By: Harvey S. Keh Last Saturday, the country woke up to the sad news that former President Corazon Aquino has passed away more than a year after she was diagnosed to have colon cancer. Millions of Filipinos have expressed their grief as our country has lost not only a former leader but more importantly, an international icon of freedom, democracy, good governance and ethical leadership. Until the very end and even when she was already experiencing so much pain, former President Aquino continued to tell all of us to not only pray for her but to pray for our country. She was a loving mother not only to her children but to each and every Filipino. Never since the time of the death of her husband, Ninoy Aquino, have we seen such massive outpouring of love, adulation and support from the Filipino people. Once again, our country that is often ravaged and divided by political scandals, bickering and insatiable greed by our leaders has been united by former President Aquino as she did when she led the restoration of democracy through the EDSA People Power 1 Revolution. Yet, I believe that the sacrifices of Ninoy and Cory Aquino will all be lost if we as a people do not do our own share in helping move our country forward. Ninoy died so our country may have freedom yet we still have millions of Filipino families who continue to be bound by the bondages of poverty while many of our present government leaders live in expensive mansions and travel in style using luxury vehicles. Until her very last gasp, Cory fought and prayed for Truth, Accountability and Good Governance in our country. We saw how she stood by NBN-ZTE Star witness Jun Lozada when he was besieged by the forces of our present administration after he revealed the details of the corruption-laden deal. We saw how she marched with thousands of Filipinos to oppose moves by this present administration to push for Charter Change as a means to continue to stay in power beyond 2010. We saw how she took a firm stand in asking for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2005 when Arroyo couldn’t explain her involvement in the Hello Garci scandal. Despite leaving the Presidency and facilitating a peaceful turnover of power in 1992, Cory continued to remain active in ensuring that the evil forces that continue to seek to destroy our democratic institutions will never succeed. Now that she has passed away, we are challenged to not let these sacrifices go to naught as now more than ever, the Filipino people should continue to fight the good fight that Ninoy and Cory Aquino started. As the 2010 elections draw near, we celebrate another legacy of Cory, the restoration of our right to vote for the leaders that we believe will effectively and ethically govern our beloved country. Let us not put to waste this right by not only voting for the right leaders but more importantly, volunteering our time, resources and energy to support them. The problem with many Filipinos is we often choose to stay in the sidelines and remain non-partisan in the elections and just let the candidates slug it out with each other. When we let this happen, the candidate which has more money and political machinery will more often than not win over the one who has less. We have seen this for the past elections where the corrupt and greedy politicians continue to win while those who have the better track record and the best intentions to serve the country lose out. Let us not let this happen again in 2010, people power was a legacy that Cory will forever leave behind to the Filipino people, I believe that in the upcoming elections we will have a golden opportunity to honor this legacy and sacrifice made by Ninoy and Cory by uniting ourselves to unceasingly volunteer, campaign and support the kind of leaders that our country needs today. Leaders that will embody the kind of effective, empowering, selfless, courageous and God-fearing leadership that both Ninoy and Cory so generously gifted our nation with. Comments are welcome at email@example.com. ______________________________________________________ Harvey S. Keh is Director for Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship at the Ateneo School of Government and is the Lead Covenor of Kaya Natin.
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By Harvey S. Keh I was in Naga City over the weekend to witness the inauguration of the Naga City Governance Institute, which is an initiative by the local government of Naga City to promote best practices in local governance all over the Bicol Region. As we all know, Naga City under the leadership of Mayor Jesse Robredo for the past 18 years has been transformed from a 3rd class city in the 1980s to the queen city of the Bicol Region today. As a testament to his outstanding leadership, Robredo was one of the first Filipinos to receive the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service which is acknowledged as the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize. Among those who came for the inauguration were Bert Hoffman of the World Bank, Bill Luz of Ayala Foundation and Prof. Leonor Briones of the UP-National College of Public Administration and Governance. During the talk of Prof. Briones regarding the challenges that the Bicol region continues to face in terms of uplifting the quality of life of its constituents, I was struck by her presentation of the high poverty rate that the Bicol region has. According to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), the poverty incidence in the region is at an alarming 51.1% based on its latest statistics which was gathered in 2006. This means that more than half of the region continues to live below the poverty line or they do not earn enough to satisfy their basic requirements for food, shelter, education and healthcare. I checked further and saw that the poverty incidence of Sorsogon as a province grew from 43.5% in 2003 to an astounding 55.3% in 2006! In 2003, the NSCB estimated that there were 300,652 poor individuals in Sorsogon but in 2006, this has already grown to 395,434! I raised this issue since we all know for a fact that Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero who hails from Sorsogon and used to be its Congressman for several years is currently eyeing a run at the Presidency. Given that he has served as Congressman of Sorsogon and now Senator, it is sad that his province hasn’t had much progress and in fact has continued to deteriorate at an alarming rate. One has to wonder if Senator Escudero has the capability to effectively run the country and curb our growing poverty if in fact he can’t help alleviate poverty in his own province. Given that he was a Congressman whose primary duty is to represent his constituency and enact laws for the country, don’t you think it was also his duty to ensure that the national government agencies provided adequate services to his constituents in Sorsogon? Where did he place his country-wide development fund (CDF)? Sorsogon is not a big province thus, if his CDF was used properly I’m sure that many of his constituents would be enjoying a better quality of life now. As the saying goes, charity begins at home, the challenge for Chiz is to go beyond lip service and to start to take action to ensure a better quality of life for the people of Sorsogon before he even thinks about running for President. I’m not a big fan of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo but I hope that the next time Chiz begins to attack the shortcomings of our present government, it may be good for him to first look at his own backyard and work proactively towards creating genuine positive human development in the life of his constituents. Harvey S. Keh is Director for Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship at the Ateneo School of Government and is the Lead Convenor of Kaya Natin! A National Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership. Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. Source: Statistics gathered from http://www.nscb.gov.ph/ru5/updates/poverty/poverty.html .
Joy Konstantine G. Agustin I BELIEVE former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada said it correctly that he and Kabayan Vice President Noli De Castro would be the toughest rivals in the 2010 elections. That is, of course, supposing the law acknowledges the legality of his being able to run again for the presidency. Coming from a similar background, with both having the much needed appeal of the masses, the two men are assured of getting a big chunk of support (converted into votes) from the poor, who, as what Erap claims, comprise of about 80 percent of the Filipino voters. Erap, though convicted with plunder but was swiftly granted pardon by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, continues to charm the masses during his provincial sorties. It is as if the Filipino has already forgotten that at one point in history, this man has been tried and convicted of stealing money from the people. And while the so-called opposition leaders, Villar, Roxas, Lacson, et al, continue to do their separate tactics to rank in the surveys, Erap's popularity easily moves his name on top of the list. Noli, on the other hand, has not dealt to stand on any major issue, nor contradict the unpopular Arroyo, making him still the Administration's best (and only) choice as the standard-bearer. His "clean image", plus the administration's machinery and power, makes Kabayan Noli a man to beat in the coming election. If the current situations will continue, we might see a race among Erap, Noli, Villar and Roxas, plus possibly the other hopefuls Villanueva and Panlilio. Logic will cast Villanueva and Panlilio out of contention (unless of course, God Himself performs a miracle and puts any of the two as the ruler). Villar and Roxas, I suppose, are a no-match in terms of masa appeal versus our two main proponents. So that leaves us to only two individuals fighting for the top post. Will it be the returning Erap, or the popular Noli? In either way, I believe it's about time we start praying that we will also be able to vote and choose for a very good Vice President. Oftentimes, the people focus their mind on the presidential hopefuls, disregarding the fact that we also need a very good Vice President in place. A VP position may have been, in the past, easily overshadowed by the President, but unknown to many, the VP post is an equally important position in the land. After all, if only we chose the best VP in 1998, history must have taken us into a different course after EDSA Dos . Now, more than ever, let us pray that we will choose a credible and righteous Vice. Joy Konstantine G. Agustin is employed as a Senior Accountant at TNS Philippines. He blogs at http://siyetehan.blogspot.com.
By Harvey Keh Contributor LAST week, I wrote here about the possibility of alternative and reform candidates running and winning in the upcoming 2010 National Elections. The responses I received were varied, many overseas Filipinos sent personal emails to me pledging funds ranging from $5 to $1,000 in support of an alternative and reform Presidential candidate, while some sent me responses saying that it will be useless for the likes of Among Ed Panlilio, Gov. Grace Padaca, Mayor Jesse Robredo, Chief Justice Reynato Puno or Bro. Eddie Villanueva to consider to run since they will not win. One even cited the experience of Bro. Eddie saying that he positioned himself as a reform Presidential candidate in 2004 only to lose badly despite having his Jesus is Lord (JIL) Movement behind him. Another letter sender said that we should have learned from the experience of the Ang Kapatiran senatorial candidates in the last elections wherein they ran on a platform of change but none of them even made it to the Top 20. While I agree that we should approach this with a dose of pragmatism and being realistic, I also think that we shouldn’t confine ourselves to candidates that we feel are winnable. If you look at the past elections, Filipinos have always voted and rallied around the usual names, faces and those who are presumed to be winnable, not willing to take a risk on the reform candidates because they feel that these candidates don’t have a shot at winning. Now, look at where this kind of mentality and thinking has brought us. In the recent Pulse Asia and SWS surveys, it is still the same traditional politicians that will win unless a drastic political revolution coming from the people will happen soon. Unless we are all willing to put an end to this mentality of always staying in our comfort zone and just going with those that are winnable, I can assure all of you that our country will again have the same corrupt leaders beyond 2010. I believe that every Filipino wants a much better government than what we have now and I certainly believe that we deserve much better than what we are getting from our government leaders. Yet, the sad reality is many of us are just too lazy to actually work for this better government that we all want. We just go about our own lives not bothering to do our own small share in nation-building thinking that one day we will accidentally stumble upon a great leader who will drastically change the whole situation. While we continue to hope and wait for this leader who may never actually come, millions of Filipinos continue to live with less than 40 pesos a day while other countries around us such as Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and even Vietnam have progressed to overtake us. Many of us have also become so used to the rampant graft and corruption, injustices and abuse of power around us that we have become indifferent and helpless saying, “Wala naman na tayong magagawa, pare-pareho naman silang lahat.” If we all stay with this kind of mentality, we will never really progress as a people. Hope and change will not come from our leaders, it will have to come from every Filipino who will be willing to work for genuine and lasting change to happen in our nation. The challenge for us is to go beyond our limitations as a people and finally, choose to support the right leader with the right heart for our country whether or not this person is winnable. Like I said in my previous blog, there is still time for all of us to rally around an effective and ethical leader that our country needs but we cannot continue to remain complacent and we have to act now. We should all be willing to finally take a risk to do what is right and make sacrifices for our country even if we lose in the process. The important thing is we tried to make a stand for better leaders that our country and we as a people truly deserves. My dream is that one day, the ultimate Filipino dream of many of our young Filipinos will no longer be to leave the country in search of a better life abroad but rather, they will all choose to stay because they can find hope of a better life here in our beloved Philippines. I know that I will still live to see that day and I hope that all of us will continue to work and believe in this dream of a better country, let us all remember, “Walang tutulong sa Pilipino kundi ang kapwa niya Pilipino”. Harvey S. Keh is Director of Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship at the Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government. Comments are welcome at email@example.com
By Harvey S. Keh Contributor FOR the past months since Kaya Natin! was launched, I have met and talked with several groups and organizations all asking if Kaya Natin! will be fielding its own Presidential candidate for the upcoming 2010 National Elections. These groups include organizations of farmers and peasants, civil society groups, socio-civic organizations, business groups, religious leaders and student leaders. Rumors have been circulating that Kaya Natin! leaders, such as Pampanga Gov. Eddie Panlilio, Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca and Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo are considering to make a run for the highest position in our land. When I asked them about this, they simply laughed because they feel that it’s such a far-fetched idea given their lack of national awareness and say that their personal preference is to go back to their private lives after they have served out the remainder of their present terms, Panlilio as a priest while Padaca as a practicing certified public accountant. Yet, in almost all of the more than 60 colleges and universities that we have visited in our Caravan of Good Governance, the students who attend never fail to ask the Kaya Natin! leaders to strongly consider to run as alternative and reform Presidential candidates for the 2010 polls. In a recent discernment session we organized in Nueva Ecija, majority of those who attended said that they can’t seem to choose who to vote for among all the current Presidentiables since all of them seem to represent the same values and ideals that have brought our country to where it is today. This then begs the question, is the country actually ready to elect an alternative and reform candidate in 2010? Many of those whom I have talked to also mention the names of Chief Justice Reynato Puno and JIL Leader Bro. Eddie Villanueva as other alternative candidates that will reflect the right values that we need in our next President. Some political analysts and public relations practitioners have also warned me that fielding a reform slate in 2010 would be useless given that the reality of Philippine politics was that one would need money and political machinery just to be able to put up a decent campaign. One of them even told me that a viable Presidential campaign would need at least P2 billion! She told me that if you can’t raise that money, don’t even bother to make a run at the Presidency since it will just be a lost cause. Not to dampen the hopes of many idealistic Filipinos here and abroad but I tend to agree with these political analysts that good intentions are not enough and the issue of having enough resources is very crucial if we want to finally elect a God-fearing, morally-upright, effective and ethical leader for our country in 2010. However, I’d like to also believe that there is still enough time for us to work together and support an alternative and reform candidate whether it will be Panlilio, Padaca, Robredo, Puno, Villanueva or any other reform leader but we have to be united and we have to act now. I still believe that the spirit of people power is still alive in Filipinos everywhere in the world. There is a silent majority of Filipinos especially those who are living abroad that are now longing to see change in our country especially in the 2010 elections. Imagine if all the overseas Filipinos would just decide to chip in at least $5 each to support a reform candidate then that would give the candidate at least $30 million or P1.5 billion to help him or her in putting up a good and decent fight against the ruling oligarchs and traditional politicians in our country. Another thing going for us is that majority of the voting population of our country are young people aged between 18 to 40 years old. Thus it is imperative for all of us to support initiatives such as the Movement for Good Governance, YouthVote Philippines and IamChange2010 that are encouraging the Filipino youth to register for the upcoming polls. The energy and idealism of these young Filipinos can also be tapped as we have seen in the Presidential campaigns of Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago and Raul Roco, both of whom almost made it despite meager resources due to the support of the Filipino youth. Padaca and Panlilio showed that people power in the polls can happen in the provincial level but whether or not it can happen in the national level is now up to all of us. Will we allow ourselves to have another President that is beholden to the interests of a few elite families and oligarchs? The answer lies in your hands. Harvey S. Keh is the Director for Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship at the Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government. Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Harvey Keh AS I listened to the testimony of former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-Joc" Bolante, I again realized how important it is for our country to elect the right President in the upcoming 2010 National Elections. If you listened to Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago's arguments, she stated that Bolante is such a powerful person given the fact that he is able to disburse almost one billion pesos of the alleged fertilizer funds to chosen local government units and congressmen. Santiago even said that even she as a senator doesn't have that same power as Bolante; thus, we begin to ask, who gave such power to Bolante? Who appointed a man like Bolante to his position? Of course, it's none other than President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo whose government never seems to run out of controversies, scams and allegations of graft and corruption. It's been more than seven years since Arroyo took power in the 2001 People Power 2 Revolution. Since then her administration will be remembered not with helping uplift the lives of millions of very poor Filipinos but with the billions of pesos that have been allegedly used to enrich the pockets and promote the self-interests of a few. With this in mind, many of my friends have asked where have we gone wrong? Why can't we seem to elect right leaders to our country especially in the national level? Some of my friends who are volunteers of election watch groups, such as Namfrel and PPCRV have even told me that they are beginning to feel frustrated since it's been more than 20 years when we started these groups. I'd like to believe that the main problem isn't so much because we have failed to educate our Filipino voters on who to vote for in our elections but rather we haven't given Filipinos the right candidates to choose from. Time and again, when the national elections come, it seems that we always have to settle for the lesser evil or for the candidate that is popular but not necessarily the right leader for our country. Why do we have to always settle for less? I think the Filipinos deserve more. I think it's time that we look for and support candidates that may not necessarily have the money and the political machinery but has a proven track record of service and more important, is an effective and ethical leader. A leader that does not only know how to criticize in front of the glitter of the TV cameras but also delivers concrete programs and outcomes that will solve our nation's social problems. We have seen it happen in Pampanga, Isabela and Naga City wherein against all odds, the people from these areas have chosen good leaders to govern them and as such, Filipinos in these local government units were gifted with better delivery of basic services. The victories of Governors Ed Panlilio, Grace Padaca and Jesse Robredo in these areas have shown that Filipinos will vote for the right person if only they are given good people that they can choose from. The main problem is that for PPCRV and NAMFREL to be truly effective, it will have to be complemented with a movement coming from ordinary Filipinos from here and abroad that will look for a common Presidential candidate that will not be beholden to the interests of the elite but will earnestly work for the genuine human development of every Filipino. Is this possible? Yes! I believe that this is possible if only all of us will do our own share in working to bring genuine change to our nation. Harvey S. Keh is Director for Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship at the Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government
By Harvey Keh For the past two weeks our group, Kaya Natin! A Movement for Genuine Change and Ethical Leadership released a stand supporting Pampanga Gov. Eddie Panlilio on the recall petition filed against him by his political opponents in Pampanga. Since that time, several political leaders led by Vice-Governor Yeng Guiao and Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo have come out in media telling us to stay away from this issue since we are not from Pampanga. In an interview over a national radio program wherein Vice-Governor Guiao and I were interviewed one after the other, Vice-Governor Guiao said that it is wrong for people outside Pampanga to meddle in issues such as this which should only concern the people of Pampanga. As such, I have taken the initiative to explain why Filipinos from all over the Philippines and the world should support Gov. Panlilio. While I agree with Vice-Governor Guiao and Mayor Pelayo that at the end of the day, it will be the Kapampangans who will decide the fate of Gov. Panlilio, I do not agree with them that discussion and concern about this issue should be limited within the confines of Pampanga. As we very well know, what happened in Pampanga during the 2007 Elections was a testament to the will of the Filipino people for good governance triumphing over traditional politics of guns, goons and gold. With his victory over well-entrenched politicians Mark Lapid and Lilia Pineda, Gov. Panlilio and the people of Pampanga became symbols of hope for every Filipino who longs for ethical and morally upright leaders that will efficiently deliver basic services and address the needs of the poor and powerless in our society. Thus, while Gov. Panlilio remains as the governor of only one province, his electoral victory coupled with his continued fight against illegal gambling and corruption in Pampanga has made him a symbol of new politics in our country. It is with these reasons that politicians with vested interests are trying their best to oust him so that they can resume their money-making ventures at the expense of the welfare of the Filipino people. While Gov. Panlilio has his own shortcomings as governor, I believe that compared to his predecessors he has done much more towards promoting transparency and accountability in the provincial capitol as evidenced by his remarkable 1000% increase in yearly quarry collections. I distinctly recall during one forum I attended, a foreigner who works at a international institution here in the Philippines told me that the main problem of our country is that we cannot seem to get good people to consider running for public office and to become part of government. Now, we were already blessed with someone like Gov. Panlilio who despite much hesitation to take a leave from the priesthood has decided to answer the call for well-meaning people to serve in government. The least that we can all do now is to support and help him so that other good people can be encouraged to also consider to serve in our government. We have to remember that if Gov. Panlilio is recalled and removed from his position as governor of Pampanga, it will not only be a blow to good governance in Pampanga but more importantly, it will be a big step backward towards the fulfillment of every Filipino's dream of having more government leaders who will effectively and ethically serve our nation. As the old adage goes, the only way for evil to prevail is if good men do nothing. Click this link to send your letters of support to Gov. Panlilio through Kaya Natin.
by Harvey S. Keh Contributor JUST a few weeks ago, I listened to a National Situationer report given by the Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB), the socio-political arm of the Jesuits here in the Philippines. SLB is known to be one of the most credible institutions who can give an honest to goodness analysis of what is the real state of our country and in their report they emphasized the following: a.) Yes, the country's economy continues to grow and, in fact, we have one of the highest growth rates in Asia. However, despite the economic growth, more than 25 million Filipinos continue to languish in poverty. b.) 62 percent of Filipinos actually die without even having the chance to be seen by a healthcare professional. To make things worse, medicine prices are 5 to 45 times higher here in our country compared to other countries in Asia like Thailand, Pakistan and India. c.) 3.7 million families continue to be homeless in our country despite efforts being done by non-profit organizations, such as Gawad Kalinga. d.) P1.2 trillion had been lost to corruption in the last 5 years. e.) Out of 10 Filipino students who enter Grade 1, less than 2 will be able to finish College. f.) The brain drain continues in our country as 121 Filipinos leave the country every hour. By the end of this year, we can expect that there will be approximately 8.5 million Filipinos abroad. These sad realities made me discern the reason why we continue to remain a poor country, despite the fact that we have such a beautiful country blessed with the brightest people in the world. Is it because many of our best people choose to work and live abroad? Was Conrado De Quiros correct when he mentioned in one of his columns that the middle and upper classes of our country couldn't care less about what happens because we always have an escape hatch of migrating and living abroad when all else fails in the Philippines? I don't think that these are entirely correct assumptions since I continue to believe that majority of Filipinos still want to see genuine change and reforms in our country. Many Filipinos living and working abroad whom I have talked to and corresponded with via email still continue to hope and dream that they will one day be able to come back and live in a Philippines that can provide them and their families with the right opportunities to live a just and prosperous life. In the end, I think everyone will agree with me that one of the major reasons why we are here is the fact that we continue to elect poor leaders who would rather protect vested interests of their own families and those that have supported them in the last elections. It's depressing to note that the reality of Philippine politics is that a good, competent and decent person cannot be elected to power if she or he doesn't have millions of pesos to use in the campaign. Of course, we have already seen some exceptions to this "rule," in the persons of Pampanga Governor Eddie Panlilio, Isabela Governor Grace Padaca and Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo. All three have clashed with moneyed and well-entrenched political dynasties and have come out victorious. But their victories remain only at the local level and it seems that we will need a more herculean effort to finally elect a President that will not become beholden to a few individuals, interests and families. According to some friends who have had experience in being part of a national campaign, they say that you need at least P1 billion to have a chance at the Presidency. Is it impossible then to elect a President that will not become beholden to a few wealthy families and will genuinely serve the interests of Juan dela Cruz? I don't think so but if we want that to happen, we should all make that happen starting with the growing Filipino middle class who are mostly living and working abroad. Imagine if every single Filipino living and working overseas will pledge to donate at least $5 each to support an upright, ethical and God-fearing candidate who has a proven track record in public service, then that would amount to $42,500,000 or a whooping P1.9 billion! This candidate could then have a fighting chance of being our next President and if she or he wins, she or he can govern properly without being beholden to a few people and their vested interests. As soon as we have enough pledges from Filipinos all over the world, we can then do something similar to a primary process to select the right person whom we can all support. I propose this idea to every Filipino working or living overseas who still dreams of a new Philippines. I think it's time that we all invest in choosing the right President for our country. We have less than two years to go before the 2010 National election. Thus the time to act is now. The power to choose our next President should not be in the hands of a few but rather it should be with each and every Filipino. If you believe in this idea and proposal, please send me an email at email@example.com so we can work together in choosing the right leader for our country who will run a government that will genuinely work towards promoting the common good. Harvey Keh is Director for Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship at the Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government, and is also the Executive Director of AHON Foundation, a non-profit organization that builds public elementary school libraries all over the Philippines. Harvey also teaches Theology at the Ateneo de Manila University-Loyola Schools.
UPDATE: Thanks to reader EdgarJ for pointing out in the Comments section that the list mistakenly showed Niel Tupas Sr. as being proclaimed mayor of Iloilo City, when he was actually proclaimed governor of Iloilo province. We've made the correction. Also, in response to qiqo's comment, we've posted the list below apart from the Word document. HERE'S the revised Commission on Elections' list of proclaimed local officials as of 12 noon, May 19. Mandaluyong Mayor -- Benjamin Abalos Jr. Vice Mayor -- Renato Sta. Maria Pasig Mayor -- Robert Eusebio Vice Mayor -- Yoyong Martirez Makati Mayor -- Jejomar Binay Vice Mayor -- Nestor Mercado Las Pinas Mayor -- Vergel Aguilar Vice Mayor -- Henry Medina Valenzuela Mayor -- Sherwin Gatchalian Vice Mayor -- Eric Martinez Quezon City Mayor -- Feliciano Belmonte Vice Mayor -- Herbert Bautista Pateros Mayor -- Jaime Cruz Medina Vice Mayor -- Jose Jonathan Sanchez Apayao Proclaimed Governor -- Elias Bulut Sr. Vice Governor -- Proclaimed Benguet Governor -- Nestor Fongwan (N) Vice Governor -- Crisencio Pacalso (R) Ifugao Governor -- Proclaimed Vice Governor -- Proclaimed Mt. Province Governor -- Maximo Dalog Vice Governor -- Luis F. Claver Jr. Ilocos Norte Governor -- Michael Marcos Keon Vice Governor -- Proclaimed Ilocos Sur Governor -- Deogracias Victor Savellano Vice Governor -- Geremias Singson La Union Governor -- Manuel C. Ortega (N) Vice Governor -- Eulogio Clarence Martin (N) Batanes Governor -- Proclaimed Governor -- Proclaimed Quirino Governor -- Proclaimed Vice Governor -- Proclaimed Olongapo City Mayor -- James Gordon Jr.* Aurora Governor -- Bella Flor Angara Castillo Vice Governor -- Gerardo Noveras Tarlac Governor -- Victor Yap Zambales Governor -- Amor Veloso Vice Governor -- Anne Gordon Pampanga Governor -- Eddie T. Panlilio (N) Vice Governor -- Joseller Guiao (R) Batangas Governor -- Vilma Santos Marinduque Governor -- Jose Antonio Nieva Carrion Vice Governor -- Tomas Marito Pizzaro Occ Mindoro Governor -- Josephine Ramirez Sato Vice Governor -- Gene Mendiola Or Mindoro Governor -- Arnan C. Panaligan Vice Governor -- Ma. Estela Felipa Aceron Palawan Governor -- Joel Reyes (R)* Vice Governor -- David Ponce De Leon* Romblon Governor -- Proclaimed Vice Governor -- Proclaimed Cam Sur Governor -- Luis Raymond Villafuerte* Catanduanes Governor -- Proclaimed Vice Governor -- Proclaimed Sorsogon Governor -- Proclaimed Vice Governor -- Proclaimed Iloilo Governor -- Niel Tupas Aklan Governor -- Catalino Marquez* Guimaras Governor -- Felipe Nava Aurelio G. Tionado (R) Neg Occ Governor -- Joseph G. Maranon Vice Governor -- Isidro Zayco Bohol Governor -- Enrico Aumentado Vice Governor -- Proclaimed Cebu Governor -- Gwendolyn Garcia* Neg Or Governor -- Proclaimed Vice Governor -- Proclaimed Siquijor Governor -- Orlando Afua Jr. Vice Governor -- Proclaimed Biliran Governor -- Rogelio Espina (R) Vice Governor -- Lucila G. Curso Leyte Governor -- Carlos Jericho Petilla (R) Vice Governor -- Ma. Mimietta Bagulaya So Leyte Governor -- Damian Mercado (N) Vice Governor -- Maamo Miguel II E Samar Governror -- Men Evardone Vice Governor -- Proclaimed Zambo City Governor -- Celso Lobregat* Zambo Sibug Governor -- George Hofer (R) Vice Governor -- Rey Oligario (N) Camiguin Governor -- Proclaimed Vice Governor -- Proclaimed Lanao N Governor -- Rafael Lizarda* Compostela V Governor -- Proclaimed Vice Governor -- Proclaimed DavaoN Governor -- Proclaimed Vice Governor -- Proclaimed DavaoOr Governor -- Corazon Malanyaon Vice Governor -- Joey Mayo Almario Sarangani Governor -- Proclaimed Vice Governor -- Proclaimed Sulu Governor -- Sakur Tan* N = new candidate R = re-electionist * = for verification
PEOPLE are so angry -- and that's what scares me about the elections. My mom always told me nothing good ever came out of anger. I don't understand who came up with the opposition tagline "Plan Co Revolt," but it certainly doesn't bode well for the future if those angry oppositionists win most of the Senate seats up for grabs. We'll have rallies everyday, no law will be passed in the Senate because they'd want to do endless investigations and privilege speeches, they'd invade the evening news with endless complaints. All the more that the Senate will be useless as an institution. On May 14, let's vote with sobriety and good sense. Let's review the candidates' records in legislation -- if they passed good laws, or if they did zilch.