JESUS ELBINIAS: SOMETHING BEYOND ME

MANILA, December 14, 2003  (BULLETIN) HOW only Poe, among the presidential aspirants, can unite the Filipino people, according to Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, is something beyond me. Poe may be able to unite the showbiz people, his Mindanao movie fans, and the unenlightened poor; but that’s about all. What about those who finance and direct our business and industry, the nerds, educators, political idealists, etc.? As President Arroyo said in Japan, being a celebrity is not enough to win election; and, much less, to run a government. It is an exaggeration, or simple propaganda, to say only Poe can unite us.

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China may be the third world power today after its successful launch of a rocket in outer space. It has also called world attention to its products in the international market. Why not? Its exported products are better or equal in quality as those of other countries — and priced lower too. But what’s negative about China is its laxness in preventing illegal drug traffickers to operate abroad. The Chinese-Filipino Community Peace and Order Coordination Council should be lauded for sending a manifesto asking China to prevent those traffickers from coming to our country. The Chinoys here resent it.

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Now we know why some lawmakers and other politicians are advocating the change of our government system from the bicameral to a unicameral structure. Once the Constitution is amended to establish a parliamentary system, the powers of the president will be curtailed and, instead, the governance of our country will be left to the prime minister and the Cabinet ministers of the parliament. This could be the hidden agenda of some opposition leaders which were revealed by endorsing candidates without experience and knowledge, in short the qualifications, to rule as our president.

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Senate President Drilon’s denial sounds true that he had assured Speaker De Venecia the Senate would take a second look into the proposed Cha-cha via a constituent assembly before next year’s elections. Drilon knows that if the Cha-cha by constituent assembly will push through, with the congressmen having more votes in the assembly, and majority supporting De Venecia for the parliamentary system, chances are, the congressmen will prevail. Then, Da King or Kabayan, if they win, need not govern the country as president. Their coach who urged them to run could be voted prime minister.

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The MILF did not seem to have any official conflict with Gen. Eduardo Ermita when he was the government representative negotiating with Muslim rebel groups in Mindanao, especially with the MILF. In fact, Ermita’s performance must have been so good he was appointed secretary of National Defense. Now that MILF spokesperson Eid Kabalu has charged him with trying to destroy the MILF’s image in the international community for saying that their sub-commanders are coddling Jemaah Islamiyah, that could derail the peace talks. Doesn’t the MILF like him as the defense secretary?

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National Security Adviser Roilo Golez’s holding a security briefing with certain involved government agencies on countering terrorism was a welcome initiative. But while members of the Metro Manila Council and the MMDA were present, none of the state prosecutors from the Department of Justice was invited. In drafting any counter-terrorism measures, a lawyer should be present to comment on the legal aspects of the proposed measures to be adopted. The DoJ has the Anti-terrorism Task Force headed by Actg. Secretary Jose Calida. His lawyers are trained for that.

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According to what a ranking member of the House of Representatives prognosticated, the Catholic charismatic group, called El Shaddai, will likely support President Arroyo, while the Iglesia ni Cristo seems to be backing for Sen. Panfilo Lacson in the presidential elections. Of the El Shaddai members, about three to five million are expected to vote for Gloria. The INC might give Lacson as much as two million. Regarding Roco, FPJ and Eddie, the solon didn’t say. The minimum votes of 1.5 million from Eddie Villanueva’s Jesus Is Lord might be the decisive votes — for himself.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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