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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)

FROM THE MANILA TIMES

BY FRANCISCO TATAD: THE FIGHT IS NOW BETWEEN AQUINO AND THE FILIPINO PEOPLE
[May 9 presidential polls reported an incredible turnout of 81 percent, and gave PDP presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte a roaring landslide, which President B.S. Aquino 3rd and the other presidential candidates will be hard put to challenge, even if they should want to.]

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MAY 11 by FRANCISCO S. TATAD Incredible turnout: Amid the clear violations of the automated election law, and widespread fear of massive electoral fraud, the May 9 presidential polls reported an incredible turnout of 81 percent, and gave PDP presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte a roaring landslide, which President B.S. Aquino 3rd and the other presidential candidates will be hard put to challenge, even if they should want to. But they obviously do not want to. Contrary to our earlier fears that none of the losing presidential candidates would recognize the winner, none of them have questioned the apparent landslide of Mayor Duterte. Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares, whose doubtful natural-born Filipino citizenship has sown doubts and confusion upon the entire presidential process, was the first to concede defeat after Duterte posted 14.4 million votes out of 41 million votes reportedly cast and 37 million counted. Roxas followed suit on Tuesday afternoon, after the unofficial quick count gave Duterte 15,245,930 votes, Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas 9,183,938 votes, and Mrs. Llamanzares 8,542,159 votes.But trouble could be brewing in the vice-presidential race. Saved from Grace Many found Duterte the most dangerous man to put in high office. For this reason, they hoped UNA’s Vice President Jejomar C. Binay would perform a miracle, or that the LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas could catch up. But even those who did not vote for him are now genuinely grateful that he made sure that a former American citizen with a natural-born American husband and of no known biological parentage would be sitting as our President just because nine Supreme Court Justices had decided, against the clear language and spirit of the Constitution, that Mrs. Llamanzares was “qualified” to run for President. That Supreme Court ruling destroyed the Constitution, the Court itself and the presidential system, which requires a president to be, among other things, a natural-born citizen who has lived in the country for at least 10 years immediately preceding the elections. I didn’t think I could, as lead petitioner before the Commission on Elections and the Supreme Court against the Llamanzares candidacy, live with that. I worried more about having someone of questionable citizenship in the presidency than having someone who had killed criminals in his war against crime. My young daughter had warned me, “If Grace Poe wins, you’ll have to look for another country, Dad.” And she may not even want to join me. The trouble is, I am too old and too set in my ways to think of joining so many disgruntled American migrants to Canada. But while I thought I had every reason to be concerned about the kind of language I was hearing from the macho candidate, I could not help but suspect he was doing it all or effect. He knew the crowd loved it and the media lapped it up, and he played to the media and the crowd. And he didn’t have to burn hundreds of millions of pesos on TV ads. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Yen Makabenta -The Marcos-Robredo cliffhanger
[But the hard questions must be asked and answered because many groups, domestic as well as foreign, are totally incredulous about how Marcos could lose a 1-million vote lead over Robredo at midnight on Monday, and wind up with a quarter-of-a million- vote deficit by 5 a.m Tuesday.]


MAY 12 -MAY 12 -by YEN MAKABENTA
It’s not right to make summary conclusions about the controversy that has arisen in the vice-presidential contest that has left Bongbong Marcos and Leni Robredo battling neck and neck in the unofficial vote count of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV). And it is bad manners to underestimate the true grit of a woman. But the hard questions must be asked and answered because many groups, domestic as well as foreign, are totally incredulous about how Marcos could lose a 1-million vote lead over Robredo at midnight on Monday, and wind up with a quarter-of-a million- vote deficit by 5 a.m Tuesday. Marcos is not alone in suspecting something sinister in the tabulation and reporting of election results. Others are raising questions about the integrity of the PPCRV, a problem which it has encountered in previous elections. How did the PPCRV and its chair Henrietta De Villa attain their signal role in tabulating results in Monday’s balloting? What is the PPCRV and who is Ms. De Villa, and what are their special competence or expertise for the aggregation and reporting of election results? Is it statistically probable that transmitted results could dramatically change by the hour. These questions are not answered by saying that what the PPCRV is doing or has done is only unofficial and partial, and nothing harmful. But the fact is the PPCRV count, by being reported heavily in the media, has shaped the misleading perception that Robredo has already won the vice-presidential race, when she has not. The misleading count cannot be ascribed to a typographical error or an honest mistake. There is method to the madness. And Bongbong is not alone in suspecting that something sinister and conspiratorial is going on. Bongbong has a legitimate reason to denounce what is happening. And there is reason to doubt the work and links of the PPCRV. Lost neutrality and incompetence IN 2013, columnist Belinda Olivares-Cunanan reported on her blogsite “Political Tidbits” that a number of Catholic bishops withdrew their support from the PPCRV because of its poor track record in the 2010 elections and its perceived partiality toward the Commission on Elections (Comelec). In spite of this, the poll body reappointed the group to a sensitive role in the 2013 balloting, and again to this year’s elections. In her article, Cunanan said the PPCRV lost its neutrality in the political exercise. She reported that several groups had objected to de Villa’s appointment as chair of the Random Manual Audit Committee (RMAC) of the Comelec, “despite her team having failed miserably to carry out that most crucial task in the May 2010 elections.” Cunanan wrote: “In the 2010 elections PPCRV Chair De Villa was appointed to head the RMAC, with the NSO and a Comelec audit official as members. RMAC’s mandate was that within 15 hours after polls closed, it was to finish the manual audit of pre-selected precincts across the country. But what happened was that the RMAC was able to conduct only a 75% audit of selected precincts, and ONLY AFTER ONE MONTH.” READ MORE...


ALSO: Editorial - The sinister fact in Smartmatic’s script change


MAY 14 -
MARTMATIC must be investigated and prosecuted. For one reason or another, it has behaved as if Lucifer himself was wielding this UK-backed Venezuelan company’s power over our Commission on Elections and the entire Filipino electorate. Ever since it became the veritable operator of our election system in 2010, it has raked in scores of billions while making a mess of our election process. Along the way, good, responsible lower officials and ordinary citizens have complained of Smartmatic’s mistakes and deliberate irregularities in its handling of our election system. But the complaints were ignored and the irregularities were found to be “okay” by Comelec commissioners, our high officials and even some of our courts. It is good that now Smartmatic is “in deep trouble for its ‘unauthorized’ alteration of a computer script that automatically changed the hash code of the transparency server at the command center of the Church-based election watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).”
Comelec, and even our columnist Gus Lagman (a former Comelec commissioner), are heaving a sigh of relief that the unauthorized alteration was “minor” one that does not affect the vote count and, therefore, the election result. We don’t share their optimism. We are not experts. But the first thing that came to our mind was the suspicion that if Smartmatic’s men can make unauthorized alterations—while the canvassing is in progress—without anyone getting angry and calling for blood and retribution, then they can also make alterations on the results without anyone noticing and protesting! We are glad to have received from Rene Azurin, an expert and a convenor of the election watchdog AES WATCH, a statement exactly about the danger that we suspected. Below is the statement in full. Statement on the Smartmatic script change Everyone totally misses the point about a Smartmatic person changing a line in the canvassing program to replace a “?” character into an “ñ”. The essential point in this matter is not that the change was “minor”; the crucial issue is that a Smartmatic technician had access to the server program while the canvassing was going on. This is a serious security breach and should not have been allowed. If that technician can change one character, he can change other things as well. Indeed, one can speculate that the so-called “minor change” might have been deliberately intended to act as a trigger to launch a sleeping worm or Trojan horse already embedded in the system and programmed to make major changes, including the altering of vote counts. Thus, the Smartmatic spokesman could claim with a straight face that the script change he made was “minor”, while neglecting to say that this trivial change was the trigger for another script that would make major outcome-altering changes. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Jose Romero - Duterte: The revenge of the masa!


MAY 14 -by Ambassador Jose V. Romero, Jr., Ph.D.
THE next President must excel in different disciplines. First, he must be a visionary—with a strategic view of the total development of the nation. Only he can be the architect of the grand design of development. That said, he would need inputs from a competent team with expertise in every aspect of development. This means that he must be a good judge of character and competence. He must be a good coach who can maximize the contribution of each number of the team and get them to work together so that they can pull in the same direction. Since he has to work with the other branches of government like the Congress and the judiciary, he must be a unifying force and a super salesman who can market his program of government and solicit the support of other branches and instrumentalities of government.Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal could not have produced its full employment program and get back US economy back on its feet after the Great Depression, had he not convinced the American people to enthusiastically support his program.Thanks to our hybrid-mongrel democracy that resembles neither the Western parliamentary model or the presidential model of the United States in the absence of a two-party system, our multiple party system has only produced a visionless, boom and bust economic cycle, etc. No wonder there is a clamor for a strongman, whom the new constitution tried very hard to avoid. The Magsaysay and Duterte phenomena are a symptom of this quest for messianic strongmen, the likes of Hitler, Mussolini, Castro and other “caudillos” of history. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Efren Danao - DU30 on the House: Deal or No Deal?


MAY 14 -by EFREN L. DANAO
THE Liberal Party will have the most number of congressmen in the upcoming 17th Congress with about 130. How presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will deal with them and others in the House who didn’t support his presidential bid will show how serious he is in instituting reforms in government. Almost all past Presidents had found it very easy to convince congressmen to join their political party. Just dangle carrots before them and they’ll become instant converts. Of course, they always justify turncoatism by saying that their loyalty to their party ends where their loyalty to the country begins. There’ll never be a mention of what Malacañang has offered them for turning their backs on their old masters. As the saying goes and which I often mention here, “If you want loyalty, buy a dog, not a politician.” (The outgoing President will realize this soon enough.) Now, Duterte may not be severely criticized should he do as what his predecessors, especially BS Aquino The Last, had done in gaining the cooperation of congressmen—give them lots of “pork” under whatever name. After all, that’s practical politics. However, should he do so, he’ll be throwing out the window his avowals of reforming the system in government, like the patronage system or the “pork.”  The problem is, will the congressmen readily yield to the wishes of the President without demanding their pound of flesh? If they’ll make such demands, can the strong-willed Duterte ignore them and risk inevitable clash with the legislators?  My prediction is that Duterte, who knows the SOP in the House having served one term there, won’t blaze new trails in converting most of the congressmen into his die-hard followers. No, he won’t, he can’t abolish Congress even if he’s inclined to. He has no constitutional power to do so, and he’ll be pledging to obey the Constitution. However, he can make the House a virtual adjunct of Malacañang like most past Presidents had done. Then, nothing will distinguish him from his predecessors insofar as dealing with congressmen is concerned. The speakership fight With their big number, Liberal congressmen will have a big say on who’ll be the Speaker of the 17th Congress. Speaker Sonny Belmonte is expected to try to retain his seat but he’ll have to coalesce with other political parties. That’s a tall order, as many Liberals are certain to be turncoats. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

The fight is now between Aquino and the Filipino people


MAY 11 by FRANCISCO S. TATAD

MANILA, MAY 9, 2016 (MANILA TIMES) May 11, 2016 11:37 pm  FRANCISCO S. TATAD - Incredible turnout: Amid the clear violations of the automated election law, and widespread fear of massive electoral fraud, the May 9 presidential polls reported an incredible turnout of 81 percent, and gave PDP presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte a roaring landslide, which President B.S. Aquino 3rd and the other presidential candidates will be hard put to challenge, even if they should want to.

But they obviously do not want to. Contrary to our earlier fears that none of the losing presidential candidates would recognize the winner, none of them have questioned the apparent landslide of Mayor Duterte. Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares, whose doubtful natural-born Filipino citizenship has sown doubts and confusion upon the entire presidential process, was the first to concede defeat after Duterte posted 14.4 million votes out of 41 million votes reportedly cast and 37 million counted.

Roxas followed suit on Tuesday afternoon, after the unofficial quick count gave Duterte 15,245,930 votes, Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas 9,183,938 votes, and Mrs. Llamanzares 8,542,159 votes.

But trouble could be brewing in the vice-presidential race.

Saved from Grace

Many found Duterte the most dangerous man to put in high office. For this reason, they hoped UNA’s Vice President Jejomar C. Binay would perform a miracle, or that the LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas could catch up. But even those who did not vote for him are now genuinely grateful that he made sure that a former American citizen with a natural-born American husband and of no known biological parentage would be sitting as our President just because nine Supreme Court Justices had decided, against the clear language and spirit of the Constitution, that Mrs. Llamanzares was “qualified” to run for President.

That Supreme Court ruling destroyed the Constitution, the Court itself and the presidential system, which requires a president to be, among other things, a natural-born citizen who has lived in the country for at least 10 years immediately preceding the elections. I didn’t think I could, as lead petitioner before the Commission on Elections and the Supreme Court against the Llamanzares candidacy, live with that. I worried more about having someone of questionable citizenship in the presidency than having someone who had killed criminals in his war against crime.

My young daughter had warned me, “If Grace Poe wins, you’ll have to look for another country, Dad.” And she may not even want to join me. The trouble is, I am too old and too set in my ways to think of joining so many disgruntled American migrants to Canada. But while I thought I had every reason to be concerned about the kind of language I was hearing from the macho candidate, I could not help but suspect he was doing it all or effect. He knew the crowd loved it and the media lapped it up, and he played to the media and the crowd. And he didn’t have to burn hundreds of millions of pesos on TV ads.

READ MORE.;..

But I had very little doubt that should he win the presidency, he would quickly discover that the office has its own rules, norms and discourse, which he would be compelled to recognize and accept, regardless of his own unique style of leadership. We shall see what happens when Duterte takes power after June 30.

Meanwhile, the electoral battle has shifted to the vice presidency. In that race, Independent vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand (Bongbong) Marcos, Jr. had been leading LP’s Leni Robredo all day of Monday by as much as close to a million votes. All internal exit polls showed the same results; even the notorious Social Weather Stations, which managed to fudge the exit poll in 2004, showed Marcos ahead with 34.9 percent against Robredo’s 32.5 percent.

But by 4 a.m. of Tuesday, with some 4 million votes of the reported turnout unaccounted for, Robredo suddenly overtook Marcos. At press time Tuesday, she had 13,740,668 votes against Marcos’s 13,551,082 votes.

The tally is unofficial, and does not identify the specific sources of the votes. The Marcos camp has called for a stop to the unofficial quick count, and asked those reporting the votes to specifically identify the places they are coming from.

This is a valid request since the Official Count has already begun, but someone at the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting insists on continuing with the unofficial count. Sounds fishy to a lot of people.

Sources at the Duterte camp suggest that Robredo’s votes have been padded to a significant extent at this point, and that Sen. Francis Escudero, who has been trailing Bongbong and Leni from the very start, may have agreed to transfer some of his votes to Robredo. This speculation appears to find support in one so-called “honest mistake” where 36,422 votes were removed from Escudero and 35,668 votes added to Robredo in the unofficial count. This was reported by GMA-7 and CNN.

GMA said it committed a mistake, but the fact that another network carried the same “mistake” meant that the “error” occurred at the source—the Comelec—rather than at the reporting outlets.

Rear-guard action

What is happening in this race appears to confirm everything that has been reported about Aquino’s plan to prevent Marcos from becoming the Vice President. In a meeting before the election, LP top dogs and Aquino’s principal advisers were reported to have agreed that Roxas had lost the fight, and that their best shot would be to fight rear guard action in the vice presidential race. Everything had to be done to make Robredo the Vice President so she could succeed Duterte after he is removed by impeachment.

This meant that some 3 million “floating ballots” allegedly reserved for Roxas’ special operations, if Duterte’s edge was smaller than 3 million, should be diverted to Robredo so she could prevail over Bongbong as a first step in ousting Duterte after June 30. This was the same plan the Roxas camp had in 2010 when Mar Roxas slid down to the position of vice presidential candidate. His advisers were confident that the LP could impeach and remove PNoy after a few months, and put his VP in office, but some of PNoy’s relatives got wind of it, and supported Jojo Binay instead.

This also explains the reported unprecedented turnout of 81 percent. The usual average is 65 percent. By inflating the “number of voters who voted,” it becomes easier to play around with the votes of the candidates. This is an old malpractice, which some operatives tried to inflict on the 1995 midterm elections, purposely to shut me out and a few others from the senatorial race. Luckily, I got wind of it and was able to stop it.

Unstoppable

A few days before the election, I met PNoy’s political secretary by chance and he admitted that Sen. Antonio Trilllanes IV’s demolition effort against Duterte had failed, and that the tough-talking mayor had become unstoppable. Aquino needed to adopt a different approach.

PNoy had thrown almost every resource into the campaign to make sure that the next president would protect him from any legal harm.

He even mobilized his youngest sister Kris, the country’s No. 1 product TV endorser, to appear in Roxas’s and Robredo’s TV commercials to boost their propaganda ratings. This apparently did not help much.

INC humiliation

Most embarrassing of all, PNoy tried to bamboozle the politically influential Iglesia ni Cristo, whose more than 2 million members normally vote as a bloc, into supporting Roxas and Robredo, only to be spurned by the sect that had supported him enthusiastically in 2010. At one point, the INC leadership reportedly even considered supporting UNA’s Vice President Jejomar Binay, but never Aquino’s recommendees.



He also warned voters openly about the dangers of having a “dictator Duterte.” But more than that, he threatened to lead a “people power revolt” should the son and namesake of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos win. That carried the risk of a lameduck president calling for a march against a popular vice-president-elect, without anyone heeding his call. So he apparently decided to do everything to try to prevent Bongbong from winning. Leni Robredo may not even be aware of what Malacañang is doing to use her for its plans.

Avoiding prison

Aquino cannot afford to fail. His main concern is how to escape imprisonment should the incoming President decide to treat him in the same manner as he had treated his immediate predecessor Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and the three opposition senators who had helped him to convict Corona at his Senate impeachment trial. He has jailed Arroyo, and Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon Revilla, Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile on non-bailable offenses, except that the court has recently allowed Enrile to post bail for reasons of health and age.

His treatment of Arroyo is in utter contrast to the humanitarian treatment his father, the late former Senator “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., got from Marcos during his imprisonment. Although Ninoy had been sentenced to death by a military tribunal for his crimes, Marcos gave him a medical furlough so he could undergo a heart surgery in Boston, Massachusetts, where he stayed for three years.

As for the opposition senators, they remain under prosecution while Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the so-called “P10-billion pork barrel scam,” remains virtually untouched; she had been detained for “serious illegal detention” of a former employee and whistleblower, but she was recently allowed to post bail. And not a single big fish is in jail for the misuse of the P150-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds, which the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional, and its manipulation and misuse, criminal.

Killing all criminals

Duterte has captured the voters’ popular imagination for his promise to end corruption and crime by “killing all criminals.” This obviously compelled Malacañang and his rivals not to fool around with him. They were also put on notice that aside from retired military officers in his camp, some leftist groups had threatened to march with Duterte if he was cheated in this election.

But Aquino probably believes that in a fight with the Marcoses, the population will side with him, and that he could easily take down Bongbong. This could be a terrible miscalculation.

Wherever one went, and whoever one asked before the election, one was told they were voting for Bongbong.

Now everyone is asking, what happened to their votes? This is no longer a fight between the Aquinos and the Marcoses. This is now a fight between Aquino and the Filipino people.
fstatad@gmail.com
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13 Responses to The fight is now between Aquino and the Filipino people
Chico Ibarra says:
May 12, 2016 at 8:55 am
Pnoy promised to do all he can to prevent a BBM win. See what extreme hatred could bring. With all these allegations of fraud in the counting, Leni and Pnoy are now in deep manure. Truly, Pnoy is looking at disgrace.
Reply
Marlene says:
May 12, 2016 at 5:59 am
Very well said Mr. Tatad.
Reply
Tom Sheck says:
May 12, 2016 at 8:46 am
I have said this from the beginning after witnessing some discrepancies in the vote count for VP and thank GOD somebody else picked up on it. There is no way in the world they can cheat Duterte so they have directed those fraudulous resources to prop up their next and probably only chance in Robredo. No wonder the whole world rated the Philippines as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. A handful of power hungry kalabaw(s) behind all this non sense yet it has affected the whole country. Thank GOD the majority of the Filipino people have made their feelings known.
Truth Seeker says:
May 12, 2016 at 5:18 am
100% na nadaya at dinadaya pa hanggang ngayon sa ibang precincts si BBM! Ganito ang pamilyang Aquino at LP: GARAPAL!!!
Reply
John Lecturno says:
May 12, 2016 at 4:21 am
Mr Tatad. Why are you still around? Shouldn’t you be in prison for your part in the ruthless Marcos regime? I suspect that you are waiting for the incoming president to declare Martial Law so you can read it and become the only person to announce the declaration of Martial Law twice. Mr Roxas and Miss Poe are the only qualified candidates in this field but your biased commentaries and ridiculous claims have already done their damage. Please retire now. Your work and achievements have more than surpassed your actual intelligence and abilities.
Reply
roland estrada says:
May 12, 2016 at 4:17 am
Kit your daughter is right, better leave the country. Go to Canada and write more memoirs of the golden age when you are Information Minister of the martial law years.Write about the elections during your stint inside malacanang. Kung baga sa basketbol si Marcos ang may ari ng court siya pa ang referee,he,he.
Reply
Crispulo Obana Jr says:
May 12, 2016 at 2:36 am
This is an excellent example of a good reporting, the truth. Way to go Mr. Francisco S. Tatad. More power, success to you.
Reply
fyi says:
May 12, 2016 at 2:24 am
The people have painted a target on Duterte’s back.
They elected the same yellow senators and once they lock up the VP slot they will take on Duterte.
Once the Liberal Party and their allies get rid of Duterte they will have virtually the same government that looted and trashed the country the past 6 years. The Liberal Party still control every agency in the country and all that stands in their way is one man.
If the elections were fair why would the people vote to surround Duterte with Aquino’s inner circle. If the people had any sense at all they would have voted every yellow Liberal Party politician out of the government and let Duterte have his chance to clean it up.
One guy with a giant target on his back.
Reply
Guadalupe says:
May 12, 2016 at 2:22 am
A Duterte win necessitates a Marcos win. As in a chess game, although the Queen is the most important piece in the chessboard, she still must be protected by the other officers in the court so she won’t be vulnerable to an attack from the opposite/rival camp. Marcos must win as an important shield to Duterte. The people must not allow Marcos to fall. To preserve Duterte, Marcos must win. The people must go out into the streets if need be to thwart all cheating machinations against Marcos. Joma Sison’s forces must be called in against Aquino and Comelec.
Reply
P.Akialamiro says:
May 12, 2016 at 2:13 am
My worst nightmare is over; the half-baked Filipino candidate lost! While many electors believed her, they just didn’t see the legal implications of her winning the Presidency. There would be more questions to be settled and more problems which will hamper the operation of the government.
When the counting of votes for the VP will be done as requested by BBM, he will, most likely. be the winner The lameduck President, who seems to be “mapag-tanim” at “vengativo”, doesn’t have much choice but to go with the people who have spoken.
After these elections, I hope that the politics as usual in the country will change — for the better!
Reply
BABYBOO says:
May 12, 2016 at 1:11 am
BBMarcos along with the Filipino people shall lead the fight against PeeNuts Aquino.
Reply
maria isabel bacay says:
May 12, 2016 at 1:10 am
Great piece of writing as usual. We need more of these!. Mabuhay po kayo.
Reply
marcial lex says:
May 12, 2016 at 1:09 am
We should fight for BBM votes, we just need a country free from yellows!!😊
Reply


The Marcos-Robredo cliffhanger May 11, 2016 11:38 pm YEN MAKABENTA


MAY 12 -by YEN MAKABENTA

It’s not right to make summary conclusions about the controversy that has arisen in the vice-presidential contest that has left Bongbong Marcos and Leni Robredo battling neck and neck in the unofficial vote count of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).

And it is bad manners to underestimate the true grit of a woman.

But the hard questions must be asked and answered because many groups, domestic as well as foreign, are totally incredulous about how Marcos could lose a 1-million vote lead over Robredo at midnight on Monday, and wind up with a quarter-of-a million- vote deficit by 5 a.m Tuesday.

Marcos is not alone in suspecting something sinister in the tabulation and reporting of election results. Others are raising questions about the integrity of the PPCRV, a problem which it has encountered in previous elections.

How did the PPCRV and its chair Henrietta De Villa attain their signal role in tabulating results in Monday’s balloting?

What is the PPCRV and who is Ms. De Villa, and what are their special competence or expertise for the aggregation and reporting of election results?

Is it statistically probable that transmitted results could dramatically change by the hour.

These questions are not answered by saying that what the PPCRV is doing or has done is only unofficial and partial, and nothing harmful.

But the fact is the PPCRV count, by being reported heavily in the media, has shaped the misleading perception that Robredo has already won the vice-presidential race, when she has not.

The misleading count cannot be ascribed to a typographical error or an honest mistake. There is method to the madness. And Bongbong is not alone in suspecting that something sinister and conspiratorial is going on.

Bongbong has a legitimate reason to denounce what is happening. And there is reason to doubt the work and links of the PPCRV.

Lost neutrality and incompetence

IN 2013, columnist Belinda Olivares-Cunanan reported on her blogsite “Political Tidbits” that a number of Catholic bishops withdrew their support from the PPCRV because of its poor track record in the 2010 elections and its perceived partiality toward the Commission on Elections (Comelec). In spite of this, the poll body reappointed the group to a sensitive role in the 2013 balloting, and again to this year’s elections.

In her article, Cunanan said the PPCRV lost its neutrality in the political exercise. She reported that several groups had objected to de Villa’s appointment as chair of the Random Manual Audit Committee (RMAC) of the Comelec, “despite her team having failed miserably to carry out that most crucial task in the May 2010 elections.”

Cunanan wrote: “In the 2010 elections PPCRV Chair De Villa was appointed to head the RMAC, with the NSO and a Comelec audit official as members. RMAC’s mandate was that within 15 hours after polls closed, it was to finish the manual audit of pre-selected precincts across the country. But what happened was that the RMAC was able to conduct only a 75% audit of selected precincts, and ONLY AFTER ONE MONTH.”

READ MORE...

But now, De Villa and PPCRV are performing yet again a major role in national elections. And they have landed afresh in controversy in a big way. Two controversies in fact.

First, PPCRV created a row when it told the media that its volunteers spotted vote counting machines (VCMs) at the Novotel Hotel, at the Araneta Centerm in Cubao, Quezon City, which is owned by the family of LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas.

Smartmatic IT experts were billeted in the hotel.

PPCRV Chair Henrietta de Villa herself had briefed the media. She claimed that PPCRV volunteers saw VCMs in at least seven rooms on the 7th floor of the hotel.
Comelec Chair Andres Bautista rushed to the hotel to check, but he and his team could not find any VCM.

Rep. Barry Gutierrez, LP spokesman, demanded an apology from De Villa for stirring up the controversy.

The second controversy is the PPCRV’s erratic unofficial count of election results in the vice-presidential race, which Marcos has branded as part of a “sinister plot” called Plan B by the Liberal Party to steal the vice presidency from him and to eventually install Robredo as President.

Algorithmic rigging of the vote

Credence about an orchestrated attempt to thwart the will of the electorate has been reinforced by persuasive analysis by experts of the numbers in the mysterious reversal of Bongbong’s vote lead.

The highly informative and well-edited website Get Real Philippines.com posted on Tuesday a revealing article that validates the claim of the Marcos camp that the senator is the victim of a plot to propel Robredo to victory through the manipulation of data.

The information is contained in the article “1.37 million ‘registered voters’ discrepancy observed in Unofficial Results reporting operations!” by Benigno.

The author relates how several netizens took keen interest in the unusual way that Robredo chipped away at the initial 1-million vote lead of Marcos, and then succeeded in wresting the lead.

They noted the almost algorithmic way the process was accomplished. An algorithm is a logical arithmetical or computational procedure that if correctly applied ensures the solution of a problem. So when an expert describes a process as algorithmic, it is a sure sign of seriousness.

Benigno reported:
“Facebook netizen Benjamin Vallejo, Jr. plotted the progressive decrease of Marcos’s lead over Robredo over time and found an almost perfect linear correlation and posted it on his Facebook profile. The correlation plotted a straight path downward trajectory for Marcos’s lead. “Di kapanipaniwala!” observed Vallejo, noting the perfectly straight line.

“Statistician and Ateneo de Manila faculty member David Yap also closely monitored the movement of Marcos’s lead over Robredo and arrived at the same conclusion independently. Like Vallejo, he also posted the results of his analysis on his Facebook profile…

Yap said:
“Starting from the 80% (of returns) mark, BBM’s lead has been dwindling by 40k per 1%. The progression is so consistent.”

Benigno concluded his piece, saying:
“What is going on? “This is a question being asked by many observers who, among other things, are questioning how Robredo could have possibly attracted these numbers considering the poor way with which most voters regard the Liberal Party and the character of the constituencies she supposedly won.”

Plan B in full swing—Bongbong



In a media interview on Tuesday, Bongbong declared: “Plan B is in full swing.” His warning of an LP plot to cheat him of victory is already being carried out.

He said that the plot involves the suppression and delay of his votes from his bailiwicks, while those of Robrebdo’s are being pushed up front.

He said that many of the results from his bailiwicks in the Solid North have not been reflected in the partial and unofficial quick count of the PPCRV.

This was the reason why his 1 million vote-lead started to go down before 12 a.m. Tuesday until he was supposedly overtaken by Robredo.

But the senator remained confident of winning the VP race when all votes are reported.

Marcos said that with President Aquino himself declaring that he will stop his bid for the vice presidency, nothing will be spared to achieve this objective.

Full official canvass is the key

The final leg of the Marcos strategy is to trust all in the full official canvass of the vote.

Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz, campaign adviser of Sen. Marcos, claims certitude that Marcos would win in the official canvass despite the slim lead posted in the unofficial count by Leni Robredo.

He noted that the exit polls of the Social Weather Stations and other transparency groups have confirmed their own internal polling that showed Marcos getting 34.9 percent of the votes compared with Robredo’s 32.2 percent.

“Once the official canvass starts, we will emerge victorious. That is the reason why we requested the Comelec to put an end to this unofficial count,” he said.

Dela Cruz explained that the request is meant to prevent a situation where the unofficial count and the official canvass of the National Board of Canvassers would differ and create confusion and doubts about the election results.

He said they also requested the poll body to identify the areas where the votes reflected in the transparency servers were coming from to prevent the possibility of double entries.

Dela Cruz disclosed that the decrease in the lead of Sen. Marcos began after what Comelec said was a glitch that delayed the updates of the transmitted votes in the transparency server.

Finally, Dela Cruz stressed that there were still many votes that have yet to be transmitted from various areas, including those that are known bailiwicks of Sen. Marcos such as Ilocos Sur, with 11 percent; La Union, 11 percent; Nueva Vizcaya, 12 percent; Apayao, 18 percent; Abra, 11 percent; Lanao del Norte, 12 percent; Zamboanga del Sur, 9 percent; and Sultan Kudarat, 22 percent—all as of 9:30 this morning.

So there is a lot more votes to count.

And PPCRV and Henrietta, thankfully, have no role to play in the official canvass of the votes.
yenmakabenta@yahoo.com
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16 Responses to The Marcos-Robredo cliffhanger
To the Max says:
May 12, 2016 at 8:11 am
It is totally unfair to conclude that there was cheating going on because one party is pro Marcos. Naming and bad mouthing workers are the works of Satan himself. You should be ashamed of yourself. Of course there will be changes in the numbers first , because it is the day of the elections when all precincts are reporting , second, we are in the computer age when numbers are transmitted in a split of a second. Do not be amazed. I hate to say this but there are a lot of stupid Filipinos. Show me the numbers , I challenge anybody that say there was cheating. If you cannot show me the numbers, better SHUT UP.
Reply
Joel Ramos says:
May 12, 2016 at 7:43 am
Highway robbery orchestrated by no less than the people who were going to Plan B in case Duterte’s lead is insurmountable…Sir Digong should be careful against attempts on his life — before and after June 30 — The Liberal Party will have a vice president that’s a heartbeat away from the presidency…Aquino should be running scared — Mr Aquino, beware of the Punisher. He is coming! You can run, but you can’t hide.
Reply
victorts says:
May 12, 2016 at 5:20 am
Leni Robredo quipped on TV that she did not claim being cheated when Bongbong was the one leading early in the count. Leni, the cheating could only be done by the administration because of its vast resources. And you are the candidate of the administration.
Reply
jud says:
May 12, 2016 at 5:13 am
Nadaya talaga si BBM. Very clear ung Election 2016 naka-program kaya wala masyadong kampanya sa LP Senatorials dahil alam nila kahit hindi natin binoto ay mananalo sila like Drilon, Hontiveros, etc.
We want change! Ang matagal ng nakaupo diyan like Drilon, Pangilinan, etc dapat wala na. #1MarcosTrueVP
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Girlie Bebbeb says:
May 12, 2016 at 4:16 am
Manila Times, thank you for the integrity of your reporters for their reporting. Keep up the good and neutral reporting. May God bless you all.
Reply
Girlie Bebbeb says:
May 12, 2016 at 4:03 am
Sana, kahit na may cheating ay manalo pa rin si BongBong Marcos. Despite that The Aquinos tried their best to destroy the Marcoses, the Marcoses are still being love by the majority of Filipinos.
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nilo says:
May 12, 2016 at 3:16 am
YOU ARE DAMNEDSUPPORTER OF BBM NO DOUBT. the early lead of BBM was caused by the early return from his bailwick. naturally, he will lead by million. But once thebailwick of Leni comes, slowly she cut the margin. thats the reason. ungas
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Keem Wong says:
May 12, 2016 at 3:05 am
Oh common. Tell your boss, Bongbong to respect the results of the elections. Let the will of the people prevail. During his father’s terms, nobody cannot even say what he said about cheating during the elections because they are afraid of Marcos. Panapanahon lang yan. Just be humble enough to accept defeat. Bongbong, whatever money you invested in the elections, you still have much wealth hidden taken during the martial law years.
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Maribel A. Calanda says:
May 12, 2016 at 2:36 am
I would like BBM to win but he knows there is a plan B and the person in power is an Aquino, we might not see the best of him in the coming years. What a waste! The another mind boggling thing is that why Escudero is obviously not fond of BBM considering that his father admired so much the late FM and his father is one of Marcos’ agriculture ministers. Is it because of envy?
Reply
alvase says:
May 12, 2016 at 1:37 am
Very clearly explained. BBM is correct to a recounting of votes to make sure rightful winner is declared. By the look of it, it was he who won the vice presidency and not robredo…
Reply
BABYBOO says:
May 12, 2016 at 1:28 am
Leni R. the mysterious PCOS magic VP will be standing on shaky mud with out peoples support. Plan “B” will flung this nation into chaos never seen before. It is better to stop Aquino’s plan “B” now to save the nation. BBMarcos shall lead the charge against LP’s PCOS magic wand. The people hates Aquino and his LP PCOS.
Reply
Kapidua says:
May 12, 2016 at 1:17 am
Ang Election 2016 ay Lutong Pinoy (LP) kaya very obvious ang pandaraya ang ginagawa ng yellow army ni Abnoy. Simula’t sapul ay masama na ang balak ng bengatibong Abnoy dahil ayaw na ayaw niyang umapak muli ang mga Marcos sa Malakanyang. Nagdagmel nga Presidente!
Reply
holy1 says:
May 12, 2016 at 1:05 am
I believe the press releases coming from Mrs Leni Robredo are totally out of character with the real person. Therefore, I believe she is caught and trapped in the plans and designs of the LP camp. God Bless Her and Our Beloved Country.
Reply
Johnny Randal says:
May 12, 2016 at 1:02 am
oversea votes from ofw will give the true outcome.Most overseas migrant workers see already the result in the embassy and transmitted by Social Media exchange net……there are 400 thousand votes theat favour BBM…….BBM won the OFW votes with 55 percent to 75 votes….Leni is lucky to 5 percent votes from OFW…Votes concluded from OFW mass media by Social Network…
Reply
Wilfredo Magtibay says:
May 12, 2016 at 12:47 am
Now you see it now you dont. They will do anything to stop Marcos. Chiz Escudero’s endorsement of Leni Robredo is a go signal to shave his votes in favor of Leni.
Damn with the Aquino’s. Mabuhay ang mga Marcos.
Reply
Lolita Marquez says:
May 12, 2016 at 12:29 am
Bm won by more 6000 votes over Leni from media and government absentee voters which cane across our srchipekago. This is the modality that BM is more prefered than leni across the country with 10/2 meaning one-half if the 54 million voted for BM and only 1/5 of the 54 million voted for Leni
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EDITORIAL: The sinister fact in Smartmatic’s script change May 14, 2016 3:00 am

MARTMATIC must be investigated and prosecuted. For one reason or another, it has behaved as if Lucifer himself was wielding this UK-backed Venezuelan company’s power over our Commission on Elections and the entire Filipino electorate.

Ever since it became the veritable operator of our election system in 2010, it has raked in scores of billions while making a mess of our election process. Along the way, good, responsible lower officials and ordinary citizens have complained of Smartmatic’s mistakes and deliberate irregularities in its handling of our election system. But the complaints were ignored and the irregularities were found to be “okay” by Comelec commissioners, our high officials and even some of our courts.

It is good that now Smartmatic is “in deep trouble for its ‘unauthorized’ alteration of a computer script that automatically changed the hash code of the transparency server at the command center of the Church-based election watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).”

Comelec, and even our columnist Gus Lagman (a former Comelec commissioner), are heaving a sigh of relief that the unauthorized alteration was “minor” one that does not affect the vote count and, therefore, the election result.

We don’t share their optimism.

We are not experts. But the first thing that came to our mind was the suspicion that if Smartmatic’s men can make unauthorized alterations—while the canvassing is in progress—without anyone getting angry and calling for blood and retribution, then they can also make alterations on the results without anyone noticing and protesting!

We are glad to have received from Rene Azurin, an expert and a convenor of the election watchdog AES WATCH, a statement exactly about the danger that we suspected.

Below is the statement in full.

READ MORE...

Statement on the Smartmatic script change

Everyone totally misses the point about a Smartmatic person changing a line in the canvassing program to replace a “?” character into an “ñ”.

The essential point in this matter is not that the change was “minor”; the crucial issue is that a Smartmatic technician had access to the server program while the canvassing was going on. This is a serious security breach and should not have been allowed. If that technician can change one character, he can change other things as well.

Indeed, one can speculate that the so-called “minor change” might have been deliberately intended to act as a trigger to launch a sleeping worm or Trojan horse already embedded in the system and programmed to make major changes, including the altering of vote counts.

Thus, the Smartmatic spokesman could claim with a straight face that the script change he made was “minor”, while neglecting to say that this trivial change was the trigger for another script that would make major outcome-altering changes.In fact, the Smartmatic action is expressly prohibited under our Automated Election System Law (RA 9369). Section 35(c) prohibits “gaining or causing access to using, altering, destroying or disclosing any computer data, program, system software, network, or any computer-related devices, facilities, hardware or equipment, whether classified or declassified.” Such acts are prohibited whether or not any election results are affected.

Among the numerous deficiencies in the conduct of the two prior automated elections, these very similar incidents are worth bearing in mind:

(1) In 2010, a Smartmatic technician cavalierly accessed the canvassing program to change the number of voters after the tally showed an erroneous 256 million as the total number of registered voters; and

(2) In 2013, a Smartmatic technician accessed the canvassing server to correct a script that produced an astonishing 12-million vote surge barely two hours into the canvassing.
(Uncorrected, that surge would have produced an aggregate vote far exceeding the total number of registered voters.) These incidents indicate major flaws in the Smartmatic system that our Commission on Elections has been so bent on foisting on the Filipino people.

This now puts the entire canvassing process in serious doubt. The integrity of the automated results can now be reasonably questioned. RENÉ AZURIN Author, Hacking Our Democracy, and Convener, AES Watch
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4 Responses to The sinister fact in Smartmatic’s script change
Danny Cascolan says:
May 14, 2016 at 8:15 am
XSiguro Ganito
Dilaw Komiks Presents
Hokus Pokus
Sindikatong Emilio Aguinaldo:
Anu resulta ng mga nakargahan na mga balota?
Sindikatong Smartelec:
Yes Sir, May Good news at Bad news.
Good News, Patok ang 5 Million padding pre-loaded votes ikinarga natin kay duterte para makasigurado, mga boto na ibinawas natin sa tatlong kandidato, tama ang plano ninyo na maglagay ng dalawng buffer na sina Poe at Roxas, imposible makaangat si Binay at Miriam, walang nakahalata at nangunguna na ang tunay mong manok na si duterte Sir.
Sindikatong Emilio Aguinaldo:
Magaling! Anu un Bad news?
Sindikatong Smartelec:
Ang Bad news e nagkulang pa rin ang 3 Million na padding pre loaded na votes na idinagdag namin kay Leni, masyado maraming bumoto kay Bongbong Marcos.
Sindikatong Emilio Aguinaldo:
Hindi maaari yan! %¿~¡°>®##+#+
Gumawa kayo ng paraan!
….after 8 hours
Sindikatong Smartelec:
Yes Sir, May Good news at Bad news at Bad news.
Ang Good news ay pinatakbo na namin ang virus program na nagbabawas lalo ng boto ng ibang kandidato ng pagka-bise presidente at idinadagdag kay Leni.
Sindikatong Emilio Aguinaldo:
Anu un Bad news.
Sindikatong Smartelec:
Ang Bad news e nagkaruon na ng ideya ang mga mamamayan kung paano natin dinaya ang botohan nang magprotesta sila sa pagka-nullify ng hash codes ng ating ahente, hindi natin mapaniwala sa mababaw na dahilan.
Sindikatong Emilio Aguinaldo:
Ituloy ninyo lang, dedmahan lang ang diskarte, nasa atin lahat ang materyales, wala silang ebidensya.
Anu un isa pang Bad news?
Sindikatong Smartelec:
Ang Bad news ay nagka ideya na ang maraming mamamayan na si Bongbong Marcos ang tunay na nakakuha ng pinakamalaking boto pangkalahatan higit pa sa boto ni duterte na dinaya na nga lang natin.
Itutuloy…

Lol yan nga ang problema sa pcos vcm, blindfold results na pwede iprogram, walang pinanghahawakan na ebidensya kongkreto ang mga mamamayan na nakita at nasaksihan nila ang bilangan, tapos ngayun ang hihingian ninyo ng ebidensya ay ang mga mamamayan?
PPCRV = Parish Pastoral Cheat Revise Votes
Reply
Kotimoy says:
May 14, 2016 at 8:03 am
So, proclaim the 2016 elections null and void?
Reply
michael richardson says:
May 14, 2016 at 7:12 am
About COMELEC and SMARTMATIC’s claim that all the VCMS had the same hash code
before the election.
A lot is talked about the so called ‘hash code’ as though it is similar to DNA. Actually, it is nothing of the sort. It is true that if two program objects have different hash codes, the respective program objects must be different – but anyone who knows anything about it will tell you that the converse is NOT true.
i.e. if two program objects have the SAME hash code it does not imply that the program objects are EQUAL. i.e. The total number of hash codes is less than the total number of possible programs (you could repeat a program line a number of times without changing the
functionality and get a different hash code).
Therefore there is not a ‘one to one correspondence’ between every possible program, and every possible hash code.
It follows that you could produce any number of different programs all with the same hash code with different functionalities!!
Of course, to do such a thing in order to influence the result of an election would be CORRUPT – and we know that sort of thing couldn’t happen in the Philippines!
Reply
ernie del rosario says:
May 14, 2016 at 7:08 am
Is it possible that Smartmatic now has a stealthy Philippine Division (we can aptly call “The Rigging Company”) which main business is selling election “wins” to running politicians in elections at prices scaled linearly along the position hierarchy ? This is the more efficient, profitable and less risky of being exposed way of doing it rather than using agents to sell the services to whom Smartmatic has to pay hefty commissions and risk being squealed on ? Why not , anyway this has been a lucrative business since 2010.


COMMENTARY - Duterte: The revenge of the masa! May 14, 2016 2:45 am by Ambassador Jose V. Romero, Jr., Ph.D.


by Ambassador Jose V. Romero, Jr., Ph.D.

THE next President must excel in different disciplines. First, he must be a visionary—with a strategic view of the total development of the nation.

Only he can be the architect of the grand design of development. That said, he would need inputs from a competent team with expertise in every aspect of development.

This means that he must be a good judge of character and competence. He must be a good coach who can maximize the contribution of each number of the team and get them to work together so that they can pull in the same direction.

Since he has to work with the other branches of government like the Congress and the judiciary, he must be a unifying force and a super salesman who can market his program of government and solicit the support of other branches and instrumentalities of government.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal could not have produced its full employment program and get back US economy back on its feet after the Great Depression, had he not convinced the American people to enthusiastically support his program.

Thanks to our hybrid-mongrel democracy that resembles neither the Western parliamentary model or the presidential model of the United States in the absence of a two-party system, our multiple party system has only produced a visionless, boom and bust economic cycle, etc. No wonder there is a clamor for a strongman, whom the new constitution tried very hard to avoid.

The Magsaysay and Duterte phenomena are a symptom of this quest for messianic strongmen, the likes of Hitler, Mussolini, Castro and other “caudillos” of history.

READ MORE...

From the debates we only heard one-liner solutions to complex problems, e.g., focus on agriculture, reduce taxes, etc.

To the cognoscenti it takes more than reduced taxes to correct a regressive tax system or a flawed budgetary process to improve levels of incomes, productivity and employment and bailout the agricultural sector, plagued by systemic problems that require holistic solutions.

In other countries, political parties with their specific ideologies present complete programs of governance to solve these systemic problems. Here we rely on the magic wand of the political messiahs riding on popularity, backed up by the logistics of vested interests who eventually get reimbursed through regulatory capture by the politically entrenched economic elite and crony capitalists.

As the song goes—when will we ever learn? Can the millennials, with the use of social-media connectivity, help?


DU30 on the House: Deal or No Deal? May 14, 2016 2:49 am EFREN L. DANAO


by EFREN L. DANAO

THE Liberal Party will have the most number of congressmen in the upcoming 17th Congress with about 130. How presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will deal with them and others in the House who didn’t support his presidential bid will show how serious he is in instituting reforms in government.

Almost all past Presidents had found it very easy to convince congressmen to join their political party. Just dangle carrots before them and they’ll become instant converts. Of course, they always justify turncoatism by saying that their loyalty to their party ends where their loyalty to the country begins. There’ll never be a mention of what Malacañang has offered them for turning their backs on their old masters. As the saying goes and which I often mention here, “If you want loyalty, buy a dog, not a politician.” (The outgoing President will realize this soon enough.)

Now, Duterte may not be severely criticized should he do as what his predecessors, especially BS Aquino The Last, had done in gaining the cooperation of congressmen—give them lots of “pork” under whatever name. After all, that’s practical politics. However, should he do so, he’ll be throwing out the window his avowals of reforming the system in government, like the patronage system or the “pork.”

The problem is, will the congressmen readily yield to the wishes of the President without demanding their pound of flesh? If they’ll make such demands, can the strong-willed Duterte ignore them and risk inevitable clash with the legislators?

My prediction is that Duterte, who knows the SOP in the House having served one term there, won’t blaze new trails in converting most of the congressmen into his die-hard followers. No, he won’t, he can’t abolish Congress even if he’s inclined to. He has no constitutional power to do so, and he’ll be pledging to obey the Constitution. However, he can make the House a virtual adjunct of Malacañang like most past Presidents had done. Then, nothing will distinguish him from his predecessors insofar as dealing with congressmen is concerned.

The speakership fight

With their big number, Liberal congressmen will have a big say on who’ll be the Speaker of the 17th Congress. Speaker Sonny Belmonte is expected to try to retain his seat but he’ll have to coalesce with other political parties. That’s a tall order, as many Liberals are certain to be turncoats.

READ MORE...

But assuming that the Liberals will surprisingly remain loyal to their party, many might want the next Speaker to come from the Visayas or Mindanao. In such a case, Rep. Raul del Mar, of Cebu City, might want to make a stab for the post. Del Mar is probably the most senior among the incoming congressmen. Of the 10 congresses since 1987, Del Mar will be serving his eighth in the 17th Congress. He might want to be the second Speaker from the South, after Speaker Prospero Nograles, of Davao City, who unseated Speaker Jose de Venecia in the 14th Congress after JDV had a falling out with then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo."

The case of JDV graphically illustrates the political truism that no congressman can be the Speaker without the blessings of Malacañang. Congressman-elect Pantaleon Alvarez, of Davao del Norte, is banking on his closeness to Duterte as his passport to the speakership.

Alvarez, the secretary-general of PDP-Laban, Duterte’s party, is a former congressman and former transportation secretary under President Erap. Alvarez has a lot of scrambling to do without help from Malacañang, as PDP-Laban has only about three members in the House.

There’ll be a number of power blocs in the House, not necessarily party-based, to give some leaders bargaining chips in getting key positions and committee assignments. Malacañang and those aspiring for the speakership must successfully negotiate with these power blocs to win the post.

So, is it déjà vu all over again?

Oh yes, I want to congratulate Gov. Oging Mercado of Southern Leyte for regaining his seat in the House without any sweat. Oging is a Liberal but I won’t be surprised if he supported Duterte, who traces his roots to Maasin, Southern Leyte. It’s also not surprising that Oging categorically declared his support for Sen. Bongbong Marcos in the vice-presidential race.

In the 1992 elections, then-presidential candidate Imelda Marcos backed Oging against Rosette Lerias, daughter of former Batasan Speaker Nicanor Yñiquez. This was her revenge against Yñiguez for supporting Danding Cojuangco instead of her in that election. Oging won but he and Rosette Lerias later reconciled, only to field rival candidates much later. Ah, but that’s politics, Philippine-style.
19espiloy47@gmail.com
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5 Responses to DU30 on the House: Deal or No Deal?
fyi says:
May 14, 2016 at 8:31 am
The entire election should be investigated. I find it hard to believe that the people elected the same liberal party trapo’s again as if 6 years of their scandals wasn’t enough.
Reply
Rex Lamador says:
May 14, 2016 at 8:27 am
pantaleon alvarez – one of the most corrupt officials duting the GMA admnistration, he made billions of pesos because of the PIATCO-NAIA Mess
Reply
Dudirty says:
May 14, 2016 at 8:00 am
Dropping all his 12 senatoriables is one of the signs of end of days for Congress. Hope for the best prepare for the worst. #MartialLawAtHAnd
Reply
Rudi Miranda says:
May 14, 2016 at 7:42 am
Erratum: Cong. Pantaleon Alvarez was the DOTC Secretary of GMA, not Erap. Saw all your points, hope it ain’t though, a déjà vu? Let’s just wait and see, though many of you opinion writers didn’t want Duterte to have the presidential mandate. Time is post-modern sprinkled with quantum mechanics. Welcome to the 21st century Ph politics!
Reply
ecclesiastes says:
May 14, 2016 at 7:14 am
These crocodile congressmen will meet their match in the person of Pres Duterte. If they will not cooperate without dangling to them the cursed pork barrel, then will face the prospect of being abolished. Duterte will find a legal way to do this considering his immense political capital perhaps by calling a referendum to authorize him to declare a revolutionary government…..
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