1. On Maria Ressa’s WSJ piece

    @boyexpert first posted about the Wall Street Journal piece courtesy of Maria Ressa earlier today. I posted a few cursory comments on it and was going to leave it at that. But the piece kind of stuck in my head. Her column in its entirety can be read at ABS-CBN’s website.

    It was with surprise that I read the Wall Street Journal piece by Maria Ressa earlier today. Surprise in part because of who wrote it and additionally on its structure and overarching theme. The quality of the analysis left something to be desired.  It reminded me of old-fashioned yellow journalism actually.

    On to the analysis…

    In multiple locations she drives home this point that President Noynoy Aquino is his mothers son; utilizing this now flawed, yet accepted view, that Cory was a well intentioned bungler. A charge that is contextually untrue in part, yet she leverages for her argument. It is an attempt to frame Aquino in the worst possible light, an incompetent who thinks with his heart not his head. And with the generally accepted perception of Cory Aquino as being just that, her linking of the two, especially with regards to this piece, is unsurprising. As I’ve written in this space in the past, I have felt that situating Cory Aquino within the context of the period actually improves her performance as president. But, that is not a popular belief, nor relevant to what Ressa is attempting.

    By the way, this is not an impassioned defense of the Aquino legacy, or Noynoy’s presidency. In this instance and in this specific critique by Maria Ressa I find serious fault. As with politicians who I have also singled out, there appears to be either an attempt to leverage this tragedy for political means or some sense of defense and the reshaping of public narrative.

    Very early in the piece we are clued in to a possible agenda in the piece: a defense of the media, an exoneration of you will through specious arguments and disinformation. It is not so much and impassioned critique, but an attempt to shift blame on an easy target in the current political climate.

    "His first instinct was to blame the national media for covering the event live, a sentiment that citizens in the blogosphere and on Twitter quickly echoed. "

    Within this context her agenda in the column is very clear and, in truth, the insinuations and half-truth becomes understandable. And I am tickled by her subtle jab at the blogosphere, insinuating something about our opinions.

    The truth is, as I’ve said, there is more than enough blame to be apportioned. Though again, my suspicion is she is trying to change the course of the narrative away from media mix-ups and refocusing solely on en vogue Aquino criticisms.

    "During the crisis, Mr. Puno exerted almost no leadership, preferring to let the local police handle the situation. There was little crowd control, and a local radio station was allowed to speak to the hostage-taker in the final moments of the crisis. During the later hearings, Mr. Puno said, "I am not capable of handling hostage situations… I am not trained to do that"

    As it should be. Her fervent wish, obviously littered throughout this hit piece seems to boil down to a desire for some sort of totalitarian control exerted from the national government. One that I do not believe she actually holds. Yet the insinuation of such a form of leadership provides her with ready ammunition to criticize the current national government. Which is curious enough in itself. She goes out of her way to detail the failings of the current administration, without putting the failings of the relevant institutions within some sort of historical context. Almost as if these problems only exist because of the Aquino administration (except for a throw-away line in the beginning saying he promised to reform institutions).

    Further, this demand that an almost cabinet level secretary exert operational control over the PNP leadership, as opposed to governmental administrative control, is head scratching as best. Based on her comments, I would hazard that almost all secretaries are ill placed as they are not in trained to effectively handle all aspects of the jobs that employees of their attached agencies may be engaged. This as akin to lobbying for the removal of a President because he is not trained in guerilla warfare tactics.

    Again, what I find curious is she is basically ignoring the chain of command, linking activities that take place on a ground level with cabinet and presidential level concerns. If that were the case, then we should expect the Secretary of the DILG and the President to be planning out and mapping counter-terrorism activities in Mindanao. Or is direct national government oversight only applicable in Manila?

    "To add insult to injury, the authorities in charge left the scene to eat in a nearby Chinese restaurant precisely when the killings began"

    From the get go she essentially establishes that no culpability lies with the PNP and Manila city by purposefully excluding their names. For no blame is applied to anyone on the ground or in local government, period. The only figures identified in thence are national government officials. By inference saying that they were the ones who abandoned the scene of the tragedy. It again is a curious construction of a column and essay. The only names mentioned, ignoring media activities, negotiators, police chiefs, PNP officials, City of Manila government and so on, are Jessie Robredo, Noynoy Aquino, Rico E. Puno and the communications team of Malacanang.

    When politicians become involved in these types of tense situations, we get disaster. Plain and simple. Those who are supposedly trained to handle these situations should be. Simple. Yet, here we have an instance where politics, on a local level, did get involved and it resulted in tragedy. In hindsight, we could wish for Aquino on a white horse to come charging into save the day. To hold the national government solely and wholly responsible is false.

    The piece ends with a wearingly familiar litany of the faults of Cory Aquino and Noynoy Aquino. Describing them as easy-going and well liked. By inference I am guessing with little fire in their bellies for the harsh realities of Philippine politics. Yet, within 100 days (we have not even hit that mark) the Aquino administration has some feathers in their cap (and more than few missteps). Ah yes, but those broader successes do not play into the narrative that she attempting to form here.

    The government, national and local, has their share of blame in this tragedy. But, what I find completely disingenuous is her attempts to reframe the national government as the sole entity of responsibility. She uses disinformation to try and craft this type of argument. This is more a diatribe than discourse; disinformation than fact-based analysis and reporting.

    And in her apparent zeal to criticize Aquino through any means, she further muddies the issue, adding little. As I have said, my suspicion is that she is attempting to distract from media’s culpability in this tragedy. What I find curious is why, in doing this, she is also exonerating the PNP and the City of Manila for any errors or mistakes.

    This is a disservice, plain and simple. It is elements of traditional yellow journalism indeed.

    Addendum

    If I may come off as defending the Aquino administration, that is not my intent. I am trying to demonstrate how this specific piece appears to be driven by ulterior motives and, as such, does little to further the conversation. As I have repeatedly said, there is blame and responsibility aplenty to be passed around. And the national government  has its share as well.

    This type of superficial analysis does nothing to ensure that responsibility is correctly identified and apportioned. While it is part of the discourse, it is a part that adds little in truth.

    The conversation must be focused on identifying and correcting extant issues will fail; and we will see this type of tragedy again. This piece does not help in that regard, in my opinion.

     

  2. The Crossroads - Again?

    Taken in a vacuum the speed with which the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom, Japan and China have moved to recognize President-elect Noynoy Aquino would be surprising, and a bit suspicious. But, my belief is, with the destabilization of Thailand and, now, the brewing hostilities in Korea (Blow up my ship? I’ll cut off your economic lifeline!) the Philippines has just jumped the to head of the line when it comes to important strategic allies in Southeast Asia. With the new situation in Okinawa as well, I would not be surprised to see the Obama administration approach the Philippine government to re-establish a more formal military presence here. As it is, in the South there are already ‘unofficial’ permanent US military presence (yes, that’s off the record).

    This was born out by comments made in an interview back in April 15, 2010 with W. Scott Thompson on ANC’s The Rundown:

    “The immediate reason is what’s happening in Thailand,” Thompson said. ”That is making the Philippines 10 times as important. That (Thailand) was a very secure, calm ally. Now it is going to pieces.”

    Between Korea and Thailand, the Philippines has now become one of the more strategic and stable democracies in Asia (Yes, that is with tongue firmly planted in cheek). Coupled with the concerns over China, and the ever-present US concern over Indonesia the close working relationship is that much more important.

    If my read is correct, the Philippines has a new opportunity to leverage their re-valued importance vis-a-vis concessions (trade/economic/investments/ecological) with the US and the Euro-block. Mercenary? No. Just good diplomacy. What I hope to see with the new administration (granted if that comes) is a harder-line with the foreign powers. What we do not need is a president chasing after a photo-opportunity.

    This also helps explains the placement of the new US ambassador. Thompson in his interview alluded to it, but Thomas is a much more hard-ball, in the trenches, crisis type diplomat. He has experience in Asia and key troubleshooting spots. In every way he is the exact opposite of Kristie Kinney (who was not exactly the most impressive of US representatives). Thomas served posts in India, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Peru, Bangladesh, and worked closely with Condolezza Rice. He also wielded a lot of power in the US State Department when he ran the United States Foreign Service, prior to this posting. The man is not milquetoast.

    Our natural inclination, with all of the domestic problems we have, is to focus inside our borders. But, we remain a major part of the Southeast Asian bloc of nations; and one of the closest allies in all of Asia to the Western nations. GMA was quite honestly a disaster in terms of foreign policy; that was not her strong suit.

    Noynoy needs to be the first of the Philippine presidents who effectively utilizes the importance of the Philippines in the region for domestic gain. The Philippines has, again, another opportunity to re-assert itself as a dominant foreign policy player in Asia. Much like we were pre-Marcos.

     

  3. "In the land that gave the world People Power, the people have entrusted the inexperienced Aquino with fixing a country broken in too many ways to enumerate. It’s a Herculean task that will require him to play the Philippines’ rough politics, while having to rise above it. Should he succeed even in part, Aquino will then, truly, have made his own name."
    — 

    The Moment - Time Magazine

    And there’s the rub; at least the one that all of us have identified. He’s going to have to play the compromise game; the hope is he doesn’t lose too much in the process.

     

  4. Election Fraud? Fraudulent Claims? Good Lord Not Again.

    Sad to say cries of election fraud are growing, took a little bit longer than expected, but I think that was a by-product of the new electoral system. They couldn’t figure out the best way to cast doubt on the elections.

    First, I have no doubt that there were cases of electoral fraud, likely on local levels. That’s pretty damn normal, no matter what type of system is being used. But the accusations are coming now on a national level, the most recent courtesy of Buddy Cunanan.

    The video was shown during a Manila forum by newspaper columnist Buddy Cunanan, who said he got it from a friend whom the witness had approached to tell his story.

    The man had a “crisis of conscience,” Cunanan said, adding he had documentary evidence and wanted the government to conduct an investigation.

    “Both parties are willing to come out in the open in the proper forum,” he said.

    Fraud Tales Grow Taller - Inquirer

    Masked men, the friend of my friend said and cries of “I have evidence” have, again become part of the normal post-election din. My suspicion is most of this stuff is sour-graping. The sad part is, that all of this grand-standing is likely overshadowing and complicating investigating voting fraud.

    There is an old saying “attack the messenger, not the message.” However, in this case I believe that understanding the messenger is important to understanding the context of the message.

    Buddy Cunanan is related to Belinda Olivares-Cunanan (she of the second most vituperative attacks against Noynoy, along with Carmen Pedrosa). The publisher of The Daily Tribune is Ninez Cacho-Olivares, a decidedly pro-Erap, anti-Aquino rag. Sadly, the Daily Tribune has left most of their journalistic integrity by the wayside and were one of the most “hysterical” of “newpapers” during the election. That has not abated since. From today:

    The first ones to be dropped during Cory’s reign were the politicians, then led by Doy Laurel. Next went the so-called yellow group, composed of civil socialites, such as the yellow businessmen who incidentally, came up with pretty corrupt deals. In the end, Cory and her Kamag-Anak Inc. reigned supreme and got away with it, because the yellow media protected her and hardly ever brought these issues to the public, as Cory was their creation, just as Noynoy is today. The yellow media have gone the extent of calling Noynoy the “people’s president.” That’s really over the top.

    He will be a minority president if he is proclaimed and he does not speak for the people, but for the frigging elite. Truth is, Noynoy is a spoiled brat who wants to have his way all the time, which is why he and his supporters, who were Gloria supporters, wanted Corona out of the CJ picture.

    - Empty Threats

    Honestly, that’s some of the more tempered comments she’s had.

    Does she have a point? Of course she does, I happen to agree that Aquino should not be expending political capital by going after Corona. It was signed and agreed upon by the Supreme Court. Do I agree with the decision of the Supreme Court? Not at all. But Aquino, with some political tap-dancing, could use this to gain further favorable political points that he can expend in the future. The appearance of reconciliation now will further bolster his moves to investigate GMA and other shenanigans in the future.

    But back to Buddy Cunanan. This then becomes the problem. The extended family of Buddy have been some of the most rabid supporters of Erap (historically as well with regards to The Daily Tribune), GMA (Belinda Olivares-Cunanan) and Gibo (Travelife, published by his sister, for which he writes). They have all been supremely anti-Aquino in their rhetoric (The Daily Tribue and Belinda were some of the loudest with regards to the whole “mental instability” of Aquino). Taken within context then, Buddy’s secret video, masked man and so forth takes on another aspect.

    I hope that the Congress gets to the bottom of these issues. And if they are found to be valid, steps are taken. What those may be, I am not sure. But I am sure proclaiming the election invalid will be one of them. And if the presidential election is then invalid, all are invalid.

    The needed suspension of disbelief though is quite large to believe that Aquino and the LP had the ground forces necessary to pull off this type of massive fraud. Essentially, the premise is that the LP now (I guess) had even more reach and influence than the combined might of the PMP and the Lakas-Kampi. GMA, Erap, Villar and Gibo were all out-maneuvered by the LP and Aquino? The LP was so good in fact, that they were only able to place Drilon and TG Guingona in the Senate, barely picked up any seats in the House and lost VPship to Binay?

    Or was that, Roxas was backstabbed by Aquino and Aquino made a clandestine deal with Binay running under Erap’s banner. Which means that Binay in turn, either back-stabbed Erap, or Aquino had brokered a deal with Erap through Binay to give him the VPship.

    Again, I am more than positive that there were electoral issues,  and they must be addressed and investigated. My suspicion though, again, is that these are localized issues and do not necessarily reflect some sort of national conspiracy.

    These types of agitations and madly dire proclamations (at the heart appearing to be only extensions of pre-election rhetoric) are doing nothing except further muddying the issues. This type of grandstanding is doing nothing more than laying the groundwork for issues over the next six years (impeachments and so forth).

    If there is evidence, present it. Simple as that. As a matter of fact, I sincerely hope that there is proof. If not, the reputations of those involved are further sullied and all this has done is further a personal agenda of those involved at the expense of national good.

    I for one (no matter my political beliefs) would be concerned about having an illegitimate president. But right now, all they are doing is basically casting baseless aspersions and attempting to weaken the mandate of Aquino, while bolstering the newly national credentials of Erap and his claim on the presidency. Or was it Gibo and his credentials? Where is Villar in all of this? Or, was Aquino in fact, GMA’s secret candidate?

    Maybe at the end of the day, the whole point is simply to weaken the mandate of Aquino. If that is the case, then I pity these people.

     

  5. The Game is Compromise

    This is by no means a post of disillusionment; I think anyone who automatically expected the rules of politics to change with the election of Aquino should be schedule an appointment right after Zaldy Ampatuan. Much like the cultists of Obama, the expectation of someone (one) coming in and rewriting the rules does not reflect reality. I touched on this subject in an older post.

    I’ve been fairly balanced in what I think Aquino can actually achieve. Unlike when his mother took over (and she faced with almost insurmountable odds), Cory did not have to deal with Ferdinand Marcos. Granted, she had a hostile army, a rabid following of loyalists and the figure of the Filipino Cardinal Richelieu (poor guy, Dumas really did a number on his reputation) in Johnny Enrile lurking in the background. All the while creditors beating down the doors, agitating businessmen desperate to reclaim their lost wealth + interest and a skeptical US looking over her shoulder.

    Aquino though has El Polla Loca (or the Moled One) not only lurking in the background, setting herself up as a national figure (only a few rungs away from the reclaiming the presidency). The LP and its supporters have been pointing out that usually the House aligns itself with the President. No shit. That’s because the President controls the purse strings. He has already stated that he’s going to go after corruption in the government; pork barrel is one of the gross excesses of the Philippine government. It is both the carrot and the stick of the sitting president. If he intends to cut the purse strings, how will he keep Congress in line? Now comes the compromise.

    GMA has effectively laid the groundwork for a constitutional crisis. The whole sale removal of the CCP/National Museum/NHI and NCCA are examples. Midnight appointments, midnight deals, shifting presidential appointees from co-terminus to fixed terms and so forth. The Chief Justice is the big one, but it has been rubber stamped by the SC. I agree with Escudero, Noynoy cannot expend his political capital this quickly by going after Corona. He has to pick and choose his battles.

    Whether Belmonte (another compromise to the politics of a new era mantra) can defeat GMA for the Speakership is immaterial. If Noynoy moves to quickly in massive showy reforms, GMA can still rally support within the House to instigate charter change. With the rabble-rousers in the media still surviving, that movement can quickly build up steam. And then you still have Gibo, using his powers for evil instead of good, supporting charter change.

    Noynoy has to quickly rally the support of the people behind him. This will not happen with wild pronouncements of retribution or slighting the Chief Justice. It will happen by laying out a clear and concise plan concerning what he will achieve. He must take a page from Obama and temper expectations. He then must put a team in place that can write the laws and ram reforms through, while he takes the flack and fights the PR battle.

    He will have to compromise; he has already compromised. But unlike his mother, he cannot allow the need to compromise to derail his administration. Now and today, he has to keep the people on his side. Self-interested politicians cannot do much if their constituency scrutinizes and studies their every move.

     

  6. Time to stock up on some tissues

    Honor even in defeat - COMMONSENSE By Marichu A. Villanueva | The Philippine Star News Opinion

    They may be vanquished, ran over and turned bloodied by the mean campaign machinery of their rivals. But they kept their honor even as they bowed out from the just concluded presidential race with their heads held up high. 

    *whine whine whine* *whine whine* Boo-fucking-hoo.

    Wait, let me play your the world’s smallest violin. Tell me another sad sob story.

    Noynoy is soooo meeeeaaaaan.

    Of all the nine presidential candidates, Villar got the most of the muckraking and black propaganda in media to text blasts where he was tagged as “Villa-rroyo” or administration-backed candidate. Legarda likewise suffered the brunt of nasty text blasts and other sludge that came out during the 90-day campaign period. Following the lead of Villar, Legarda formally accepted her defeat to Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay who is leading in the partial official results of the vice presidential contest.

    Some of the chief muck-rakers in this campaign were not pro-Aquino, suffice it to say (Pedrosa and Cunanan come to mind). And, other than Senator Gordon who was continually called an asshole, none were attacked as personally as Noynoy (retarded/autistic/mentally deficient/depressed/suicidal).

    Most of the contentions against Villar were  not personal (although there were some and I do not condone them and I am on record as criticizing Esposo), but related to his claims of poverty and wealth accumulation. By running on a platform of anti-poverty and his chief message being, “I was poor look at what I did”, with his roots figuring prominently in his advertisements, it became an issue. Because he made it so.

    And with regards to Legarda, I distinctly remember her saying she’ll never run with Villar. Oops.

    So come on, quite whining. Show the same kind of grace that your candidates did and stop making excuses.

     

  7. Dear Mr. President-elect,

    Not since pre-Martial Law has an incoming president had the type of mandate that you have coming out of the 2010 elections. This is both a gift and a curse. The Filipino people have given you their trust resoundingly, based on the promises you made on the campaign trail concerning graft and corruption, and the memory of your sanctified parents. And, as you well know since you campaigned on their memory, they are sanctified in national consciousness. This means that you have two legacies to live up to: that of your parents and that of the great heroes of EDSA I (the Filipino people). 

    The Filipino people, through general acclaim, made your parents national heroes. It was the Filipino people who used the death of your father as the catalyst and selected your mother as the torch-bearer of the revolution. They have in turn selected you to be their torch bearer in the war against graft and corruption; as their leader in the fight to reverse the downward spiral the country finds itself in.

    That is your curse; almost unattainable expectations. Unlike what George W. Bush did in 2001 and 2002, you must utilize your popularity positively, to forge consensus and stymie the vested interests and politicos who want to keep the status quo. This gives you the unique opportunity to really push through with proposed reforms. The Filipino people, for now, are on your side and will support you. Hard choices can be made (pork barrel anyone?). When you have the support of the people, almost anything can be achieved. As long as you make us believe that it is in the best interests of the country. Do not squander this gift, as others have in the past. Coming from where we are and where we have been, you can make a difference. We will all support you, because in the end all we want is a better Philippines.

    My request for you then is simple. Temper expectations by giving us clear and concrete goals that wish to achieve in your six years in office. Whether it is legislation that must be passed; corruption metrics that must be halved; education and environmental statistics that must be improved, a six-year (and beyond) development and improvement plan must be crafted and presented to the Filipino people within your first 100 days. 

    Doing things like bringing down a major figure of corruption is well and good, but what will pay dividends for us all is knowing that we are on the path to improvements.

    Many Filipino people put their trust and faith in you. The way to get the rest of us, and cut through the politics and refocus national discourse, will be to lay out a long-term plan that we can all understand and fully support.

    That is my sincerest (and hopefully not futile) hope Mr. President-elect.

    Respects,

    Me

    PS: Also, please stymie charter change in advance. Oktnxverymuch.

    PPS: Yes, I know he’s not going to read this and I’m supposed to put it in Facebook; but brevity is the soul of wit. And I’m not especially witty.

    gangbadoy:

    This is a page that can collate thoughtful suggestions you may want to send to the incoming President. Let’s optimize democracy.

    Tell the President. Even if you didn’t vote for him - he won majority of the votes - now that we’re here, let’s at least share information.

    Who knows, democracy just might work.

    From the RETHINK MEDIA GROUP
    www.rockedphilippines.org

     

  8. Camelot

    I’ve been thinking of writing something longer and more incisive on the subject of the themes of this election. But, for now Binay’s rise to prominence is a perfect vehicle to touch on one of themes I noticed. Namely, Camelot as a campaign.

    The dominant theme of this election was Camelot: hope, change and goodness. Noynoy was able to sell that message quite effectively. Genetics and borrowed aura played a huge part in it, but that does not necessarily explain his dominant victory; or the second place finish of Erap.

    Noynoy and his campaign crafted a campaign message grounded on hope and built on a response to the collapse of the Philippines over the last 10 years. Erap as well was able to effectively campaign on this premise. EDSA II has become a regret, and Erap (compared to GMA) has begun smelling of roses. While he did not have the traction to overtake the message of Aquino, his themes of pro-poverty and anti-GMA resonated. Not only that, but part of the collapse of Villar can be traced to Erap becoming more prominent; and people remembering the role Villar played in Erap’s downfall.

    Noynoy and Erap sold, in varying degrees, Camelot to the people. Binay, who has always been identified with Cory Aquino and being a vehement critic of GMA, is the Mayor of Makati. For many Filipinos (and I say this with just a touch of irony) Makati and it’s Golden Ghettos is as close to Camelot as the Philippines has. It is difficult to counter the physical reality of wealth and achievement, with the relatively ephemeral achievements of successful economic policies.

    Binay sold the Dream of Makati; and he had the apparent credentials to back it up. Namely, many of his pro-poor programs such as the Senior Citizen’s card, an innovation that began in Makati. Roxas, while having much more impressive credentials vis-a-vis job creation and encouraging foreign investment (the Father of Outsourcing and PEZA), could not sell that as an tangible vision.

    In the end, this election (like 1953 and 1986) was the story of moral and collective calls to action in response to the current administration. - with the vision of a Philippine Camelot as the achievable dream for all.

    For Noynoy, Camelot came in the form of honesty, integrity and continuing the work of his sanctified parents - the two who became the figureheads in the movements to tear-down a corrupt dictator. While Roxas would have been the perfect candidate to work reforms in the Philippines, he did not come with the built-in resonance that Binay possesses. For Binay, his connection to Erap (and Erap’s newly minted status as bad-but-not-as-bad-as-GMA), his connection to Cory Aquino, the relatively unknown status of his personal wealth and his stature as leading Makati all became contributing factors in his apparent rise to the top of the partial post-election returns.

     

  9. Notes

    A few thoughts before turning in after a long day:

    1. Fuck every single one of you uneducated, ill-informed, stuffed envelope accepting muck-racking excuses for columnists and talking heads who continually shat on surveys and, instead of educating a view/readership on how surveys are conducted, banked on their relative naivete and credulity to create chaos and uncertainty to further your own political agendas. And I say this very well knowing that they will be the first to come out and say surveys preconditioned voters. Yes…they preconditioned them so well that the percentages in th actual election are shaping up to be similar to the surveys. Bah.
    2. So, you said you’re going to fight corruption. It seems you may very well have the mandate to be as aggressive as you can be (and it better be very very aggressive). The Filipino people have given you the tools to do so. Do it. 
    3. Curious looking back on the propaganda and what stuck and what didn’t. Methinks the Filipino is more discerning than many politicians or talking (empty) heads give them credit for.
    4. Good for you election people (not the Comelec executives though). The heroes of the automated system were those on the ground, facing the increasingly uneasy crowds and somehow doing their jobs. The front-line people and volunteers did and impressive job.
    5. The Filipino people did their duty. The ball is now in the politicians hands. Don’t make us take it back again.
    6. I’m more than slightly depressed at the Senatorial results. A Marcos in national office. Goddammit.
    7. 1953, 1986 are good parallels for this election (more on this tomorrow). What beats machine politics? Capitalizing on a rising tide of emotion against a corrupt regime. To do this a campaign must then take advantage of those emotions by promising change (witness Obama in the US as well). The problem then becomes, meeting those expectations (almost an impossibility). Aquino (if the elections hold) must lay-out achievable goals and manage expectations and create milestones for his presidency. He has to create a roadmap for success, something we can all follow and mark achievements by. Something that our penchant for the cult of personality during election season makes nigh impossible to present during campaigning. His first 100 days in office, and literally his first speech (if he becomes president) must do this. A Roadmap to Success for the Philippines, so to speak.

    And on that note, let’s see what tomorrow brings.