Sunday, December 27, 2009

Philippines: After the Maguindanao massacre – International Crisis Group

(This is the conclusion portion of the International Crisis Group Update Briefing issued December 21, 2009 on the Maguindanao Massacre in the Philippines last November 23. 2009)


Horrific as it was, the Maguindanao massacre opens a window of opportunity for the Philippines to make progress on justice, security and peace. They are all related: advances on justice for the victims of the massacre would aid the security situation and help the peace process, but likewise any setback on one could harm the others. Progress, however, will require a concerted effort by the government, civil society, the MILF and the international community.


The massacre case could be turned into a model of how justice can be improved in the Philippines. Every effort should be made to build the strongest possible case against the suspects, to ensure that those responsible for the planning and execution of the killings are convicted and kept in prison for a very long time. The justice department should actively seek – and donor countries with the relevant expertise should offer – assistance in forensic analysis, case preparation and tracing the remaining fugitives. Given the fear of retaliation by the Ampatuan family, help in protecting witnesses, judges, lawyers and prosecutors is particularly important.

The assistance should extend not just to the murder charges, but also to other possible charges that the government could bring, including illegal possession of weapons; plunder; election fraud; perjury; and failure to protect citizens from human rights violations. Offers of international assistance to the interior and local governments department in analyzing money transfers and auditing the use of local government funds (IRAs) could be particularly helpful. If handled properly, the prosecution of this case could generate sustained public pressure to make not just local Mindanao officials, but also officials across the country more accountable for their actions.

The government should pay particular attention to prison security, to ensure not only that those detained do not escape, but also that visitors are properly screened and that the Ampatuans and their private militia members do not have any influence over other prisoners. At the same time, given the abuses that often occur in the Philippine penal system, it is important that the suspects, including CVOs, be given no cause to claim inhumane treatment, either during their pre-trial detention, or if they are convicted, during their imprisonment. Some outside assistance might be in order here, as well.

The government should systematically follow through on every other reported killing linked to the Ampatuan family, so that the full extent of its crimes becomes known, in the interests of reducing warlordism and advancing understanding where and why justice failed in the past. Technical assistance or on-the-job training to the justice department from donors may be necessary to make it happen.

One of the weakest aspects of the Philippine justice system is its slowness. It would help for the government, perhaps in conjunction with the Commission on Human Rights, to set performance goals for the prosecution, so there is a clear timeline for getting this case to trial as expeditiously as possible. Donors could help by funding an independent evaluation, perhaps in cooperation with Manila’s leading law faculties, of how well those goals were met as well as where and why they were not.

There is widespread concern in the ARMM area that even this affair, as extraordinarily brutal as it was, will fall off the front pages as the 2010 elections heat up, and it is important to do everything possible to keep it front and centre. Given the number of their colleagues killed, the Philippines media could help keep the case in the public eye by a box on the front pages of newspapers or a spot on the screen during evening news broadcasts documenting how many days have passed in the quest for justice for the victims. MindaNews, an online news service about Mindanao, has set an example with its “Countdown for Justice”, marking the time that has elapsed without result in the earlier slaying of its photo editor. It has now been 60 months.

Foreign governments could encourage the Philippines government to move forward with its declared intention of freezing assets of those suspected and later convicted. Foreign governments – the U.S. would be particularly important – could reinforce the move by freezing any assets held abroad and placing the suspects on an immigration blacklist.


The Philippines government could build on the outrage over the massacre to end all private and local funding of police and military auxiliaries, including special CAFGUs; it is a major factor in the creation of private armies. It could move to assert far stricter control over procurement and issuance of firearms. It also needs to find ways of permanently dismantling civilian militias and meeting security needs with professional forces. President Arroyo should immediately revoke Executive Order 546 as one concrete step to prevent a recurrence of a massacre involving CVOs. The use of village guards or any other civilian group as “force multipliers” should be stopped.

The international community, especially those governments involved in supporting the peace process and economic development in Mindanao, should keep the government under pressure to ensure that the commitment to dismantling private armies becomes more than rhetoric. The rationale for armed civilian militias, both the army-led CAFGUs and the CVOs, was that the official security forces were inadequate to cope with the insurgent threat. Now is the time to commission an in-depth study by independent analysts to see what the real security needs are and how to meet them without relying on civilians, so that at least this rationale can be eliminated. Of course, a key way to reduce the need for reliance on civilian forces would be to reach a lasting peace with the MILF, although the armed forces are also engaged in combating other insurgencies.

The government and donor agencies could use the outrage over the massacre to give serious attention to professionalizing the police, using Maguindanao province as a test case, but they will have to move rapidly. An emergency plan for screening and retraining this force should be considered, even though it is not the only one tainted by warlordism; the problem is endemic in the Philippines. But the corruption of the force may have gone further in Maguindanao than elsewhere, and a wholesale review of recruitment, training, promotion and weapons acquisition would be useful.

The government could also use the publicity generated by the massacre to put in place far stricter oversight mechanisms for weapons procurement more generally. A retired police officer listed several ways in which firearms can be illegally acquired: surreptitiously doubling or tripling the number certified by the foreign affairs department for purchase; saving and recycling old arms that are supposed to be scrapped when new ones are purchased; selling or absconding with weapons used as evidence in criminal cases; manipulation of “end user certificates” so that the person who is supposed to be vetted for purchase is fictitious; smuggling through customs; and importing customized weapons through gun clubs which are then made available to militias. Easy circulation of firearms compounds the problem of private armies.


As noted above, the MILF and the government have an unusual opportunity to demonstrate that they can work together in pursuing the armed members of CVOs and ensuring that they either surrender or are captured. It would be a huge feat to dismantle the Ampatuan army together, and the MILF can only gain by doing so, especially in the communities most hostile to it. The army’s embrace of the new Civilian Protection Component, in its operations in Maguindanao as well as more generally in its operations outside the ARMM, would also be a step forward.

These, then, are the opportunities. The tragedy of the massacre in Maguindanao will be compounded if they are not be pursued.


Good choice, not automation, will solve election woes: Rosales

MANILA, Philippines - Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales believes that automation is not the solution to the country's election woes.

In his Christmas Day message, Rosales stressed the importance of making the right choice in selecting the country's next leader.

"The ultimate solution to our election problems does not exactly depend on the automated machines, but in the well thought of, more seriously considered, and much prayed for choice (vote), regardless of money or favor," he said.

"That looks like an ideal so difficult and so nearly impossible to attain in the present Philippine political practice," he added.

He urged Filipinos to exercise their power of choice in next year's national elections. He said with good choice comes peace.

"Peace is also the consequence of a good choice, whether that choice is to have enough to eat or to select a man who will honestly lead others to progress. Peace will come to everyone who does good," Rosales said.

Rosales earlier lamented that even if the May 2010 elections were fully automated, the local political system would remain corrupt if Filipinos continued to vote for traditional politicians.

Rosales said the country needs "honest, selfless and God-fearing leaders."

"Arrogant leaders, who in the past, thought that the nation could not go forward without then, had always been failures; and they had, unfortunately, brought the country down with them."


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 Pre-Election Survey

Aquino lead again the Presidential race
The question asked for Presidential survey was "Sa mga sumusunod na pangalan sa listahang ito, sino po ang malamang ninyong iboboto bilang PRESIDENTE ng Pilipinas, kung ang eleksyon ay gaganapin ngayon?" [Among the names found in this list, who will you probably vote for as PRESIDENT of the Philippines, if elections were held today?]. From BusinessWorld-approved list of 11 candidates to choose from, Benigno Aquino III got 46% of votes, Manuel Villar got 27% and Joseph Estrada got 5%.

Roxas lead the Vice-Presidential race
For the Vice-Presidential race, the question asked was "Sa mga sumusunod na pangalan sa listahang ito, sino po ang malamang ninyong iboboto bilang BISE-PRESIDENTE ng Pilipinas, kung ang eleksyon ay gaganapin ngayon?" [Among the names found in this list, who will you probably vote for as VICE-PRESIDENT of the Philippines, if elections were held today?]. From BusinessWorld-approved list of 8 candidates to choose from. Manuel Roxas got 43% followed by Loren Legarda who got 32%.


No quick rulings on Erap, Arroyo disqualification

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will decide the fate of the candidacies of former President Joseph Estrada and President Gloria Arroyo after December 28.

The Second Division of the poll body, composed of Commissioners Nicodemo Ferrer, Elias Yusoph and Lucenito Tagle, has set December 28 as the deadline for submission of the memoranda of the parties in the petitions to disqualify Estrada and Arroyo.

The Comelec heard on Tuesday 3 disqualification cases filed against Estrada and 1 disqualification case against Arroyo.

Two separate petitions were filed by Ely Pamatong and Mary Lou Estrada. Both of them were among the presidential aspirants excluded by the Comelec from its final list of presidential candidates. The other disqualification case was filed by lawyer Evillio Pormento.

Estrada’s candidacy has been questioned because of a provision in the 1987 Constitution that bars the president from seeking re-election. His camp, however, claims that the rule applies only to an incumbent president.

Estrada told reporters that he is optimistic that he would not be disqualified “We have a very strong case. Our lawyers are well-respected and are legal luminaries. They are very much qualified.”

Estrada was accompanied by former Senator Ernesto Maceda and lawyer Amado Valdez. Asked who would take his place in case he is disqualified, Estrada said: “I am not thinking about that.”

Disqualify Arroyo

Meanwhile, the Comelec also heard the disqualification case filed against President Arroyo by Pamatong. Pamatong said Arroyo’s entry in the congressional race violates the Constitutional provision prohibiting the president from running for any re-election.

Romulo Macalintal, lawyer of President Arroyo, said that they are optimistic that the case will be dismissed. He said that there is no legal impediment to Arroyo’s decision to join the congressional race for the second district of Pampanga because the constitutional provision refers only re-election for the same position.

“We are expecting the Comelec to dismiss the petition without any arguments,” Macalintal told reporters. “We believe that this type of complaint should not clog the dockets of the Comelec because there are many other quality cases.”


Monday, December 21, 2009

Real reason for poll counting machines delay bared

MANILA, Philippines - Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials on Thursday virtually acknowledged Smartmatic-TIM’s failure to deliver the agreed first batch of 42,000 units of counting machines for the May 2010 polls due to production constraints of the manufacturing subcontractor in Shanghai, China.

Comelec chair Jose Melo earlier said that Smartmatic-TIM could only deliver 30,000 this month because of the high shipping costs due to the holidays.

But in Thursday’s hearing of the joint Congressional oversight committee on automation, it was disclosed that Smartmatic has only manufactured 30,000 units this month, not 40,000 as earlier announced.

Initially, Comelec officials stuck to the alibi that the first batch of 40,000 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines may not arrive as scheduled because of delivery problems.

“It is actually a delivery problem because of the lack of maritime vessels that would bring the PCOS from Shanghai to Manila. It is Christmas season and everything comes from China,” Comelec executive director Jose Tolentino said when asked whether it is delivery or manufacturing problem that causing the delay in the automation project.

But when pressed by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman whether the 40,000 to be delivered this December were already manufactured and ready for shipping, Tolentino backtracked.

Tolentino admitted that only 30,000 have been produced so far, and that the 10,000 units are still to be manufactured.

“We have a team that went to Shanghai, and based on the production run that was conducted, the spare parts available at the manufacturing plant, it's correct that more or less about 30,000 will be available by December,” Tolentino said.

Under the P7.1 billion contract signed between Comelec and Smartmatic, the latter is supposed to produce 82,200 PCOS machines for the country’s first ever nationwide polls.

The machines were supposed to be delivered in two batches, with the first batch of 40,000 last November.

However, only 9,800 would be delivered this month, and another 20,200 units after the holiday rush.

Revised timetable

Smartmatic, however, maintains that the delays in the automation project pertained only to delivery problems.

In spite of the apparent production problems, Comelec is optimistic that Smartmatic would be able to complete the manufacture of machines by February.

Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said that based on a revised timetable, Smartmatic will be able to beat the deadline of the delivery of machines by one week.

Concerns have been raised over Smartmatic’s failure to beat its deadline in the delivery of machines, which is causing a domino effect on Comelec’s timetable.

The field testings and mock elections should have been held last November and this month, but the lack of machines prompted Comelec to revise its schedule.

The Comelec has also yet to start training teachers and poll officials on poll automation.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Supreme Court extends voters' registration to January 9

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday extended registration of voters for the May 10, 2010 elections until January 9, 2010.

In a nine-page unanimous decision penned by Associate Justice Conchita Carpio Morales, the Court en banc granted the petition filed by Kabataan party-list led by Raymond Palatino seeking to declare null and void Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution No. 8585, which shortened the deadline of voters registration to October 31, 2009, instead of December 15, 2009, as previously fixed by Comelec Resolution No. 8514.

The Court said the decision is immediately executory.

The Comelec earlier set the deadline for voters' registration to October 31 due to the demands of poll automation.

In its decision, the Supreme Court said the people’s right to suffrage “is at the heart of our constitutional democracy." It said the Comelec has no valid ground to justify its non-compliance to the system of continuing voter registration mandated under Section 8 of Republic Act 8189 or the Voter’s Registration Act of 1996.

Under the said provision, the registration of voters shall be conducted daily in the office of the election officer during regular office hours, except during the period starting 120 days before a regular election and 90 days before a special election.

“In the present case, the Court finds no ground to hold that the mandate of continuing voter registration cannot be reasonably held within the period provided by R.A. 8189, Section 8 – daily during officer hours, except during the period starting 120 days before the May 10, 2010 regular elections. There is thus no occasion for the Comelec to exercise its power to fix other dates or deadlines therefor,” the Court said.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

List of 2010 national candidates- Comelec

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Jose Melo issued the list of qualified candidates for president, vice president and senator for the May 2010 elections last Tuesday.

Out of 99 aspirants who filed their certificates of candidacies for the position as presidential candidate only eight were declared qualified. Those who are allowed to run in the elections were Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III from Liberal Party, City councilor JC de los Reyes from Ang Kapatiran, former President Joseph Estrada from UNO-PMP, Sen. Richard Gordon from Bagumbayan, Sen. Jamby Madrigal who run as Independent, former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro from Lakas-Kampi-CMD, Bro. Eddie Villanueva from Bangon Pilipinas and Sen. Manny Villar from Nacionalista Party.

The Comelec also named those who are qualified for vice president. Out of 20 who filed their certificates of candidacies only 8 were qualified. They include Sen. Mar Roxas (Liberal Party), Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay (UNO-PMP), former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Bayani Fernando (Bagumbayan), Sen. Loren Legarda (Nacionalista Party), Edu Manzano (Lakas-Kampi-CMD), broadcaster Jay Sonza (KBL), former Securities and Exchange Commission chief Perfecto Yasay (Bangon Pilipinas) and Dominador Chipeco Jr. (Ang Kapatiran).

The following persons are the 58 qualified candidates for senatorial post:

  1. Neric Acosta - Liberal Party
  2. Ana Theresia Baraquel - Liberal Party
  3. Martin Bautista - Liberal Party
  4. Rufino Biazon - Liberal Party
  5. Franklin Drilon - Liberal Party
  6. Teofisto Guingona 3rd - Liberal Party
  7. Alexander Lacson - Liberal Party
  8. Yasmin Lao - Liberal Party
  9. Ralph Recto - Liberal Party
  10. Sonia Roco - Liberal Party
  11. Silvestre Bello 3rd -Lakas-Kampi CMD
  12. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr -Lakas-Kampi CMD
  13. Ramon Guico Jr. Lakas-Kampi CMD
  14. Raul Lambino -Kampi CMD
  15. Rey Langit -Kampi CMD
  16. Manuel “Lito” Lapid -Kampi CMD
  17. Pia Cayetano -Nacionalista Party
  18. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. -Nacionalista Party
  19. Ramon Mitra -Nacionalista Party
  20. Susan “Toots” Ople -Nacionalista Party
  21. Ariel Querubin -Nacionalista Party
  22. Gilbert Remulla -Nacionalista Party
  23. Adel Tamano -Nacionalista Party
  24. Shariff Ibrahim Albani -Kilusang Bagong Lipunan
  25. Alma Lood -Kilusang Bagong Lipunan
  26. Regalado Maambong -Kilusang Bagong Lipunan
  27. Ma. Judea Millora -Kilusang Bagong Lipunan
  28. Imelda Papin -Kilusang Bagong Lipunan
  29. Hector Villanueva -Kilusang Bagong Lipunan
  30. JV Bautista -Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino
  31. Jose “Joey” de Venecia 3rd -Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino
  32. Juan Ponce Enrile -Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino
  33. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada -Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino
  34. Jose Apolinario Lozada -Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino
  35. Zafrullah Alonto -Bangon Pilipinas
  36. Kata Inocencio -Bangon Pilipinas
  37. Ramoncito Ocampo -Bangon Pilipinas
  38. Reynaldo Princes -Bangon Pilipinas
  39. Alex Tinsay -Bangon Pilipinas
  40. Israel Virgines -Bangon Pilipinas
  41. Henry Caunan -PDP-Laban
  42. Gwendolyn Pimentel -PDP-Laban
  43. Rodolfo Plaza -Nationalist People’s Coalition
  44. Vicente “Tito” Sotto 3rd -Nationalist People’s Coalition
  45. Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago -People’s Reform
  46. Rizalito David -Ang Kapatiran
  47. Jo Aurea Imbong -Ang Kapatiran
  48. Zosimo Paredes -Ang Kapatiran
  49. Maria Gracia Riñoza-Plaza -Ang Kapatiran
  50. Adrian Sison -Ang Kapatiran
  51. Reginald Tamayo -Ang Kapatiran
  52. Hector Tarrazona -Ang Kapatiran
  53. Manuel Valdehuesa Jr. -Ang Kapatiran
  54. Sergio Osmeña 3rd -Independent
  55. Jovito Palparan -Independent
  56. Liza Maza -Independent
  57. Saturnino Ocampo –Independent
  58. Former Sen. Francisco Tatad -Grand Alliance for Democracy

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Third Quarter 2009 Social Weather Survey

The said survey was conducted from September 18-29, 2009. The survey shows that 30% were satisfied and 50% were dissatisfied with the overall performance of the National Administration. SWS also poll the public with other issues concerning the National Administration. The National Administration got a good net satisfaction rating of +31 on the issue of protecting the public from the outbreak of diseases. On the issues of ensuring that all food products in the market are safe (+29), promoting the welfare of OFWs (+19), ensuring that medicines are affordable (+18), foreign relations (+12), and helping the poor (+10) the National Administration got a sensible ratings. While on the issues like fighting terrorism (+5), reconciliation with Muslim rebels (+3), reconciliation with communist rebels (+3), campaigning against illegal drugs (+3), and fighting crimes (-8) the Administration got an impartial ratings and got a poor ratings in the issues like fighting inflation (-19), ensuring no family will ever be hungry and have nothing to eat (-20), and eradicating graft and corruption (-28).


Thursday, December 10, 2009

At Least 49.1 Million Voters

Last December 9, 2009 Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal declares that there are at least 49.1 million voters that have registered for the next elections and that said figures does not include voters from 22 other municipalities that have not yet submitted their official list of voters. According also to Larrazabal that the Comelec would need some 240, 000 teachers who will then turn into members of the Board of Election Inspectors to be in charge of the 74, 000 polling precincts. Larrazabal already met the officials of the Department of Education and discuss the compensations the teacher could get. They agreed that the honoraria of the teachers will increase compared to the P1, 000 per day service as Board of Election Inspectors last election. Aside from the money, the teachers would also receive other benefits like medical insurance and additional leave credits.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Eduardo “Bro. Eddie” Villanueva - Presidential Candidate

Eduardo “Bro. Eddie” Villanueva was born on October 6, 1946 in Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines. Villanueva graduated with a degree in commerce at Philippine College of Commerce (Polytechnic University of the Philippines) in 1969. He took up law at the University of the Philippines but never took the bar examination because he was busy as an activism.

He worked as a full-time faculty member in the Economics and Finance Department at the Philippine College of Commerce until 1972. And in 1973, he worked as an export manager at Maran Export Industries. He then worked as the general manager of the Agape Trading Co. from 1976-1977. He then returned to PCC in 1978 working as a part-time professor.

Bro. Eddie Villanueva is the founder and leader of Jesus Is Lord Church. He is the owner and chairman of ZOE Broadcasting Network, a commercial TV station and operated by GMA Network through Quality Television (QTV). He is also the owner and president of Jesus Is Lord Colleges Foundation Inc. (JILCF), a Christian school in Bocaue, Bulacan.


• President, Jesus Is Lord (JIL) Worldwide Movement (already resigned)
• President and Chairman, ZOE Broadcasting Network (franchise holder and licensee to operate VHF Channel 11 and UHF Channel 33)
• Chancellor, Jesus Is Lord Colleges Foundation (JILCF), Inc.
• Chairman, Bagong Pilipinas, Bagong Pilipino Movement
• National Chairman, Philippines for Jesus Movember (PJM)
• Member, Board of Trustees International Bible Society-Philippines
• Chairman, International Christian Solidarity on Religious Freedom (a global coalition of Christian churches fighting for religious equality and freedom for all nations of the world)
• Vice-Chairman of Executive Council, Christ for Asia (formerly Charismatic Fellowship of Asia, CFA) 1989 to date; Bangkok, Thailand
• TV Host, Jesus the Healer, ZOE TV 11/ GMA 7; Diyos At Bayan, ZOE TV 11/ GMA 7
• Columnist, Abante and Abante-Tonite and monthly publications in Hong Kong and Taiwan


• Longest-Sitting Member, Board of Regents, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP); honored by the University for donating his entire honorarium to the PUP Scholarship Fund.
• Radio Host, Tinig sa Itaas, DZJV 1458 (Station located at Calamba, Laguna)
• Author, Find It! Straight From The Word (Copyright 2004, Eduardo C. Villanueva); Surest Covenant (Copyright 2004, Eduardo C. Villanueva)
• Contributor, Legacy (Copyright 2005, Church Strengthening Ministries); This Is My Story (Copyright 2004, Cityland Foundation, Inc.)
• Part-Time Faculty Member, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), 1978-1979
• General Manager, Agape Trading Company, 1976-1977
• Export Manager, Maran Export Industries, 1973-1975
• Full-time Faculty Member, Department of Economics & Finance, Philippine College of Commerce, now, PUP, 1969-1972


• Conferred with Doctorate Degree on Divinity by Promise Christian University through Dr. Michael McKinney on August 16, 2008 in Los Angeles, California, USA
• Conferred with “Doctor in Education Management, Honoris Causa” from Polytechnic University of the Philippines, November 28, 2003
• Conferred with “Doctor of Philosophy in Humanities, Honoris Causa” from Bulacan State University, October 3, 2003
• Conferred with "EDSA People Power Freedom Award" for ZOE TV 11 as the only TV Station consistent in standing for Truth, Justice, and Righteousness during People Power 2 on February 25, 2001, Edsa .
• Conferred with "Gintong Ama" (Golden Father) Award for Socio-Civic/Religious Sector by Golden Mother and Father Foundation on June 16, 1996 at Metro Theater, Manila
• Conferred with the "Office of Episcopacy" by the cross-section of the Body of Christ in the Philippines on April 12, 1996 in Manila, Philippines

Election Plans for 2010:

7 points to the future.

First, we need to emancipate our minds and our spirit. We need to teach our young men and women our heroic past and our good fortune as a nation so much endowed with rich natural resources and talented people. We need to realize we have what it takes to be great.

Second, we need to empower our people. Let’s allow them the freedom to choose their leaders without the threat of reprisal and revenge. Our people should have the access to power, justice, medical care, jobs. Unless they feel they are a part of the body politic, they will never buy in. Dedicated desks shall be established to receive public complaints and act on them.

Third, we need to educate our people—educate them more in sciences and technology, engineering and the arts. We need to overhaul the curriculum, clean up the run of the mill schools and universities. We need to provide basic nutrition and feeding program so we teach our kids with full stomach.

Fourth, we need to energize our economy—good economic public policy: progressive taxation and trade policies. We shall develop our agriculture and industries. We shall integrate our road system with our airports and seaports and the railways. We shall relocate the millions of illegal occupants from the cities to the countryside close to new areas of development and in turn, these vacated prime lots shall be developed with both domestic and foreign private partners. We shall aim to develop a very robust economy which will allow us to bring back our overseas workers so they will harness their skills for national development.

Fifth, we need to elevate the standard and quality of life of our people. With a robust economy and consciously civic society, public funds shall be made available to improve the delivery of public services: public hospitals shall be modernized to provide both basic and tertiary medical care. There will be complete zoning and environmental care. We will light up our streets, our highways and expressways. We will reclaim our esteros, we will clean up the Pasig River and establish walkways and board walks. Public parks shall once again be for the people.

Sixth, we need to eradicate bad governance. Let us not forget that sin is a reproach to any nation. Bad governance is the worst tribute one public servant can leave behind. We shall therefore establish dedicated courts so we can immediately deal with stolen wealth, tax evasion and avoidance. We shall have attrition principle in many public agencies: there will be great adjustment in public compensation but once an offender is caught embezzling public funds, there will be equally great penalty. Justice shall be dispensed for all.

And seventh, we shall establish peace in the land. We will talk softly, but we will carry a big stick. We will reach out to our Muslim brothers and left-leaning brothers to offer them peace in the non-negotiable framework of one Republic of the Philippines. We will modernize and strengthen our air force, navy and the army as well as the national police. With the National Government leading by example in righteous and moral governance, we shall win the respect of the league of nations and reclaim what we lost in the last thirty years.

Believe in the Filipinos and their future!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Joseph Marcelo Ejercito Estrada - Presidential Candidate

Joseph Marcelo Ejercito Estrada (Jose Marcelo Ejercito) was born on April 19, 1937 in Tondo Manila. He was the eight of the ten children of Engr. Emilio Ejercito, a government engineer and to Maria Marcelo. Joseph Estrada took his primary education at the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University and he later took up an Engineering course at the Mapua Institute of Technology.

In his twenties, Estrada gained his popularity as a film actor and was popularly known as “Erap” given by his good friend Fernando Poe Jr. which means “pare” or buddy. He shoots more than 100 films and received five-time Best Actor awards. Through those awards he earns a place in the FAMAS Hall of Fame.

He used his popularity as an actor in running for politics. He serves as a Mayor in San Juan for seventeen years. During his term as Mayor in San Juan, he paid particular attention to education by renovating and improving school building. He is the Founder and President of the ERAP Para sa Mahirap Foundation, a foundation that offers scholarship assistance to poor but deserving college students. Through the foundation’s educational grants, more than a thousand students have since earned a college degree. As a Senator for one term, he passed major pieces of legislation, among of this are the bills on irrigation project and the protection and propagation of carabaos. He was also appointed as Chairman of the Committee on Public Works, Vice-Chairman of the Committees on Health, and Natural Resources and Ecology and Urban Planning. In 1992 he won as a Vice President of the Philippines under the administration of President Fidel Ramos and was designated as Presidential Adviser on Crime Prevention and Law. And in 1998 he became the 13th President of the Philippines. During his administration as president he was accused as being corrupt and led him to an impeachment trial in the Senate and was ousted from power in 2001. In 2007, he was found guilty of plunder and sentenced to reclusion perpetua, but was later granted a pardon by President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo.

Election Plans for 2010:

Kaya’t sa puntong ito, sa huling yugto ng aking buhay, wala na akong hinihiling o hihilingin pa kung hindi ang masaksihan ang katuparan ng pangarap ng mga mahihirap, ng masang pilipino.

This is the last performance of my life. And I will not fail you.


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