Philippine elections is in danger of being reduced again into a popularity contest. Showbiz actors are running again in the Senate. Politicians from both the Administration and Opposition camps are hiring actors/actresses to endorse their candidacies. Since 1998, TV personalities have been topping the Senate race. Candidates are allotting more than half of their campaign expenses for expensive TV ads.
Pala-isip reacts to the statement of an actor that he will attend a seminar on public governance in preparation for the elections:
“How do you learn how to draft a law in a few months? Lawyers take at least 6 years plus a bar exam to even understand the law. But a few months and you want to run for the Senate? Holy Guacamoli!”
Apples-pie believes Cesar Montano, a popular actor who is running for Senator, is hesitant to run for public office. Chika Muna explains why the Administration decided to field Montano in the Senate race. The Professional Heckler ponders on the possible legislative agenda of Montano.
Eliza’s Site uploads an open letter to Filipinos about the need to defeat the candidacies of showbiz actors. Public Static promotes a candidate by highlighting the lack of credentials of showbiz stars.
The blog, Richard Gomez sucks, was established to discourage people from voting a matinee idol:
“Mr. Gomez, being able to ‘represent the country’ doesn't mean having been an image model to countless brands and shown yourself in millions of billboards, magazine ads and posters. Having been a talk show host for a gossip show for years doesn't mean you know the ‘pulse of the people’. Ticket sales for your movies don't really equate to the same thing when we want to try to balance the National Budget. Showing off your pretty wife during events will not hide your zero experience in public service. My advice? Stick with showbiz and do your ad campaigns. If you really want to serve the public, join real interest groups as a celebrity-citizen.”
Iloilo City Boy thinks Manny Pacquiao, a world boxing champion and pop culture icon who announced his intention to run for Congress, is qualified for the job:
“I believe Manny is a very intelligent and astute man; you have to be to become a good boxer. Judging your opponent, predicting his moves, parrying his thrusts and studying beforehand how to defeat him requires both mental agility and extreme physical conditioning. These are also the skills politicians use (or aspire to) to get ahead in the game. And more importantly, Manny has the self-discipline and willpower to achieve what he wants to achieve. If he applies that same singlemindness to his public career, I believe he can do wonderful things for his province. But most of all, he has the capacity to inspire our people, and that to me, is enough to qualify him to run for public office”.
Inside PCIJ explains how TV can guarantee the success of candidates:
“In the 2004 elections, media strategists exerted greater effort to capture the TV audience. For, indeed, television is king: over 90 percent of all Filipino households now have a TV, whereas only two decades ago, the proportion was a mere 30 percent. And it is not just television's reach, but its high credibility, that ensures its reliability as an advertising medium. It is not just that people watch a lot of television; they actually believe it”.
Iloilo City Boy discusses the importance of campaign jingles during election campaign:
“Campaign jingles can make or break a candidate, most especially in the Philippine senatorial race where name recall is the name of the game. A catchy campaign jingle can attract peoples’ attention and help them remember your name come election day. Also, lively jingles can help boost the morale of your campaign troops and bring about a “fiesta” atmosphere during political rallies and out-of-town sorties”.
The Professional Heckler critiques TV ads of senatoriables.
The blogpost of Citizen on Mars about the troubles hounding a senatoriable who accused the First Family of owning secret dollar accounts without giving evidence generated a discussion in the comments section about how politicians can enjoy free publicity: “The publicity that will be/was brought about by this issue will help a lot with his candidacy. Whether good or bad, it still is publicity”.
Pine for Pine describes the First Family as “presidential bullies” for fielding a showbiz personality against a lawmaker who led the impeachment bid last year: “Correct me if I'm wrong but President Marcos didn't stoop that low. The president should act presidential”.
Philippine Commentary publishes the letter written by a former Senator addressed to former President Joseph Estrada about the Opposition’s encouragement for political dynasties when it fielded young candidates who have relatives in the Senate today:
“I jut could not accept the idea of such bright young men doing what the “trapo to end all trapos” would probably not do, and for the Senate, with all its absurdities, to end up as a mad and shallow “Family Ball.” I would have been proud to campaign for these young men if this one impediment did not exist, or if their next of kin gave up their Senate seats right now. But under the circumstances, the Titanic would sink if the three wonders came on board. They have all the time in the world to wait; they can wait; they should wait”.