Friday, January 19, 2007

Fantasia Gloria Arroyo and the Desperados

Mrs. Gloria Arroyo and her candidates must win whatever means for political survival. The Commission on Audit must scrutinize Malacanang’s black propaganda expenses and other dole-outs for purpose of electioneering. The crooks in the Comelec must resign to regain its lost credibility and integrity. The Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued educational guidelines for electorates to ensure the integrity of May 2007 midterm elections.

The Ten Commandments
1. Thou shall vote according to the dictate of your conscience.
2. Thou shall respect the decision of others in choosing their candidates.
3. Thou shall seek to know the moral integrity, capabilities and other personal qualities of the candidates you will vote for.
4. Thou shall strive to understand the issues, platform and programs of candidates in parties seeking our vote.
5. Thou shall not sell vote.
6. Thou shall not vote for candidates using guns, goons and gold.
7. Thou shall not vote for candidates with records of graft and corruption.
8. Thou shall not vote for candidates just because of popularity, "utang na loob (debt of gratitude) or "pakikisama (sense of camaraderie)."
9. Thou shall not vote for candidates living an immoral life.
10. Thou shall put the welfare of the country above all else in choosing the candidates you will vote for.

The civil society, Black and White movement will issue a “blacklist” of undersirable local and national candidates. Jueteng, the illegal numbers game may finance some candidates’ campaign funds. The influence of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines is waning. The CBCP bishop’s 10 commandants may not take it seriously by Filipino voters particularly the masses due to moral and credibility problem. Some bishops accepted donations from gambling lords and other illegal sources.

Palace to use gov’t funds resources for 2007 polls
By Sherwin C. Olaes

Daily Tribune 01/20/2007
Malacañang will definitely be massively utilizing government funds and other resources for the 2007 elections, to ensure an 8-4 win in the Senate and to gain full control of the House of Representatives. Additional plans call for Malacañang to manage the Philippine media’s stories.
This and more were accidentally disclosed publicly by President Arroyo’s chief aide, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, as his orders and directives to all public information officers (PIO) of every government agency to intensify the propaganda on Mrs. Arroyo and ensure the victory of her administration bets was accidentally aired over government’s radio station dzRB yesterday.
“The image of the President is at stake in these elections,” Ermita told the PIOs from all government agencies attending the close-door workshop organized by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) headed by Conrado “Dodie” Limcaoco.
Ermita intimated that no expense would be spared for this massive election propaganda, saying Malacañang is ready to tap and hire well-known commercial directors to produce television ads that would create a strong impact on the public, and with reports similar to the media hype created by the boxing matches of Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao as well as the TV programs, Pinoy Big Brother and Philippine Idol.
“We need to be more aggressive and more proactive. We need to manage media, and not the other way around. And we need to dig deep into our creative spirits and be resourceful enough to get the right message
through and across. Do we need a media director for each project, much like a director of a movie or a musical concert to get people’s attention? You tell us after this day is over,” Ermita said.
The Palace aide also admitted at the workshop that the public response to the “achievements of President Arroyo” has been “lukewarm” and “negative,” adding that the public has reacted negatively to these “achievements.”
“Government manages only a few applauses here and there; most of the time, the halls are silent. As public information officers, it will be your responsibility to get our people to heartily applaud those messages. Instead of applause, we get survey results that speak of people’s dissatisfaction toward government, all because of media’s penchant for what sells – politicking, political personalities and political controversies,” Ermita stressed.
Ermita said that the fate of the administration candidates, especially in the Senate slot depends on how the public perceives the governance and leadership of Mrs. Arroyo and that it is necessary to step-up public ‘awareness on the achievements of the administration.
“The fate of these officials in May, depends on how well the people perceive governance. How well the people see the President. The image of the President is at stake here. While the President is not seeking elections or reelection because this is a midterm election, perhaps it will not be difficult for the people to accept the results of the elections since this will be based on the performance of the President, the performance of her government,” Ermita said.
Ermita told the PIOs that the Palace aims for an 8-4 slot in the Senate and said this would be easily materialized if the public has a good perception of the governance of Mrs. Arroyo through an intensified media and propaganda campaign.
On the part of the Cabinet, Ermita said Cabinet officials must hold regular press conferences and even visit universities and colleges so the information of the achievements of Mrs. Arroyo and her allies could be passed on to the students.
“All Cabinet members and their respective agencies are to actively lead in stepping up the dissemination to the citizenry of the effective socio-economic reforms, enhanced pro-poor programs and evident economic gains, specifically those brought about under the Medium-Term Development Plan and the 10-Point Legacy Agenda. All Cabinet members, together with their officials, should continue to hold press conferences to ensure the proper dissemination of the government’s programs, efforts and achievements,” he said.
“All Cabinet members are also enjoined to visit State universities and colleges to inform the students, faculty, and staff of the economic gains primarily brought about by the socio-economic reforms initiated by the government, and to encourage their active participation in meeting the socio-economic targets,” Ermita added.
Mrs. Arroyo, in the 2004 elections, also utilized government funds and resources for her candidacy, with government agency ads all geared toward her election bid. She was also accused of having used P3 billion of the fertilizer funds which did not benefit the farmers, with the money spent for the campaigns of her local executives bets, with the bulk going to her campaign chest.
Opposition leader Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr. yesterday twitted the Palace over reports that its supposed senatorial bets have spurned invitations to join the slate courting instead ousted President Joseph Estrada’s endorsement.
“In my long life in politics, this is a phenomenon that I am witnessing happening in the country for the first time. It is the fact that here is a former president, who is behind bars, technically speaking, who is being deluged with people seeking his blessing.
“And here is an incumbent President who cannot even seem to complete a senatorial slate at this point. So you can see here a big disparity in the appreciation of the people regarding this matter,” the Senate minority leader said in chiding the administration.
The reported difficulty being experienced by the administration in forming a winnable and credible 12-man senatorial slate reflects the continuing public distrust, he said, adding that it is quite embarrassing for the Palace that even senators whom it considers its allies and who won through the President’s help have spurned her overtures to join the administration ticket and instead prefer to join forces with the opposition.
In contrast, the senator observed that senatorial aspirants of diverse political persuasions have been trekking to Tanay, Rizal to court the endorsement of Estrada for their candidates.
Normally, he said, there should be a mad scramble for senatorial slots of the administration camp specially in a mid-term election like the forthcoming one, because it has the resources or logistic to provide for its candidates and to make them win.
Pimentel said the excessive number of aspirants jostling to be included in the senatorial ticket has caused a king-sized headache for the united opposition, the major pillars of which are Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), PDP-Laban and a faction of the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
However, he expressed the hope the united opposition will be able to put up a strong senatorial lineup without causing a split in its ranks.
Pimentel said that while the emergence of a so-called “third force” with its own senatorial team is theoretically possible, “the history of a third force in senatorial elections in the country has been very dismal.”
Meanwhile, claiming he is against political dynasty, Speaker Jose de Venecia ended speculations that his wife, Gina, is running for the Senate in May.
Although he admitted that his wife is more popular than he, his wife, he pointed out “is not keen on running for the Senate.”
The Speaker made the statement following reports that the administration coalition has been courting his wife to run under the ticket of the administration since she has been consistently topping the party’s surveys.
But a reliable source close to De Venecia, told the Tribune that de Venecia’s wife had been ready for that position (as senator) as early as 2004. “And I don’t believe she will not run because there is already an agreement between (the Speaker and Malacañang),” the source said.
The Speaker at the same time said that the full administration ticket would be made public close to the start of the campaign period in February.
He refused to name those in the list, but was quick to add that his wife’s name is not included.
He claimed he could not name those people since the coalition has been weighing at least 25 candidates for the 12 slots.
“We’re putting up a grand coalition slate, and we will name our candidates based on the politics of achievement and politics of performance—not on the politics of hate that has become pervasive,” he said. With Angie M. Rosales and Dona Policar

Comelec After Garci

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