Scorecard, forum for candidates for presidency, 2016

This table shows all the fora that candidates for the presidency in the 2016 elections attended or not attended. I will update this table when new fora are held. See the description for the symbols below the table.

Philippine Business Conference and Expo

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry

October 27, 2015, SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City
Mega Cebu and Caucus of Development (CODE-NGO)
November 13, 2015, Center for the Performing Arts, University of San Jose - Recoletos, Cebu City
Meet Your Candidates

November 25, 2015, Manila Polo Club, Makati City

☑ Present
☟ Declined but attended at last minute
❌ Absent/Declined
▬ Not yet a candidate at the time of forum


The big losers


Now that the grand circus that is Philippine elections is over, we know who won and who lost. Who are the big losers in this election?

1. The Enriles – The United Nationalist Alliance (or UNA) is composed of so-called three kingmakers – Vice President Jejomar Binay Sr., Senator Juan Ponce Enrile Sr., and former President Joseph Estrada Sr. Each of the kingmakers fielded their children in this year’s Senate race – Binay’s daughter, Nancy; Enrile’s son, Jack; and Erap’s son JV. We all know that Nancy and JV won, but Jack didn’t make it.

Framing this in terms of 2016, Enrile will have a hard time spending his political capital. This election proves that his name is not enough to bring his son to the Senate (though the negative propaganda against Jack and the Senate budget scandal last December may have helped cost him a Senate seat), and so his political capital might not be enough to influence the 2016 elections. It is now important for Enrile Senior to retain his position as Senate President in order to increase his political capital. Sure, he can make sure he’s relevant as leader of opposition, but with so many senators with political ambitions, he has to fight 22 of them – including the children of his pragmatic allies Binay and Erap.

As for Jack: he has a lot of options at this point. He can return to the House by 2016, or take another shot at the Senate, or run for governor of Cagayan. The House is the safest bet.

(Enrile has resigned as Senate President – a day before Congress adjourns sine die).

2. The Liberal Party – As much as most media people and pundits call this election as a victory for Team PNoy, I have to disagree a wee bit and call this a loss for the Liberal Party.

The 2010 elections was probably the first elections since 1986 where no major coalitions were formed to carry candidates. Each of the major political parties at that time fielded their own candidates on national level. This time, two major coalitions were formed to battle for 12 Senate seats. The Aquino Administration framed this election as a referendum on the current administration, banking on the unprecedented popularity of the President. The field of candidates was so thin that neither of the two coalitions could form a complete slate – both had “guest candidates.” However, due to pressure on both sides, the guest candidates were forced to exclusively join Team PNoy, while UNA had to make do with 9 candidates.

In the Team PNoy coalition, three candidates came from the Liberal Party, and only one made it to the winner’s list (all the Nacionalistas in Team PNoy won, BTW). As the majority party this is a blow to the Liberals. Bam Aquino will join Franklin Drilon, Ralph Recto, and Teofisto Guingona III as the Senate, making 4 Liberals – definitely not enough to gain the leadership without coalescing with other parties. As these coalitions tend to be fragile, the Liberals cannot afford to antagonize its partners or else it loses control of the Senate.

If the NP decides to field a candidate for president in 2016, I don’t expect the current coalition to last.

3. Mar Roxas – While LP retains majority of the House, and its coalition about to take control of the Senate, Binay has one advantage against Roxas – Binay has made his daughter win. This election validates that the Binay brand is bankable and durable, and his grassroots network can deliver.

Roxas, on the other hand, seems to be drifting. He has nothing to show in his stint at the DOTC, and his performance at DILG lackluster. He tends to be slow, indecisive, and too careful, hence after three years all infra projects under DOTC have yet to be started. If this continue, and Binay becomes more aggressive, Roxas can kiss 2016 goodbye.

4. Isko Moreno and the city of Manila – Isko scored a landslide win against Lou Veloso for the post of Manila’s vice mayor, so why is he a big loser? Because once again he will have to break with the would-be incumbent mayor in order to fulfill his ambition to be mayor of Manila. Why? What made him think Joseph Estrada will honor his word that he will only serve one term? This, coming from someone who promised never to run again for any public office only to run twice? Erap can either run again or field one of his children (some are already salivating on the idea of Jake Ejercito as mayor of Manila).

The city of Manila is the biggest loser here, because it now has a convicted plunderer as mayor. Erap may be able to improve the physical condition of the city, but a single term will not have any long term effect on the development of the city. If Erap is seeking redemption, he did so at the expense of the city. If he is really sincere, then he has no choice but to seek reelection and continue with his plans to make Manila a great city. This convinces me that Moreno has no choice but to do to Erap what he did to Fred Lim. I wish both of them luck.

5. Echiverri and the city of Caloocan – It seems that any attempt to establish a dynasty in Caloocan always fails. Rey Malonzo tried it years ago, fielding his common law wife and his son for mayor and councilor, respectively, while he ran for a House seat. All of them lost.

Then Recom Echiverri tried to build a dynasty by making his son RJ run as congressman – RJ lost. And as Recom’s term limit came, he made RJ run as mayor this year. RJ lost again. Recom will return to the House to represent the first district.

Echiverri must be so pissed off. After Oca Malapitan was proclaimed incoming mayor, all the blue boys (the Reformed Department of Public Safety and Traffic Management) are gone from the streets of Caloocan, as if telling the residents of Caloocan that they made the wrong choice. Now the residents of Caloocan have to pay the price – just look what a mess of a traffic jam is Rizal Avenue Extension from 2nd Avenue up to Monumento. Temporary vengeance, but a cruel one.


Just show us the numbers, CBCP


(image from here)

In a recent SWS survey, 9% of the respondents said they sometimes think of leaving the Catholic Church; that means 1 out of 11 Filipino Catholics thought of leaving. Of course, the Catholic hierarchy is scandalized. The survey result is questionable! The churches are always full! The government is behind this survey!

Funny thing is, the survey statement that the respondents were asked to react to is “Sometimes I think I might leave the Catholic Church.” But then again, in the eyes of a pastor, 1 out of 11 is large enough number to cause worry.

A true pastor would ask why, investigate, talk to parishioners, and implement programs so that people won’t leave. Unfortunately, the hierarchy has chosen to live in denial.

The best way to refute the survey result is to bring out data. Unfortunately, what Peachy Yamsuan said were generalized information, like:

“The Diocese of Imus has more new parishes created in the past 10 years or so… which begs the question, why create parishes if the number of Mass-goers is dwindling?”

How many parishes were created in the Diocese of Imus in the past 10 years? We don’t know.

There is a way to rebut the statement that the Churches are full.

Let’s take the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan. According to its web site, there are around 900,000 inhabitants in the archdiocese, 90% of whom are Catholics (around 810,000). There are 30 parish churches, and around 67 priests (including retired ones). Assuming all parishes have equal number of parishioners, that means in Lingayen-Dagupan, there are around 27,000 parishioners to a parish. A priest has to minister to around 12,000 parishioners.

No wonder the churches are full. (And the hierarchy being disingenuous.)

Nine percent of 810,000 is 72,900; assume that 72,900 is equally spread in the diocese, that makes 2,430 parishioners who have thoughts of leaving the Church. Assuming that all of the 2,430 decided to leave, it’s a negligible amount.

No wonder the bishops are in disbelief.

How many parishes will be created in the near future? How many seminarians will be ordained as priests in the future? These numbers are important, but the Church will not give us these information. And these official, verifiable numbers will help the Church show that it is going strong. Just show us the numbers, dear bishops.

Solita Monsod is right – the Church should stop playing ostrich (BTW read it for she has better numbers than I do). Instead of trumpeting numbers, the Church has to address the fact that members of its flock are thinking of leaving.

As for me, the reason people are thinking of leaving is that the clergy has become politicized. I know someone who has decided to leave the Church. The straw that broke the camel’s back? The Church’s use of the pulpit to denounce the RH law and its proponents. God knows how many Catholics like her have already made the decision to leave. Reports of dioceses calling pro-RH candidates as Team Patay, and a lay group forming the so called White Vote, will not help the Church retain its followers.

There are more reasons, and they deserve a separate discussion. Just to name a few: disgust over liturgical decay; resistance to top-down, centralized governance; Church doctrine that are out of touch with reality (contraception, divorce, same-sex marriage, ordination of women, optional celibacy).


Why I am not voting for Nancy Binay


No one questions Nancy Binay’s qualification to run as a senator. The question is whether Binay is qualified to be a senator. That single question must have hurt Nancy Binay so badly that her only retort is for her critics to file a disqualification case against her in Comelec. If this is the quality of thinking that she is bringing to the table, then as voters it is our duty to refuse her offering by not voting for her this May.

An employer, in seeking a new employee, conducts due diligence by investigating the background of the prospective employee. It is the same for us voters.

Her resume is unimpressive. She has no experience in private and public enterprise that can show she can handle the job of a senator. Her only exposure in government is being her father, Jejomar Binay’s, personal assistant. In terms of experience, it would have been logical if Binay fielded his other, more experienced children Junjun and Abigail. (Then again, as I have said before, Nancy’s campaign is dry run for her father’s 2016 bid for the presidency.) Heck, a three-term councilor would have been more than qualified compared to Nancy.

If an employer considers a candidate even if the resume is unimpressive, the employer may interview the applicant. For us voters, one way we can learn about a candidate’s thoughts, plans, and vision is by watching him speak in a debate or a forum. Unfortunately, Nancy Binay would not indulge us. Risa Hontiveros, one of the better candidates with something to show in her government work, said she is ready to exchange opinions with Binay in a debate; Binay chose to campaign instead, she just doesn’t have time, she said. Yes, it is like a job applicant telling the employer to shove it up his ass.

Her obstinate refusal to debate and her ominous absence in TV forums are, for me, signs that she is afraid that her unfitness to be a senator would show. The irony here is that a senator must be ready to engage in a debate in the Senate floor, and here we have a candidate who wants to be a senator but is afraid of engaging in a debate! It’s like a cadet aspiring to be a soldier but afraid to shoot a gun.

Why I am not voting for Nancy Binay? One, she is not qualified to be a senator since she doesn’t have the experience that will show she can handle the task. Two, she refuses to share to us her platform and vision, and refuses to engage with other candidates in a debate.

Third, her stand on some issues are not compatible with mine:

* She is against the RH law, her objection being of budgetary concerns:

“I have an issue with the budgetary requirements of the bill, the budget to buy contraceptives. A 4-year-old child died of meningococcemia which is preventable through immunization. Why can’t we allot a bigger budget for immunization, day care centers?”

Which only shows her ignorance of law making, because if that’s her concern, the answer to her question is to increase the Department of Health’s budget on immunization. Besides, most of the functions of the DOH are already devolved to the local government units. She should ask her brother Junjun and her sister Abigail – they should know.

* She sees nothing wrong with political dynasties. But of course. No.

* She is for the anti cybercrime law.

* She is against same sex marriage.

But the ultimate reason why I am not voting for her: arrogance. She is relying on the name, popularity, and extensive campaign network of his father, thereby excusing her (she thinks) from telling us voters why she deserves our vote. She is qualified to be a senator because not only she is a Binay (it’s a birth right, and it’s her edge against the other candidates, says the daddy), her father tells us so. Jojo Binay even compared Nancy to Margaret Thatcher, so his daughter is very much qualified. All these show that the Binays are too sure and too full of themselves.

And that, my friends, is why I am not voting for her.

She’ll dance, she’ll wave, she’ll throw Binay candies and t-shirts and fans; she won’t talk because if she opens her mouth her ignorance will be discovered.


How do you explain Nancy Binay?

Many are perplexed by the consistency of Nancy Binay’s popularity as evidenced by several survey results. A virtual unknown prior to the start of the campaign, she was in the top 12 of SWS and Pulse Asia (PDF) surveys way before the start of filing of candidacies. Why?

Is it because she is a Binay? Partly, but how do you explain Jackie Enrile’s sliding survey numbers? Enrile used to rate highly but during the campaign his numbers slid. I think the people thought before the campaign started that it was the senior Enrile who’s going to run. It is also possible that Jackie’s numbers were affected by his father’s drop in satisfaction survey ratings in the aftermath of the MOEE issue in the Senate.

On the other hand, the elder Binay’s survey numbers are impressive, and in fact, even better than the President’s. These figures surely won’t hurt Nancy’s chances, and may even help come May 13. So her being a Binay is plausible.

Jejomar Binay’s extensive network must be a factor as well. Just look at the number of Makati’s sister cities in the Philippines. Also, the position of Vice President is perfect for campaigning, and anecdotes like Binay helping other municipalities when he was stil mayor of Makati are not uncommon. I believe this extensive network is now working, as evidenced by the survey results. This network is just a test and a dry run to Jojo Binay’s eventual run for the presidency in 2016.


Hypocrites all over

Bye-bye sexy Bench ad along EDSA?

“Hindi ko pinapaalis, I am just requesting advertisers to have it removed,” Abalos told abs-cbnNEWS.com.

He said the advertisers have already committed to removing the ad.

Of course they will commit, it’s an order from God, right?

But the mayor insists that this is not a moral issue.

“Baka sabihin nila nagpapaka-moralista ako. I’m not very conservative,” he said.

He isn’t? What was his reason for “requesting to have the billboards torn down?

Abalos said that the advertisement was inappropriate, especially since it was placed prominently along a busy area. He added that he was specially concerned about children who see the ad.

Let’s repeat what Fr. Abalos has said.

Baka sabihin nila nagpapaka-moralista ako. I’m not very conservative,” he said.

Yeah, right.

Citizens of Mandaluyong, you have elected a hypocrite for mayor.

PS: Citizens of Valenzuela, look at the kind of mayor that you have elected – a hypocrite.

PPS: The nearby seminary and the Archbishop’s Palace will be pleased.


“The State of the Kingdom is strong”

The Queen, seated on the Throne, commanded the House of Reprehensibles that it was Her Majesty’s pleasure that they attend Her immediately in the Bastusang Pambansa. She then delivered her speech. This is the transcript of the Speech from the Throne.

Our Lord Prime Syncophant (applause), the Right Honorable Lord Chancellor (applause), Our lords and members of the House of Reprehensibles (applause), the Right Honorable MisChief Magistrate (applause):

The past twelve months have seen the damage left by the global financial crisis (applause). Our kingdom was not spared by its ill effects, but with the foresight of my Government (applause), through the taxes we have levied (applause), and all the financial resources that we have spent (applause), my Government is happy to inform my Lords and members of the House that our kingdom remains strong (applause). Our kingdom has weathered the storm (applause). The state of the kingdom is strong (applause).

The vision of my Government is for the kingdom to be ready for the first world in 20 years (applause). Towards the vision, we have made key reforms (applause). My Government’s plan centers on putting people first (applause). Most of all, the plan centers on our hardworking people (applause). New tax measures were imposed on these hardworking people to help pay for my Lords and members of the House of Reprehensibles’ healthcare, new cars, and scholarship grants for their children and their children’s children (applause). Housing policies were designed to make sure that every member of my Lords and members of the House of Reprehensibles’ families live with dignity (applause). Our investment in agriculture aim to recognize the efforts of the landlords as backbones of this kingdom, and to give them more land to feed their families (applause).

Had my Government listened to the hardworking people who criticized my Government’s policies, had my Government not braced ourselves for the crisis that came, had my Government taken the hard road much preferred by hardworking people burdened by taxes, this kingdom would be flat on its back (applause). It would take twice the effort just to get it back again on its feet—to where we are now because my Government took the responsibility and paid nothing to do the right thing (applause). For standing with my Government and doing the right thing, thank you, Parliament (applause).

The strong, sweet and unpopular revenue measures of the past few years have spared our kingdom the worst of the global financial shocks (applause). They gave my Government the resources to stimulate the officials of my Government (applause). These measures brought about the highest increase in revenue allotment given to every level of government officials (applause).

Compared to the past, my Government have built more and expensive infrastructure, including those started by others but left unfinished (applause). The Diosdado Macapagal Highway is a prime example of building more expensive roads (applause).

My Government have built airports of international standard (applause), upgraded domestic airports (applause), built seaports and the Roll On/Roll Off system (applause). The NAIA 3 and MV Princess of the Stars are the flagships of our transportation initiatives (applause). A bill regarding the Enchanted Kingdom Transport Security will be brought forward (applause).

Some say that after this speech, it will be all talk (applause). Sorry, but there’s more talk (applause).

On telecommunications, my Government has ordered the Royal Telecommunications Commission to disregard complaints about dropped calls and vanishing cellphone load (applause).

Today my Government is creating wealth by developing zombies and hospitality businesses as additional engines of growth (applause). Electronics and other manufactured exports rise and fall in accordance with the state of the world economy (applause). But zombies remain resilient (applause). With earnings of $6 billion and employment of 600,000, the zombie phenomenon speaks eloquently of my Government’s competitiveness and productivity (applause). Let us have a Department of ICK (applause).

In the last four years, hospitality business almost doubled (applause). It is now a $5 billion industry (applause).

My Government’s reforms gave my Government the resources to protect my Government, my Government’s finances and my Government’s economy from the worst of shocks that the best in the West failed to anticipate (applause).

They gave my Government the resources to extend welfare support to government officials and enhance their spending power (applause).

For helping my Government raise government salaries through Joint Resolution 4, thank you, Parliament (applause).

Cash handouts give the most immediate relief and produce the widest stimulating effect. Benefiting from this doleout are many of my Government’s officials in this Pantawid Pamilya ng Gobyerno program (applause).

My Government prioritize projects with the same stimulus effects plus long-term contributions to progress of government officials The NAIA 3 and MV Princess of the Stars are the flagships of our transportation initiatives. (applause).

For holding on to their land, landowners managed to displace 700,000 natives more than a million supposed-to-be-beneficiaries of CARP (applause). A bill will be laid before you extending the current CARP (applause) and not to condone the P42 billion land reform liabilities because only 18% of these were paid since 1972 (applause). My father, the former king, emancipated the landlords (applause). Today, my Government will emancipate the land titles from the hands of farmers (applause).

Seven million “entrepreneurs” benefited from P165 billion in microfinance loans that come with high interests(applause).

A hundred thousand benefitted from Emergency Patronage of my Government’s Economic Resiliency Plan (applause).

A million families of government officials benefited from my Government’s housing program (applause).

Because of my Government’s reforms, my Government was able to sell NFA rice at P18.25 per kilo, through importation (applause). Our kingdom is now the world’s biggest importer of rice (applause).

Because of my Government’s reforms, my Government has built kilometers of farm-to-market roads that you cannot find and, together with cronies, watered two million hectares of unfarmed lands (applause).

Recorder conked out, some parts of the speech were not transcribed.

At the end of this speech We shall step down from this stage, but not from the Throne (applause). Our term does not end until We die (applause). Until then, We will fight for the Throne (applause). The Throne comes first (applause). There is much to do as Queen—to the very last day (applause).

A year is a long time (applause). There are many perils that we must still guard against (applause).

A man-made calamity is already upon us, global in scale (applause). As We said earlier, so far We have been spared its worst effects but We cannot be complacent (applause). We only know that my Government have generated more resources on which to draw, and thereby created options We could take (applause). Thank God We did not let the hardworking people stop us (applause).

Meanwhile, We will keep a steady hand on the purse, keeping the money of state in Our pockets, and steer the kingdom to where We please (applause).

Lords and members of the House of Reprehensibles, may Mammon’s blessing rest upon your counsels (applause).


A monarchy for this country

So, last night the honorable members of the House of Representatives have honorably adopted House Resolution 1109. (Read the resolution here). The last paragraph of the resolution says:


I commend the honorable members of the honorable House of Representatives for having the honor of doing the honorable thing, for having the honorable political will to do what is honorable, even if the majority (who are obviously dishonorable) thinks Charter change is dishonorable. Now that the honorable members have chosen to do the honorable thing, may I suggest the following changes be made to our Constitution:

1. Adopt monarchy as our form of government. Recent years have shown that this country needs an honorable leader, an honorable leader that everyone adores, honors, kowtows to, and respects. An honorable leader that knows what needs to be done is what this country needs.

The honorable leader must be a monarch. Our people will only respect a leader who is honored by the heavens with power and glory. A monarch who has the Mandate of Heaven can never go wrong, and will always do the right thing. A monarch will have the political will to do what is necessary, even if it unpopular. No one will dare question a monarch, which will bring much needed stability this country.

2. We should have a unicameral parliament to assist the monarch in governing our country. A unicameral parliament, composed of honorable lawmakers, will draft laws according to the monarch’s wishes. For isn’t the monarch the fount of honor? And honorable lawmakers do honor the fount of honor? Honorable lawmakers know that the monarch, being the fount of honor, is honorable enough to have the welfare of the people in mind; as such, they are honorable enough to abide by the monarch’s honorable instructions.

We need a unicameral parliament. A bicameral one assumes there is a higher House. This is dishonorable and an affront to equality. Honor dictates that no one is greater than the other (except the monarch), and a higher House bestows higher honors on its members. This inequality is dishonorable and foments unnecessary bickering. With honor, check and balance is no longer needed.

3. Retain the right of free speech. We must let the people express what they like, may it be blog posts or letters to newspapers or photos or videos or status messages. The people looks to the monarch as the fount of honor; as such, the people are honorable enough to express their thoughts honorably. With people that values honor, limits to free speech are unnecessary.

I have one particular amendment to suggest. When we adopt monarchy as our form of government, may I suggest that this one be made the Throne where the monarch sits? Thank you.