Saturday, March 27, 2010

Network Sponsored Debates is NEVER a Good Idea

I am a firm believer of debates. Although I'm not good at it, I love watching the way debaters jab at each other. You'll feel like they are going down the pulpit anytime and start throwing punches. This is especially true in college debates. Honestly, they could be a bit annoying but you just have to deal with the bad to get the best.

I also prefer that our candidates show up in debates. Debates will bring out the best in them and the worst in them. I believe that a presidential candidate should be a quick thinking individual and articulate. How can they speak in front of world's leaders if they can't defend themselves with a simple question. Candidates who resort to mudslinging instead of attacking their opponent's opinion are simply dumb. He or she is not there to show what they can do but they are there simply to destroy an opponents' reputation.

This is the reason why I feel frustrated when I learned some candidates are no longer taking part of debates on television. Most would argue that they will just state their case to the people. Well, the political roadshow is a lot different in a debate. They are just there to babble without anyone talking back. They don't want to see the dark side of their ideas.

This is quite unfortunate because Gibo and Erap is no longer taking part on various debates. Gibo can speak well so he could easily present his case. But for some reason, he opted to say "no" along with Edu Manzano. Maybe the reason is Edu Manzano - after all, the upcoming debate is a tandem debate. I also prefer Erap to show up because he's a lot funnier today and with Binay at his side, they can easily lambaste any candidate.

The TV networks can also be blamed why candidates are no longer interested in nationally televised debates. Why have separate debates? I wish they could just meet and set the time and date. ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5, RPN9, NBN, UNTV, IBC and other TV stations can organize one debate without any commercial. But I think that's the way they think. Mr. Percy Lapid, a popular radio commentator is always clamoring for this type of debate.

So the debate with a complete list of presidential candidates is almost impossible. Shame on those who said they have no time and to the TV stations who don't give a damn about the country.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It is Going to be a LOUD Summer

The jingles are coming friends and we have to be prepared for it. This is the first day candidates can practically do anything in order to solicit votes. That includes visiting your home, which is ok. They might also place some stickers or posters in your home if you approve it, which is relatively ok. Or they could have some caucuses so that they could offer their ideas for your town, which is actually fun.

But look out for jingles – the songs will be ripped off from popular tunes and will run continuously until Election Day. Here in Iloilo City, you’ll hear “Nobody, Nobody but (You)” blare with a twist. Take note that it’s not election season yet for the locals. But everyone is guilt of electioneering if the COMELEC is serious about it. Everyone will be disqualified.

Now that we’re starting the campaign period for local officials, we anticipate louder music. Take note that it’s very, very easy to create a minus-one or remove the vocals of a popular tune. Many computer geeks and audio-philes can remove the voice in a minute or two. What you just need is very corny lyrics in a local language.

I admit it, I don’t like it…but we have to acknowledge their effort. After all, this is part of the election. Although no one will learn anything from these jingles, this will increase awareness and people might find more information.

But still it’s going to be a very hot and LOUD summer.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

10 Tips for Manny Pacquiao for the Upcoming Election

I always wanted to write about Manny Pacquiao. But since I focus on politics, I never had that chance…until now. Now Manny is also in politics, he could be part of my blog.

Manny Pacquiao is THE best boxer that came out of Philippines. With that said, I’ll never tell him what to do with his career in boxing. I wish I could provide him a tip or two on his singing and acting career (don’t do it), but that’s for other bloggers.

Sir, welcome to the world of politics. I know you’ve been beaten once but you’re back again for another round. This time you’re in Sarangani and you still want the same position. By this time, you already learned a lot about politics and ready to take on the position if you win.

Before you do, here are some tips that you might use. Take note other candidates because you might need these as well.

1. Stay in Sarangani for your campaign – while you’ve been persuaded by Senator Villar, you don’t have to go out and go on a campaign trail with him. Shake hands in your district which will really matter.
2. Don’t spend too much – yes, I know you’re a billionaire but that doesn’t mean you have to spend them all in an election. If you spend more than 20 million (that’s already generous), you have just been fooled by your constituents.
3. Spend your money on sports not posters – people already know who you are so posters are not that good. What people might need there are boxing gloves, uniforms for sports and even dart boards. This might be electioneering but hey, who doesn’t?
4. NEVER use vans that will blare your songs – your songs are pretty ok but that doesn’t mean everyone in your district should hear it everyday until the end of election period.
5. There are only 7 Towns so go on a tour – Sarangani Province only has 7 towns which very, very, very (I could not stress this enough) small.
6. Forget about the Party List PBA (Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta) – they should have started a non-profit organization instead of seeking a seat in congress.
7. In case you lose, do it like before – you bowed out in the election without any complaints which is a sign of a great warrior.
8. In case you win, seek help from your opponent – the Chiongbians are probably the most powerful and wealthy family in Saranggani. No need to fight someone who already knows the game.
9. Seek help from your “friends” – yes, “friends” celebrities that appreciates the way you handle your boxing career. If they are really your friends, they will spend money on plane tickets and go there to endorse you.
10. Don’t buy votes – this will only ruin your reputation permanently. It’s like buying a boxer to drop on a certain round. You don’t do that right?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fear and Trembling for Iloilo City (and the Philippines)

First of all, this is not an article regarding Kierkegaard's book.

I am writing this article with fear and trembling. I was thinking of covering the latest video of Gordon with Moymoy Palaboy and the hacked website of Villar. But I’ll just forget about them and do something that’s more important to us: our security.

Why? Because no one is protected anymore. You should no longer feel safe at your home. Take this as a word of warning because bad things might happen out of nowhere. Even though you’re not part of the things happening today, it might happen – so watch out. It’s a lot better to be a bit paranoid than being careless and ends up with a body split in half.

Why am I saying this? Read tomorrow’s newspaper from Iloilo. This morning (around 3AM), someone threw a grenade on the ancestral home of Iloilo City’s Mayor Jerry Treñas. The house is currently owned by his brother. You can read about it online right now.

This incident can be easily pointed to his brother’s possible beef with anyone. But a few weeks ago someone did the exact same thing to the Mayor’s house near the airport. As of this writing, no one was invited for questioning or became the suspect of the grenade bombing.

Does this mean anything to us? A big YES!!! Here are the implications:

• Anyone can become a target and the culprit can get away from it – the City’s most powerful man is susceptible to these attacks. He has an impressive security and we’re just sitting ducks here.
• The police are not ready to do anything – I’m sure they are working double time to find the culprit. But nothing has come out yet. If you become a victim, you’ll most likely end-up looking for a mythical needle in the haystack.

Can we be protected? I don’t know. What we should do for now is to be a bit paranoid about these events. Each candidate could be a target and those who want to inflict harm will do anything to get the job done.

More Statements mean More Concerns for Everyone

For the past few weeks, you’ll always find something like this online and in the newspapers:

Palace Slams Scare Tactics
Palace Assures Transparency in Chief Justice Selection

Please take note of the worlds “Slams” and “Assures” these are verbs that doesn’t really mean anything for our country. These words are actually great for basketball and contact sports but not for Malacañang. I’m sorry Malacañang, but what you’re just saying is to forget about what you do. Everyone is concerned about the recent ruling of the Supreme Court since this will virtually place the current president in an unprecedented position for future power. She can (and might) hire someone that will say “yes you can” to anything she wants and that includes circumventing the laws of the land.

I wish the Palace will not say anything else and let the people complain. Instead of using vague verbs, they should have DONE something about it. They could have asked the SC to appeal the ruling. Better yet, let the current president skip the decision making and retire in June 30. At least, the heat on her will not be as much. If they really want a peaceful transition, they should prepare for the next president and never create any headaches for the next leader of the land and its people.

This recommendation doesn’t only apply to Malacañang. Every government officials should avoid “vows” and “promise” as these are useless statements. Give out concrete plans that can be understood so that we’ll have a better understanding who to vote on Election Day.

These are scary times and we need concrete actions (and verbs). These statements are only increasing our suspicion because you are pushing too hard to bluff the people.