Presidentiable Jamby Madrigal

August 8, 2009

After a hard time accepting Arroyo’s First Gentleman for the past nine years of her presidency are the Filipinos ready for another first with a non Filipino first gentleman in Malacanang? If senator Jamby Madrigal has her way, we should all be ready when Frenchman Eric Jean Claude Dudoignon Valade comes out of the surface this 2010 for her presidential bid.

Personal life aside, Jamby aka Maria Ana Consuelo Madrigal-Valade currently chairs four Senate Committees: Committee on Environment, Committee on Youth, Women and Family Relations, Committee on Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, and the Committee on Cultural Communities.

She has filed bills in the areas of education, juvenile justice, gender equality, empowerment, anti-trafficking and anti-pornography. She has also authored bills on the protection of the indigenous peoples and their ancestral domain as well as the protection and conservation of the environment.

She likewise sponsored bills advancing national economic interests, such as the repeal of the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998, as well as measures seeking to place LPG under price control and for the recovery of PETRON and Malampaya.

She recently filed a bill repealing RA 7942, the “Mining Act of 1995” and a bill for the imposition of a total log ban. Both bills aim to protect the last remaining natural resources from wholesale plunder.

In an opposition protest, she was on of the political leaders who were subjected to the Manila Police water cannons while attending a religious procession.

A known protagonist of most senators and the president in the senate floors, Jamby has proved that when she talks, people actually pay attention to listen. She was also one of the major role players during the Hayden Kho and Katrina Halili controversy. She also had her share of haters in the net when she took the time of former President Aquino’s funeral by giving away free yellow bracelet with her photos as a pre-election parapehernalia.

But the bigger question than if we are ready to get ahead of the fact of his French better half, is Jamby ready for the Presidential seat?

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Presidentiable Mar Roxas

August 5, 2009

From Mr Palengke to Padyokitos, will the KoriMar tandem make a transition from White house to Malacanang?

Born to the wealth of the affluent Araneta Roxas clan, Mar Roxas pretty much covers the smart voters and his engagement with TV host and reporter Korina Sanchez is mitigating the downside by reaching the communications gap in the D and E sectors.

Roxas attended Ateneo de Manila University for his elementary education in 1970 until his graduation in 1974. He pursued his studies for high school in the same school and graduated in 1974. Before attending Wharton School of Economics in the University of Pennsylvania where some of the courses he took in Ateneo de Manila University were credited, but were not enough to constitute a full semester. He earned a degree in economics upon graduation in 1979.

After graduation, he worked for seven years as an investment banker in New York, and became an assistant vice president of the New York-based Allen & Company.

A day after when then President Ferdinand Marcos announced a snap election, he went to his managing director and told him that he would take a leave of absence to join Corazon Aquino’s presidential campaign, the widow of Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., a leading figure in the political opposition against the autocratic rule of President Marcos.

He left United States in December 26, 1985 at John F. Kennedy Airport and arrived in Iloilo, Philippines in December 31, 1985.

He took over the role as a congressman through a special election when his  brother, Dinggoy, Congressman representing the 1st District of Capiz died of cancer.

Although he was among the most active lawmakers during his time, the people believed he paid more attention to national concerns than that of their locale.

After he garnered the highest votes in the Philippine election history when he ran as Senator, many people had already made him a potential presidential candidate by 2010. While he has been coy on his plans for 2010, the Mar Roxas for president in 2010 movement has been gathering steam with the Liberal Party revival targeting the youth (considering that the bulk of the voting population is aged below 30 years old). Other signs include the sprouting of Mar Roxas for president spots in cyberspace; and his colleagues endorsing him as the party’s standard bearer — Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III declaring him Liberal Party’s candidate for 2010, Liberal Party’s chair emeritus Jovito Salonga introducing him as “the next president of the Philippine republic” and former Liberal Party Chairman Franklin Drilon saying that Roxas is the party’s standard bearer in the 2010 elections.

On January 18, 2008, Senator Edgardo Angara stated that in the upcoming 2010 Presidential elections, there will be at least 7 presidential aspirants namely Roxas, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Senate President Manuel Villar, Jr., Sen. Loren Legarda, Sen. Richard Gordon, Chairman Bayani Fernando of the Metro Manila Development Authority and Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay. Sen. Francis Escudero denied any interest in 2010.

New LP President

On November 26, 2007, at Club Filipino, Greenhills, San Juan, the LP National Executive Council officials resolved to appoint him as president of the Liberal Party (Philippines). Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino and former Senate President Jovito Salonga, inter alia, signed the resolution.

Roxas is to unite the two LP factions, and set the stage for his presidential campaign in the 2010 election.[33] Lito Atienza, however, forthwith questioned Roxas’ appointment, attacking the composition of Liberal Party’s National Executive Council (NECO) and alleged that the Supreme Court of the Philippines’ June 5 resolution ordered the LP leadership’s status quo maintenance. Atienza stated: “I have no invitation. They kicked me out of the meeting; How can you (Roxas) unite the party when you take the wrong step?”

The Senator’s ambivalent positioning on many issues-such as VAT, JPEPA, and Erap’s pardon-stems directly from his liberal upbringing. He finds it difficult to make extreme or absolute positions. He has the well-developed tendency for balanced, nuanced approaches to problems and situations.

This sometimes leads to complicated and intricate explanations of his advocacies that do not resonate with most people at the grassroots. The latter usually prefer short, simple explanations tied to immediate calls for actions.


Presidentiable Jojo Binay

August 5, 2009

Dubbing himself as the Filipino Obama, can Jejomar “Boy Negro” Binay actually bump up to presidential status and replicate his Makati stint on national level?

A product of the Philippine public school system, Jejomar “Jojo” C. Binay had a rags to riches story on becoming the mayor of the City of Makati in the Philippines and the president of the United Opposition (UNO), National President of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) and National President of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.

Binay was born in Paco, Manila but grew up in Makati with his uncle, Ponciano, after Binay’s parents passed away.

At a young age, Binay learned to rely on his resourcefulness and determination. He went around his neighborhood to gather slop for his uncle’s backyard piggery, looked after his uncle’s fighting cocks, and went to market daily and took on odd jobs to support his studies.

Studying at the Philippine Normal College Training Department, University of the Philippines Preparatory High School and despite financial constraints, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and Bachelor of Laws from UP (LIB). In 1960, he joined Alpha Phi Omega International Service Fraternity in the University of the Philippines (Eta Chapter).

He passed the bar exams in 1968, and took masteral subjects in public administration and law in UP and the University of Sto. Tomas, respectively.

In between jobs and earning degrees, Binay gave lectures and taught law, political science and public administration at the then Philippine College of Commerce (now, Polytechnic University of the Philippines), Philippine Women’s University and St. Scholastica’s College.

While raising a family, Binay gave free legal assistance to poor clients and victims of human rights abuses during the Marcos regime. His passion for the protection of human rights developed during his student days in UP, where he was a member of the student council and was among the acknowledged firebrands of the burgeoning student movement.

From the University of the Philippines campus, Binay graduated to the parliament of the streets. He joined the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) and the August Twenty-One Movement (ATOM), formed shortly after the assassination of Ninoy Aquino in August 1983. He also helped found the Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity and Nationalism, Inc. (MABINI), a group of progressive lawyers that include the late Senator Lorenzo Tañada, Sen. Wigberto Tañada, former Sen. Rene Saguisag and Sen. Joker Arroyo.

For helping political prisoners, many MABINI lawyers, including Binay, were locked up in local jails and military stockades.

Post EDSA Revolution

After the EDSA Revolution, President Corazon C. Aquino appointed Binay acting mayor of Makati. Binay was Aquino’s first appointed local official.

Binay was later elected mayor of Makati in 1988, during the first free elections under the Aquino administration, and was reelected in 1992 and 1995.

He was also appointed Governor of Metro Manila in 1987 in concurrent capacity and was later elected by his peers in Metro Manila as Chairman of the Metro Manila Authority.

Also during Corazon Aquino’s presidency, Binay found himself in the thick of action, this time in defense of the newly-restored democracy, during several failed military mutinies.

Binay joined pro-democracy forces in thwarting the mutinies. His active role in the defense of the Constitution earned him the nickname “Rambotito” (or little Rambo, after the screen hero), the Outstanding Achievement Medal and a special commendation from President Aquino herself.

The Presidency

Binay (”Binay Na!”), the Philippines’ “Jo-bama” and the president of the United Opposition, is a Presidential candidate in the Philippine general election, 2010, who announced his bid at Makati City Hall in his 66th birthday on November 11, 2008. Amid 2,000 Makati and Zamboanga City supporters carrying streamers “Obama of the Philippines” and “Jojo Binay for President,” Binay released yellow and blue balloons with the print “Makati ngayon, Pilipinas bukas [Today Makati, tomorrow, the Philippines].” He will run under the banner of the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban). 40 Zamboanga City civic and private organizations signed a manifesto to urge Binay to run for president. Meanwhile, Joseph Estrada stated: “Si Mayor Binay din naman ay may kapasidad, may abilidad. Napakita ni Mayor Binay yung kanyang kakayahan bilang chief executive ng premier city ng Pilipinas (Mayor Binay has the capacity and the ability. He has shown this as the chief executive of the country’s premier city).”


In October 2006, the Office of the President through the Department of Interior and Local Government issued a suspension order against Binay, his vice mayor and all members of the City Council following an accusation of ‘ghost employees’ allegedly on the city payroll by former city councilor Roberto Brillante, a political rival.  The order suspending Binay and all elected city officials was signed by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita upon instruction of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

It was claimed this action was part of a government-sponsored drive to root out corruption ahead of the following year’s local elections but critics claimed it was designed to distract attention from the government’s own scandals around vote-rigging in the 2004 presidential election and to neuter opposition-held localities. Binay was the campaign manager of the opposition presidential candidate, actor Fernando Poe Jr. and had led protest actions in Makati following revelations of widespread poll cheating.

Makati residents, the political opposition and civil society groups stood by Binay, who barricaded himself inside the Makati City Hall. Among those who expressed their support were former President Aquino, actress Susan Roces – who is the widow of Arroyo’s rival in the 2004 presidential elections, Fernando Poe Jr. – and several Catholic bishops. After a three-day stand-off, the Court of Appeals stopped the Palace from unseating Binay. The appellate court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO). Before it lapsed, the court issued an injunction order, thereby preventing the Office of the President from enforcing its suspension order until the case is resolved.

After his legal victory over Malacanang, Binay was again upheld by the courts in a graft case filed by the Ombudsman over allegations of overpricing in the purchase of office furniture. The case was also filed by Brillante, who at that time was leading in Makati a Palace-supported signature campaign to amend the Constitution.

In a five page resolution, the Sandiganbayan Third Division dismissed the graft case filed against Binay and his six co-accused for lack of factual basis.

The court ruled that there was no probable cause to prosecute Binay, and that the criminal information “was devoid of any particulars as to how the figure was arrived at” and thus fatally defective. The resolution was written by Associate Justice Godofredo Legaspi and concurred in by Associate Justices Efren de la cruz and Norberto Geraldez.

Personal life

Binay is married to Elenita Sombillo, a doctor of medicine. Dr. Elenita S. Binay was elected Mayor of Makati in the 1998 elections, and served until 2001. Their union bore them five children: Maria Lourdes Nancy, Mar-Len Abigail (currently serving as representative of 2nd District of Makati City), Jejomar Erwin (Makati City Councilor), Marita Angeline and Joanna Marie Blanca.


June 2009 SWS Presidentiables Survey- Villar jumps ahead, Estrada doubles ratings now 2nd, Escudero big gain

August 5, 2009
June 2009 SWS Presidential survey
June 2009 SWS Presidential survey

This June 2009 SWS survey finally moves. Here are the impact of the advertising efforts of the presidentiables and the heightened media attention on the presidentiables and the presidential elections.

Villar solidifies his lead in this survey jumping to 33% from 29%.

But the bigger news is Erap Estrada nearly doubling his rating to 25% from 13% pulling Estrada’s ranking from 5th place to now 2nd is an astonishing jump.

Estrada has been going around the provinces in the past weeks, and has appeared in some presidentiable debates but has not gotten a lot of press lately.

Estrada’s campaign efforts were a significant increase versus what he had done previously, but they are not significant from the absolute and most specially compared to the other presidentiables. With efforts that does not seem warrant a huge increase in ratings and a significant jump like that, almost doubling his rating, makes you think that perhaps there was a sampling error and will make you look back at the raw data.


The 2010 Philippine election

August 5, 2009

Presidential elections, legislative elections and local elections in the Philippines are scheduled to be held on May 10, 2010. The elected president will become the 15th President of the Philippines, succeeding President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is barred from seeking re-election due to term restrictions. If current Vice-President Noli de Castro should not retake office, his successor will be the 15th Vice President of the Philippines. The legislators elected in the 2010 elections will join the senators of the 2007 elections and will comprise the 15th Congress of the Philippines.

The 2010 election will be administered by the Commission on Elections in compliance with the Republic Act No. 9369,  also known as Amended Computerization Act of 2007. It will be the first national computerized election in the history of the Philippines and the most expensive transition of manual to computerize in the whole world.

Local elections are also to be held in all provinces, cities and municipalities.