The big election winner in the Philippines this week? The Marcos family.
If Betty White can still shuck and jive so can Imelda Marcos.
The 80-year old won for Congress in Ilocos Norte with nearly 110,000 votes.
That’s one for each shoe.
And to my knowledge, my dead father from Laoag didn’t even vote once.
The former dictator’s wife, had been a representative of Leyte in the past, but has since discovered the saying “all politics is local.” So from her late husband’s Ilocos base, the Marcos’ rise again, with the speculation that the family is mounting a political defense against efforts to force the family pay for its plunder of the Philippines. So in Ilocos, daughter Imee won this week for governor. And there was Bong Bong, among the winners for the Senate.
Stay tuned for Marcos-Aquino III?
PACQUIAO VS. ABC
But first a preliminary bout featuring a real boxing champ, Manny Pacquiao and ABC News, the parent of KGO and KABC.
Perhaps to balance between the severe colonial-English mentality of “Nightline” anchor Martin Bashir, the network sent Clarissa Ward, a toothsome blonde to cover Pacquiao’s campaign in the Philippines.
I wondered why ABC wasn’t covering Noynoy’s victory on Tuesday. But Manny the champ is a better ratings grabber than Aquino the accidental president. Manny even got better play that night than the British Prime Minister story. (But then, America did revolt against Britain and colonized the Philippines, so maybe that colonial mentality came into play).
Still, I was hoping ABC would at least mention the gravity of the elections in the RP. But not with Ward, whose report was an embarrassment to the news division. The story was focused on the reporter’s ineptitude to secure a timely interview. Manny had the young girl in tow all day before finding the time to grant her an interview. Made ABC look silly, especially when introduced by that super solemn Bashir.
When Manny finally did talk, he answered in his short, terse but totally engaging and genuine style.
Nothing about him ever seems fake or self –serving, which one couldn’t say about Ward and her report. Pacquiao’s like Chance the Gardener in “Being There.”
But “Nightline’s treatment shows how little respect the idea of an everyman champ like Pacquiao gets when he really wants to give back to his community.
I’ve said somewhat tongue –in-cheek that Manny should run not for Congress, but president. The Philippines is run by a political ruling class of the rich. Families amass fortunes then use politics to keep the family finances in order. (The Marcos’ come to mind).
Manny is perfect to unify the country, give hope and show the country that one can rise up from the slums and be a force of good.
In many ways, a congressional post form Manny is perfect for the archipelago that too many times seems ungovernable. A strong local leader is the start of rebuilding hope in a shaky democracy. That’s what a Pacquiao win stands for.
Unfortunately, most folks just want to know if Pacquiao can beat Mayweather, and not poverty in his country. His odds are better against Mayweather.
And what does the Noynoy landslide mean? That the automated system is harder to cheat than some may have thought. And that more people voted than were killed in election related violence. That’s a plus.
But once the great victory is confirmed, the guy who never wanted to be leader until his mother died last year, will still need lots of help.
As the new Yellow Hope, Aquino has the least connection to all the graft in the current political environment. That’s good and bad. Known for idealistic reform that goes nowhere, to be effective now, Aquino will need to bring together all the oligarchs who rule. He’ll have to convince his fellow politicians to heed the mandate that the people delivered to him. People are tired of the same-old privileged class Filipino-style politicians who serve themselves before the public.
If Noynoy gets help, we’ll see a changed country.
If he doesn’t then he may have been elected the way some people choose among old fish.
You get the one that stinks the least.
Very quickly we should be able to tell if the country just elected a great brand name or the least effective oligarch.
With at least 3 deaths and one local candidate abducted, you might say it has been a fairly tame election so far—-for the Philippines.
Despite more than 300 voting machines not working, whole areas being declared “failed,” and long lines making voting a 3-hour wait, officials are considering the first automated voting in the Philippines a success.
It will be if the projection of Noynoy Aquino as the landslide winner holds up.
In the Philippines, you must have an insurmountable lead to offset the potential of any last minute cheating.
With less than 40 percent of vote counted, Aquino has a 16 percent lead over second place candidate Joseph Estrada.
If it does hold, Aquino will have his work cut out for him. He will have his mandate from the people, but will he have the cooperation of the other oligarchs within the elite class.
He hasn’t had that thus far in his political career, which means this display of latter day people power could turn into a futile act.
Has the Philippines just elected the best figurehead but least effective oligarch?
You may be surprised if you talk to Filipinos about the May10 election. They’ll sound like Noynoy Aquino is behind.
That’s even though the son of political icons Cory and Benigno Aquino is at least 20 points up in the most recent polls this week compared to his main opponents, Manny Villar and Joseph Estrada.
No pre-election lead is insurmountable in the corrupt political environment of the Philippines.
Besides, no poll really counts except the final one. And despite official proclamations by the Philippine government that all is fine and dandy for democracy come Monday, glitches this week in the new electronic, automated system that relies on CF (compact flash) cards makes me nervous.
The only thing electric that wor ks without fail in the Philippines is your rice cooker.
Every other device is far from fool proof.
At least, they don’t have a chad problem.
At this late date, 60,000 CF cards need replacing in the automated vote system, and about 44,000 cards are set for arrival from Taiwan and China as late as Saturday. And then they have to go out to the machines that need replacements.
Do I smell SNAFU in the making. (By the way, the “F” doesn’t stand for Filipino).
This last minute “mini-crisis” does give everyone a handy excuse if the outcome isn’t just right for you name it: winners/losers/termed out incumbants.
And that’s why even with a 20 point lead going into the weekend, no one can be super confident of anything come May 10.
The talk now is of the second coming of People Power if some surprise comes up at the last minute.
That’s the state of democracy in the Philippines.