Saturday, March 24, 2007



Dear Mr. Jimenez,

Many Filipinos have already watched the recent political advertisements that had been shown on national TV. One of such commercials have a “military man” endorsing Cong. Migs Zubiri to be voted as senator in the coming election. I do know that soldiers are prohibited from endorsing any candidate in front of the media. And, yet, a military man is endorsing Migs Zubiri to be voted as senator in the coming election. Such commercial has been shown so many times already now in national TV. How would the COMELEC deal with such questionable forms of campaigning in a political election? The COMELEC should be responsible enough in doing its tasks and responsibilities. The COMELEC is an important component of an effective and working democracy. If such a commission has some or many defects, it means that democracy is not running effectively in a country. Can we say that the current COMELEC in the Philippines is free from any defect? Many Filipinos were asked by several survey-groups on the issue of the COMELEC’s credibility in safeguarding the integrity of future elections here in our country. The over-all majority of those who had been surveyed replied that the COMELEC lacks the credibility to safeguard the integrity of future elections in this country. What then would the COMELEC do to make the Filipino people become fully-convinced that it (the COMELEC) can really be trusted as an important part of an effective and working democracy? The answer would be a “dialogue” between the citizenry and the COMELEC. The COMELEC must listen to the grievances and the suggestions of the citizenry regarding the political-election system of our country. Many wise people from the COMELEC brought out the idea of having an “open-chat system” with concerned the concerned citizens of this country through the so-called “BAGONG BOTANTE WEB PAGE”. But the very name of such web page would mean that most, if not all, of those who will chat with some officials of the COMELEC are “new voters” who had never experienced how to be disenfranchised or expelled from voting in a political election due to “identification-problems”. The COMELEC should have a week or two in making a “direct dialogue” with the concerned citizens of this country in trying to work out ways to reform the election-system of our country. The COMELEC officials can hold sessions with the “concerned citizens” before the holding of the mid-year election. I, personally, as a plain and law-abiding citizen of this country, would also want to discuss my own opinions, that is if given the chance by the COMELEC officials, on how to reform the political-election system and how to ensure the integrity and credibility of every political election in our country.
How I wish this suggestion of an open dialogue between the citizenry and the COMELEC will be listened upon by all the commissioners of the COMELEC. I can volunteer myself to appear personally before the COMELEC officials in explaining the wisdom of this suggestion. I hope that it is not yet too late for the citizenry and the COMELEC to hold a week-long dialogue in making the coming mid-year election become truly credible, clean, peaceful, fair and orderly. Mr. Jimenez, please make this message become known immediately to your immediate superiors there at the COMELEC. I know that I’m not a national celebrity in this country to convey this suggestion to the COMELEC officials. But I have to convey this message to the COMELEC, because I’m a constitution-lover and a law-abiding citizen of this country. Again, Mr. Jimenez, please make this message become known immediately to your immediate superiors at the COMELEC. My constructive criticisms about the COMELEC’s flaws in the holding of political elections in our country could be seen and read at this web page: . Just click such web page right away to enter the mentioned site immediately. Thanks.

Such letter was posted by me at the blog called "INSIDE COMELEC" on March 20, 2007. I don't know if some COMELEC officials would care to bother at all on such letter of mine. I do hope that they have read that one.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007



Between hope and historyBy Sylvia L. MayugaINQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines -- " And so it came to pass – the five-ring circus of the May 2004 Philippine presidential elections siring the wild masked ball of the May 2007 congressional and local elections. Again, 70% of election expenses will go to funhouse distorting mirrors called political advertisements, mocking both the Filipino voter’s natural intelligence and hungry stomach.Beginning with the ruling party’s sole binding philosophy of surviving the dubious mandate of 2004, here are scandals aplenty, but strangely enough, no real surprises.Behold its senatorial candidates – turncoats, party lackeys, and “winnable” movie stars of dubious political sanity and training in public service. (Cesar Montano, you’re a great actor with a first-rate filmography – why on earth did you sign up for this major casting mistake?)This brings us to a Commission on Elections in the ruling party’s pocket, its chair Benjamin Abalos the smooth-talking survivor of the infamous Hello-Garci election followed by the P2 B-vote counting machine scandal. The same Garci now runs for a congressional seat in Bukidnon in thick carabao hide as the Comelec continues along its idiosyncratic course.This past week, Abalos casually pronounced the third Aquino candidate, dual citizen Theodore “Kuya Ted” Macabulos-Aquino, unqualified to run for the Senate because of “non-residency in the Philippines.” Aquino counters that he’s a part-time resident and international engineering consultant in the Philippines. As such, he submitted his ownership papers for a condominium in Makati, cedulas, and Philippine Immigration stamps on his passport when he filed his candidacy.Information technology does not seem to be the Comelec’s strong suit, but these claims can be checked on a website built by Fil-American “Friends of Kuya Ted.” They say they’re rallying to share the fate of the homeland with their education and future investments – and could have no better representative in Congress than Kuya Ted.(Noynoy Aquino filed a case for the Comelec to classify him a “nuisance candidate.” Kuya Ted counters that he’s a distant cousin willing to give all questionable Aquino votes to Noynoy, should it come to that.)Meanwhile a pattern emerges in the Comelec’s record on party list candidacies, a provision in the 1986 Constitution meant as an instrument of post-EDSA people empowerment. Power to grant or refuse party list accreditation in the Comelec under Abalos continues to be a henhouse door wide open to the wolf of trapo politics.This Armida Siguion-Reyna illustrates in her column, noting the recent accreditation of an association of tricycle drivers called Biyaheng Pinoy - with one Arsenio Abalos, elder brother of the Comelec chair, as director and national council member. She asks, why has Ang Ladlad, (“The Laid Out” or “Out of the Closet”) which applied for accreditation “at the same time if not earlier,” been rejected twice?Ang Ladlad is of course the first-ever Filipino Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Trans-gender NGO cum political party, with students, intellectuals, and professionals in a stated nationwide membership of 16,000. Public curiosity has been pricked. For one, Miguel Antonio Lizada of the Sun-Star Davao wants to know if this rejection has “something to do with the fact that Ang Ladlad was leading in the race, next to Bayan Muna (Country First)?”It is of course slightly different for Richard Gomez as a ruling party candidate for the Senate, another casting move for politics as showbiz. Blame the director for using Richard as nothing more than eye candy on the political stage. But blame Richard for seeing nothing wrong with running under the same pragmatic party that refused to accredit his cause-oriented NGO, Mamamayan Laban sa Droga (Citizens Against Drugs) - after he won as a party list candidate in the 2001 congressional race.But what have we in the ranks of the opposition on the other side of this masked ball? There’s the real estate tycoon/ reelectionist senator Villar and his fellow reelectionist senator Pangilinan, both refusing to campaign on one platform with the “Genuine Opposition.” Does this have anything to do with the incarcerated ex-president Erap looming over them, moneybags ready to buy his freedom with a new dispensation?Hardly over the trauma of the Hello Garci election of 2004, can the people prevent another vote-counting and canvassing fiasco in 2008? Such is public cynicism that the first sound of “boycott” emerged from a circle of former street parliamentarians the other night. The day before, it was a former Arroyo Cabinet member theorizing that creating confusion could precisely be a tactic of ruling party strategy – to turn off enough thinking voters from going to the polls at all, making it easier to manipulate results.The mood is uncertainty. Not only are we confused about what the season’s candidates stand for besides themselves, we can only guess what’s behind their masks and try to remember where they really belong.Armida Siguion-Reyna, sister of lifetime politician Juan Ponce Enrile, puts it well, “Our multi-party structure is no longer simply multi-party, but multi-multi party, with splinter groups further splintering. It’s as if national affairs are run by Partido Starbucks, with a branch in almost every kanto. It didn’t use to be like this.“Our political landscape has been littered with turncoats, but at least in the older days one knew if a candidate was a former Liberal Party member who had skipped to the Nacionalista side.Now you have to figure out how the former Liberal joined the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) , and then went with Lakas ng Bayan (Laban), to Lakas/National Union of Christian Democrats (Lakas/NUCD), then Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), to LDP/Laban ng Masang Pilipino (LAMP), and finally the National People’s Coalition (NPC), if not the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (KAMPI). ”Under the umbrellas of those acronyms, the names presently on offer with their mixed motives, crossover platforms, and eccentric fundamentalist platforms don’t even add up to an acceptable half dozen for the Senate, but strangest of all is how this chaos is turning out to be a learning place.Another instinct is kicking in from somewhere between hope and history. My take is to forget “winnability” for the moment, and instead vote for time. What do I mean? Think of these elections as a live exercise in the power of ideas in minds free of the old fears and compulsions of traditional politics. Think of it as a gamble to get those new ideas, if not voted into power, at least heard nationwide for the first time.Last week was about Noynoy Aquino’s coming of age as an aspiring Senator for a new generation of Filipino voters. This week, beyond his shock value as the first professed gay candidate for public office in Philippine history, it’s all about the eminent sense Danton Remoto makes behind that trademark swishiness.Seen for what he is, this multi-awarded Filipino poet, Ateneo professor, and associate member of the Manila Critics Circle behind the National Book Awards bears his scholarship and solid reputation with the deceptive levity of true intelligence. He is also the last of his blood family to stubbornly remain in the country, all the rest (five successful engineers included) already in Diaspora. Here’s Danton Remoto, unedited.On that shoestring campaign supported by students, OFWs, closet gay businessmen and professionals, schools and fellow artists in People Power 2007, Remoto continues to fight for accreditation as Ang Ladlad party list candidate in a deeply compromised Comelec.A globalized gay world is watching our masked ball. So are the poor in the slums, the broken-backed teachers of the Philippine public school system, and the marginalized members of Ang Ladlad watching and learning from this “snowball’s chance in hell.” Its lessons are investments in the future. "

Such are words of wisdom from Sylvia L. Mayuga

Saturday, March 10, 2007


The COMELEC commissioners once bragged that they will be holding an en banc session that will listen to the pleas of the so-called nuisance candidates and, then, allow such candidates to file their position-papers before finally determining if they really deserved to become official candidates or just nuisance-ones for the coming senatorial race. The outcome for such a judgment would be “democratic”. The hearing was scheduled on March 6, 2007. But only a handful of such so-called “nuisance candidates” appeared before the en banc committee. The thing is that the majority of such nuisance candidates were not able to make it on such a forum. About 13 of such candidates appeared on such date. The other 33 or so were absent during the hearing. So, the COMELEC wasn't able to notify successfully all of such candidates. How could that hearing be called democratic if the majority of such candidates were not properly-notified by the COMELEC? All of such candidates have written their landline and cellular phone numbers in their resumes. How come they were not phoned-in by the COMELEC? The COMELEC said that it made a press release for such a meeting. But most of the candidates were not notified through phones. Letters? Yes, letters were sent, but not on appropriate dates. You know that the snail-mail system in the Philippines is really slow as a snail. The notification-letters had been sent in exactly one week before such a hearing. Most of such letters arrived exactly on March 6, 2007. Newspapers? Many Filipinos nowadays don't read newspapers due to the presence of high-tech means of gaining news like from the internet, from TV and even from cellular phones. What if there are really some serious aspirants among them? Some of them may have the financial means to establish a nation-wide campaign for the senatorial election. As I've said, the commissioners of the COMELEC act more as fans of well-known people rather than real commissioners.

And what about the enforcement of disqualifying “official candidates” based on “electioneering complaints”? I don’t know if the current batch of COMELEC commissioners have the guts to investigate such complaints. Cesar Montano- with many of his famous advertising billboards still intact all over the Philippines- is still not being investigated properly by the COMELEC. Chavit Singson- with his giving away of cash prizes in a certain raffle show as shown by video footages- is still not being properly investigated by the COMELEC. What about certain electoral reforms that the current batch of COMELEC commissioners have advocated within their current terms? Have there been such things? I hope that there are such things. There are really some “nuisance-conditions” at the COMELEC.

Friday, March 09, 2007


I really don’t know if the COMELEC officials (all handpicked by Mrs. Arroyo) can disqualify Mr. Chavit Singson as a senatorial aspirant this week. For one, Singson is a known ally of Mrs. Arroyo- the one who had annointed and chosen the present leadership of the COMELEC. I think all COMELEC officials should be annointed and chosen by the members of a non-partisan body in our government. Such should be the task of the Supreme Court’s justices. The Supreme Court is suppossed to be a non-partisan body in our government. Mr. Chavit Singson definitely violated certain election-rules. Can Mr. Abalos disqualify Singson? If Mr. Abalos can’t do the job of reforming the COMELEC and the political-election system, then he should voluntarily resign from such a post at the COMELEC.

And one more thing..... I have participated in People Power Revolution 1 and People Power Revolution 2. I believe that the Filipino people should unite again to use the People Power Move to guard the integrity of the coming election in May, year 2007. The civil society groups, the COMELEC and the multi-sectoral alliances should use the People Power Methodology to ensure that the coming election in May, year 2007 here in this country is peaceful, lawful, honest, credible and clean. Real democracy for the Philippines!

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Hi! My name is Rummel Pinera. I’ve recently filed my certificate of candidacy as a “would-be candidate for the senate” at the Comelec. I did it not because I’m really serious in aspiring for such a position. I did it because I would like to experience the “feeling of being a political candidate” in a country where political election is really a bastion of elitism. Though I already know that political election in the Philippines is a bastion of elitism, I would like to feel how elite-dominated really is the holding of political election in our country. The basic process itself of filing a certificate of candidacy is already something that non-elitists would find so cumbersome. Comelec officers usually don’t give clear rules on how to file a certificate of candidacy for both local and national positions. Comelec officers usually won’t give out details to the public on how to properly file a certificate of candidacy. It seems that all elective posts are reserved to those who have the fame, money, glory, dynasty and even goons to show to the public. Another thing is that all political parties in the Philippines, whether pro-administration or opposition, are filled with elitist concepts of governance and party membership. How can sectoral representation in our government be possible in the near future if elitism is still the main perspective of being a politician in this country? Even party-list accreditation is a hard thing to decide upon by Comelec officers. I have my own small political group called the League of Political Abrogationists or L.P.A.. Our group wants to join the party-list election under an umbrella name called as Communities’ Alliance for Real Democracy or C.A.R.D.. But, again, party-list accreditation at the Comelec is filled with processes that seem to limit the number of sectoral groups which can join the party-list election. If that’s the rule in every party-list election, then all the party-list representatives at the congress will just come from certain groups that already have stable finances to back up election bids. Note that party-list election seems so limited only to the well-financed and well-known party list groups. Hence, party-list election had also become “traditional politics” itself. Party-list election should have lead the way towards a non-elitist form of democracy in our country. Party-list election should have had democratized both the national and local election-processes. But now it seems that party-list election itself has fallen into the “mud of elitist politics” that has dominated all the national and local elections that had been held in our country since the Philippines became an independent nation in the 1940s.
I’m not sure if my own group called the League of Political Abrogationists will be accredited as a party-list group by the Comelec this election period. But what can I do, such is the reality of elitist politics in the Philippines.

I would now have to withdraw my candidacy for the senate, because after all I’m not really serious about it in the first place. I would be happier sticking it out as a “blogger for socio-political reforms”. And, because I’m not sure if my own League of Political Abrogationists will be accredited as a party-list group, I would have to promote to the readers of this message the ideals of political abrogationism and social harmonicalism trough our web page. The readers of this message can know more about my advocacies by just clicking this web page: .
I hope that other party-list groups can embrace the ideals of political abrogationism and social harmonicalism. Please also read the article that has been attached at this e-mailed letter. Such article
has a suggestion to the CBCP on safeguarding the elections in the Philippines. The LORD GOD blesses you. Thanks.



Dear CBCP,

Gusto kong ipabatid sa inyo ang aking panukala na bumuo ang inyong grupo
at ang iba pang mga “civil society groups” ng isang “multi-sectoral task force” na talagang
pangangalagaan ang mga magiging tunay na resulta ng darating na eleksiyon. Ang gayung “task force” ay dapat na gumamit ng lahat ng mga “latest technologies” tulad ng mga “celphone-cameras”, “digi-cams”,” laptop pc’s”, etc., para maipakita kung mayroong nagaganap na mga pandaraya sa eleksiyon. Dapat ding magpanukala ng mga “safety measures” sa Comelec para maging mas madali ang pagbubukas ng mga kunukwestiyong mga “ballot boxes”. At dapat maging madali ang pag-resolba ng Comelec sa isyu ng mga “disenfranchised voters” sa ating lipunan. Dapat din na ipanukala ng CBCP ang pag-hingi ng tulong sa U.N. Org o sa anumang “multi-national election observers’ team” para madokyumento ng husto at mabantayang maigi ang darating na eleksiyon sa ating bansa. Ang mga paratang ukol sa mga naganap na iregularidad noong “year 2004 elections” sa ating bansa ay dapat magsilbing gabay sa maayos na pagdaraos ng “year 2007 elections” sa Pilipinas.