TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA, MAY 29, 2010 (PHNO) Culled by Lee Quesada: - WHAT NOW, RP?

Gibo for senator in 2013--Facebook groups Karen Galarpe, Posted at 05/21/2010 2:48 PM | Updated as of 05/22/2010 9:16 AM-MANILA, Philippines - Barely two weeks after Gilberto "Gibo" Teodoro conceded in the presidential elections, netizens on Facebook have started the clamor for the former congressman to run for senator in 2013. "Because it's the first step to making him President in 2016," wrote Gino Nacianceno, creator of the Facebook group "Gibo Teodoro for Senator 2013," one of the the Facebook groups supporting Gibo on the Internet. As of 2:03 p.m. on Friday, May 21, there were 9,189 members in this group. One of the photos uploaded on its pages was that of the poster "We missed the flight, but he gave us hope," which circulated on the Internet as soon as Teodoro formally announced he was conceding. The group added a caption on the photo that says, "Pwede magpa-rebook?" Teddy Reyes Guiyab wrote, "SULONG!!! G1BONIANS!!! SULONG!!! G1BO!!! "Gibo will be the best senator this republic ever produced!!!" posted Agnes Velazquez Zapanta Bengco, to which Dan Uy replied, "korek! 1,000,000 percent." But since Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, the leading presidential candidate in the latest election tally, will soon vacate his Senate post when he assumes the top position, Gibo's fans are hoping their candidate will reach the Senate even earlier than 2013. Dennis Paolo Mendoza wrote, "Why wait for 2013??? The Senate plan to hold a special election for a 13th senator!! Because Abnoy will vacate his Senate seat, people in power and influence, please tell Gibo to run...Let him be our voice in the Senate now!!!" Jeru Beth agreed and said, "If there will be a special senatorial election, let's prod G1BO to run...make him and us winners!!...Sulong G1BO!" There is another group called 2013 Gilbert "G!bo" Teodoro for Senator!. As of this writing, 91 people have signed up to be members. The page was put up by "the makers of the 'Kay G1BO TEODORO hindi sayang ang boto mo dahil madami tayo' fan page!" On the day after the elections, at the press conference when he announced he was conceding and was congratulating Aquino, Teodoro said he respects the decision of the Filipino people. He also shared he now wants to enjoy a private life.
A "formal" online petition has been posted on A netizen named K de Dios created the online petition which goes:
"To: Sec. Gilbert Teodoro
You have inspired a whole nation with your vision and positive campaign. You have given us hope that true change is possible in Philippine politics. Despite the results of the May 2010 elections, your supporters are still behind you, and our numbers are growing. Your brand of leadership is one which this country truly needs. We would like to request that you reconsider your decision and run for Senator in 2013. Sincerely, The Undersigned" As of this writing, there were 404 online signatures in the petition.
GO TO!/group.php?gid=119954594701052&ref=ts

FROM 'LETTER FROM TORONTO' from the blog of PHNO's writer-friend, JOE RIVERA Check out his blog, CLICK HERE NOW or go to >>

Noynoy as fighter of corruption Saturday, May 22, 2010 by JOE RIVERA OF TORONTO ------JOE------>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

PHOTO AT LEFT LOADING... What now, Noynoy?

President-elect Noynoy Aquino’s single-minded fixation on the elimination of graft and corruption in government is not surprising at all. His campaign slogan, “None Poor Without Corruption,” proved very effective and won him a plurality of votes over his closest opponents, former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada and Senator Manuel Villar, two candidates tainted by accusations of corruption.

During his short term as president, Erap was impeached because of his involvement in widespread corruption in government. Villar, on the other hand, was hounded by allegations of corruption in connection with a public infrastructure project that ran through a real estate development he owns.

Noynoy’s obsession with corruption is a copycat of former President Diosdado Macapagal’s campaign strategy during the 1961 national elections. One of Macapagal’s major campaign pledges was to wipe out government corruption that proliferated under former President Carlos P. Garcia. As president, Macapagal earned the sobriquet “The Incorruptible.” In an ironic twist of fate, his daughter, outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was dubbed as the most corrupt president the Philippines has ever had after Ferdinand Marcos.

Now Noynoy Aquino promises to be the nation’s most determined fighter of corruption. This is a pledge Noynoy highlighted in his political platform which he calls his Social Contract with the Filipino People.

During the election campaign, Noynoy Aquino promised to arrest all those who are corrupt. If he was referring to his predecessor and her husband, army generals and other prominent officials of the Arroyo government, it remains to be seen whether Noynoy has the will power to make true his promise. Otherwise, Noynoy is simply blowing hot air.

At least the late president Diosdado Macapagal’s pledge against corruption was tested in the case of the deportation of Harry Stonehill, an American expatriate with a $50-million business empire in the Philippines.

Stonehill was accused of tax evasion, smuggling, and corruption of public officials. But Macapagal erred in deporting Stonehill instead of prosecuting him. His rationale for ordering Stonehill’s deportation was that his continued presence in the country was a distraction and had a corroding influence on national morale, which in retrospect seems suspicious considering the subject was an American, and wealthy and powerful no less.

Macapagal then turned his attention toward the brothers Fernando Lopez and Eugenio Lopez, who had controlling interests in several large businesses. He called the brothers the “Filipino Stonehills” who built their business empires through political power, including corruption of politicians and other government officials.

Macapagal failed to investigate the Lopezes and no charges were brought against them. When Macapagal ran for re-election in 1965, the Lopez brothers threw their political support to Ferdinand Marcos who won the election, with Fernando Lopez as his running mate.

Noynoy Aquino’s seriousness in prosecuting his predecessor and other officials of her government is betrayed by his utter lack of understanding of the challenges of poverty and inequality in the Philippines.

Noynoy’s slogan that blames corruption for the country’s widespread poverty is only a political stratagem. Its purpose is merely to gather votes. Plus, having a good sound bite, it simply denigrates his opponents who were already dragged in the mud by allegations of corruption against them.

Corruption takes centre stage in Noynoy’s political platform that calls for change. His platform states that corruption has a destructive effect on families and communities because it robs children of their protection, nutrition and education; it steals from farmers and workers; and it deters businessmen from investing in our economy. Furthermore, corruption, according to Aquino’s platform, has eroded our national spirit and caused our loss of trust in the democratic institutions initiated by the Cory Aquino’s presidency after the fall of the Marcos dictatorship.

Arguably, there is an element of truth in the debilitating effects of corruption to the economy and to our society as a whole. But to single it out as the substantial cause of poverty is rather naïve and being badly-informed.

Noynoy Aquino majored in economics in college so he should understand that equality is good for growth and makes that growth more effective in reducing poverty.

The exceptional slice of national wealth that is owned by the very rich in the Philippines, and this is a very small percentage of the country’s total population, makes inequality extensive and pervasive. There is chronic poverty in the Philippines as a human consequence of inequality and its compounding effects.

But it seems out-of-fashion nowadays to advocate equality and wealth redistribution, which is also true in richer economies, because it has the connotation of taking the leftist position in the debate continuum. Look at how U.S. President Obama, for example, had been caricatured as being socialist for his health care reforms.

A more preferred source of information over other social weather stations known with leftist leanings, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), has identified the main causes of poverty in the Philippines.

The ADB pointed to the following: low to moderate economic growth for the past 40 years, low growth elasticity of poverty reduction, weakness in employment generation and the quality of jobs generated, failure to fully develop the agriculture sector, high inflation, high levels of population growth, high and persistent levels of inequality (incomes and assets), which dampen the positive impacts of economic expansion, and recurrent shocks and exposure to risks such as economic crisis, conflicts, natural and environmental disasters.

Instead of aiming his saber-rattling against corrupt officials, Noynoy Aquino should understand that to eliminate poverty, his administration must address those causes identified by the ADB.

Due to global recession, the Philippine economy is sinking further as unemployment continues to grow and extreme poverty remains unabated. It is under these circumstances that a social explosion could be expected as working people find it increasingly difficult to make ends meet.

Noynoy should not wait for his leadership to be tested by military coups, similar to those that beset his own mother’s uneasy tenure.

Time, therefore, is of the essence. Noynoy Aquino must step up to the plate when he assumes the presidency. He should start mapping a coordinated poverty framework and strategy that will help the poor out of their doldrums, instead of grandstanding about his obsession to eliminate corruption. Even if he were successful in eradicating corruption and all its harmful effects to society, it would still not erase poverty on the Philippine map.

During her presidency, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo claimed that the Philippine economy has vastly improved and was growing at a high rate. If that was true, why are the benefits not trickling down to the masses?

Partly, because Arroyo’s economic policies, as with previous administrations, were designed to favour a handful of big business and landowning families. These few families own the largest slice of the country’s national economy.

For instance, Arroyo failed to implement meaningful land reforms citing legal technicalities. The government’s comprehensive land reform program which was started by Noynoy Aquino’s mother, Cory Aquino, had the initial aim of redistributing huge tracts of land from the rich to the poor farmers.

These are the same problems that face Noynoy’s presidency and have contributed substantially to poverty and inequality in the Philippines. If he wants to leave a lasting legacy as president, he should start with the transfer of Hacienda Luisita to its farmers and tenants. His family’s ownership of Hacienda Luisita only reflects the oligarchic control of the national economy by a powerful and wealthy few.

In his Social Contract with the Filipino People, Noynoy Aquino pledges to be different from the Arroyo government whom he accused of making up economic growth statistics which the Filipino people know to be untrue.

Sooner rather than later, Noynoy Aquino needs to match his lofty pronouncements with real and effective leadership and governance, if he wants to eliminate poverty and inequality in our country. Enough with grandstanding as the country’s number one fighter of corruption.


Up against culture? YOUNGBLOOD, By Stephanie Ann Y. Puen Philippine Daily Inquirer First Posted 23:24:00 05/19/2010


I’m not an activist though. I’m someone who first looks at all the facts then tries to come up with the best solutions. As a first-time voter, I actually had a hard time choosing between Gibo Teodoro, Dick Gordon, Nicky Perlas and Noynoy Aquino.

I was surprised, however, that Estrada still has a substantial following, and Villar as well—although each of them has a fairly huge pile of dirty laundry showing on their front yards for all the public to see. Estrada was accused of plunder which led to his ouster from Malacañang and then to his conviction. Villar was hounded by the C-5 scandal and land-grabbing charges made against him.

I must admit though that surprised at their following as I was, I was somehow expecting huge votes for both Estrada and Villar. For I knew that even though a number of us in my community voted for Teodoro or Gordon, we were just a minority.

Lest I be accused of being an “elitist,” I am writing this simply to try to understand—and perhaps explain—what people from the higher-income groups are frustrated about: the fact that despite their having been tried for corruption and despite their having no real “achievements” to show, Estrada and Villar still got a considerable number of votes, while those with the necessary and right credentials to sit as presidents like Teodoro, Gordon and Perlas were far behind. Even Aquino was seen by some to be too idealistic and without a backbone to make and stand by his own decision.

You can hear almost the same griping about the senatorial winners. Friends are complaining that only three or four of the senators they voted for made it to the Magic 12. Favorites like Risa Hontiveros, Sonia Roco, Adel Tamano and Alex Lacson did not make it even though their credentials and advocacies make them “fit for the job.” One friend, in particular, rues that the government is going to be “one big movie” since a lot of the winners in both the local and national elections are movie actors or show biz personalities.

Since our voters mostly come from lower-income groups, their votes are likely to decide who gets in and who doesn’t. This is why all candidates try to appeal to the masses. They talk about eradicating corruption and poverty. Aquino’s campaign tagline was “Kung walang korupsyon, walang mahirap” (If there’s no corruption, there can’t be poverty); Villar weaved the image of one who came from the ranks of the poor,” he having grown up in Tondo”; Teodoro banked on an ad showing himself piloting an airplane that was about to take off; Estrada had his usual “Erap para sa mahirap.”

The low-income groups gave most of their votes to Estrada, Villar and Noynoy, as could be seen in the election results. I think that these choices reflect our values and our culture, and we cannot blame anyone for this—we can only listen, learn and act on them for the better.

In the Filipino culture, one of the things we value the most is “awa”—consideration or mercy. Househelps with very nice employers speak highly of them—--“May awa ang amo ko” (My master is kind, considerate, merciful)—especially if they are lent money whenever they need it, or given days off during emergencies. We also value “bayanihan” or solidarity. We are a Catholic country, and mercy is something we think highly of, whether this comes from our Lord or from mortals. We seem to be intrinsically values-centered. Education became a priority for us when it was made accessible to all during the American occupation; before then it was only for the elite. But from the time of the barangays and datus, we also have had solidarity and community as values. As Carlos Celdran put it, if we had our way, our national hero wouldn’t be the ilustrado Jose Rizal; it would be Andres Bonifacio or Emilio Aguinaldo. Rizal was a brilliant man whose writings show his love for country. It was Bonifacio and Aguinaldo who took up arms to fight for our country’s independence. The people would have preferred Aguinaldo or Bonifacio for their national hero over Rizal who was “foreign” to them, not only for being abroad much of his life but also because of his breeding and education. Bonifacio and Aguinaldo, on the other hand, they spent the greatest part of their lives in the Philippines and saw the realities on the ground—they were “one of them.”

This seems to show that although we have come to highly value education now, we still lean towards those who reach out to help the poor and prefer them over those who have mastered the ABC and earned PhDs—perhaps because we have seen that it is the smarter ones who have been robbing our country. We see Villar and Estrada willing to help the poor because we believe they themselves come from the poor or are naturally able to press the flesh with them. Teodoro, on the other hand, may be smart because of his credentials and experience, but he was perceived to be in the shadow of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and, therefore, held no promise of change. Revilla, the topnotcher in the senatorial contest, is the lead actor in the recent and successful film “Ang Panday,” in which he plays hero who saves everybody. This is one hero who is just a good and simple man, not someone who is smart or educated. His character in the movie is that of a person who is “one with the masses” who readily attends to their concerns. These politicians, including Jinggoy Estrada is “one with the Filipinos.”

With this kind of national mind-set, is there any hope for our country? I am actually at a loss as to how to answer this question. It is not that we lack education or intelligence, but it seems that our culture and our values are reflected in our choices during elections. This is how I interpret what is happening in our country based on lessons learned from history and anthropology. Of course, we want to progress and to have a better government, but how would one “combat” such a thing as culture?

Stephanie Ann Y. Puen, 19, is a third year BS Management Engineering student at the Ateneo de Manila University.


Juana Change: Noynoy insiders don’t wanna change SOPHIA DEDACE, GMANews.TV 05/27/2010 | 05:29 PM

Her videos became online sensations and she became a fixture at gatherings of civil society groups and major political rallies. Paner and her group did not support a presidential candidate (one of her spiels was titled NOTA, to indicate None of the Above were qualified as presidents), until Sen. Manuel Roxas II passed the torch to Aquino as the Liberal Party's presidential bet.

"We (her group) felt there was a collective intelligence that seemed to be guiding the decision [for Aquino to seek the presidency]. I felt good about Noynoy, like he seemed to be the right choice," she said.

Paner said she agreed to volunteer for Aquino because she thought it was a "people-run" campaign, since it was the people who clamored for him to run for president. It was this amorphous entity referred to as “the people" that provided the campaign with its numbers, energy, and claims to being a movement. But there was never an ideology or set of principles tying volunteers together, aside from vague vows to fight corruption.

When she joined campaign activities, Paner did not like what she saw.

"I was asserting that this should be about the people. Si Noy ang boses ng tao. Pero [sa kampanya], kaming mga creatives, hindi namin ma-take yung mga pinagsasabi nila [sa campaign speeches]," she said.

Even after she stopped gracing Aquino’s rallies, however, she remained a staunch supporter of the presidential front runner.

In his Philippine Daily Inquirer column last May 17, De Quiros wrote about the bitter disagreements between volunteer groups and the Liberal Party, the Hyatt 10 (former Cabinet members of the Arroyo administration), and The Firm ( one of the country's high-profile law firms).

"The people around Noynoy they alienated, pissed off and ejected like flotsam were the volunteer groups," he said.

A day later, he wrote:

"The Noynoy campaign began not with the Liberal Party, the Hyatt 10 and the Firm but with the volunteer groups. It succeeded not because of the Liberal Party, the Hyatt 10 and the Firm but because of the volunteer groups. Noynoy’s government should begin not with the Liberal Party, the Hyatt 10 and the Firm but with the volunteer groups. It should succeed not because of the Liberal Party, the Hyatt 10 and the Firm but because of the volunteer groups."

But insiders in the Noynoy-Mar campaign disagree.

An LP staff member who declined to be named said some volunteer groups were "unruly" and "disorganized," even as he underscored their contributions to the campaign.

Another campaign insider who asked to remain anonymous said volunteers were not really ostracized during campaign activities. "They probably felt they receded into the background during provincial sorties, where local officials make overtures to Noynoy and hog public attention," he said.

Volunteers like Mae Paner aka Juana Change may have given the campaign its foot soldiers and enthusiasm, but some political observers opine that their spontaneity must be harnessed to a disciplined organization for it to have any future influence over policy.

Eleanor Dionisio of the Ateneo Center for Social Policy and Public Affairs took De Quiros to task for invoking "the episodic, uninstitutionalized, voluntaristic politics of EDSA as the democratic ideal."

"But apart from unity against corruption, Noynoy's Yellow Forces are a cacophony of conflicting interests, without any party discipline, just as it was the movement that brought his mother to power," Dioniosio wrote in her letter to the Inquirer which was circulated through Facebook.

Despite the letdown and intrigues creeping into the crowd around Aquino, Juana Change has not lost her optimism and still counts herself as a grunt in the Yellow Army. In a recent statement on her Facebook fan page, she wrote: "Maniwala ka, may mga marangal pa rin sa hanay natin." – With Howie Severino, GMANews.TV


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