"This is the tragedy of the opposition."
If we are to believe Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia, at least one, maybe two, opposition senatorial candidates will make it in May 13.
Defeated 2016 presidential candidate Mar Roxas will certainly make it, not only because of name recall but because he has the funding to ensure his victory.
Meanwhile, President Duterte is eagerly campaigning for his favorites because he knows that the midterm elections are a referendum on his presidency.
For instance, if his former assistant Bong Go loses, that would be a slap on his face.
The tragedy of the opposition is that it has no leader to speak of. Not former President BS Aquino, who has been discredited for his many “sins” when he was in power. In fact, his weak leadership was one reason Mr. Duterte won in 2016.
Certainly not Senator Leila de Lima, either. She is in jail, charged with crimes involving illegal drugs.
Not Senator Antonio Trillanes, too, who has been making a lot of noises against the President and his family.
Mar Roxas? The fact that he lost in 2016 makes him a discredited leader. It’s really a pity since he has the attributes of a real leader.
Because of this lack of leadership in the opposition, the May 13 elections will be dominated by reelectionists, with familiar surnames. This is why even Lito Lapid, Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada are in the Magic 12. It’s the Filipino in the voters. They cannot distinguish the real from the reel.
We may again end up with a super-majority—another three years with the Senate, supposedly an independent body, under the thumb of Duterte.
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Insiders say the Supreme Court will tackle the two petitions challenging the legality of the Bangsamoro Organic Law next week.
The two petitions were filed by Sulu Gov. Abdulsakur Tan and the Philippine Constitution Association under its chairman, former Justice Manuel “Lolong” Lazaro.
Both petitions claim that under the 1987 Constitution, only two autonomous regions—the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordillera Autonomous Region—are mentioned. Thus, to have the BARMM would violate the Constitution.
However, for lack of a temporary restraining order, the plebiscite pushed through. The question now is whether the Supreme Court can still nullify the ratification of the BOL. That would entail the court going against the plebiscite.
Whatever the Supreme Court decides, that would already be after the fact.
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The President wants the government to go easy on the proposed deportation of Chinese nationals who came to the Philippines as tourists but who have remained here to get employed in odd jobs, depriving Filipinos of gainful employment.
The reason the President wants to tiptoe around the matter is the possibility that China may retaliate against the 300,000 Filipinos working in Hong Kong and other China territories.
I find it unusual for the President to be so afraid of offending China. But the law is clear on this. As Senator Panfilo Lacson said, wherever they come from, even from Mars, foreigners violating our immigration laws should be penalized.
China, for that matter, will also enforce its law if Filipinos violate immigration laws there.
To me there is a whale of difference between the 300,000 Filipinos working in Chinese territories and Chinese nationals who entered as tourists but never left.
OFWs legitimately work in China. If some of them are illegal, China should act on them.
The President should not be too afraid to implement our laws. If China retaliates, it would be violating international laws.
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President Duterte skated on thin ice when he said that the solution to the sexual abuse problem among the clergy is to allow them to get married.
Obviously, Duterte is ignorant about the need for celibacy.
The basic reason why the Vatican is firm about celibacy is that having a family would take much out of the clergy’s time. Evangelization of the faithful is the primary consideration of being a priest. It’s a sacrifice.
As for same-sex marriages, the Catholic Church is against it for the plain reason that God created man and woman to be one in the Sacrament of Matrimony.
Same-sex marriage is an abomination.
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Real change must come from each and every one of us.
This is why we have found ourselves in the same rut for decades. We keep expecting change but we do not, ourselves, change!
Corruption for instance is so commonplace in government. This is why I cannt see corruption ever getting eradicated.