Withdrawals and Substitutions

More potent than my current chemo pill, Philippine politics over the weekend sent me into dizzy spells.

As of yesterday, Sarah Duterte withdrew her reelection bid for Davao City mayor and filed her CoC for the second top national post instead. Long time Duterte aide Bong Go withdrew his VP candidacy, and is running for President under a different party. Another presidential dear friend Bato de la Rosa who filed his CoC for President said on Friday, he is withdrawing because he is withdrawing. On the last day of substitution, the older Duterte, through his representative, substituted for a candidate in Bong Go’s party. Party hopping time once again! Do you even remember the names of political parties?

(The OG Rudy Fariñas is back in local politics. Photo courtesy of Cong. Ria Fariñas FB page.)

A couple of minutes before the Commission on Elections’ cut-off for substitution on Monday, former Ilocos Norte first district representative Rodolfo “Rudy” Fariñas substituted for a certain Juner Daniega Jacinto, a gubernatorial candidate under the Partido para sa Demokratikong Reporma. For governorship of Ilocos Norte, it is now the incumbent governor Matthew Marcos-Manotoc, son of Imee Marcos vs. veteran politician Rudy Fariñas.

Browsing through the comments section on social media, the feeling of invigoration among Ilocos Norteans after being given more candidates to choose from is perceptible. The pandemic has opened our eyes to a lot of things.

In the May 2022 elections, we hope to bring back the sanctity of the electoral process. Hope shapes the future.


Carlos Celdran: Love him or hate him?

His Way

Rock star Filipino tour guide, artist, blogger, cultural activist, and Reproductive Health Bill advocate enters a road with a no entry sign and lands in jail.

Like lightning, his stunt caused a jolt in the front pews that reverberated across the walls of the Manila Cathedral and into cyberspace where supporters quickly put up a Free Carlos Celdran Facebook page. Even if he’s out on bail, the number of people liking him on FB is still rising — 14,000 15,000 the last time I checked 18,500 after a 24-h timespan.

What Celdran has achieved, imao, is that he has brought the public at large to openly talk about the burning issues between the State and the Church.

Here are links to two articles I stumbled upon today: A Catholic Taliban Rules the Philippines? and  Carlos Celdran: Machiavellian, no doubt.

On the possibility that the Church excommunicates him, the cultural activist says, “Baka mag-Iglesia ni Cristo na lang ako, proudly Philippine made [I may join the Iglesia ni Cristo, which originated in the Philippines].”

Get to know Carlos in this video

Know more about him in wikipedia.org

images via Free Carlos Celdran on Facebook

The Great Divide: Imee or Keon

If former president Ferdinand Marcos were still alive, Ilocos Norte would not be divided like it is today.  The political bickering got even worse. I wrote in my favorite April 5, 2009 post , Ilocos Norte From A to Z:

Y The yardstick against which all new leaders in the province are measured since the late President Marcos remains to be him — the Apo. He was brilliant and left the nation with many accomplishments including the thousands of laws he has written that are still in force and in effect. During his time, the province was solid with no political bickering at all.

As of now, I haven’t decided on who to vote for Governor. It would be a breeze if I live in the 2nd district of Ilocos Norte, where Imee Marcos, daughter of the late Apo, was  former representative, but I live in Laoag which is covered by the 1st district. I only read about her in the news. She is running against reelectionist governor Michael Marcos Keon, son of the late former Ilocos Norte governor Elizabeth Marcos Keon, sister of Imee’s father.

Even the other Marcos cousins, Mariano “Nonong” Marcos II and Angelo Marcos Barba, are running under opposing tickets. Nonong, a reelectionist board member, is under Imee’s ticket, while incumbent board member Angelo is running for Vice Governor under Keon’s ticket.

Mariano "Nonong" Marcos II

Angelo Marcos Barba

Ilocos Norte has a voting population of about 348,000. It’s small; in Laoag alone, halos magkakakilala ang mga pamilya. This time around, much like sa positions of President, VP and Senator, tantiyahan na lang. This is going to be the toughest one! I need to meditate on it this Holy Week break. The environmentalist in me says — wish ko lang, to ask each one if they can assure the people of Ilocos Norte na hindi makakapasok ang Romualdez-held Benguet Corporation sa province. The mining corporation is in the process of  application for a Financial Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) for an Ilocos Norte project. (Read related post.) The project might compromise the remaining primary forests of  the North and the world-renowned beaches of Pagudgud. It scares me more that utang na loob, loyalty and family ties are the issues sa kampanya. (Read related article.)