Halalan 2022: Presidential Mediocrity [2 in 1 analysis of the tickets]

Today, the total of Presidential Candidates are finalized. Already looked into a few who was scheduled to become candidates. Some did and some didn’t. This is the ones that will PDP-Laban’s Rodrigo Duterte. That will not be an easy challenge. The person needs tenacity and strength. Also, have ability to stand strong with all the political dynasties and in-fighting in the Congress.

There been speculations who would be next and who would stand as candidates. The incumbent party PDP-Laban is sending Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa. A former police officer turned senator. A man who doesn’t see himself as a statesmen. He is also the man behind Duterte’s war on drugs. So, this man has no trouble using violence. The second man on the ticket is the mid-term elected senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Tesoro Go or “Bong Go” as the Vice-President. He is Duterte sidekick and “utility” man. In that regard, they hope he will “Bato” executive assistant. Just like he was all the years in Davao.

The Liberal Party and current Vice-President Leni Robredo is vying the highest office. She had a hectic term and haven’t been in the good graces. Her pink Thursday might have launched online presence, but will she handle the highest office? She has to prove beyond the metropolitan and educated voters. That she stands for the ordinary people too. Sometimes she has a tendency to act a bit arrogant, because of her stature. This needs to be resolved in the upcoming campaign. Her running mate is Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan who runs for VP. Kiko has been called one of the most hard-working senators, but he has to prove that on the campaign trail now.

Then you have Ferdinand “BongBong” Marcos Jr. of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas. The man who claims his father brought the “golden era” to the Philippines. When people were living under martial law and his family was plundering the nation. A man who is also not celebrating EDSA. So, this man will be a selfish President and not suitable for office. Neither has a good record as a Senator and his one of those dynasties that is self-serving. Not strange, they are the next in line after the dictator. He wants “Bong Go” to be his running mate. In that way it would be “Bong Bong Bong Go”. What a crazy scenario….

The People’s Champ Movement (PCM) is fielding senator Emmanuel “Manny” Dapidran Pacquiao Sr. Manny Pacquiao is the first term Senator and haven’t been an effective lawmaker by any stretch. Only real achievement is to finally retire from the boxing ring. Also, because of standing as a Presidential Candidate he was expelled from PDP-Laban. He is supported by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. While Pac-Man shares a ticket with Lito Atienza, the Deputy Speaker of the House. The former mayor of Manila from 1998 to 2007.

The current Manila Mayor of the Aksyon Demokratiko party, Francisco Domagoso “Isko Moreno” is running for the Presidency. He has been the Mayor of the Capital since 2019. The former actor and local councillor have a long way ahead of him. The way his been publicly. He sounds like a meek and soft Duterte. Since he will continue where he left off and not challenge the current day today. He wants to unify the nation, but it’s not a nation in war. So, it seems weird to unify it in peacetime. On his ticket is Dr. Willy Ong, a social media favourite doctor, which sounds like a huge risk. As he has no political background and could be buried quickly. That’s a risk of media savvy Presidential contender.

The final Presidential Candidate and party I will list is Partido para sa Demokratikong Reporma and their candidate Panfilo “Ping” Morena Lacson Sr. He plans to run on the same program as Duterte did in 2016. Ping has been a Senator since 2007 and this is his final opportunity to get promoted. The former PNP Chief and has a road ahead of him. Since he only got about 5% of the votes in 2016. He has a well respected running mate in Vicente Sotto III “Tito”. Tito has served in the Senate for 20 years. Over the years he has passed over 20 laws. The only last thing that he could be criticized for over the years. Is that during this term he tried to lower the age of criminality. Meaning, someone deemed as a child could be guilty and liable for participation in a crime. That is the only thing I feel bad for Tito.

So, we see the parties and their candidates. It is not a strong roost of candidates. There is nobody screaming of elegance or quality. None of these tickets are perfect. Nobody is perfect either, but they are not easy to sell.

Bato-Bong is the most mediocre from the incumbent party. Instead of fielding winning candidates and people who has charisma and charm. It is sending what feels like rejects and only Duterte loyalists. Hoping to continue where Rodrigo left-off. That isn’t a winning formula, but leftovers. Who wants yesterday’s frozen lasagna? When you can order fresh Italian food from the vendor around-the-way?

Final analysis of the tickets:

Robredo-Kiko is the ones with the finesse, but will it be a pay-off? Antonio Trillanes IV would have been more forceful. Trilanes will most likely be re-elected into the Senate after one term out. He could have brought more to the ticket than Kiko. Robredo already have to prove that her term wasn’t wasted and she has to be viable to rural uneducated areas. Will Kiko be able to promote Robredo there? I doubt that, but the liberals got to try.

BongBong wants to go Gung-ho with BongBongBongGo and that’s insane. The son of the late dictator should just enjoy the perks of the plunder and leave the Republic alone. Especially, when the candidate doesn’t want to take responsibility or fix the ramification of what his father did. The Marcos haven’t cared for the Philippines. They have hidden and tried to get away from the pain and suffering they put on the nation. He should retire and chill. Be lucky that he got to live lavish on the thieving of his father. That’s it really. Maybe not send “Emergency Alerts” and try to polish your public persona. Since we know the deal and you cannot polish a turd. A turd is a turd, no matter what do to it.

Pacquiao- Atienza is a gamble. These ones are risking their seats in congress. Pac-Man could have easily gotten re-elected into the Senate. Even when he has little to nothing to show for it. He lost his place in PDP-Laban and the faction of his on the open sea now. That he got a respected and seasoned politician on his side is good. Also having support of Pimentel III is vital here. However, is that enough for lightweight Pacquiao? Well, I doubt that… he got to drop a manifesto, which not only smells blood, but proves his sincerity in the race. It cannot be a half-baked project without any substance. Then he will be a fish out of water.

Isko-Ong is the futuristic and out-of-place candidacy. The Manila mayor have to get such a momentum that the big parties cannot contain it. However, to be able to do that. He needs to hit a nerve, but for now he sounds like someone who just wants to “build build build”. Isko Moreno might look like a fresh face, but is that enough? Really? If so… then there is little merit or proof before you get into the highest office. You know this ticket is risky when they just picked the most popular social media doctor to be his running mate. Not finding someone to bring experience or credentials. No, we pick the man that gotten popular during the pandemic…. It is so soft!

Ping-Tito is the most experienced of the bunch. Ping Lacson would be elected with advanced age just like Duterte. Would the same republic vote for an old head like this again? Tito is a respected VP candidate and has a positive record. Therefore, this candidacy is good, but will it be enough? I still wonder, if these two will able to fight and make a campaign worthwhile? They need to prove their experience and careers. Ping-Tito can show what they have done. However, can these challenge the rest and be viable? That I am not certain of, but in a race of mediocrity, maybe this is enough?

God knows what it will take, I don’t know, but these ladies and gentlemen seems like a mediocre bunch of candidates. Would hope for more… nevertheless that is too much to ask for in 2021. Peace.

Philippines: Senate President Vicente Sotto III signs the PHP3.757-trillion General Appropriations Bill for 2019 before its transmitted to President Duterte for review and signing (26.03.2019)

Philippines: Are there some porkies or not?

One of the leading causes of obesity is the misbelief that, when it comes to juice, ‘100%’ means ‘sugar-free.”Mokokoma Mokhonoana

In the Philippines, there been a long tradition of Pork Barrel or specific payout for government projects for Representatives in the Lower House, the House of Representatives and the senators in the Senate. Because this week has been hectic in touch with tradition. There are back and fourth. There is no end in sight for this rodeo. I will show pieces of it, because, I cannot make sense of it.

If there is, then there is, if its not, its not. However, after the recent week action in the headlines and following the wires. I got nothing. Because, even I am unsure. It is hard to know if there is Pork Barrel within the ratified Budget for 2019, which was ratified on Friday on the 8th February 2019.

Let me show some statements that isn’t coherent, reporting that is not backing each other. From various of sources. Since I feel this is important, because there is lack of consistent messaging, therefore, the truth might surface later. However this is what I have by today.

GMA Reported: “Senators took exception to allegations by House appropriations chairman Rolando Andaya Jr. that they will get P3 billion each in pork allocation in the 2019 budget. Senate President Vicente Sotto III, in a text message, said the accusation of P3 billion per senator as pork “is a slur against the Senate.”” (Amita Legaspi – ‘ No P3-B pork in 2019 budget, senators insist’ (08.02.2019) link: https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/684334/no-p3-b-pork-in-2019-budget-senators-insist/story/).

CNN Philippines Reported: “He was referring to the funds that current House committee on appropriations chair Rolando Andaya said were illegal insertions made by Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno — a charge Diokno has repeatedly denied. Lacson said that around P51 billion of the controversial P75 billion funds have been distributed to all members of the House of Representatives in P20 million chunks. “Of this amount, 20 billion pesos was distributed equally among the almost 300 congressmen, which translates into P60 million per congressman plus additional allocations to those close to the leadership of the House of Representatives. These are all embodied in the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) or the House version transmitted to the Senate,” Lacson said” (CNN Philippines Staff – ‘Lacson: New House leadership continued pork barrel mess’ 08.02.2019, link: http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2019/02/08/lacson-andaya-arroyo-pork-barrel-2019-budget.html).

Manilla Standard Reporting: “In total, the Senate proposed some P25.4 billion in adjustments while the House introduced P20.65 billion in realignments or a total of P46.35 billion under the DPWH where legislators can identify specific projects. Andaya confirmed that each congressman will get P160 million in itemized projects” (Maricel Cruz and Macon Ramos-Araneta – ‘Congress approves budget’ 09.02.2019, link: http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/mobile/article/287358).

Sen. Franklin M. Drilon Press Release: “The minority leader also denied reports that senators will get P3 billion in pork allocation, including a province in the Visayas getting more than P3 billion. He called the allegation “grossly unfair”” (Franklin M. Drilon – ‘Drilon says no to 2019 national budget’ 08.02.2019, link:http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2019/0208_drilon1.asp).

Sen. Leila M. de Lima Press Release: “Kudos to my colleagues in the Minority bloc – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros and Kiko Pangilinan – and, of course, to Sen. Ping Lacson, for their rejection of the pork-laden 2019 budget” (Sen. Leila M. de Lima – ‘Sen. Leila M. de Lima on her colleagues’ rejection of the pork-laden 2019 budget’ 09.02.2019, link: http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2019/0209_delima3.asp).

We are clearly seeing mixed messages, but both sides of this. Where the allocated funds are seen as differently. Therefore, we will see if these allocated funds are for the Pork Barrel or not. Since, the various explanation for these funds are really special. They are showing something and how to interpret the budget itself.

If one side is lying, than they are receiving funds and telling porkies. I am not sure, because if it is, they have tried to be sophisticated, but somewhere the funds leaked out. Someone spoke out and then the ones loyal to the President and the Government calling it “offensive”. Which makes it all weird. Since, why should people lie about special pay-outs, wouldn’t that be a happy-day to see your bank-account to be pregnant?

The Pork Barrels are there maybe or maybe not. By this report and these statements, it could be anything. Certainly porky porkies and even slices of pork chop from those Pork Barrels. Peace.

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