Observations on a Philippine Election

The 2013 bout of nationalistic censorship is done and foreigner JoeAm can speak once more about candidates. Let me offer some observations:

  • Congratulations to the Philippines for conducting a rigorous and well-organized election, one where people may be inclined to complain about the hiccups, but that cannot change one thing: this was a huge logistical task carried out well, and the success demonstrates that the Philippines is a serious democratic state, working diligently to leave behind the days of strife and coups and gross manipulations of ballots.
  • Filipinos take their vote seriously, even if the Get Real pundits ridicule them for their choices. These choices reflect reasonable discernment and the Philippines can do well with the people put into office.
  • COMELEC is too autocratic and out of touch with common sense. Banning drinking (TRO), measuring the size of signs (TRO), having soldiers stop cars to ogle the pretty girls and look for guns, censoring foreigners, counting airtime minutes (TRO), or banning large bank withdrawals (TRO). If the metric of good performance is collecting Supreme Court TRO’s, COMELEC has done a dynamite job. I suggest they work harder at the PROCESS. When people are confident that their vote counts and their voting place is secure, the peripheral things will matter less. They will self-police.
  • COMELEC  deserves credit for getting huge numbers of ballots and machines and auditors and poll workers to the farthest islands of the Philippines, and pulling off an amazing task. Congratulations to the COMELEC organizers and logistics people.
  • People may complain about the surveys when their favorite horse isn’t doing well, but the surveys represented themselves very, very well. They provide good, useful information. They nailed it.
  • Rappler’s vote tabulation system with maps showing individual municipalities compares well with CNN’s for US elections. I could get real-time updates on any contest in the Philippines. Candidate profiles were also exhaustive. Kudos to Rappler and the tech wizards there.
  • Some “esteemed name” culprits of vote-buying who achieved office need to be thrown out of that office. Vote buying remains rampant and will continue until the message gets distributed and seated in candidate brains: “vote buying is simply not worth it anymore”.
  • Grace Poe will be elected President of the Philippines at some point in the future. What a jewel. Mature, capable, good of principle and heart. JoeAm spotted her special qualities months ago. The people spotted them during the election campaigning. Yes, the halo from her father helps. Look for good, rational judgments from her in the Senate, not the game-playing that is traditional.
  • I’m wary about Loren Legarda. The reason is flimsy. She is very political. Filipinos obviously don’t share this view.
  • The Magsaysay dynasty is heading off the national stage. The Enrile dynasty took a punch in the face. The Binay dynasty got knocked to the mat, but rose to put a secretary in the Senate. The Gordon dynasty is history, even in Olongapo.
  • Dynasties outbound in 2016:  Marcos, Arroyo, Enrile. Is Sotto a dynasty? He’s out, too.
  • Yikes, those murderous ways in local politics. Did I say Filipinos are serious about voting?
  • Wild and specious mullings. Roxas in 2016 does not excite me. Binay has organization and old-school connections; he will be tough. Hmmm. Maybe the Poe flame will rise early. Can Abaya be popularized?
  • I like Kris Aquino but she should stay out of politics. Nancy and Imelda provide enough fluff and perfume for now.
  • Disappointing outcomes this election: Nancy Binay, Jun Magsaysay, Risa Hontiveros. Hagedorn would have been very good, too.
  • A toast to President Aquino for supporting his team. And for building the strength needed to pursue his agenda. Now get to work on building a real legacy, Mr. President. Get FOI passed, eh, and shoo the priests back to their pulpits.

Confidence is upward bound, eh?

I like what is going on here.

ps. My wife voted the JoeAm line, straight ticket. I presume Immigration has no trouble with me talking to my wife. She also texted all her friends and told them of HER choices.

Photo source: straitstimes

Comments
48 Responses to “Observations on a Philippine Election”
  1. edgar lores says:

    1. That’s a fine list of the good, the bad and the ugly.

    2. Here’s my good list:

    2.1.COMELEC. Agree on the general conduct of the elections. Kudos to Comelec.
    2.2. Automation. I don’t think people realize how good automation has been for the country. The same-day, next-day results on the senatorial race is positively miraculous compared to the bad old days.
    2.3. Public Opinion. In this election there has been a rising tide of awareness against dynasties, religious influence, ads (tarpaulins and epals). Especially on the first two. Also a slight bump in the awareness of the need for platforms.
    2.4. Violence. Election violence has gone down compared to previous elections (about 81 incidents).
    2.5. Women Leadership. Women in government are at the forefront of the fight against corruption (Carpio-Morales, De Lima and Henares). We find hope In Grace and Leni.
    2.6. Surveys. The accuracy of the surveys were spot on. Last week I predicted at least a win of 9 seats for Team PNoy. I wish my talents extended to choosing horses.
    2.7. Inroads into Dynasties. (Leni) Robredo in Camarines Sur, Paulino in Olongapo (as noted) and Davide in Cebu City.
    2.8. Media Coverage. Agree that Rappler coverage has been exhaustive. They tend to rely on technology, which is good, but I have reservations about their push of social media, of Twitter in particular.

    3. My bad list:

    3.1. COMELEC. Agree on the hasty decisions on foreign censorship, withdrawal limits and alcohol consumption, but the reliability of the machines (400 faulty machines out of 77,000) and the delays in the transmission of results (70% now vs. 80% before) may be cause for alarm.
    3.2. Mediocrity in Results. Nancy tops this list, but there’s also Cynthia, Greg, and JV.
    3.3. Dynasties. The continuing influence of the Binays and Marcoses and the rise of the Pacquiaos.
    3.4. Patronage Politics. Deals and vote buying. The power of money, exchange of favors, and organization as shown by Binay (and Hitler and Obama) is a lesson the country ignores at its peril.
    3.5. Women Leadership. The Marcos matriarchy in Ilocos, the win of Nancy and Cynthia are galling. And the loss of Risa is vexatious.
    3.6. Supreme Court. The timing and flip-flop on the Imus mayorship, the timing and interference on airtime limits and tarpaulins are questionable. Its hands are pretty much tied on the Party List system and they have to adhere to constitutional principles in deciding issues, but I just wish for once that the Judiciary could kill off this disastrous add-on to the Constitution. (One ridiculous thing in particular about this entirely ridiculous scheme: Why is geographical party list sectors allowed when the HOR is geographically based already?)
    3.7. Loren and Alan have been cast in a bad light, and Loren may have some explaining to do.
    3.8. Dick’s attempt to postpone the elections on the basis of the non-release of the PCOS source code.

    4. My worst list:

    4.1. Criminality in Results. The return of Erap and the relative high score of Jack Enrile vs. Jun Magsaysay and Risa Hontiveros.
    4.2. Violence. 81 incidents is still too many and the extortion of the NPA is unacceptable.
    4.3. Religious influence. The bloc voting of the INC, the attempt to form a Catholic vote, the insidious interference of the Catholic Church – all these must addressed by legislative measures.

    5. My unknowns list:

    5.1. What, if any, has been the influence of bloggers, social media (Twitter, Facebook) and commentaries in news media?
    5.2. The positive influence, if any, of the OFWs in their comparison of the politics of their host countries against the Philippines?
    5.3. The Butterfly Effect of Raissa, Kris and Vice Ganda? And the Professional Heckler?

    6. My high expectations list:

    6.1. That Nancy will prove the downfall of Jejomar’s candidacy.
    6.2. That Miriam will have Nancy for breakfast.

    • Joe America says:

      Let me spot-comment.

      2.4 Violence going down is indeed a trend over recent elections. It is no longer “chic” to murder your opponent, I think. Still too much violence, but there is not a lot of banana left in the republic, I think.

      2.5 Important observation. Women don’t have to prove they are macho by cheating and power-brokering.

      2.6 Horses or stocks . . .

      2.8 Reservations? How, why? I think they Rappler is an “air” medium, detached from paper and convention, and ought to be deploying social media as a part of the flexible, detached platform. No rules except the ones they create . . .

      3.1 Transmissions, not drinking, is what COMELEC should focus on. They seem to want to recast the whole Philippine social fabric to host an election. Ridiculous . . . mutter mutter . . . autocrats . . .

      3.2 Yes, there is a pool of mediocrity. Hopefully it will tend neutral rather than strident like Sotto.

      4.3 The Church also got smacked in the face. No one listened.

      5.1 to 5.3. I think all contribute to the positive things happening hereabouts. A recasting of values from trapos dominated to modern.

      6.2 Ahhhhahahaha! Yes! Yes! Yes! YES!

    • Tristanism says:

      6.1 — Yes, please. Let Nancy be his father’s undoing.

      But we have to be very careful. If Nancy is ‘bullied’ is too much, she might come out an underdog. We know how Filipinos love underdogs.

      • Joe America says:

        Yes, true. But they enjoy ridicule just as much, eh? 🙂

      • edgar lores says:

        @Tristanism,

        Agree with love of underdogs, but someone (Dean La Vina?) mentioned that that was the reason Risa lost to Nancy. I found that a bit strange because in my mind Risa was the underdog — in terms of the polls, the money and the organization. In all other aspects, of course – intelligence, experience, reasoning, poise, looks — she was alpha,

    • Danny Garcia says:

      Paulino in Olongapo won despite not having much in campaign funds. There was massive vote buying and illegal posters and tarpaulins but social media (particularly facebook postings) kept the citizenry aware of what’s happening and helped the cause of intelligent voting. The old trick of having power interruptions during the counting could also no longer be used because of uninterruptible power supplies in the pcos. Hooray to automation and the social media! Am feeling more confident of the future. “Rise ye land of happy fools!”

      • Joe America says:

        Ahahahaha, rise indeed. Thanks for the report on Olongapo, Danny, a city I hold fondly in my heart for what it is like at 2 am in the morning on the darkened streets, as I scurried about from pharmacy to pharmacy buying supplies for my son’s emergency caesarian birth . . . ta daaaa, at the Gordon Hospital there, right by the entrance to Subic.

  2. lucia says:

    Hello, first time commenting here. I’ve been lurking your blog for quite a long time now, but for some reason I’ve only mustered the courage to leave something here just today! Soon-to-start-uni student living in Australia here.

    It really is a shame about Risa Hontiveros, but on the positive side, there seems to be improvements on the “lineup” overall and how the whole election was conducted. I admit that I don’t get a lot of news, but from what I gather the process seems to have happened without much of a hitch.

    Social networking is helping pave the way for better voting choices, and this kind of approach (in my opinion) has become quite important considering how Internet-hungry the Philippines is becoming. For the past few weeks my facebook has been bombarded with plenty of “here are their stats and qualifications, now vote wisely, PS: stop voting celebrities”-type images and it’s quite… refreshing (?) to see. (Doesn’t seem to be the right word I’m looking for, ah) Note that my friends on facebook are fellow uni students too (there in the Philippines), so seeing these kinds of messages being spread around by people my age makes me feel like there’s hope and that change will happen in the near future. Or maybe I’m just really optimistic. Though, at the same time, I actually have no idea if all this has had any kind of substantial impact on the elections.

    Also, I feel like a “welcome back!” is due even though you weren’t reeeallly gone. Your updates about the politics were much-missed.

    Today I wandered into the wikipedia page of Nancy Binay and couldn’t help but let out a chuckle at what was written in her intro. “Unfortunately, She was selected as the 12th senatorial nominee for the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).[3] According to the latest mid-term elections vote count, Binay is considered as one of the apparent winners in the 2013 senatorial race. God Bless Philippines.”
    I feel a bit immature, but funny nonetheless ☺

    I really should start subscribing to Rappler, it looks like that’s where all the juice is at, haha.

    • Joe America says:

      Lucia, lurkers are most welcome, and when they pop up to opine, give us a big smile. And I think your use of “refreshing” is absolutely perfect. The elections speak well for the Philippines, and I suspect the online community, which forms a great part of Andrew Lim’s “chattering class”, are indeed pushing in the right direction.

      Thank’s for the welcome back. I hope you relish (right word?) your Australian adventure. Edgar and Cha, who comment regularly here, are also from “down under”.

      Rappler wavers between excellent and sloppy journalism, but is “on line” and therefore current with things going on.

    • cha says:

      Hi, Lucia. Glad to have another Filo come on board. Good luck with uni. Are you doing your HSC at the moment? If yes, well, all the best with that too.

      I agree about the improvements evident in the conduct of this election. Thank God for the gift that is automation. I come from a time when nuns had to wrap their bodies around ballot boxes as they are transferred from election precincts so they could not be tampered with.

      We used to say back then that elections in the Philippines were won with guns, goons and gold. Come election day, armed men roamed around freely in some of the polling centers, intimidating voters and poll watchers, and then later at night, the teachers as they counted the votes. Perhaps that might explain this COMELEC’s seeming overzealousness in enforcing the gun ban. Those COMELEC commissioners do look old enough to have seen even more guns and goons in Philippine elections than I have.

      Gold on the other hand, still sems very much around. Perhaps even more so now that the trapos are finding it harder and harder to influence the results by messing up with the ballots and the counting of actual votes. The only way they could get in now is at the front end, before the voter actually gets to fill up the ballot. Hence the still rampant if not more large scale vote buying.

      Hopefully, even the gold will run out as more and more trapos get zero return on their investment. Enrile the elder just might decide to cut on his losses and finally let the son do what he really wants to do in life. Which is nothing. 🙂

      • lucia says:

        Thank you ☺ — I did the ACT’s equivalent of HSCs last year and am currently taking a gap year to figure out what I want to pursue in uni (Developmental Studies, it seems).

        I’m glad it all worked out fine too. I had the impression that things had a high likelihood of breaking down somewhere along the line and people would start pointing fingers at each other, accusing each other of cheating and messing with the system; but ah, it looks like we’re moving on from that. I guess I subconsciously formed a bad expectation based on scraps I’ve seen of previous elections as a child, though *cough Arroyo vs FPJ cough*. My memory needs updating.

        Better gold than guns, I suppose. I’ve never heard of nuns wrapping themselves around ballot boxes. We sure have come some way since then.
        I’m sure eventually that more people will catch on too that they can just pocket the money then vote for someone proper because there would be no way to check :p The image of menacingly threatening someone with a bunch of bills in one hand is amusing.
        (Are politicians unintentionally spreading their concentrated wealth to even out the money gap?)

        Ohhh~ it sounds like a case of the parent signing up their unwilling kid for ballet because that’s what they’ve always wanted to do, except their child actually has the stride of a duck.

    • JosephIvo says:

      I would like to analyze if there is any correlation between the absence / bad quality of internet connections and the survival of dynasties. Autocratic regimes in the 1800’s tried also to stop rail routes, fearing that mobility and better communications would weaken their privileges.

      The relationship between slower or no progress and dynasties is proven already, but the message didn’t get well communicated in several areas of this country. I belief that GMA showed us how bad it can be and from then on progress keeps accelerating. The “chattering” will get louder and louder.

      Congratulation Philippines.

  3. andrew lim says:

    Let me add my observations, Joe:

    1. Of the top 10 vote rich provinces, Binay is really strong in the 3rd-6th slots but she is weakest in Cebu and Negros at 8th. Does anybody here know if there are analysis of the votes as to age, gender, economic class, etc.?

    2. Maybe it’s time to revive the search for the anti-Binay, Joe? Jun Abaya? Grace Poe?

    3. Cebu and Batangas surprised me, as these areas had significant reason to go anti-administration: Corona, Gwen Garcia, strong anti-RH sentiments of their dioceses. But their votes indicate otherwise.

    4. Loren will jump ship in 2015, for sure.

    5. To do list: Get JPE out of the Senate presidency, push FOI, defend RH, continue the offensive on Binay and UNA.

    • Joe America says:

      1. Interesting question. As a former market researcher I shudder in horror at the thought of doing such work. I don’t think there are “exit polls” here, so tough to get that kind of info on voters proper. But you could profile the population and the survey firm findings. Note I said YOU. 🙂

      2. Poe or Abaya works for me. I think Poe will occur naturally, and LP would be wise to recruit her or build around her. Abaya would require some marketing work. His job does not put him where the light shines brightly.

      3. Additional election day losers: Garcia and the Church

      4. She is ambitious. But she is not Presidential, in my view.

      5. Excellent todo list. I’ll get to working on it.

  4. andrew lim says:

    Joe, just putting it out now so I dont forget it, and because this make some time to complete.
    You and Raissa get first dibs:

    THE SALN SCRUTINY PROJECT: PRESIDENTIABLES

    RATIONALE: The presidential elections of 2016 is near, and one of the most potent accountability tools we have is the SALN – scrutinizing it well beforehand, even before a candidate assumes office, is a worthwhile undertaking, instead of having to impeach them later on.

    The public has the right to know if a candidate does not deserve the presidency because of questionable items in their SALNs.

    COVERAGE: All presidentiables for 2016. Binay has declared it openly on national media several times. Roxas has not declared it personally, but high-ranking LP official Frank Drilon has said it so. (ANC forum with L. Jumilla) So for now, Binay and Roxas.

    METHODOLOGY: Based on their submitted SALNs for the past five years, civil society will scrutinize their contents, check for accuracy and truthfulness, look for significant and/or wilfful omissions, Sources of income will be sought and identified.

    RESOURCES:

    1. Media – Mainstream as well as social media practitioners and investigative journalists/outfits.

    2. We will seek volunteers with backgrounds in finance, accounting (specially forensic) and auditing, as well as lawyers.

    3. Crowd-sourcing, for the most opaque items on the SALNs.

    TIME TABLE: This project may take a year or even more to complete, so the earlier it gets started, the better.

    FUNDING: This will solely be volunteer- powered. No donations from corporations or entities will be accepted.

  5. manuelbuencamino says:

    Joe,

    In fairness to Comelec, the intentions were good. Maybe we can propose better ways to achieve those intentions:

    1. “Banning drinking (TRO).” It’s because elections are very heated contests and alcohol does not help cool things down. Comelec only extended the existing ban on drinking in public places immediately before, during, and after elections.
    2. “Measuring the size of signs (TRO).” This came about because of a desire to ensure an even playing field among candidates. Also because huge billboards are eyesores and a potential danger to pedestrians and motorists.
    3. “having soldiers stop cars to ogle the pretty girls and look for guns.” We have gun bans because of the history of electoral violence.
    4. “censoring foreigners.” Put it this way, if you cannot vote you really have no business telling those who can how to. The solution to this problem is to allow all who have been residing and who will continue to reside in the locality for at least one election cycle to vote for local and national officials as the case may be. Only tourists will not be allowed to vote.
    5. “counting airtime minutes (TRO)” Again this is to ensure a level playing field among candidates. It’s in the law. The Comelec was TRO’d because the SC did not agree with the Comelec’s computation of the airtime minutes allowed by the law.
    6. “banning large bank withdrawals (TRO)”. This was obviously aimed at preventing vote buying in the days leading up to the election.

    The Comelec wanted a fair, honest, and violence-free election. They focused on the most flagrant sources of election problems. They went overboard on extending the liquor ban and the bank withdrawals because they didn’t think through to the collateral damage the bank withdrawal ban would do.

    But we have to admit that the Comelec focused on the right problems. We simply have to help them find a better way of addressing those problems – MB

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I agree that these are problems, and the intention is good. But the practicality and cost need to be factored in. So they found, what, 2,000 guns? How many man hours of time per gun? Or stopping law-abiding people from conducting banking business? The solution to vote buying is throwing out of office the people who engage in it, and win. Not penalizing those who are contributing to the economy honestly. The whole matter revolves around generalize Filipino disregard for laws, because there is little or no enforcement of laws. So penalize the law-breakers, not the rest of us.

      • manuelbuencamino says:

        Joe,

        2000 is the number of idiots caught. How many were so intimidated by the comelec/pnp checkpoints that they left their guns at home? Then again how many outsmarted the cops? My point is we cannot work off the 2000 figure because the purpose of those checkpoints was prevention – to discourage people from packing – as well as apprehension of those stupid enough to pack.

        I agree the bank withdrawal ban was not well thought-out. I said so in my previous comment. But the solution lies in prevention because prosecuting a vote-buying case is difficult to prove. Can you imagine the number of witnesses you will call to testify and the number of peso bills you will have to present as evidence? And then you still have to prove that the money actually came from the candidate. You have to show a direct link from the candidate to his henchman to the voter. Better to think in terms of prevention – mb

        • Joe America says:

          Well, it must be difficult to prove because vote-buying is done in broad daylight in big crowds. Or else the penalties for “aiding and abetting” are not stern enough. Your point on the intimidation impact of the check points is good; I had not considered that. I look forward to the day when the Philippines is peace-loving enough to not see police policing citizens so aggressively. I appreciate your perspectives.

  6. manuelbuencamino says:

    Off topic. Loren Legarda’s SALN can reach the Ombudsman. Ramon Revilla has a lot of explaining to do about those guns and if the investigation uncovers violations, he can wind up with an election offense case

  7. The Nutbox says:

    The elections were definitely successful. Compare that with wat happened next door, in Malaysia, for instance :p

  8. essie says:

    Hi Joe. A few bullet points:

    – COMELEC lacking in common sense: Agree. The intentions may have been good, but you know what they say about the road to hell.

    – Grace Poe: I think her performance during the debates showed that she is a capable and intelligent person. Looking forward to seeing more of her in the coming years.

    – Loren Legarda: She strikes me as someone who won’t let a few scruples get in the way of gaining power.

    – Such a shame about Binay, Magsaysay and Hontiveros. I really wanted Jun Magsaysay and RIsa Hontiveros in the Senate. But I’m glad many of the UNA folks didn’t make it.

    • Joe America says:

      Well, your bullets are right on target if you ask me. I love the Legarda line. She and Binay are peas in a pod, aspiration wise. Maybe Hontiveros will take another run in 2016. Her voice of modern thinking is sorely needed.

  9. i’m really happen that i started voting after the PCOS machines had been used; i can’t imagine myself writing the names of the candidates on the ballot. anyway, i admire Atty. Brillantes’ passion. I know he may overdo things but I can see his dedication. for the long term, i want to see the Omnibus election code amended. I might be too radical but if i’m in the position, i will make vote buying and vote selling a criminal case, BAN celebrity endorsers and performances during campaign, institute a monitoring mechanism to regulate political ads broadcasting on tv, and require candidates to attend at least 3 public debates with media coverage.

    • Joe America says:

      You mention some very constructive ideas, Angelo. While making vote buying and selling criminal, make sure it includes all the hired peddlers as well as their employers. Not too radical for me. I disagree with banning celebrity endorsers, as they have a right to opine under the Constitution, but regulation of political ads is good. And mandated public debates is very very good, for national positions and maybe governorships. I don’t know about reps, there are so many. But no one should be able to hide without the people meeting them, in substance.

      • that’s why i don’t like lawyering and studying the constitution, but seeing people attend campaign rallies for the sake of seeing celeb performances is sickening. well on the debates, i’m thinking of government-sponsored debates even though there’ll be the risk of biased moderation. i suggest that the government should use the NBN and social media to broadcast them, even though there’s a lack of ratings problem hahahah.

        anyway, enough of my post-election syndrome. Will you post a piece on taiwan’s reactionary demand and sulking?

        • Joe America says:

          Well, I like that you are searching for solutions, not just griping.

          I don’t know if I’ll do something on Taiwan or not. It is way too emotional, from Taiwan. I’m inclined to let it lie. Otherwise I get worked up, too, and become a part of the problem rather than the solution. For sure, I am not impressed with Taiwan’s behavior, officially or its mobs. It’s about as far from dignified as it is possible to get.

    • Rein Luna says:

      Just a little something on the vote selling part. I’ve chatted with some Muslim brothers and it appears to me that quite a number of them are forced to selling their votes. What happens is the vote buyers buy per block – they’d know who doesn’t want to vote for their candidate. they then will then attempt to buy the vote so that they switch, or they pay them so they don’t vote. It’s sad but of course they wouldn’t dare go against them.

      • Joe America says:

        Wow. The ruthlessness of the power-playing here is something to behold. It’s like what takes place at night in dark alleys in the US occurs in broad daylight here. The threat of enforcement is not a threat. It is real.

  10. Rein Luna says:

    Lookin’ good here Joe.

    My take on the elections:

    1. Brillantes can take a breather now that it went well. Before the elections, he was all over the place – especially with the bank wihdrawals and the all-too-late source code. I’m optimistic COMELEC will do a better job next year – no more of the crazy stuff and perhaps update the source code so it displays which votes came from where.

    2. Disappointments: Nancy Binay and Risa Hontiveros. It’s unfair how someone who did something very significant for the country couldn’t get in – credit to those people who prey on the weaknesses of others. Nancy Binay made it look so easy all thanks to her father’s name and pretty much nothing else. At least Grace Poe knows her stuff, and is willing to debate on it. But since she’s already there, hopefully I’m wrong and she does a great job.

    3. Grace Poe, it’s assuring to know P-Noy has a good candidate to leave the presidency to. Somehow, they feel alike to me. It’s like she’s the dynasty and not Bam. I still hate dynasties.

    If only there were no bullies around, imagine how sweet it is now for the Philippines, with the economy going up and a good leader inspiring positivity..

    Oh, and I’m waiting for your Taiwan piece. ~

    • Joe America says:

      You know, you make a good point. Nancy won, so let’s deal with it, and the best way, as you suggest, is to give her the benefit of the doubt. I will henceforth set aside my jibes and jabs about her election and give her a chance to do some work.

      Grace Poe is indeed the best fit with the “Aquino legend” of good governance. Binay is an old-school favor-trader, Roxas does not connect with people, Abaya is hidden, the missing man. Grace Poe is center stage, a very bright, good light.

      Gadzooks. I guess I’ll have to write about Taiwan. I don’t know jack about Taiwan except that they do electronics and mobs well.

      Glad you like the new blog look.

  11. brianitus says:

    Joe, did you just imply that Grace Poe can be a possible Binay opponent in 2016? You know, with the right handling…3 years of intense image building. The plot thickens! Grace as president is a lot less scary thought than Kris.

    I definitely doubt Mar winning that year, so the LP had better get a better sabong bet in the next 3 years to pit against Binay.

    Anyway, I must be high on something.

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