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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 Speaker Arroyo be Successful in her Constitution Change that Rejects Robredo as Du30’s Successor?

constitution


By: Elena Grace Flores

Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, as well as 21 other people from the House of Representatives, are making a push for a change in the Philippine constitution. They initiate a Charter Change by filing of a resolution that contains the revision. The co-authors include Rolando Andaya Jr. the Majority Leader, Vicente Veloso, Alfredo Benitez, Aurelio Gonzales Jr., and Eugene Michael de Vera among others. In this version, the Senate President will be the direct successor of the President and not the Vice President. The camp of the presumptive VP, Leni Robredo reacts immediately through Atty. Romulo Macalintal. While Bongbong Marcos’ camp is still quiet about it.



YouTube video by Innovation Philippines

[VIDEO]: Speaker Arroyo pushes Charter Change, draft rejects Robredo as Duterte’s successor


Arroyo’s Purpose

The resolution was already sponsored for a second reading. However, there is a lack of quorum as pointed out by Buhay Representative Lito Atienza. Consequently, they’ve suspended the deliberations. One of the lawmakers involved said that the revision does not target Robredo directly. They just want to stabilize the government for the future circumstance. Arroyo’s leadership on this matter is crucial. She is a former President and a victim of the previous administration.

Temporary Succession in the Constitution Draft

Section 4 indicates the Senate President in the line of succession, as quoted. “In case a vacancy arises by reason of removal, resignation, permanent incapacity or death of the incumbent President, the incumbent Senate President shall act as President until a President shall have been chosen and qualified.”


No Office Extension for Du30

Section 2 of the article, however, prohibits both President Du30 and Robredo to run for office extension beyond June 30, 2022. Furthermore, this constitution also bars Du30 to run as President in the 2022 elections. Therefore, his detractors cannot accuse him any more of prolonging his executive powers – just like during Arroyo’s time.

Reaction from Robredo’s Camp

Robredo’s camp questions the removal of the Vice President in the line of succession on the proposed draft. As quoted earlier, Section 4 indicates the Senate President, Tito Sotto in this case, to be next in line. Atty. Macalintal who is running for Senator said that they cannot cite the electoral protest of Bongbong Marcos against his client as the basis for such revision. This also means that if it pushes through, Marcos can’t also assume the highest office of the land.



Belittling Robredo

It has always been expressed by the President that should he step down he would prefer the likes of Chiz Escudero or Bongbong Marcos to succeed him. However, with regards to Robredo, he has always shown doubt over her ability to lead the country. Robredo responds to Du30 by saying that he should stop belittling her and just concentrate on work instead.


The Favored Real VP

The revised constitution skipping the Vice President in the line of succession also applies to Marcos should he win his protest. However, there are rumors that the President intends him to be the Prime Minister under Federalism. The allies of the government are surely working hard to prevent the yellows from coming back to power – just like how their opponents cheated to stop Marcos from claiming his post.

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Can President Du30 Influence the Supreme Court on Bongbong Marcos’ Electoral Protest?

supreme court


By: Elena Grace Flores

At present, the revision in Iloilo is already finished for the initial recount of Bongbong Marcos’ electoral protest against the presumptive VP Leni Robredo. Up next, is the 400 ballot boxes from Camarines Sur. This is estimated to be finished in about a week. Next, will be the 1,284 ballot boxes from Negros Oriental. The Supreme Court can then make their decision on the 3 pilot provinces before the half of the year 2019. Meanwhile, with worries about cancer, President Rodrigo Du30’s word on resigning seems at hand. If Marcos wins his protest he sees him as one of the better-qualified public figures to succeed him, if not the most capable one.



YouTube video by Innovation Philippines

[VIDEO]: President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday skipped an event at Malacañang, but the Palace did not provide any reason for him being absent at a PAGCOR event.


Election Protest Timeline

The revision of the ballots from Negros Oriental is expected to be finished by November. Next on the timeline, would be the presentation of evidence. This can be started by January. Consequently, if the whole of January will be given to BBM and February is given to Robredo, for the presentation of their evidence, the appreciation stage of the proceedings can be started by March. If PET will be quick with the appreciation stage, they can make the decision about the 3 pilot provinces before the half of 2019.

Schedule for the Evidence

Despite the evidence that is already out the PET still, haven’t made a decision because the due process must be observed for the electoral protest. After the revision proceedings of the ballots from the 3 pilot provinces can the presentation of evidence be started.


The President’s Anointed Successor

It is not a secret that President Du30 is looking at Marcos to succeed his presidency. He announced on recently that he prefers someone like Marcos or Escudero to replace him when he resigns. Furthermore, in recent media appearances, through his spokesman, he says that he will resign if Marcos wins his protest. This is despite the alleged Martial Law atrocities during his father’s time.

Influencing the Supreme Court

Asked if Du30 wants Marcos to win his protest before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said: “That I do not know. That’s a different question.” We posted on Twitter on Friday: “By announcing his preference, is the President trying to influence the PET or the Supreme Court on the Marcos electoral protest? Also, a signal for PET to rush Marcos winning his protest? President Du30 announcing his preference, however, begs the question if he is trying to influence the PET to rush making a decision in favor of Marcos.



The President Cannot Dictate the Supreme Court

It is not however for Du30 to dictate who should succeed him after his presidency. The President is sworn to uphold the constitution, and the line of succession is clearly defined within. The SC Justices sitting as PET members must be unbiased in their decision for the protest. They should rule for Marcos if the evidence collected is substantial enough as verified by Atty. Glenn Chong.


Influence is Possible

Du30 may well be trying to influence the PET and the public to accept his plans and preferences. His announcements can be seen by his detractors as machinations. As can be recalled with the quo warranto petition of Supreme Court CJ Maria Lourdes Sereno that the Filipino leader vowed to remove. Consequently, the majority of the tribunal voted to have her ousted, if for sure can’t just be a coincidence.

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Bongbong Marcos: Not Surprised that Mocha Uson Resigns but Wished her Well on the Congress or Senate Choices

Congress


By: Elena Grace Flores

The resignation of PCOO ASec Mocha Uson is not a surprise to Bongbong Marcos. He knows that she is never comfortable at her vacated post because the government’s detractors are always attacking her on various issues. It may be sad for Marcos to see a friend goes out of public service, he wishes her well and hopes that she can find a position where she can be happy. Previously, the sexy personality announces that the fight is not over yet for her. Uson mentions that she will bring her case to the Congress or the Senate. This prompts people to believe that she might run for Senator or Congresswoman during the mid-term elections.



YouTube video by Bongbong Marcos

[VIDEO]: This week we bid farewell to a friend in public service, and we also welcomed new friends to our circle of service.


Uson’s Resignation

The executive branch did not pressure Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson to vacate her post. Although her resignation is expected to be accepted by President Rodrigo Duterte. Uson was in the United States earlier this week as part of the Philippine delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Presidential Assistant, Bong Go said Uson sent her letter of resignation last Tuesday, October 2, and is already in the President’s office. Uson can run for the Congress or the Senate if she wants to. She has around 5 million followers via social media.

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Uson announces her resignation at the Senate as a “sacrifice” in exchange for the approval of the Presidential Communications Operations Office’s (PCOO) budget.  Asked if the resignation was connected to reports that Uson would be running for senator in the upcoming elections, Go said the announcement would come from Uson herself. He advises everyone to wait for her further announcement.


What Prompted the Resignation?

Go did not elaborate on the circumstances leading up to the resignation of Uson, but he said that Malacañang wishes her well. Prior to her resignation, Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director General Harold Clavite publicly asked Uson to step down from her post citing her failure to attend plenary deliberations on the PCOO budget.



Robredo’s Camp Happy with Uson’s Decision

The camp of the presumptive Vice President Leni Robredo said that the country did not lose anything in the resignation of Communications Assistant Secretary Uson.  Gutierrez, however, warned Uson that resigning from a government post does not exonerate her from liability over her previous actions. Robredo had been at the receiving end of Uson’s sharp criticisms in the past, at one time calling her stupid and idiot.


The Congress and Senate’s Real VP

Uson also calls Robredo “fake vice president” and identifies the former Senator Marcos as the real VP. Many Filipinos believe that the brave lady can even be more powerful without the restrictions from the government lawmakers who are critical of her. She is free to disclose everything that she knows and act in ways she deems appropriate. Another thing, she definitely establishes a good support by SAP Go and President Duterte himself aside from Marcos.

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BBM Electoral Protest: Supreme Court May Count or Not 21,000 Questionable Markings for Robredo

Supreme Court


By: Elena Grace Flores

On his latest Facebook blog, Atty. Glenn Chong assures the public that the recent threshold the PET uses for the recount of the VP electoral protest filed by Bongbong Marcos against Leni Robredo is 50%. Chong explained that 21,000 votes of Robredo did not pass the Supreme Court standard. As of now, they are set aside first. Therefore, the presumptive Vice President has 21,000 fewer votes currently. This is why in the revision reports, the total number of Robredo’s votes is a lot lower than the total of the election returns printed from the election machine.

YouTube video by Voice of Netizen

[VIDEO]: Atty. Glenn Chong explains about the digital fraud by Smartmatic and the Comelec.


Glenn Chong Discloses  Robredo’s Decreased Votes

Not Mere Observations but Facts from the Revisors

The 21,000 figure comes from the revisors of the former Senator, Bongbong Marcos. Atty. Chong added that Robredo’s lawyer Atty. Romulo Macalintal is again lying when he said that Marcos can’t anymore recover from the race after they announced their fake news through a press conference that the 50% shading threshold will be applied by the Supreme Court in their favor.


Robredo to Claim the 21,000 Votes

According to the rules of the PET, Robredo can only claim the 21,000 uncounted votes in a plea for its inclusion in the official vote count. Nonetheless, it is only the Supreme Court election body that can decide to rule on her favor or not.  On the other hand, Marcos also has the right to petition the use of the election returns because he has paid for the manual recount and not digital or hybrid process. The ERs are generated from the automated election system.

 


21000 Fewer Votes of Robredo are Not yet Official

At the moment, the 21,000 fewer votes for Robredo are not yet official. This is because the PET has not decided yet on how to go about it. They did not meet the 50% shading standard. Most of these have too small, short, or alien-like markings. In actuality, it is clear that there is a substantial deduction of votes as far as the Vice President is concerned. The PET’s decision on this matter can really make or break Marcos’ quest.


Pressure to the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court unanimously rejects Marcos’ motion for inhibition against Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa. The PET also “sternly warns” Marcos that “any unfounded and inappropriate accusation made in the future will be dealt with more severely.” However, Most people can only wonder why the SC is so tough on Marcos on many things and can’t even provide the manual recount that he has paid in full for.