The Open-Ballot System

Another round of elections. Another round of display of corruption that has already rooted in the Philippines.

See, vote buying is already a thing of the past. But I didn’t say so to mean that there is no more vote buying here in the Philippines. Quite the contrary, actually. It seems that vote buying has become an integral part of the Philippine electoral system.

However, as it is a given that vote buying has been existent for so long, people have already learned a thing or to on how to get around it – candidates and voters alike.

For the voters, there’s always the sure-I-will-accept-your-money-but-that-doesn’t-mean-that-you-have-my-vote technique. It’s what some people call “the right way”. To mean, “I will accept everyone’s money but I will still vote for my candidates.”

But the candidates have also learned to be smarter about vote buying. This time, they want to ensure that they get the votes that they paid for. It’s called the “open-ballot” system.

I, actually, have not seen it being done in a precinct, as I don’t linger after voting, but am pretty sure that ballots are supposed to be kept confidential so, it can only mean that whoever pushes for this strategy must have the support of the election council for it to succeed. It basically means that you have to show your ballot to your buyer’s inspector before dropping it in the ballot box.

Well, yes, it has to have happened in our place after I have voted as I voted right after the lunch break of the election council and local buzz about the operation grew at around 3pm.

You see, this, open-ballot, was the strategy that was employed by one of the local candidates here for barangay chairman. Saturday before the elections, this candidate has already given away an amount for some voters. Sunday, the other one gave thrice more than the previous candidate.

But Mr. Open-Ballot was very much determined to win the elections. So, some people, his followers, started the operation and went places to convince people to vote for him. The deal was simple enough: five times more than the amount previously distributed by Mr. Open-Ballot will be given to voter and all voter will have to do is show a ballot with Mr. Open-Ballot’s name on it to his inspectors before dropping it to the ballot box.

I so don’t know what to think.

Well, for those people who stood up and didn’t agree to the open-ballot, I can congratulate you for sheer nerve and self-control. As for those who gave in to the offer, I can’t blame you. Money is so hard to find these days.

Profiling the Candidates for the 2010 Presidential Elections: Closing

—The closing article for the series “Profiling the Candidates for the 2010 Presidential Elections” with all the bias and questions the writer’s mind can have and find.—

How much time do we have left to get a final decision? Not much. We have just about three months left before the time to choose will come.

May 10, 2010 is so near and a very good evidence would be the posters and banners already very numerous in the streets of the Philippines.

I know the title says “Closing” and I have just made eight profiles for eight people.

I’ve got reasons.

One. I started this series, “Profiling the Candidates for the 2010 Presidential Elections“, before the ComElec decided to clear Nicanor Perlas and Vetallano Acosta of being nuisance candidates.

Two. The ComElec had a reason to tag them “nuisance” candidates. I may never know what that particular reason is but, given the fact that they decided to do so, it tells me that there is something with these two people that caused them to be tagged so.

Three. Visibility. This issue is more on Acosta. When the official campaign period started, he didn’t even start campaigning. And given his status, if he is, at any rate, serious about his candidacy, he would’ve been able to tell that he has no time to rest. And, therefore, would’ve already started campaigning. As with Perlas, yes, he went about and started campaigning so he is free of this question.

Fourth. Integrity. Still on Acosta. He can’t be found on his given address, as the news has told, and his own political party is not even certain if he is worth supporting.

I believe, I have given enough reasons.

Moving on.

Now, the talk would be on the eight remaining candidates whose profiles have been shown in the past eight posts.

How believable can these people make themselves be and win the votes of people?

What are these people willing to give or say just to win the votes of the people?

Noynoy Aquino has already stated that Hacienda Luisita will move to the favor of the farmers whether he wins this race or not.

How possible is this? Did he already secure a permission from the other shareholders of the said hacienda for him to be able to state such very strong words?

And, how ironic is it that it is his mother, the late former President Cory Aquino, who brought CARP to life and the program is an utter failure in their lands?

JC de los Reyes is currently a councilor of the city of Olongapo. If you think of it, this is quite a giant leap. From councilor to president. Does he really have all he needs to back up this move?

Erap Estrada was once elected president of the Republic of the Philippines but holds the record for being the very first president of the Philippines to be ousted from power. Seems to me like he wants to make another record for himself: the very first president of the  Republic of the Philippines to be elected twice.

Erap’s candidacy has been questioned from the time he filed his candidacy. The issues range from his qualification given the mandates of the Philippine Constitution and from his qualification as a person.

Erap’s standing in the surveys, as reported in the news, is not too bad compared to the other people behind him. He always stands third.

I, myself, am amazed of this fact and am wondering how some people, apparently, are still able to believe in him. What are the odds the Filipino will give power to a person who have been stripped of power by the Filipino?

No matter how unbelievable this might sound, in all of the eight profiles I have research about, I can see that it is Dick Gordon who has done the most. But are those gonna be enough to make people believe that he is the person who can lead this country?

Needless to say, it is also very clear that he does not have as much support as the leading candidates have.

The Transformers. Him and Bayani Fernando. Or so they claim to be. Does the name sound hopeful or sounds utterly childish?

Jamby Madrigal, as I have stated in her profile page in this blog, contradicts herself in a very bad way.

What did she really mean to say with her goal for not bringing even a running mate with her is to be able to have like-minded people governing the country?

Yes, to me, it sounds utterly stupid – just as I said in the profile page. OK, maybe it is not the same words but that is what I was implying. Unless, of course, in one way or another, she is gonna be able to make her point straight.

And as she have been caught on cam touring, she can make it sound like it is only Manny Villar who is her rival in this race.

Gibo Teodoro, in my book, is also another questionable candidate. Not he himself but the decision of the administration to bet on a previously almost invisible person to be the next president of our country.

I mean, the senatorial slate of the administration party has people who have been very much visible compared to Gibo Teodoro. How is it that they chose him?

Also, I have read that Gibo Teodoro is just some sort of decoy and the current President of the Philippines, PGMA, actually, has her eyes on Manny Villar as the next president of the Philippines. How true can such an issue be?

And how about a religious leader as the next president of this country? Any takers?

Yes, Eddie Villanueva still believes he can win this race despite the fact that he hardly got votes in the previous presidential elections. Though, it is true, that we can’t erase the fact that the results of the previous elections are very controversial.

And Manny Villar. The one person in all of the 10 candidates who insists in being the one who is the real and true person of the rags. And the one person with, obviously, the most advertisements in the airwaves these days.

The election period has not even ended, or better, has just started, and he has already been accused of planning to get back on his expenses by using the people’s money once elected.

However, he answered confidently that he is not going to do so because all his expenses wouldn’t matter because everything he is doing is for the realization of a dream – a dream to remove Juan dela Cruz from poverty.

Which is more believable?

The Philippines, unfortunately, ranks among the top most corrupt countries in the world which is not a good thing whichever angle you try to view it from.

That’s just some of the questions this mind can find.

But there are more important questions at hand….

How are we to make a wise decision at a time like this? At a time when politics have almost become one with show business.

Or, does our individual voices still matter given the existence of “vote buying” here in the Philippines? Or, once our vote has been bought, can we still find the courage to give our vote to the one we chose, instead of giving the vote to the buyer?

Crackers are everywhere as the recent website infiltrations show. Will our voices still matter given the fact that the people who have the power can just gather a team of crackers and change the results of the elections in their favor?

Or, do we really even have a voice?

Profiling the Candidates for the 2010 Presidential Elections: Noynoy Aquino

Full Name: Benigno Aquino III
Born: February 8, 1960
Parents: former President Cory Aquino and Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr.
Religion: Roman Catholic

Current Position: Senator of the Republic of the Philippines

Political Party: Liberal Party
Running Mate: Mar Roxas

  • Franklin Drilon
  • Ralph Recto
  • Riza Hontiveros
  • Ruffy Biazon
  • Nerus Acosta
  • Teofisto Guingona III
  • Sonia Roco
  • Alexander Biazon
  • Martin Bautista
  • Yasmin Busran-Lao
  • Sergio Osmeña

Brief History

Noynoy Aquino studied in Ateneo de Manila University for his elementary, high school, and college education, graduating in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. After college, he joined his family in Boston in exile.

In 1983, shortly after the murder of his father, Noynoy had a short tenure as a member of the Philippine Business for Social Progress. From 1985 to 1986, he was retail sales supervisor and youth promotions assistant for Nike Philippines and later an assistant for advertising and promotion for Mondragon Philippines. In 1986, he joined Intra-Strata Assurance Corp. as vice-president of the family-owned corporation.

On August 28, 1987, eighteen months into the presidency of Aquino’s mother, rebel soldiers led by Gregorio Honasan staged an unsuccessful coup attempt, attempting to siege Malacañang Palace. Aquino was two blocks from the palace when he came under fire. Three of his four security escorts were killed, and the last was wounded protecting him. Aquino himself was hit by five bullets, one of which is still embedded in his neck.

From 1986 to 1993, Aquino was vice president and treasurer for Best Security Agency Corporation, a firm owned by his uncle Antolin Oreta. He went to work for the Central Azucarera de Tarlac in 1993, the sugar refinery owned by the Cojuangco clan. He started out as an executive assistant for administration, before becoming field services manager in 1996.

Life in Politics

Noynoy is a leading member of the Liberal Party. He currently holds the position of Vice Chairman of the Liberal Party, having assumed the post on 17 March 2006. He was previously Secretary General of the party (1999-2002), Vice-President of the Luzon Liberal Party (2002-2004), and Secretary General of the party (2004-16 March 2006).

He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1998, representing the 2nd District of Tarlac. He won re-election in 2001 and 2004, and served until 2007.

Noynoy served on numerous committees as a member of Congress: the Public Order and Security, Transportation and Communications, Agriculture, Banks &and Financial Intermediaries, Peoples’ Participation, Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, Appropriations, Natural Resources, and Trade and Industry committees (11th Congress), the Civil, Political and Human Rights, Good Government, Public Order and Security, Inter-Parliamentary Relations and Diplomacy committees (12th Congress), and the Banks and Financial Intermediaries, Energy, Export Promotion, Public Order and Safety committees (13th Congress).

He was also Deputy Speaker from November 8, 2004 to February 21, 2006.

One of Noynoy’s key legislative initiatives was to make requiring the procurement of the petroleum, oil and lubricants requirements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to be done by public bidding.

Noynoy was elected to the Senate in the May 14, 2007 midterm elections under the banner of the Genuine Opposition (GO), a coalition comprising a number of parties, including his own Liberal Party, seeking to curb attempts by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to amend the Constitution.


TANGGALIN ANG TIWALI, ITAMA ANG MALI. “Corruption is the single biggest threat to our democracy. It deprives the poor of the social services they badly need. I destroys the very moral fiber of our society. No reform agenda will succeed without a determined program to eradicate corruption.”


Transformational Leadership

  1. From a President who tolerates corruption to a President who is the nation’s first and most determined fighter of corruption
  2. From a government that merely conjures economic growth statistics that our people know to be unreal to a government that prioritizes jobs that empower the people and provide them with opportunities to rise above poverty
  3. From relegating education to just one of many concerns to making education the central strategy for investing in our people, reducing poverty and building national competitiveness
  4. From treating health as just another area for political patronage to recognizing the advancement and protection of public health, which includes responsible parenthood, as key measures of good governance
  5. From justice that money and connections can buy to a truly impartial system of institutions that deliver equal justice to rich or poor

My 2cents on Noynoy

I believe that Noynoy Aquino is best known for being the son of former president Cory Aquino. Given that, he has a pretty good fight in this 2010 elections. His consistency in being either ranked number one or number two in the surveys is an evidence.

According to,

It is in his bloodline. It is his heritage. For him, democracy restored must be enshrined without fear but with greatest fervor.

Also, during the funeral services of former Pres. Cory Aquino, Kris, Noynoy’s brother, has stated that never once had Pres. Cory ever been a corrupt leader. We can all hope that this lives on in the blood of her son, Noynoy Aquino.

Sources: Wikipedia, PoliticalArena,

Like, a lot is going on

I kinda found it funny how I made my other blog sound like this one – the words as quoted below. Anyway, a lot of thoughts are in my head and I am willing to keep ’em there til I can get ’em together and make something sensible out of ’em and post ’em here… And since I haven’t posted in a while, right now, I have these:

Before I went online, I was able to attend a lecture on gender sensibility by an instructor from the Institute for Strategic Research and Development Studies and it was actually good – to mean that the person has got some point. It actually became a discussion over the issues that the university is facing right now. Apparently, this place I’ve got on the school right now has given me something that I couldn’t have had given some situation else. It’s actually good to know what’s on in your university. There’s, unfortunately, too much office politics going on. Some dirty things here and there… And some sort of writing for Soulstere will be up soon… I just gotta put everything together. The ish right now is mostly in the upcoming Ms. VSU pageant. I never thought there is as much issue in it until now.

On the project, I kinda ain’t certain about its status… It’s rather too much for me that looking for a problem is the toughest problem of all…

On the Philippine politics…

The president’s SONA was two days ago. I can wonder how real the contents can be. And I kinda find it funny that in a sense or two, she can sound like she is campaining for some people. Anyway, I didn’t watch, hear, or read the SONA ‘09. Well, not from the president herself.  Someone else read it to me. Yeah, read. Which removed my need to read it myself. Thank you. I kinda didn’t appreciate it that most people wouldn’t care about what’s going on as most people I’ve asked will just tell me that they didn’t bother about it.

And… I’m still not over the fact that the president can’t stick to one language. I ain’t demanding for everything to be in English and neither am I demanding for that entire speech to be in Filipino but I’d demand for every sentence to have just one language. I can accpet her mixing up two languages in snetences – switching from one to another every sentence or two – but I can’t accept her switching languages between words! (I wonder if that one was just too vague or not.) Anyway, a lot seems to be going on.

One more thing… There’s this AkoMismo program/promotion/whatever-else you may want to call it. At first glance, it sounds like some awesome program to promote clean elections or something – some-I-can-do-this-for-my-motherland thing. But, hey! It’s me I’m talking here… It’s just too commercial. Anyway, I ain’t got much against it. If you believe in it, go on.

The spirit behind AKO MISMO is DDB Cares, the corporate social responsibility arm of the DDB Group in the Philippines, a group of companies engaged in the business of communications. For many years now, DDB Cares has championed advocacies it firmly believes in: protecting the environment, supporting the rights of women, the education of children, voting responsibly, to name a few.

Why should there be a presence of business?! It kinda sucks, you know. Yeah, they have those advocacy and such but the point is… In one way or another, it’s still business… Too commercial, too commercial..

DDB Cares believes there is an urgent need to bring hope to Filipinos, particularly the youth, in the face of growing cynicism that is heightened by the current political, economic, social and moral crises.

Too real, actually.

I guess, I can’t add more to it right now… I’ma post this under watch as this is one of those times, I think…

Oh, hey… Here’s something… The school pub wasn’t able to escape the discussion. I’ma have to include it… It has to be anyway…

One more thing… The university infirmary… Which, as from the discussion earlier, is now called the VSU Hospital… How [word omitted for risk of being too harsh]…


This is  one of those times when I can say that my blog makes some sense… I’ve, actually had this saved in my phone for quite a few now. The first time this go into me was during the previous elections…

Politics is now once again a real hot topic here in the Philippines – though, it’s not like it’s fire ever died down. It’s always been a hot one. But I’m thinkin’ it’s increased its being an issue these days since the 2010 Presidential Elections is about to come. I’ve heard that the start/end, whichever is correct, of the filing of candidacy is this November 2009 – which is soon. I’m betting that players are not hot on each other and already aching to choose their representatives.

But the thing is, there’s always been that talk of a charter change. They’re all saying that it is for the extention of the term of PGMA. Stories are like, they’re pushing it to the houses so that it’ll be approved before an election takes place. The people in the administration are not yet pondering on who to elect but on how to extend PGMA’s term – that’s according to the stations.

On the elections, I wonder how real it can get. It’s like the previous one was really very crazy. Vote buying too evident; with news of votes costing up to 1.5k Php each – and that’s just for the SK chairs. This time, I’ve been thinkin’ of this, I’m wonderin’ how much the votes are gonna cost – this s gonna be a national election. I’m thinkin’ bigger. Call it funny but this has crossed my mind. Maybe soon, instead of having a meeting de avance, however you spell it, we’re gonna have vote auctions. Where, whoever’s willing to sell their vote and the candidates will, literally, have an auction for those votes…

The Knightingale will keep watching…