The US presidential race is tied with both candidates trying to seal their victory by winning 3 swing States, Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The latest CNN poll showed both getting 49% each.
What is the effect in the Philippines? Whoever wins, the US policy on the Philippines will not change. Past experience, however, has shown that a Democratic Administration has been more generous in giving aid to the Philippines.
It’s such a joy to watch the coverage of the last few days of the US campaign. One thing sure is that their political analysts are so expert in their opinions. One thing impressive is that the TV networks are fair and objective in giving equal time to both candidates.
It is sad to say that we cannot say the same for our TV networks.
My gut feel it’s still a slim Obama win, led by his winning will be the 18 electoral votes of the State of Ohio.
* * *
HEINOUS CRIMES. . The heinous killing of the UST cum laude graduate Cyrish Magalang in Bacoor, Cavite has raised new calls for the reimposition of the death penalty.
Cyrish Magalang was stabbed to death 49 times by confessed drug addicts raising more cries for a tougher policy against drug offenders.
Thousands have died at the hands of riding in tandem assassins. In Agoo, La Union, Ex Vice Mayor of Tubao, Lazaro Gayo was shot dead by riding in tandem assassins.
Usec. Abigail Valte in statement said the President is not in favor of reimposing the death penalty. “Until such time that we can be completely confident that those who may be sentenced to death are really guilty of the crime they are being accused of,” she declared.
That statement is a direct admission of the bad state of our justice system. If we have to wait for a clean-up of our justice system from the police to the prosecutors to judges, we will wait for a long time.
In the meantime, heinous crimes from murder to kidnapping to rape to robbery holdups are increasing.
We cannot just close our eyes and do nothing.
Reimposing the death penalty is worth considering. It works in Singapore, Malaysia and many other countries.
The other issue raised by the Magalang killing, why was it so easy for a tricycle driver to buy shabu? Again, proof that the Government effort against illegal drugs is failing.
* * *
NON-PAYMENT . . Former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr. is doing well recovering from a stroke. He can now move his left hand and his heart is in good shape.
We visited him at his Bacoor home last Saturday and he was quite sharp. He admitted he is taking stem cell shots and it is working with him.
He said that Hanjin Industries in Subic is not paying millions in reclamation fees. Sec. Purisima and BIR Commissioner Kim Henares should conduct an audit of Hanjin.
* * *
CARP EXTENSION . . After 24 years, including a five-year extension, Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Rep. Teddy Casiño are debating a new 5 year extension or even a new land reform Law.
It is a clear that CARP has not been successful in improving the lives of farmers as a whole. It’s a costly program. It is time to consider closing the program once and for all. Give the DAR budget to the Department of Agriculture.
Rep. Teddy Casiño has raised the argument that another 5 years extension will increase the possibility that the Supreme Court may grant the Hacienda Luisita claim of a P10 billion pay off.
* * *
FARMERS PROTEST . . 1,000 tobacco farmers from 6 Ilocos provinces descended on the Senate yesterday to lobby against the Sin Tax bill.
The poor farmers brought vegetables with them to cook as their food. They have issued an appeal for water.
Sen. Frank Drilon is sponsoring the Sin Tax bill this week, using the Recto committee report as the basic document. This Sin Tax bill should be seriously debated. A compromise of a P25-30 billion revenue collection might be worked out.
* * *
BIRTHDAY PARTY . . Tita Armida “Midz” Ponce Enrile Siguion Reyna celebrated her 82nd birthday last Sunday at White Space Events Pavilion in Makati.
Heading the guest list were Vice President and Dra. Elenita Binay; President Estrada and Dra. Loi Estrada; Senate President and Mrs. Juan Ponce Enrile; Sen. Tito and Helen Sotto; Sen. Chiz Escudero and Heart Evangelista; Congresswoman Abigail Binay and Nancy Binay; Eddie and Lilibeth Garcia; Susan Roces and Grace Poe; Lily Monteverde, Marichu Vera Perez Maceda, Robert Arevalo and Barbara Perez; Dean Amado and Mrs. Valdez; Beaver and Jackie Lopez; Tony Boy Cojuangco and Gretchen Baretto; Dawn Zulueta and Tito de Guzman.
Director Carlitos Siguion Reyna together with his wife Bibeth Orteza took care of the 150 guests.
* * *
TIDBITS . . . Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III, CBCP spokesman, called on Government to build more cemeteries. Yes, this is now a problem for the poor. Where to bury their dead?
PAGCOR reports a P4.38-billion income for the 1st three quarters of 2012.
PNP Gen. Alan Purisima admits there are still 68 active private armies, 25 of them in ARMM.
The BCDA Board headed by Tong Payumo is a finalist in the Search for Asia CEO awards for the most Admired Board of Directors.
The cemeteries were full of tarpaulins of politicians. So, where are the anti EPAL crusaders? They should have been in cemeteries removing the tarpaulins.
The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that a Filipino was driving the truck that exploded and killed 22 people in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Happy birthday to Ellen Bocalan and happy 18th birthday to Ashley, granddaughter of Nene Henson.