed like every other day he was calling on people to rise up and oust GMA. Seriously. How can you vote for someone who has such disregard for the electoral process? Granted, he’s one of those who has never accepted GMA’s 2004 win as legitimate, still, elected officials – more than any other people – should be careful not to tear down public faith in elections because they’re all just one step away from the same accusation being levelled at them, and being ousted for the exact same reason, right or wrong.

And Binay certainly doesn’t have Obama’s charisma. We can disagree on everything else, but I don’t think anyone would seriously otherwise.

Filed under: 2010 watch, politics, , , , , ,

Next Prez

Everybody’s got a countdown clock in their heads set to 2010. Especially them politicians. Us, on the other hand, we worry about who’s gonna outlast everyone on Survivor; we obsess about Cristy Fermin and Nadia Montenegro; and we agonize over vertical stripes versus horizontal. Well, alright, maybe the last one is just me.

Still, the point is that when I talk to people, it doesn’t seem like 2010 is anything more than a speck on the horizon. Myself, it’s a constant effort to stay interested. But I believe the effort is worth it. If I stay interested, I will look at all these Prez-wannabees and try to figure out which among them deserves my vote. I do that enough, and I stand a good chance of making an informed choice. On the other hand, if I lose interest – or if I’m not interested at all – I’ll prolly end up coasting along til 2010 and then be too overwhelmed by all that campaign jazz that I won’t be able to make an intelligent decision come election day. If I’m like that, then it serves me right to end up with a moron for president.

Now there are two ways of making sure that my vote is intelligent and – hopefully – well reasoned. I can, as FV invites us, indicate who I want to be president in 2010. What this does is to establish a baseline of expectations. If we know who the most popular candidates are, we can get a pretty good idea of what voters (including ourselves) will be looking for in 2010. If we know that, then we can start our own thought processes going: do i agree with the apparent priorities being set by other voters? If I don’t then what are my priorities? If I do, is this candidate the right one to champion me? That sort of thing.

The other method is to list down who I do NOT want to be president. On many levels, this is an easier undertaking, because given the way our politicians behave nowadays, disgust has become almost a knee-jerk reaction. But nevertheless, the list of candidates you do not want to win is valuable as it can act as a filter of sorts. But ultimately, the goal remains the same: to stimulate thought; to make us think about our options in 2010, and how we’re going to choose.

Unfortunately, FV doesn’t have the second poll. I’m sure it’s in the works, tho. Still, I am very curious about who people don’t want to be president. So, here’s a poll: WHO DO YOU NOT WANT TO BE PREZ IN 2010?

So, after doing the FV poll – or before – do this poll. The results ought to be pretty interesting.

BTW! You can click as many names as you want!

Filed under: 2010 watch, politics, , ,

The politics of outrage

Panfilo Lacson is just taking a page out of McCain’s playbook. That’s all it is, really. He’s capitalizing on outrage because outrage lands him on the front page of newspapers; it gives him the kind of free air-time that Manny Villar needs to buy; and it hood-winks the Filipino voter into thinking he is some sort of moral crusader out on a mission to clean government up.

But not only that. He is also capitalizing on the outrageous. I mean, what could be more outrageous than two appropriations for what seems to be the same project? In a country already convinced that all government officials are out to steal money, the implication is plenty obvious. Lacson just connected the dots. Too bad, tho’ that he didn’t wait until Lehman folded.

Imagine that. On the same morning that our headlines are blaring the news about the demise of Lehman and the inevitable repercussions on our already limping economy, Lacson reveals the double-appropriation. OMFG! The double appropriation becomes infinitely more sinister as it is juxtaposed against the country’s dire financial straits!

Never mind that he had every opportunity to catch this double-appropriation before the budget was passed. It’s kinda like knowingly leaving the window open and then complaining that someone forgot to close it. Lucky for Lacson, that sort of intellectual dishonesty isn’t nearly as outrageous as the idea of a road being built.

Oh well. Lacson got what he wanted anyway, didn’t he?

Filed under: 2010 watch, politics, , , , , , ,

Election fever

Everybody has a gimmick.

I really only noticed the gimmickry when I first started seeing Manny Villar’s teevee ads about bringing OFWs home. It was pretty ironic because earlier that week, Villar had filed a bill – or something – calling for a revamp of premature campaigning laws. I mean, how was that for hypocrisy? LOL! Apparently, the fish-monger wanted to get his licks in before what he ws doing became illegal. That would give him a leg up on other candidates, fer sure!

Gordon, in turn, wasn’t content with capitalizing on the typhoon victims, he made a mountain out of a molehill with the automation of the elections in the ARMM. At least in his own mind. LOL! His slack-lipped face was slobbering every camera that strayed in his direction, virtually french-kissing the lens in his effort to project himself as the Daddy of automation. Trailing in his wake – the way little scum sucking fish trail after big fat whales – was Etta Rosales, so desperate to establish herself as a serious Senatorial contender, she was practically begging media to listen to her talk. Now, Gordon never really impressed me, so his piggy-backing antics on election automation wasn’t all that disappointing. But Etta, come ON, ma’am! This politicking is so beneath you. Or at least it was beneath the firebrand I used to be so enthralled by.

Now, it’s Ping Lacson‘s turn. However, while Ping’s issue is legit enough, the inescapable conclusion is that he is merely politicking. Notwithstanding the loser Lito Banayo’s relentless spinning of this issue, the fact remains that this would have been a non-issue had it not been for Ping cashing it in. 

And quick as quick, Korina Sanchez wades into the fray – a proxy for her groom-in-waiting. Looking at it all with a critical eye, this ‘road to nowhere’ mess is starting to look like a feeding frenzy with the erstwhile leading potential presidential candidate as the chum. If I said ‘chump,’ well, that wouldn’t be too far off the mark either.

It’s election fever, folks. That’s all it is.

Filed under: 2010 watch, , , , , ,