The center cannot hold

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IN A piece that won’t win any Pulitzer Prize, one of those individuals on whom the media have conferred the title of “political analyst”– Ramon Casiple– asked if Benigno Aquino III was committing political suicide. It was a question more rhetorical than literal. Casiple’s answer is yes, the country’s President, with three more years to go before he leaves office, has been killing himself politically.

He cited as proof Mr. Aquino’s statements and actions in the last six months or so of this particularly problematic year. On the pork barrel issue, for example, Casiple noted that Mr. Aquino chose to defend the Disbursement Allocation Program (DAP) which those Filipinos still capable of any kind of thought regard as a license for Presidential patronage politics.

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Looking for a champion

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MANNY Pacquiao has every right to aspire for the Presidency, for which post he could run by 2022 when he turns 43. Currently 34 years old, Pacquiao will qualify as a candidate for the post in 2019, when, according to the most sanguine predictions (or most pessimistic, depending upon one’s preferences), Jejomar Binay, having been elected in 2016, would be in the middle of his term as the 16th President of the Republic.

That’s to start the count with Emilio Aguinaldo, who was President of the First Philippine Republic, and to include in the list Manuel Quezon, who was President during the Commonwealth Period; Jose P. Laurel, who was President under Japanese auspices during World War II; and Sergio Osmena, who was interim President in the restored Commonwealth.

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