September 2009

Like most every lay newspaper reader, I had my gum slightly burned upon reading that Senator Richard Gordon's proposed Ninth-ray to the Philippine flag has passed the bicameral body (that shadowy legislative backroom). My initial reaction was not about whether I agree or not to the proposal, but whether I should shudder in disbelief or quiver in disbelief. Yes I was surprised that there was even such a proposal and no, I don't blame Gordon's staff for my own failure to imagine that the Senator would gun for it.

Okay, simply put, our much cherished 8-ray sun Philippine flag will now sport a ninth ray. Such additional ray, according to Gordon, is “to acknowledge the courage, bravery and integrity of Muslim Filipinos who fought for the nation’s independence.”

If I remember my high school history right, the eight rays were supposed to represent the four Tagalog provinces and the four Kapampangan provinces which first rose in arms against colonial Spain.
Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III has declared he is running for president of the Philippines next year.

Speaking at the historic Kalayaan Hall in Club Filipino, Greenhills, San Juan City, on the 40th day of the death of his mother, former president Corazon Aquino, the 49 year old senator made the much awaited announcement, which he said was  in answer to people's plea for him to join the 2010 presidential race.

Since first reading Conrado de Quiros' excellently written Noynoy for President column (and his "Two More"), I became excited over the possibility of renewing my voter's credentials just so I can vote for Noynoy Aquino. I even immediately campaigned for him with my facebook friends, especially former high school classmates, whom I realized share my enthusiasm.

Doing my own discernment over the weekend, however, I asked myself, "what would make me NOT vote for Noynoy?"

Given the excellent arguments of de Quiros, I could think of no reason, except this one:

While I may condole with Iglesia ni Cristo friends and foes who mourn the loss of a man they deeply respect, I just can't get my mind off the faces of politicians who just can't miss being where the action is.

Damning their best to become the epitome of grief, the rest of the Filipino nation knows all to well why they are there. While them politicians grieve the passing of Eraño, they feel they should grieve more if Eraño's successor would count them among the politically dead. It's a political imperative that they should be there.

The Moral Force Movement launched last Monday by Chief Justice Reynato Puno has caught the attention of the Filipino public hungering for moral renewal. 

Highlighting the Moral Force Movement’s avowed mission, Puno called on the people “not to elect anyone who bribes, cheats, lies nor [to tolerate] anyone who does.” Volunteerism was his battle cry and thus enjoined every concernmed citizen to “..not just stay neutral in this fight, for the surest way to lose a fight against evil is through the conspiracy of silence.”

Philippine Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas is no longer seeking the presidency in 2010.

In a packed press conference at Club Filipino yesterday, Senator Manuel Roxas announced he was giving way to the candidacy of Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.
Roxas admit it was the “most difficult” decision he had to make in his entire life and noted he did it to preserve unity of the Liberal Party and the country.

"I choose to lead the unity, not division,” he said. “As party president, I made the decision. I love the Liberal Party. My father founded it,” Roxas said.

On Monday, Senator Francis Pangilinan had appealed to Roxas to give way to Aquino should the latter decide to run for president. Pangilinan was also willing to abandon his own plan to run for vice president for the sake of party unity.

Calls for Aquino to run for president or vice president started mounting a few days after the funeral of his mother former President Corazon Aquino. Having no previous plan to seek higher office, Senator Aquino was understandably hesitant to accept the challenge, especially since the candidacy of Roxas and Pangilinan was already months in advanced preparations.

Up until yesterday, Aquino has never given any definitive indication of his political plans. Today, however, he is expected to make that announcement, fueling anticipation by his supporters, especially on facebook, that this would be IT.

Liberal Party (Philippines)Roxas made up his mind after long talks with Aquino over the weekend. "We agreed: ‘Let us forget about ourselves for a moment. This is not about us. This is about our people and our country. This is about our common dream, the dream of our parents’,” he said. And quickly added, "but let us not remain a country of dreamers. Let’s act now.”

Following their gesture, I must admit Roxas and Pangilinan has just earned my respect. If more Filipino politicians could follow their lead, then there may be hope for the country yet. =)

Below is a Youtube video of Roxas' announcement.

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