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The People’s Choice

April 4, 2010 1 comment

The overwhelming majority of Filipinos suffer chronic poverty and backwardness. The last nine years of the Arroyo administration have only seen their situation become even worse. Many are hoping that the May 2010 elections will be a fresh start and that new leadership will address their plight.

Yet the elections can only usher in the needed reforms if the people are able to choose national and local leaders who are genuinely pro-people, patriotic and democratic. The country’s problems are huge and demand committed leaders willing to challenge long-standing monopolies of economic and political power. The people have to be critical to see if such leaders are at hand. Read more…

Elections and Ambition

April 3, 2010 Leave a comment

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her allies appear to be using the May 2010 elections to remain in power. They are maneuvering to take national and local positions in the next administration. It is also likely that there will be renewed efforts at charter change that, among others, includes a shift to a parliamentary system that allows former president Arroyo to become prime minister.

For now there are even fears that the elections may fail due to problems with automation, intensified violence, and massive fraud. Scenarios of emergency rule, some kind of martial law and of a “transition government” have also already been floated. All these are symptoms of Philippine politics driven by ambition rather than democratic governance and service to the people.

Arroyo administration officials running in May 2010

April 2, 2010 Leave a comment

  • President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Congressional seat, Pampanga)
  • Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita (Congressional seat, Batangas)
  • Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera (Congressional seat, Quezon)
  • Secretary Hermogenes Esperon of the Presidential Management Staff (Congressional seat, Pangasinan)
  • Secretary Augusto Syjuco of the Technical Education and Skills
  • Development Authority (Congressional seat, Iloilo) Budget Secretary
  • Rolando Andaya (Congressional seat, Camarines Sur)
  • Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap (Congressional seat, Bohol)
  • Secretary Raul Gonzalez, chief presidential legal counsel (Mayor, Iloilo City)
  • Secretary Edgar Pamintuan of the Luzon Urban Beltway (Mayor, Angeles City)

The promise and perils of automated elections

April 1, 2010 Leave a comment

*Facts and figures on the Automated Election System from the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) and the Computer Professionals’ Union (CPU)

The Automated Election System (AES) promises modern democratic elections in the country with quicker counting that eliminates the conditions for wholesale cheating through the notorious dagdag-bawas.

    P7.2 billion Smartmatic-TIM contract
    82,200 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines
    1,671 unique ballots Read more…