Archive for Philippine Politics

Philippine Sports: What Now Manny Pacquiao?

Posted in All About The Philippines with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2009 by JJ Duque

The Philippines and all Filipinos around the world are still buzzing from Manny Pacquiao‘s recent victory over Miguel Angel Cotto, winning the WBO Welterweight title via a 12th round TKO.

Manny Pacquiao Knocks Down Miguel Angel Cotto

Manny Pacquiao Knocks Down Miguel Angel Cotto

I got to catch the fight at Friday’s Alabang Town Center upon the invitation of Ryan Eigenmann and his fiance Cathy Bordalba, and took along my wife and kids to join some good friends. I personally cheered for Miguel Angel Cotto. Well, not because I didnt’ want Manny Pacquiao to win, but just to be different.  In Tagalog – “Para lang maiba.”

But really – Manny Pacquiao is just plain awesome, and I wasn’t the least bit surprised that Miguel Angel Cotto got floored twice and that eventually the fight ended with a TKO. The face of Miguel Angel Cotto was beaten to a pulp, and at the end he wasn’t even throwing anymore punches, just running around the ring to try and avoid the onslaught of Manny Pacquiao, who seemed determined to knock out Cotto.

The victory gives Manny Pacquiao a historical world record by being the first boxer to win 7 titles in 7 different weight divisions. Of course, experts still say that it’s not really legitimate, considering that the Ring Magazine title of Manny Pacquiao is not an official belt. Whatever. It doesn’t disprove the fact that Manny Pacquiao will be a hall-of-famer, and a boxer that will forever be remembered around the globe.

So – now that Miguel Angel Cotto is done and over with, what’s next for Manny Pacquiao? A fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a possibility that the boxing world highly anticipates. Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. are two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the history of the sport, and certainly a fight between the two will be a match that will certainly have the entire world watching. For sure – the Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight will be legendary.

In the meantime – Manny Pacquiao will be looking to fight in the Philippine political arena, where he has ambitions to run for Philippine Congress in his home town of General Santos City. Manny Pacquiao tried his luck to run  for Congress in the last elections, but lost miserably. If he tries again, I’m pretty sure he’ll lose. The citizens of General Santos know well enough that Manny Pacquiao is not built for Philippine politics, and they would rather that he spent his hard-fought cash to help out through charity rather than through a seat in Congress. Certainly, his lack of eloquence (and maybe even literacy) will make it difficult for him to even go through the many legislations and reports that a congressman must absorb as part of his responsibility, you know?

Manny Pacquiao can do what the hell he wants in Philippine showbusiness, even make albums and sing in a band, but for the sake of the country – he should really stay away from the political arena.

Anyway – I don’t want to rain on the parade of Manny Pacquiao. I’m happy for his victory. I’ll celebrate in the streets for that. I might even watch his upcoming movie Whapakman just to remind myself of how stupid some Philippine movies can be. I might even listen to him sing just because I’d love a good laugh. But to listen to him campaign for Congress? Well, I just might throw an egg at him.

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Philippine News:Gilbert Teodoro Picks Edu Manzano As VP Running Mate

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine News, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2009 by JJ Duque

I haven’t blogged as much in the past few weeks. Not that there hasn’t been much happening, but actually the fact that there hasn’t been much posting here means that I’ve been quite busy lately. Mostly, I’ve been busy with organizing the co-founding of Green Agenda Philippines, which is an advocacy program part of the non-government organization called Earth Tribe Council. Loads of development there, which I hope to share here in the Philippines Funwall once things get a bit more concrete.

Also, with all the things going on in the country, I’ve just had to shrug my shoulders and kinda sigh. It’s not that I’m hopeless, but it’s just that I’d rather follow the wise words of Thumper who said, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say nothing at all.”

In keeping with that wise saying, I’d like to share my thoughts on the decision of defense secretary and presidential aspirant Gilbert Teodoro to pick showbiz personality Edu Manzano as his running mate for vice president.

In a previous post in the Philippines Funwall, I had some unkind words to say about Gilbert Teodoro and the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) earlier in October at the height of the disasters brought by the storms that ravaged the Philippines. (You can read about what I had to say earlier by clicking here.)

Anyway, I did announce back then that Glbert Teodoro lost my vote. Well, he still hasn’t earned it, especially with his decision to take Edu Manzano as a running mate for vice president.

I admire Gilbert Teodoro to an extent, and I really am thankful that he was very dedicated during the relief and rescue operations despite the NDCC’s failure to a quick response. I’m certain it wasn’t his fault that the NDCC wasn’t equipped to deal with the disaster when Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) first struck, but Gilbert Teodoro has done well in being more prepared for the other storms to follow. And that I will give him credit for.

I guess Giblert Teodoro felt that he could run for President, given that he had done well to gain public recognition during his efforts at handling the disasters and storms. The next thing he needed to do was to find a running mate, and he shopped around some of the glitziest names of showbiz-politics, including Loren Legarda (former Senator and news anchor), Bong Revilla (Senator and action star), Tito Sotto (Senator and Eat Bulaga  host) and Vilma Santos (Batangas governor and hall-of-fame actress).

Eventually, Gilbert Teodoro settled for Edu Manzano – the fomer Optical Media Board chairperson and also an actor. Gilbert Teodoro‘s move to shop for a showbiz-political partner is similar to what Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo did when she picked out running mate Noli De Castro for Vice President.

Gilbert Teodoro‘s decision to opt (and shop around) for a showbiz-political partner makes me rethink how smart and “for the future” he really is. I mean – the mere fact – that he thinks showbiz personalities will bring him more votes just goes to show that he still is a traditional politician, who still believes in the popularity contest of the upcoming 2010 Philippine National Elections.

Well, certainly it is a popularity contest with all sorts of names to remember come election day. A voter’s list would have to include names of  barangay captains, mayors, vice-mayors, city councilors, a congressman, 12 senators, a vice president and a president. And just imagine the list of names a voter has to weed out just to come up with that list.

Anyway, Gilbert Teodoro is the cousin of senator Noynoy Aquino, who is also gunning for the Presidential seat. They’re both nephews of Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr., the president of San Miguel Corporation. Now – what does that say to us about family and politics? The obvious presumption is that the family doesn’t get well enough to support the decision of another family member to run for a position, and then goes against that family member anyway. Certainly, such a situation would divide the family. And what is family if not the backbone of our society? With that argument in mind, I could presume that Gilbert Teodoro (and Noynoy Aquino for that matter) are not such dedicated members of their family, causing a great divide with their decision to run against each other for the Philppine Presidency.

Well – that’s just one issue. The news that Gilbert Teodoro was frantically shopping around for a vice president just goes to show his unpreparedness for the Presidential campaign. It seems like his decision to run for President is on a whim, probably fueled by his recent rise to political stardom over his overwhelming national publicity upon coordinating relief and rescue operations during Ondoy and Pepeng and other storms to follow.

Seriously, you’d think that someone who was prepared to run for President should’ve had a running mate to begin with. Now that just makes me rethink if Gilbert Teodoro is prepared at all for the task of Philippine President if he can’t even be prepared for a campaign for that position. With the elections nearing, Gilbert Teodoro hasn’t even yet established a political platform if he were to become President, and I think a true public servant for the people would’ve already thought of an agenda in helping restore the country prior to even running for any position.

All that Gilbert Teodoro has done is made himself more popular. He has yet to address the country’s needs and provide solutions for its problems. Or provide concrete steps in assuring that the solutions that are currently being worked on are kept in place.

Edu Manzano For Vice President of the Philippines

Edu Manzano For Vice President of the Philippines

And then – he has Edu Manzano for a running mate. Well, I won’t comment much on Edu Manzano. I leave it up to the universe to expose him for what he truly is – an actor who knows how to play the part. Maybe the decision of Edu Manzano to run for vice president will be a wake-up call for him. Edu Manzano does have the heart to serve the public, and even ripped up his American passport when he ran for Makati City vice mayor to show his true patriotism. He won that election to become the vice mayor, but lost at the next election when he ran for Makati City Mayor.

Since then, he has been sidelined in the political scene, and his small stint as a law enforcer for pirated CDs and DVDs  (chairman of the OMB) doesn’t really say much for his capabilities to execute the law. Personally, I’ve heard more stories of other controversies about Edu Manzano, although I haven’t confirmed that myself. I guess it’s but natural for a popular figure to be surrounded by controversy, but I just hope that the notoriety will not do damage to the well-meaning Presidential campaign of Gilbert Teodoro and Edu Manzano.

At the very least, the Gilbert Teodoro and Edu Manzano campaign will surely be entertaining. Certainly, the political soirees of the Gibo-Edu pair will bring the likes of Luis Manzano (Edu’s son), maybe Angel Locsin (if Luis can keep her long enough), and Pinky Webb, whom Edu Manzano is currently dating. Maybe, his campaigns will even bring around his former wives like Vilma Santos and Maricel Soriano.

Hmm. Edu Manzano and his many wives. Now – that also says something about your vice presidential candidate. I wonder if Edu Manzano would be pro-divorce? If he is, then maybe he might win my vote after all.

For the sake of Edu Manzano – I just hope the snow doesn’t blow out in these tropics – which is my version of I just hope the shit doesn’t hit the fan.

Philippine Politics: Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas – The Team To Beat

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine News, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2009 by JJ Duque

A couple of weeks ago, Senator Mar Roxas gave up his bid to run for president in 2010 in order to allow Senator Noynoy Aquino to run for president. The move of Mar Roxas was doen with the intention to push what’s best for the country. It was uncertain whether or not Mar Roxas would become the vice-presidential running mate of Noynoy Aquino, or whether he would just seek another term as senator.

However, it is now official – Noynoy Aquino for President, and Mar Roxas for Vice President in 2010. Mar Roxas made the announcement at the historic Club Filipino in Greenhills on September 21.

Speaking in Tagalog, Mar Roxas stated, “I am wholeheartedly accepting the responsibility to be Noynoy’s partner in our fight for change.”

Mar Roxas for VP and Noynoy Aquino for President

Mar Roxas for VP and Noynoy Aquino for President

The Aquino-Roxas team has vowed to put a stop to corruption and to fight for a change that will overcome the greed of politicians.

“It’s bigger than the two of us, it is bigger than the Liberal Party. It is about our collective third for change. It is about our thirst for change finally overcoming those who want to continue the tayo-tayo system, the horse-trading, the greed, the self-interest, the transactional politics that has been the biggest roadblock to progress and prosperity for all,” Mar Roxas said.

“This is about what is straight and what is crooked. This is about the honest against the corrupt. This is about right versus wrong, ” he continued.

On a personal note, although their jump from the starting gun may be a bit late, considering that several other presidentiables have already begun their campaigns much earlier (i.e. Manny Villar, Dick Gordon), it is not at all a lost cause for Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas. Actually, I think the fact that they’ve announced their team puts them ahead of everyone else. Senator Manny Villar has already stated his candidacy a logn time ago, and has prepared diligently for the upcoming elections. However, Manny Villar has not yet announced a running mate to be his vice-president, and maybe he has to do so soon if the Filipino people are to seriously consider his presidential campaign.

At the very least, despite their late intentions – Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas have come up with a team, which is more than the other presidential aspirants have done despite their early head-start at campaigning. The common goal of Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas to fight for change in this country gives both of them a solid foundation to embark on issues that will improve the country’s governance, and eventually pave the way to progress that will be for the Filipino people.

Incidentally, Noynoy Aquino‘s father – national hero Ninoy Aquino – and Mar Roxas’ father – former Senator Gerardo Roxas  – are both members of the Upsilon Sigma Phi. Ninoy Aquino is from batch 1950 while Gerry Roxas is from Batch 1946.

One other thing that Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas have in common – Korina Sanchez, but that’s a different soap opera altogether.

Mabuhay si Noynoy and Mar!

Philippine Politics: Manny Pacquiao For Congress – God Save The Philippines

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine News, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2009 by JJ Duque

Boxing champ Manny Pacquiao is gunning for a second round attempt for a seat in the Philippine House of Representatives in the upcoming 2010 elections. Manny Pacquiao will be looking to win a congressional seat in his hometown of General Santos City, you know?

Back in 2007, Manny Pacquiao already lost the election, and cited that he wasn’t prepared politically for his campaign due to his busy schedule with boxing fights and training. This coming 2010, Manny Pacquiao still has to train and prepare to fight Miguel Angel Cotto while in the midst of his campaign for congress. Apart from that, he still has a TV show, some movies, maybe another album and whatever. Whatever Manny Pacquiao gets himself into doesn’t surprise me anymore. Yes – even running for congress.

But really now – Do the Filipino people really want Manny Pacquiao in congress? Personally, I would rather he stick to what he does best – which is to fight in the boxing ring and not in the political arena. He may not be the best actor, but let him have his kicks in showbiz, but PLEASE – for the country’s sake – DO NOT RUN FOR CONGRESS, MANNY!

What qualifications do you have to run for politics? ZERO! Manny Pacquiao has spent his entire life as a boxer, and maybe too many left hooks has f***ed up bis brain, which might spur this STUPID decision to run for congress. Manny Pacquiao has no experience in Philippine politics whatsoever, and if he thinks that the politics in boxing is the same as congress, then he must really be out of his mind. I even doubt if Manny Pacquiao will have the time (considering the demands of  his boxing and showbiz career) to read through the many resolutions and legislations that are passed in Congress. Can Manny Pacquiao even effectively deliberate in the halls of congress, or are we just going to hear him say, “You know?” – you know?

If Manny Pacquiao believes he can serve the country because of his deep pockets, then by all means do so. Manny Pacquiao can give to as many charities and come up with as many projects as he wants to help in the development of General Santos City and the Philippines without having to be a congressman.

Manny, Pacman, Champ, Idol – please lang… use your head.

Manny Pacquiao For Congress in 2010 - God Save The Philippines!

Manny Pacquiao For Congress in 2010 - God Save The Philippines!

And to those supposed political  friends and political advisers of Manny Pacquiao – Chavit, Noli Boy, Tolits, Madam GMA – knock some sense into him. He can’t even deliver a proper interview about what he is passionate about (boxing), and you expect him to enter the halls of Philippine congress to enact legislation that will serve our country. It’s not right, you know?

Anyway – I will put my faith on the Filipino people and the intelligent people of General Santos. I’m sure they know better, and it showed in the 2007 elections when Manny Pacquiao lost. And I certainly hope he will lose again, and let the voice of the people be heard that Manny Pacquiao‘s place is not in Philippine congress. You know?

I’m sure everyone has learned their lesson when they put the likes of Ramon Revilla and Robert Jaworski in the Senate, who didn’t even utter a word throughout the entire team that Senate convened. Well, except maybe to raise their hand and ask permission to use the toilet. You know?

The 2010 elections is a critical time for the country, and not only on the Presidential race, but in all levels of government that will be fought for and campaigned for. Please vote wisely. And to the people of General Santos City – I’m sure you have a more qualified candidate for Congress than a popular personality who doesn’t have an ounce of political experience, even if he is world-renowned.

You know better, you know?

Philippine Politics: Governor Ed Panlilo Drops Out of 2010 Presidential Race

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine News, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , on September 5, 2009 by JJ Duque

Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio, who is also a priest on leave, declared his intention to drop out of the 2010 Presidential race at a press conference in Club Filipino, Greenhills – the same historic venue where Philippine Senator Mar Roxas also announced his withdrawal from his bid for President.

According to Gov. Ed Panlilio‘s statement, he is giving up his campaign for president to give way to the support of Senator Beningno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Even if it’s similar to the announcement made by Mar Roxas -right down to the venue and the press release – Governor Ed Panlilio couldn’t possibly have been that serious in his intention to run for President. I mean – has the Pampanga Governor even seen the surveys and polls? Well, if he has, then he’ll probably notice that his name won’t even come up in the top 10 of any survey for Presidential elections. That alone is reason enough for him to stay out of the 2010 Presidential race. Really now – did he really think he could win?

Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio

Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio

Had Gov. Ed Panlilio run for President, I would’ve considered him a nuisance candidate. Sort of like Brother Eddie Gil, and possibly Eddie Villanueva.  What’s up with these Ed’s who keep thinking they’ll ever become President. President Ed? Sounds like a horse from a TV show.

Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines have expressed delight over Panlilio’s decision to withdraw, and even some concluded that – “maybe it’s about time he just return to his priestly duties.”

I personally think Governor Ed Panlilio is just trying to make an ala-Mar Roxas sacrifice in the hopes that he will generate the same kind of sympathy from the Filipino people, who have expressed a thumbs-up for the withdrawal of Mar Roxas because he put country before self. Now, watch carefully – I have a feeling Ed Panlilio will try to make a run for the Philippine Senate, and will hope that his press release will gain him a favorable Senate seat under the slate of Noynoy Aquino.

Ay nako!

Philippine Politics: Nonoy Aquino and Mar Roxas To Be Running Mates In 2010 Elections

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine News, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , on September 1, 2009 by JJ Duque
Noynoy Aquino for Philippine President in 2010

Noynoy Aquino for Philippine President in 2010

Philippine Senators Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas looks to have joined forces in the campaign for the Presidential race. To what capacity is yet to be known, but what has been announced is that Mar Roxas is giving his aspirations to become the next Philippine President, and instead has vowed to support the candidacy of Noynoy Aquino, who has shared his intention to run for President.

Mar Roxas already has television ads regarding his campaign for the Phlippine Presidency in this coming 2010 national elections, but after discussions with Noynoy Aquino, he officially withdrew his candidacy. According to Mar Roxas, “Today I am announcing my support for the candidacy of Noynoy Aquino for President for 2010″ for reasons he stated as “putting country before self.”

It’s still unknown if Mar Roxas will be the Vice Presidential running mate of Noynoy Aquino, but he will certainly be supporting Noynoy Aquino.

Now, the decision of Noynoy Aquino to run for President may have certainly been affected by recent historic events, especially that of the death of his mother, former President Corazon Aquino. The millions who poured onto the streets during Cory Aquino‘s funeral cortege can be taken as a huge sign of voter turnouts for Noynoy Aquino, and probably influenced his decision to run for President. Whether the Filipino people will translate their fondness and respect for Cory Aquino to a vote for Noynoy Auqino for President remains uncertain. But then, it seems that both Mar Roxas and Noynoy Aquino recognize that the situaton could be a better gamble to win the Presidency, especially if it becomes a popularity contest. Because as it stands – the popularity contest is being won by Presidential aspirant and former Senate President Manny Villar.

And maybe – since the poll isn’t going the way of Mar Roxas, then his giving way to Noynoy Aquino is a prudent decision. However, it’s pretty difficult to imagine what kind of miracle strategy Noynoy Aquino is going to pull in order to become the next President. Other Presidential aspirants already have their campaign machinery mobilizing throughout the nation, and Noynoy Aquino has yet to put his foot on the starting block. But then, if there’s anyone else who is certain to make it happen – then perhaps Noynoy Aquino can, and Mar Roxas recognizes that.

After all Noynoy Aquino‘s father is national hero Ninoy Aquino and his mother is the iconic mother of Philippine democracy Cory Aquino. Noynoy Aquino actually carries the name Benigno Aquino III, which will look great on a Presidential sample ballot. And it might even actually help that his younger sister Kris Aquino is one of the most popular TV personalities in the country, despite the natural controversy that follows her around.

Philippine Politics: Will Manny Villar Become The Next President?

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2009 by JJ Duque

Former Senate President Manny Villar is currently leading the Pulse Asia survey on whom the Filipino people would want to become the next Philippine President to succeed Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

If the survey holds up come election day on 2010, then indeed we could certainly see Manny Villar become the next President of the Philippines.  Will he really become the next Philippine President? I think – yes.

Why? Well, while all the other Philippine presidentiables were still in the process of deciding whether they would run or not, Manny Villar already stated his intention to run a long time ago. Of course, it’s easy to just simply make a press release in the papers to say that you would run for the Presidency, but in Manny Villar‘s case – he actually committed vast resources and efforts in preparation for his campaign.

And we’re not just talking about campaign materials. We’re talking about the vast resources of talented people who would help him run his campaign throughout the country.

As early as now – Manny Villar has ads on television. These ads have been on the drawing board a long time, and have been carefully plotted out. The earlier versions of this ad were carefully screened, critiqued, re-edited, and really went through a thorough process. What is being shown today in television is the result of a well-planned and well-executed ad that certainly makes its mark on its audiences. Its proper time-slot placement and frequency of air-play is just as impressive.

More than the ads – Manny Villar has aligned himself with several key people who will be certainly instrumental in his campaign. Just recently, Philstar.com published an article on “The Honor Guards” of Manny Villar. And just who are these “Honor Guards?”

Manny Villar and His 'Honor Guards'

Manny Villar and His 'Honor Guards'

First, there’s the young Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, an Ateneo Law Grad who helps out the Tropang Villar as the one in-charge of “national interest matters.” Then, there’s Laguna Representative Justin Marc “Timmy” Chipeco, who is a Law graduate from the San Beda College and Arellano Law School, and is in charge of  “local governance.” Former Pampanga Representative and Upsilonian Juan Pablo “Rimpy” Bondoc, who earned his masters degree in Public Administration form Harvard University takes charge of  “finance and economics.” Adel Tamano is the current president of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) and the first Filipino Muslim to have graduated fromt he Harvard Law School with a masters degree in Law, and is in charge of “education, legal and Mindanao issues.” Former Cavite Representative, news anchor and Upsilonian Gilbert Remulla, who earned his MA in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York, is in charge of “political affairs.” Lastly, Bukidnon Representative Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, an Ateneo Law/Economics graduate, is in charge of “budget and Mindanao issues.”

These 6 honor guards of Manny Villar are all members of Villar’s Nacionalista Party(NP) and are the spokesmen for the NP, on the varous issues stated above. Obviously, the NP is a political party that has some sleek brains and a very ready attitude to tackle the work needed for a Presidential campaign (or even for a possible run at Senator as in the case of Adel Tamano).

Their combined teamwork and resources set them apart from the rest of the other political parties who still cannot decide on who will be their bet for President. The other political parties will squabble and hold countless meetings and politicking before coming to a decision. By that time – the political machinery of Manny Villar will be ten steps ahead of any competition, equipped with a solid political platform that will provide answers to our country’s problems.

The next leader will certainly have several problems to face in order to uplift the Philippines from its current state. If we are to move forward as a nation, we have to be able to back up the leadership with a solid  political will that is ready to address the many concerns of its people. One definitely has to be prepared. This preparedness of the Nacionalista Party is what sets them apart from the other presidentiables. And if this is the kind of attitude Manny Villar will bring with him to Malacanang, then rest assured that the country will be in good hands. Because, at least, Manny Villar has shown that he is prepared to lead at a time when others can’t even decide which route to run.