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Philippines: Interesting election results

As expected, the Opposition continues to dominate the Senate race. It’s a stinging defeat for President Gloria Arroyo’s party. However, most of the winners in the local elections belong to the Administration’s coalition.

Election results yielded interesting surprises: A rebel soldier is poised to become a senator, many showbiz candidates lost in the elections, a world boxing champion was knocked-out in the polls, a priest defeated wealthy and powerful opponents and leftwing groups are able to maintain their seats in Congress despite the active campaigning of the military against them.

Atheista is impressed over Father Ed Panlilio’s victory as governor in the home province of the president. Panlilio is the first priest to win in the elections in modern Philippine history.

“I am absolutely in awe of his courage. I admire his intellectual prowess. Most importantly, I appreciate his conscious effort to keep his interviews as secular as possible.”

But Out of my mind cautions the public over the implications of the priest’s success:

“I have nothing against Panlilio personally. I just do not think that electing a priest is a sign of maturity in our political processes and systems. When we have to resort to extreme measures, when our alternatives become so limited that we have to turn to our religious leaders for secular needs, then we are seriously in trouble.”

The Third Opinion believes Isabela (northeastern part of the Philippines) Governor Grace Padaca, a former radio broadcaster who ran and won as governor in 2004, will never resort to cheating just to defeat again a powerful family in her province:

“How can an ordinary woman with no logistics and power compared to the much powerful opponent, with a “disability” at that, can do to cheat. It just doesn’t makes sense at all for me.”

Scattered Dots compares the electoral victory of both Panlilio and Padaca:

“There are many similarities between the two victories. First, both are highly competent yet selfless leaders on a moral crusade against corruption. Second, both faced powerful political clans with firmly entrenched political machinery and unlimited resources. Third, both ran a quixotic campaign that mobilized support of the upper and middle class. Fourth, their supporters were vigilant in guarding the votes which prevented cheating from taking away their victory. Their success should inspire other provinces to break away from patronage politics, to destroy political dynasties and to encourage more qualified individuals to run for public office.”

The Bystander is amazed over the victory of a detained soldier who led a failed mutiny in 2003:

“The biggest surprise of the season is detained Navy Captain Antonio Trillanes IV who might yet get a Senate seat if the votes in his favor continue to pour in. His possible victory is seen as a surprise because he practically was not able to conduct a campaign sortie, banking heavily on paid TV advertisements which are few and far between.”

But Phoenix’ Eyrie is not happy over this development:

“But more than a million people still voted for a clear-as-day rebel. I told them, so now we're telling our kids its ok to resort to such extreme measures just to air our grievances? That one can break the law and not only get away with it but be rewarded handsomely as well? If it was a statement against Gloria, then there were better ways to make one than legitimize rebellion, lawlessness, violence and a disdain for our Constitution.”

Manny Pacquiao News Tracker has this to say on the defeat of boxing hero Manny Pacquiao in the elections:

“From a lessons learned aspect, this experience have given the PacMan a glimpse on how dirty politics is and the people you supposedly trust will be the ones to betray you. May this make the Pacquiao wiser in the years to come.”

Election results are not yet final since canvassing is yet to be finished in some provinces of Mindanao, located in southern Philippines. Manila Bay Watch uploads a letter written by a Muslim professor in response to news reports that cheating is rampant in the Muslim region of the country:

“Once again, the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao or ARMM is in the headlines as it reasserts its notoriety as the number one “cheating field” in the Philippine electoral terrain. So what else is new? As repeatedly observed and reported, cheating is done before, during and after election proper. Our most creative and entrepreneurial spirit comes to the fore during election. As a Muslim, I am shamed by all these.”

Crooning the Night Away observes how elections were conducted in the province of Maguindanao, a bailiwick of the administration. Blog @awbholdings.com notes how a good election officer was eaten by the system in the recent elections.

Janette Toral pens her ideas on how blogging was maximized in the 2007 elections. She also has proposals on how to prepare for the 2010 elections. In retrospect does not expect too much that winning politicians will perform better.

Midlife Mysteries blogs about the conduct of elections in Quezon City:

“Over-all, at least in our small part of the Philippines, people seem to have voted wisely and really given thought to picking their candidates this time around.”

Goodbye Blue Monday gives a verdict on the state of Philippine elections:

“Truly, much like the democracy that it represents, this year's elections is another freakshow, with schools being burned down leaving a teacher dead, mayors being shot, showbiz celebrities and boxing heroes running for public posts, towns with less than 10,000 residents turning up 20,000 voters… the list goes on.”

6 comments

  • Thanks for the link Mr. Palatino. :)

  • JoJo

    In response to your opinion about Padaca having a disability which hinders her ability to cheat, I see that as no reason to incapacitate her from cheating. If she doesn’t cheat, then maybe her leftist organizations can intimidate voters to side with her for fear of retaliations. Everyone can cheat whether you are disabled or not.

  • lito

    Ya! I agreed that TV ads greatly helps candidates in now adays campaign especially for Mr. Trillanes. I doubt its free but who pays this? Who are his financiers in their mutiny? Do you think Mr. Trillanes will be truly independent on his minds and principles without the influence by his financiers? Like Gringo, what happened?
    He was elected, finished his term, elected again and finished his term, and elected again. They are not true reformist but a reformist turned politician, who is pro rich and hungry for his personal ambition. I hope Mr. Trillanes will be a true reformist, and labeled statesman. Thank you.

  • Jr

    I think that it is not just the tv ads that helps Trillanes. One thing is because people now realize that they need a more responsible politician and also can help reduce the corruption in the politics.

  • Thank you for the link back to my election observations and 2010 suggestions. Cheers!

  • […] Among Ed Panlilio, a Catholic priest who defeated wealthy candidates and traditional politicians, became a blogger last June. His first post was […]

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