Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Eh-hum # 265

After the US elections, I haven't really been interested in watching the news. So imagine my surprise when I found out yesterday that Presidentiable and Senator Manny Villar is no longer the Senate President. He was replaced by 84-year old Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.

This is all too bizaare to me since last time I heard, Villar and his supposed allies outnumbered those belonging to the administration. Fourteen senators, both from the minority and majority voted for Villar's ouster and supported Enrile's election to the Senate presidency. Meanwhile, six of them abstained from voting (Aquino, Arroyo, Cayetano siblings, Pimentel and Pangilinan). This most recent development in the Senate proves, without a doubt, that there are no permanent friends, only permanent interests. It's strictly politics, as one journalist in the Philippine Star opinion section said.

Villar's involvement in the C-5 controversy (hence, Senators Lacson and Madrigal voted "Aye") were said to be one of the main reasons for his ouster. Another is his bid for the Presidency in 2010; some say that he could use his position as Senate President to allocate Senate funds to his campaign (hmmm, now where have I heard THAT before?). In addition, the Inquirer reported that deposed President Erap Estrada "helped oust Manuel Villar as Senate president because he wants the latter out of the way of the opposition ticket in the 2010 presidential election". Of course, Estrada denied this. Similarly, Malcanang denied any involvement in Villar's ouster.

His resignation could work for Villar. One journalist said that "Villar can now cultivate an image of independence from both the administration and the mainstream opposition". He can also take advantage of Enrile's reputation as, excuse me, a serial "balimbing". Enrile was one of the enforcers of Martial Law (remember the assassination attempt that started it all), then became a "hero" of 1986 People Power revolution, and then was implicated in a series of coup attempts against the Aquino government staged by his former military aide and now Senator Honasan. Moreover, Enrile is part of the administration bloc but is still affiliated with the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, an opposition party. This is not funny anymore.

Of course, this is not to say that Villar has not switched sides (A Pinoy politician not switching sides is truly rare, or endangered), remember Estrada's impeachment and his current political affiliation. We shall see how long Enrile can stay in power; if he's not careful or if he fails to "please" the divas in the Senate, he could end up like another trapo, Representative Jose De Venecia. Moreover, can he salvage the reputation of the Senate from an "inquisitorial institution" (CONFESS YOU SINNERS!!! CONFESS!!! CONFESS!!!) to an establishment founded on justice, integrity and honor. Can he also effectively make the Senators (about a quarter of them already preoccupied with running for higher office), you know, WORK. Haaaay, indeed, where is the Senate going? More importantly, where is the country headed?

Dear Lord...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Eh-hum # 264

Second semester for this school year started last Monday, but my class officially starts tomorrow. I must say, am looking forward to finishing this semester with flying colors. Moreover, am glad that the comprehensive examination and thesis writing are just around the corner. Hopefully in less than two years I will have a Masters degree.

Its a pity that I had to resign since it was promising at the beginning. But then came the issues, plus my rather mediocre school performance (but am extremely thankful for getting a B+! Whew!). I made my decision and am standing by it.
I visited a good friend at her workplace yesterday. It is a place where many have dreamed of working due to the experience, the environment and the compensation packages. I often sigh whenever the MRT passes by the office's compound in Ortigas. My friend was gracious enough to give me a tour, with me looking like a wide-eyed seven-year old visiting Disneyland for the first time. My favorite place was the library and its urbane yet affable ambiance. Who would've thought that working for an IO could be cool?
The trip was a revelation for me. Though it would be difficult to get in such an office (or any organization in the same caliber), it is not impossible. I am even more inspired to plan my career, work hard and, as my friend said, determine the sector to specialize in. Time to get down to business. :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Eh-hum # 263

Will keep this simple and short since many blogs and websites have already discussed in detail the stunning win of Senator and now President-elect Barack Obama. I (and amazingly, so is the rest of the world) am so pleased with the results that I just had to dedicate one post to this historic event. The results have changed not only US politics, but also the world's perception on the US. Most countries believed that the US' foreign policy will improve once Obama becomes the 44th President of the USA.

I tuned in when soon-to-be-President Obama gave his victory speech. As usual, he was intelligent and eloquent; his words compelling and not too, uh, florid (in my opinion anyway). He was obviously humbled by his victory, giving credit to the people who have supported his campaign (family, friends and his constituents). He has nothing but praise and kind words to his rival, Senator John McCain (who graciously accepted his defeat) and with good grace reached out to the Republicans.

What I also found overwhelming were/are the voters, especially the African-Americans (images of Rev Jesse Jackson and Oprah Winfrey weeping unapologetically were really moving). Indeed, Obama's win signified that yes, anyone qualified and regardless of race can become the next commander-in-chief (makes sense since the US is a melting pot of diverse backgrounds). Nice to know that leadership has nothing to do with race.

Now comes the hard part: Obama to prove himself worthy of the highest position in the land.



UPDATE! Found the picture below while surfing (note: I cited the website where I found it, not sure if its the original source). Really cool, must share it.