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Is the Senate Presidency More Viable for Imee Marcos than to be the No. 1 Senator with Smartmatic Around?

Senator


By: Elena Grace Flores

The rise of the Marcoses is fast on the track. The electoral protest of Bongbong Marcos against the presumptive Vice President, Leni Robredo might take a long time to get resolved. However, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos has filed for her candidacy in the 2019 midterm polls to run for Senator. She also forges an alliance with Davao City Mayor  Sara Du30. The Du30 and Marcoses’ supporters are campaigning for her to land on the top slot but, the pro-yellow Smartmatic is still a player in the elections. Nonetheless, with the charter change on the process, she might be better of as Senate President. There’s no denying that her impact in the Congress and the Senate is still very strong. If she can influence the lower House of Representatives for Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s speakership, she can very well get the majority votes for the Senate Presidency.



YouTube video by Bongbong Marcos

[VIDEO]: Governor Imee Marcos reviews the accomplishments of her father as she runs for Senator.


First but Powerful Senator to Be

This is Imee’s first time to run as senator. Her brother served as senator from 2010 to 2016. However, he lost against Leni Robredo in the bid for vice president. The electoral protest is still ongoing. Marcos is ranked 6th by Pulse Asia in a September survey. Consequently, she rose up 6 places from 14th in the June survey. With her surging popularity in social media, however, she may well be the number one Senator.




Performance is Greater than Controversies

Imee is now on her final term as governor of Ilocos Norte, her hometown. Previously, she had also served as a lawmaker representing Ilocos Norte’s 2nd district for 9 years. There has been no shortage of controversies in her administration. However, no matter the faults her political enemies seek to uncover, her concern for the welfare of her constituents is still apparent.


The Marcos Golden Age

The Marcos administration has been heralded by people as the “Golden Age of Infrastructure Development” of the country. In that time, an extensive program for public infrastructure was launched. Transportation, Communication, Health, Arts and Culture were all given projects. The road network was more than doubled. From 55,554 km in 1965, it went to 129,186 km in 1980. Maharlika Highway was one of the primary projects during Marcos’ time. This has added 3,517 km of road to the country’s network. Currently, this serves as the primary highway connecting Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. There were more bridges built adding 11,472 meters.



Infrastructure Projects

Plans were made for Circumferential Roads 1 through 10 to ease the travel in the metro. The Light Rail Transit was opened, which was the first in Asia. It connected north and south of Metro Manila, Monumento to Baclaran. 40 years have passed and the LRT is still in common usage. More airports were built, from 140 to 199. Simultaneously, more harbors were also built, from 622 to 849. In modern communication, The Philippines became part of the ASEAN Cable System. Wherein, 2,841 km of cables were laid out from Ilocos Norte to Singapore. This upped the quality of communication in the country. Most important of all, these infrastructures not only continue to give service to the people but also serves as a source of pride because of their high quality.




World-Class Vision Needs Authority

The Marcoses aim to continue the vision of their patriarch but they can only be effective if they have the authority. The opposition might be successful in delaying the return of BBM to the executive office but her sister is hard to block. The proposed new charter skips the VP in the presidential succession to prevent instability. It cites the ongoing poll protest against Robredo. The Senate President succeeds the President if this pushes through.It would be ideal for Gov. Marcos to secure the post of Senate President just in case BBM’s poll protest goes nowhere. Mind you, Smartmatic is still around. So, Imee Marcos as the No. 1 Senator might not be possible – but it’s another story as Senate President.




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Can the Death of Supreme Court CJ Corona be Avenged by Belgica’s Cases against Ex-Pnoy, etc?

senator


By: Elena Grace Flores

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona died of cardiac arrest. He certainly died of a broken heart. Corona is decent man falsely charged by the Aquino administration. He tried to fight a war he could not win. Consequently, he was removed from office as what then-President Noynoy Aquino wanted. Only three voted to acquit Corona and they were former Senators Joker Arroyo, the late Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Bongbong Marcos. Now, However, Greco Belgica as the Presidential Anti-corruption Commission Commissioner as well as TJC President files malversation complaints against ex-Pnoy and other officials. If it can be proved that the senators who acted as judges in the impeachment trial of the late CJ were “bribed” through the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), then his removal would be null and void. That would definitely restore his legacy.



YouTube video by Innovation Philippines

[VIDEO]: Former President Benigno Aquino III and several other officials are facing 272 counts of malversation for their alleged involvement in the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). Truth and Justice Commission President Greco Belgica filed the complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman Monday. Belgica is also a commissioner of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Committee.


Ombudsman Case to Avenge the Late Supreme Court CJ

The Truth and Justice Coalition filed 274 counts of malversation against various officials, former President Noynoy Aquino among others. This is in connection with the DAP funds of 2011.



Not an Attack Against the Opposition

Belgica, however, says in a statement that the complaints should not be construed as an attack against the opposition. However, the names of the other officials who served as respondents aside from Aquino are Butch Abad, who was the former Budget and Management Secretary. Mar Roxas, who was the former Interior and Local Government Secretary. Joseph Emilio Abaya, who was the former Cavite Rep. and House Appropriations Committee Chair. Senator Franklin Drilon, who was the former Senate Finance Committee Chair. Senator Antonio Trillanes. Mario Relampagos, who was the former Budget and Management Undersecretary. Lastly, Director Yolanda Doblon.


Pinned Down Respondents

Among the senators, only Drilon and Trillanes were named as respondents by Belgica. This is despite the fact that other senators and congressmen received DAP funds as well. To quote Belgica, “It just so happened that the evidence gathered by the coalition has pinned down the named respondents. Note that the complaint also refers to several John Does.” Furthermore, he adds, that Abaya and Drilon as the finance heads of both branches of legislature directly participated in the malversation scheme to bribe the aforementioned lawmakers for the removal of the former Supreme Court Chief Justice Corona. Roxas, on the other hand, had clandestine meetings with the senators.



Ghost Projects

Implicating Trillanes was the alleged ghost projects that he implemented. Quoting Belgica, “The amnesty, ghost project and the project not listed in the Fil-Chinese Chamber of Commerce website are matters that distinguish Senator Trillanes from the rest of the DAP recipient senators who voted for the conviction of CJ Corona.”




Malversation of Public Funds

The grounds for the malversation complaints as quoted from Belgica, “because there was no law authorizing the cross-border transfer which in itself is a blatant violation of the Constitution.” He adds that the funds were influential in the impeachment and conviction of Corona. This is also corroborated by the privilege speeches of senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla. Belgica says that 4 days before the impeachment of Corona, 124 congressmen received their DAP funds.



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See How Bongbong Marcos Lashes Out on Critics during His Governance Speech in QC

Governance


By: Elena Grace Flores

Rewarding good governance in QC barangays was indeed a worthwhile night for Bongbong Marcos. He spent time with the barangay awardees during a ceremony after mingling with the residents in the morning. He lashes out on his detractors who questioned his credentials as the event’s guest of honor. Marcos has served as Congressman in the Second District of Ilocos Norte. He was also the Governor of Ilocos Norte where he served for three consecutive terms. Additionally, he was the Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives in 2007. Then, he won a seat in the Philippine Senate. If these achievements in public service are not enough, he told his critics to know the father of the barangays. It is no other than his father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos.



YouTube video by Bongbong Marcos

[VIDEO]: A night spent with the barangay awardees and a morning spent with the barangay residents. Thank you so much, Quezon City!


Good Governance at the LGUs

Marcos always believes in the importance of the LGUs, having spent most of my public service career in local government. He said on his social media accounts; To all the barangays in Quezon City, congratulations on a job well done! Saturday morning well spent as I again joined the residents of Barangays Escopa 1, 2, 3 and 4, Quezon City for a medical mission. Marcos remembers that one of his first stops during the 2016 campaign was also in the area.

Smartmatic’s Role in the 2019 Election

Marcos’ protest against the presumptive VP, Leni Robredo during the 2016 elections is not resolved yet. However, the election season for the May 13, 2019, national and local elections is set to open soon. The filing of the certificates of candidacy of aspiring politicians is still ongoing. Although the 2019 elections are still months away, many people doubt it if the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has enough time to resolve the issues surrounding its alliance with Smartmatic. The controversial exposé of former Biliran representative and clean elections advocate, lawyer Glenn Chong puts them into the hot seat.


Justification of the Comelec

The PNoy-appointed Comelec commissioners legitimized the supply contract for the 2019 midterm elections to the Venezuelan-based firm. This is by exploiting the “considered sold” stipulation in the 2016 lease contract with Smartmatic. Comelec spokesman James Jimenez who recently resigned as focal person of the Local Source Code Review Committee after a photo of an actress wearing a bikini was shown from his laptop in a Comelec event justified the contract award saying that it was not really a renewal but an “activation of the option to purchase (OTP)” the PCOS machines. Apparently, the decision to exercise the OTP was made by the Comelec en banc in a minute or unsigned resolution on December 18, 2017. That minute resolution remains unpublished until now.



Considered Sold Because of Election Protest

The lease contract contained a spy-like provision that forces Comelec to exercise its option to purchase (OTP) the PCOS machines from Smartmatic. It reads as follows: “6.9 All goods still in the possession of Comelec as of 01 December 2016 because of an election protest or audit requirement shall be considered sold to Comelec pursuant to its option to purchase under this contract. The Comelec shall pay the corresponding price in accordance with the financial proposal within ten working days from receipt by Comelec of the invoice from the provider covering said goods. This is without prejudice to Comelec requiring the protestant to shoulder the costs.”


No Clean Election with Smartmatic

The PNoy appointees obviously knew Comelec would have to exercise the lease contract’s OTP clause for the 2019 elections when they purposely kept the PCOS machines in storage at their warehouse in Laguna. They made no effort to surrender it to Smartmatic before December 1, 2016. This constitutes gross negligence or a treacherous and premeditated act to pawn the upcoming elections to Smartmatic. A democratic election to be credible must not only be fair and clean but must also be seen to be fair and clean. This will not happen if Smartmatic remains the technology provider in the May 2019 elections.

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Election Riddle: If Imee Marcos Makes it to the Top 3 Senators 2019, What will it Make Bongbong Marcos in 2022?

election


By: Elena Grace Flores 

The anti-Marcos stalwarts can only deny the rising popularity of Gov. Imee Marcos for Senator in the upcoming 2019 election. However, they start to ask; Will voters care if the candidate is pro-Marcos or anti-Marcos? Political analysts and Professor, Ramon Casiple, Tindig Pilipinas Convenor. Atty. Edwin Lacierda, and Atty. Bruce Rivera debate on the issue. At one point, they insinuate that if she makes it to the top 3, then what will it make Bongbong Marcos in 2022?



YouTube video by One News PH

[VIDEO]: Will voters care if the candidate is pro-Marcos or anti-Marcos? Political analysts and Professor, Ramon Casiple, Tindig Pilipinas Convenor, Atty. Edwin Lacierda, and Atty. Bruce Rivera said that this is a non-factor in the voters’ decision in choosing their candidates.


Top 3 Contenders for Senators

Political personalities seeking reelection and a return to the Senate will most likely top the senatorial elections. A commissioned survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) announced this recently. Billionaire Senator Cynthia Villar tops the survey with 53 percent. Senator Grace Poe immediately follows. Taguig Representative, Pia Cayetano, a former senator was next. The two are tied at 2nd and 3rd place with 43 percent each.

Reelectionists on the 4th and 5th Places

Tied in 4th and 5th places meanwhile, are reelectionists, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and former Senator Lito Lapid. Former Senator Jinggoy Estrada, who seeks for a political comeback after a three-year detention over plunder charges, places 6th. Next in the list is the former senator and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas Lacierda stresses that the LP would be very happy if Roxas is indeed running.


8th and 9th Placers

Reelectionist Senators Nancy Binay and Sonny Angara share the 8th to 9th spots. Bureau of Corrections chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa follows them. Completing the “Magic 12” are former Senator Serge Osmeña and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos. As per the discussion, Marcos can still make it to the top 3 since her position jumps to the 7th from the 11th spot during Pulse Asia’s recent survey.



The Likely Occupants of the 12 Senatorial Seats

Reelectionist Senators Nancy Binay and Sonny Angara shared the 8th to 9th spots at 26 percent each. Bureau of Corrections chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa follows at 25 percent. Completing the “Magic 12” are former Senator Serge Osmeña and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos at 24 percent each. The rest of the LP bets are at the tail end.


Imee Marcos’ Rise in the 2019 Election Survey

Unfortunately for the Marcos detractors, there’s a sudden rise of Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos’ rank in the recent Pulse Asia senatorial survey. Its President justifies it by saying that it is not due to “an increase of her voting support.” The daughter of the late President Ferdinand Marcos climbs to the 8th spot in Pulse Asia’s September senatorial preferences survey. She is up 6 spots from her 14th place finish in the June survey. Atty. Rivera explains that since Marcos has the support of President Rodrigo Du30, she can easily gain votes from his supporters. Likewise, Du30’s chosen Presidential successor is her brother Bongbong Marcos. That can very well equate to his possible win should he runs for President in 2022.

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Can Former Senator Bongbong Marcos Continue his VP Duties Despite Criticisms?

senator


By: Elena Grace Flores

The ongoing election protest of former Senator Bongbong Marcos against the presumptive VP, Leni Robredo is instructive over the results of the vice presidential contest. The tell-tale signs of a concerted effort to ensure that the wishes of then-President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to block Marcos’ return to the executive office are obvious. His party supporters safely carried out their quest during elections. Smartmatic obviously ensures the victory of the pro-Aquino slate. However, despite the mainstream media blackout, the son of the late President Ferdinand Marcos remains to thrive because of his clan’s good governance.



YouTube video by Bongbong Marcos

[VIDEO]: I always believed in the importance of the LGUs, having spent most of my public service career in local government. To all the barangays in Quezon City, congratulations on a job well done!


Ex-Pnoy’s Wrath

The most sophisticated cheating strategy happens in the highest levels of the Comelec. This is under the baton no less of the infamous ex-Comelec Chair Andy Bautista. He organizes what turns out to be the most corrupt electoral system and practice in the country’s history.  That starts from the leak of the list which the National Privacy Commission exposed. It turns out that the same was the handiwork of a group of Comelec employees working in tandem with LP manipulators.

Follow-up on Senator Tito Sotto

Calls for Senate President Tito Sotto and Senator Dick Gordon occupy social media platforms. People are making follow-ups on the verdict of the hearings conducted. They owe it to the public to make the 2016 elections mishaps as the basis to safeguard a clean, honest and credible elections in 2019. The joint legislative committee on the automated electoral system has gathered enough information. They can easily craft a good model for the next elections if they want to.


Tweaking Excuses

The tweaking of the “N” in the middle of the national canvass by Venezuela Marlon Garcia already casts doubts on the 2016 elections. Neither Comelec nor Smartmatic cannot come up with credible excuses. The overwhelming public view that it caused Marcos’ over-a-million lead to vanish dramatically remains. Thus, the ongoing protest at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal is very much alive. In fact, it leans towards Marcos’ victory. It is even supported by the IT experts in the country.



Never Again to Smartmatic

The people should never again let Smartmatic and its co-conspirators to make a mockery of our electoral process. Foreigners must not decide the fate of our democracy. They are the reason for all kinds of problems and questionable results using their automated electoral system. The oligarchs benefit greatly from the results they generate.


Where is Democracy?

Smartmatic’s monopoly over Philippine elections was perpetuated by PNoy-appointed officials. Acting Comelec chairman Christian Robert Lim awarded the supply contract for the vote counting machines (VCMs) to be used in the May 2019 midterm elections to Smartmatic. This was three weeks before his scheduled retirement on February 2, 2018. Also, it was without the benefit of any bidding or public notice. Now, it would be too expensive for the government to eliminate that. Therefore, Marcos’ critics have no right to stop Marcos from inspiring the LGUs to promote good governance. The pro-Marcos community is larger than the black media propaganda his detractors launched against him because they are the real voters.