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The correct phrase is “bite the bullet.” But perhaps to underline her point that rampant vote-buying during Philippine elections is a direct result of the poverty afflicting the populace, especially in the countryside, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting chair Henrietta de Villa employed a novel turn of phrase to describe the phenomenon: “Because of poverty, they are forced to buy the bullet.”
After a blazing start on Monday night, the unofficial count managed by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting has slowed to a crawl. The official tally maintained by the Commission on Elections itself, which began the day after the elections, has been even slower. After the excitement over the speed by which election results were being reported right on Monday night, we are back on much more familiar territory: the slow count, vulnerable to manipulation and fraud.
We do not have to look far to find sources of hope, inspiring stories of unexpected or eagerly anticipated election victories, from the May 13 vote. But the setbacks are real, too, and threaten to undo or undermine many of these same victories.
The counting isn’t over, but this much we know now of the 2013 midterm elections: We didn’t know that much.
Last Wednesday, as if on cue, five or six power plants in Luzon stopped generating electricity, plunging the island back to the “dark ages.” And yesterday (Monday), the midterm elections were marred by outages in Batangas and parts of Laguna, reportedly due to a transformer malfunction.
The day before the start of the official campaign period, we proposed the following reading of the 2013 elections: “The fate of reform hangs in the balance.” The mandate from 2010 was clear: Clean up the mess left behind by the previous administration. But the campaign against corruption, while making headway in some areas and wowing financial analysts abroad, is a long way from becoming a complete success. For that to happen, more government reforms and forward-looking initiatives need to be sown and—crucially—take root.
Various dictionaries agree in defining “mother” as a woman who has given birth to and/or raised a child. But what if half of that equation is removed, abruptly, perhaps even violently?
A clueless morning radio host called it a “priapic explosion,” which naturally elicited giggles from listeners and denizens of social media.
Maybe this is what happens when lawyers are appointed to the Commission on Elections not as lawyers but as laymen. The Comelec begins to lose sight of the limits set by law.
The attack by the New People’s Army on Mayor Ruth Guingona’s returning convoy last April, which killed two of her civilian aides and left her wounded, was only the most headline-grabbing act of violence of the election season. But there have been many other incidents, each one a dispiriting reminder that we are a long [...]
On the surface at least, the current election campaign appears to be a slight improvement over past ones. The Commission on Elections’ strict enforcement of its rules on poster size and common poster areas, for instance, has drastically reduced the blizzard of banners and posters that used to choke every available space in the country come election time. Airtime limits have also generally held despite the late-breaking status quo ante order by the Supreme Court, sparing the public of airwaves clogged day and night with political ads.
International credit watchdog Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services affirmed last week the Philippines’ investment-grade status, a month after Fitch Ratings gave it its first investment-grade credit rating.