New era of politics

SEARCH FOR TRUTH - Ernesto M. Maceda (The Philippine Star) - May 13, 2016 - 10:00am

The phenomenal victory of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, also known as “the Punisher,” has changed the political and electoral landscape.

It used to be that presidential campaigns started at least two years before the election date with a presidential candidate starting making his rounds nationwide at least one year before. But Mayor Duterte decided to run only six months before May 9.

It used to be that a budget of P3-5 billion was required for a presidential campaign. Duterte spent nowhere near P3 billion, with only Pastor Apollo Quiboloy and a few Davao businessmen contributing to his campaign funds. Duterte had a minimum of televisions ads. He had no nationwide organization, unlike Mar Roxas and Jojo Binay with a handful of congressmen and governors supporting him.

Despite his off-color sexual remarks and pledges to kill criminal suspects, the people dream Duterte can help, with peace and order as his primary concern.

The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) had only a few incumbent local officials. It did not have a complete list of congressional candidates.

However, presumptive President-elect Duterte has threatened to form a one-man rule if legislators in the Congress oppose him.

Duterte announcement

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte announced he was going to issue an executive order approving a Freedom of Information Act.

He also announced plans to impose a nationwide curfew for minors. He also said he will impose a liquor ban after midnight as a measure to reduce crime.

Former Agricultural Sec. Sonny Dominguez, in a press conference, announced an eight-point economic agenda of the following:

1. Continue and maintain the current microeconomic policy, which targets specific sectors, industries, markets, or demographics, under the Aquino administration;

2. Accelerate the infrastructure spending by addressing bottlenecks in the Private-Public Partnership (PPP);

3. Remove foreign investment restrictions in the Constitution. Call a constitutional convention for this purpose. Reduce income tax rate;

4. Make doing business simple like in Davao where licenses are given in the shortest possible time;

5. Make the Philippines a crime-free area such as Duterte made in Davao;

6. Pursue a genuine agricultural development strategy by providing support services to farmers;

7. Focus on the two-thirds of the population who are all poor and live in the rural areas. Promote tourism in the rural areas;

8. Expand and improve the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program.

Surprise win

The victory of Liberal Party (LP) vice-presidential bet Leni Robredo was a big surprise, starting in last place in the beginning of the race. Robredo caught Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos at the finish line, winning by a nose. Considering that she just served for two and half years as a Congresswoman, the voters did not consider her inexperience against her. Note that Iglesia Ni Kristo (INC) supported Marcos.

It is also significant, despite pulling 16 million votes, Mayor Duterte was not able to pull up his vice presidential bet Alan Peter Cayetano, who only got five million votes, way below the 13 million of Robredo and Marcos.

The other surprise performer was Joel Villanueva, who placed second in the senatorial winner’s circle. Also surprise winning senators were Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian and Sec. Leila de Lima, who pushed out Senators Serge Osmeña and T.G. Guingona.

Rep. Manny Pacquiao recorded an impressive seventh-place finish and puts him in early contention for 2022.

Senators Richard Gordon and Miguel Zubiri recovered their Senate seats, which they lost to “hokus picos” cheating in 2013.

Erap wins second term

Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada won a second term as Mayor of Manila, polling 283,149 votes to defeat former Mayor Fred Lim, who obtained 280,464 votes.

Erap’s running mate, Dr. Honey Lacuna won as vice mayor, with a 40,000-vote margin over Ali Atienza, Trisha Bonoan and Atong Asilo.

Elected congressmen were Manny Lopez, 1st District; Carlo Lopez, 2nd District; Yul Servo, 3rd District; Edward Maceda, 4th District; Cristal Bagatsing, 5th District; and Sandy Ocampo, 6th District.

In Makati, Rep. Abigail Binay defeated acting-Mayor Kid Peña by 16,000 votes. In Quezon City, Bingbong Crisologo regained his 1st District congressional seat. Speaker Sonny Belmonte got another term as Representative of the 4th District. Also reelected were Winnie Castelo, 2nd District; Jorge Banal, 3rd District; and Alfred Vargas, 5th District.

In Parañaque, Eric Olivares, 1st District and Gus Tambunting, 2nd  District, were reelected.

In Navotas, Toby Tiangco was reelected. In Malabon, Ricky Sandoval edged out former Senator Tessie Oreta.


Jack Ponce Enrile lost to Board Member Ramon Nolasco in the 2nd District of Cagayan.

Mark Cojuangco lost to Amado Espino III, for the governorship of Pangasinan. His brother, Charlie Cojuangco, was elected congressman in the 1st District of Tarlac.

Ria Vergara, wife of Cabanatuan Mayor Jay Vergara, defeated Gov. Aurelio “Oyie” Umali in the congressional race in the 3rd District of Nueva Ecija.

Congresswoman Baby Arenas was reelected in the 3rd District of Pangasinan.

Eric Singson is returning to the House as the Representative of the 2nd District of Ilocos Sur.

Danny Suarez regained his seat as Congressman for the 3rd District of Quezon.

Senator Pia Cayetano has been elected as Representative of Taguig.

The Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) has elected 42 congressmen. Negros Rep. Albee Benitez’ Visayan bloc claims 44 members. The Liberal Party (LP) is counting on 100 members. It will be an interesting contest for the speakership.


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