"Awareness is key."
The latest Pulse Asia survey on who will likely make it to the Magic 12 in the May elections is consistent with an earlier poll done by the Social Weather Stations.
According to pulse Asia, the following would win if elections were held today: Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara, Pia Cayetano, Lito Lapid, Koko Pimentel, Nancy Binay, Mar Roxas, Jinggoy Estrada, Imee Marcos, Bong Revilla and Bato dela Rosa.
As I see it, there are several factors that will determine the winners.
One, awareness. Re-electionists are always included. Only dela Rosa is the newcomer in the group. All the others are already widely recognized by the electorate.
Dela Rosa is one of the three candidates being openly endorsed by President Duterte. The two others are Francis Tolentino and Bong Go.
Speaking of Go, there are questions as to who is funding his campaign. His face appears daily in newspapers where full-page ads portray him as some kind of knight in shining armor helping those in need.
As for me, I think it is significant that there is only one oppositionist—Roxas—in the winning circle. Bam Aquino is not even in the Magic 12!
Do Filipinos despise the Yellows all that much? I am saddened that the opposition will continue to be a minority. I have always believed that democracy is about assent and dissent, and that the Senate as an institution should be independent and not composed of the Executive’s minions.
And, before I forget, the non-inclusion of another re-electionist JV Ejercito can be explained by the presence of his better-known brother, Jinggoy.
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Some self-proclaimed analysts have listed three predominant issues in the midterm elections: Economic woes, sovereignty and federalism.
I can go with the gut issue of high prices and joblessness, low wages and sovereignty.
I disagree, however, that federalism is an issue. I believe it is dead in the water.
How can federalism be an election issue when four out of five Filipinos are unaware of it? There are many more urgent issues that we have to face.
Among these are the rising prices of goods and services. And then, workers continue to receive low wages.
Sovereignty becomes critical amid our pivot toward China. Along these lines, I believe that the 1953 Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States must be reviewed. Even Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana believes there is no way the government can end insurgency this year.
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If President Duterte thinks that all his ranting is bothering the Catholic faithful, he is mistaken.
If he watched the traslacion or the procession of the image of the Black Nazarene, he would have been amazed at how deep the faith of Filipinos is.
With faith, everything is possible. And a devotee does not even have to kiss the image of the Black Nazarene. All he or she has to do is pray.
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Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu should not concentrate his energies on the rehabilitation of Manila Bay alone.
The contamination comes from Pasig River that flows into the bay itself. The waste along the Pasig River comes from many industries dumping everything there. Worse, the squatters living along the river have made it their toilet.
The Departments of Tourism and the Interior and Local Government should also be involved. To succeed, the rehabilitation of the Pasig River should be holistic.