Why should I vote for BBM?

Much has been said why voters will vote their candidates. Kakampinks will vote for Leni because of her performance and unblemished track record; Isko-ters (Isko supporters) will vote for Yorme because of what he claimed to have been done in Manila; Pacquaio-wans will vote for Manny because he is humble and proved that everyone can be like him rising from humble beginnings; Pingksmen will vote for Lacson because he did not dip his hands in the pork barrel; and the Pulahans and red shirts will vote for Marcos because of unity.

Wait, what? Unity?

Well, I am for unity but I will never vote for Bongbong Marcos for the sake of “unity”. Adolf Hitler committed the atrocities of World War II because of his vision of “unity”. The “Three Kings”, err, “Three Kims” of North Korea (Il-Sung, Jong-Il and Jong-Un) ruled the North un-interrupted because of unity and now the Koreans are impoverished and badly suffering from hunger. China is also what it was and is because of unity starting from the war of the states that attempted to solidify all the territories under one emperor to the present where communications are filtered to ensure the rule of the Communist Party.

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Should we trust surveys?

Sometime ago I was commissioned by a local politician to conduct a survey adding that I should make him appear winner in the results. I was taken aback and asked about the real purpose of the survey he wanted. Was it for campaign strategy development or for propaganda? He replied that he wants both. I told him I can only do the first and if the results are in his favor, he can use the same for his messaging. He was surprised and said, “How come the previous pollsters I commissioned can do both?”

It took me sometime to explain how scientific surveys are conducted, how the respondents are selected, how questionnaires are developed, and how data are analyzed. It was squeezing a semester or two of research methods in an hour and a half.

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com
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Filipino economists support Leni Robredo’s presidential bid

More than 100 Filipino economists declared their support for the presidential bid of Leni Robredo. As of Friday, February 11, a total of 137 economists including five former directors-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) are among the economists who have expressed support for the candidacy of Robredo.

The former NEDA chiefs include former NEDA chiefs Ernesto Pernia, who served in the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte; Solita Monsod, who was Socioeconomic Planning secretary during the administration of late former President Corazon Aquino; Cielito Habito, who served during the Ramos administration; Dante Canlas, who served as NEDA chief during the Arroyo administration; and Emmanuel Esguerra, who served during the administration of the late former President Benigno Aquino III.

2022 presidential candidate Leni Robredo. Behind her is her running mate, Kiko Pangilinan.
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The joke behind the petition of PDP’s Cusi faction

There are criminals who go scot-free because of technicalities. There are victims who couldn’t get justice because of technicalities. Now that Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) failed to produce its own candidate for president in the 2022 elections, it would like to rid of technicalities just to get what it wants? A joke, right?

Prior to the filing of candidacy last year, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and his gang elbowed the Manny Pacquio and Koko Pimentel out of PDP-Laban. Prioritizing politics as against his job as Energy Secretary, Cusi called for the PDP-Laban reorganization that led him to become the party chairman. This was supported by President Rodrigo Duterte. The aim then was to make Sara Duterte the party’s presidential candidate with President Duterte as the vice presidential candidate.

As a result, Pacquiao run for President but with Abag-PROMDI or the Progressive Movement for the Devolution of Initiatives or Probinsya Muna Development Initiative. Unfortunately, not all plans happen as expected. Instead of running for President, Sara vied for Vice President not with PDP-Laban but with Lakas-National Union of Christian Democrats. This ruined the plans of the Cusi faction.

Worse, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go who earlier filed for VP candidacy under the PDP-Laban ticket resigned and became a substitute presidential candidate under the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS). The party earlier fielded Grepor Belgica, the father of Duterte ally and Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission chair Greco Belgica. Eventually, after a series of dramacomedy, Bong Go withdrew his candidacy.

The Cusi faction is now in disarray and will be missing the action in the presidential race come 2022. Hence, in last-ditch effort, the Cusi faction filed a petition to extend the filing of candidacy and postpone the finalization of candidates as well as the printing of ballots.

The Pacquiao-Pimentel wing, however, accused the Cusi faction of trying “to subvert the will of the people” and creating a ‘“ploy to derail” the upcoming polls and a push for a no-election (no-el) scenario‘. Senatorial aspirant and PDP-Laban Pacquiao wing Vice Chairman Lutgardo Barbo said, “Such Petition was filed by mere usurpers and pretenders designed to mislead the public that they are authorized by the Party to do such farcical acts”.

Indeed, the action of Cusi faction was a desperate move as they became victim of the Duterte family’s theatrics. Local candidates under the PDP-Laban are now jumping ships benefitting Leni Robredo and Manny Pacquiao with a few shifting to Bongbong Marcos. Unless the Commission on Election (Comelec) rules in favor of the petition, PDP-Laban will soon find itself under the rugs. The favorable ruling, however, is unlikely as this will create a precedent and Comelec will just be creating a hammer to hit its head. Every election, petitions like this will be filed and Comelec will be in a bind to grant the same.

On the macro, the Cusi faction’s experience and corresponding petition simply highlights how Duterte had made a joke on his (and Cory Aquino’s) party, and how farcical the Philippine political party system is.

On the micro, the joke just fell on Cusi who couldn’t even ensure a cheap and sustainable energy in the Philippines (which is his job as Energy Secretary, by the way) and yet is engaged in highly partisan activities. Worse, the joke fell on Filipinos who believed that Duterte could change the political system being “a promdi, a Mindanawon, and coming from non-elites”.

Anyway, Duterte is well known for his words, “Nag-joke lang ako, naniwala naman kayo”.

Polymer paper money and environment-friendliness

The Philippine Central Bank is introducing a new P1,000 bill allegedly to check whether or not polymer is more hygienic, secure, and environmentally friendly compared to the abaca fiber used in the old design. But is it really the case or plainly a justification to cover-up the process and the real intention of the Duterte Government?

The Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) was heavily criticized for replacing with the Philippine eagle the images of the three Philippine heroes Jose Abad Santos, Vicente Lim and Josefa Llanes Escoda in the P1,000 paper bill. Santos, Lim and Escoda are the lesser known heroes of World War 2.

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