Why Randy David Backed Out

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has announced her candidacy for a congressional seat in the 2nd District of Pampanga, to no one’s great surprise. She needs to stay in power by some machination if she is to withstand the legal and political challenges she will face as soon as she steps down from the presidency in May. It’s a matter of survival and one can readily understand her motives if not her morals. It’s unprecedented to slide down from the highest elective post in the land to a be a congressperson but it’s the only constitutionally-open door to her at this point. Such a move is entirely consistent with her character of shameless audacity. Continue reading

Noynoy Aquino Lacks Substance

As of now.

Ask yourself, how well do you know him ? His advocacies ? What issues are he passionate about ? Like me, I suspect that most people would draw a blank when asked about Noynoy Aquino, apart from the fact that he is the only son of Ninoy and Cory Aquino.

Noynoy himself, and his handlers, have not been shy about playing the Ninoy-Cory card. Says Liberal Party 2010 campaign manager Florencio “Butch” Abad: “Senator Aquino will not turn his back on the legacy of his parents”. In a press conference prior to his going on a weekend retreat do seek divine guidance for his political plans, Noynoy said “yes” when asked if he would carry on the fight started by his parents. What this “fight” is all about in concrete terms, he does not say although he can be rather smug about his legacy. Says he: “We enjoy popular support all these years because we reflect the interest of freedom-loving Filipinos.”

But if his main selling point is his parentage, wouldn’t we be better off with Kris Aquino, who is undoubtedly more popular and has lived a more drama-filled life than her bland and balding brother ? It would certainly make for a more interesting campaign, at the very least. Continue reading

Let Cory Aquino Die in Peace

Eased out as headline news in most parts of the world, including the Philippines, by the death of Michael Jackson is the battle with colon cancer of former president Cory Aquino. Good thing too. She confounded most participants of the aborted deathwatch by getting well, at least for now. The media had to content itself with covering the many “get-well Tita Cory” activities in the wake of her reported death. Which was of course greatly exaggerated.

Who doesn’t want to wish her well and a speedy recovery ? Everyone it seems wants her to get back on her feet, the icon of feisty political courage, except Cory herself. She just wants to die, and join Ninoy in the Great Rally in the sky. After having given so much of herself to God, country and the cause of democracy, why not give her this one last wish and let her die with dignity and grace ? Instead, there’s a media circus outside the Makati Med and environs, where she was expected to breath her last. Continue reading

The Company We Keep

Butch Dalisay wrote a post a week or so ago about his not being a fan of the rampant social networking on the web. What a relief. I thought I was the only cranky old man around. And while I do have Facebook account, it was only at the insistent prodding of those near and dear to me. I hardly visit my Facebook page and I’m afraid I may come across as cold and distant to my many well-meaning friends who have poked me and keep sending me this and that invitation to join a cause. It seems I don’t respond well to being nudged, whether electronically or physically, and tend to keep my distance.

Don’t get me wrong. I do appreciate what an amazing platform for connectivity Facebook and its ilk are. People I haven’t seen or heard from in decades are now my Facebook buddies. And I know why it’s such a hit for us Pinoys. It’s rooted deep in our national psyche, the need to be part of a community and to interact constantly. Continue reading

Michael Jackson’s Memorial Service

Chances are the last song you would have heard as you read this and which is still going around in your head is “Thriller”. There’s no escaping Michael Jackson’s music everywhere you went this past week, even in elevators and Starbucks.

Tuesday , July 7, will be Michael Jackson’s memorial service at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and more than 1.6 million fans worldwide registered for tickets to the event over the two-day registration period that ended yesterday, not a few from the country. Random names from the registrants will be drawn electronically and the lucky few will know by Sunday evening (Monday morning in Manila). Only 11,000 tickets will be given out for the Tuesday service while another 6,500 tickets will be given away for the Nokia Theater overflow section next door. Anyone from the Philippines lucky enough to be picked will have to fly off to L.A. within a few hours of being informed to make it to Tuesday’s affair. One will have to head for the venue immediately after landing at LAX. My bags are packed and ready. Continue reading

Lessons We Can Learn From Michael Jackson

People are saying about the sad and sudden passing of Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, the same thing they said about Elvis: good career move. It’s a bit uncharitable but not entirely inaccurate. He was (and is, in death) a global star but his career had been on a downward spiral for years. Now he’s back on top of the charts.

And given the cult-like veneration given him by some, expect “Michael sightings” to happen a lot in the coming years. He didn’t really die, he was abducted by aliens. Continue reading

Why Randy David Can Beat Gloria Arroyo in 2010

Inevitably billed as a “David vs. Goliath” fight by the media, the announcement of sociology professor Randy David that he would run against Gloria Arroyo should she decide to grab the congressional seat for the 2nd district of Pampanga did not come as a complete surprise to those who know him. This David is no pushover. Soft-spoken, intellectual and unassuming, but definitely not low profile, Prof. David had been a television personality for seventeen years, as a host of a number of well-received public affairs talk shows. He is also a long-time columnist of the Inquirer. Thus, he is comfortable being in the public eye. Neither is he a stranger to controversy, having been active in progressive political circles for decades. He was arrested in 2006 during the series of demonstrations against President Arroyo at the time of the 20th anniversary of the people power revolt when GMA declared a state of national emergency in the face of rising protests against her corrupt government. Continue reading

Name-Calling at the Senate

Senators Enrile and Pimentel threw vicious personal barbs at each other yesterday at the Senate floor, getting one another’s goat by unseemly name-calling. I think Pimentel got the better of the mud-slinging as he touched a raw nerve by calling Enrile the principal administrator of Marcos’ martial law. Enrile admitted to faking his own ambush in order to provide an additional excuse for the imposition of dictatorial rule. He also had Pimentel arrested four times during his incumbency as Marcos’ right-hand man. Mere statements of fact, to be sure, but which cut deep as Mr. Enrile has tried hard to live down his past as a Marcos’ main enforcer. Continue reading