Two elections

US President Obama voting (White House Photo)
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AS ANNOUNCED by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the official election season began last January 10 and will end on June 8 this year. It includes a campaign period starting February and ending in May; election day itself on May 9; the counting of the ballots; and the official proclamation of the winning presidential and vice presidential candidates and their inauguration.

Some cynical souls lament that the results of the triennial exercise—the election of the same scoundrels, incompetents, crooks and clowns and/or their clones—do not justify the 150 days allocated for it. But the unofficial period for campaigning for office is actually far longer, in many cases consisting of the entire three years between congressional and local government elections, and, for the presidential election, the six years during which the previously elected president sits in Malacañang.

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Feet of clay

President Noynoy Aquino and Senator Grace Poe (Photos from Gov.ph and Valenzuela.gov.ph)
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NO MATTER what his apologists and he himself believes, like every other Philippine President Benigno Aquino III will be leaving Malacanang in 2016 with a trail of citizen disappointment behind him. But unlike in that of his predecessors, the disappointment will be worse in his case because of the high expectations that attended his taking office.

Not only did Aquino campaign for the highest post in this country armed with the attributes he inherited from his parents; he was also saying the right things. In keeping with Corazon and Benigno Aquino Jr.’s presumed allegiance to democratization as exemplified by their struggle against the Marcos dictatorship, Aquino III declared the protection of human rights and his commitment to transparency among his core programs.

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