JUNE 30, 2010

Today is Noynoy Aquino’s inauguration day as the new President of the Philippine Republic. It is not only an occasion of victory but it is Noynoy’s most sacred oath, a dedication and consecration under God to the highest office in service of the Filipino people.

Now, the ever-increasing burdens are in his shoulder, the Filipino people has spoken, giving him the mandate for a real change.

Nevertheless, WE, the Filipino people have contributed to the recovery and progress of the nation. The recent election proves that democracy works and Noynoy’s victory has given a renewed hope and courage to all who have faith in government. But we should keep an eye on him, his action, especially the people that surrounds him, in other words we will guard him from the devil’s whispers and the wicked hands.

Today is a very important day, I am proud to be part of the new era of Philippine democracy, I am so proud I voted Noynoy as My President.

In his tenure….

My President…

WILL re-establish the vigor and effectiveness of law enforcement and entire machinery of justice, the redistribution of its functions, the simplification of its procedure, the better selection of judges, and the more effective organization of our agencies of investigation and prosecution that justice may be sure and that it may be swift. Reform, reorganization and strengthening the whole judicial and enforcement system, both in civil and criminal system.

My President in his tenure WILL … read more

Congratulations! AKBAYAN

Congratulations! To Akbayan Party-list  as one of  the  Party-list group winners in the  May 10, 2010 election.

Akbayan’s nominees are:  renowned economist and activist Walden Bello, agrarian reform and women advocate Atty. Arlene Bag-ao, peace crusader Tom Villarin; migrants champion Ellene Sana, youth leader Francis “Kiko” Isaac and peasant leader Ruperto “Ka Uper” Aleroza.

Akbayan is one of the pioneering groups in the party-list system.  In 1998, when the system was first implemented, former congresswoman Loretta Ann Rosales was the group’s first representative and was also represented  by Liza Hontiveros Baraquel in the 14th Congress.

The Constitution allots 20 percent of the seats in the House to party-list groups. For a group to get a seat in Congress, it must win at least two percent of the total votes cast for the party-list system.

We need charter change

We need Charter Change

By: Bong Amora

I : 2010 Election a success

Majority of the Filipino people actively embraced the new voting system, the “Automated Election System (AES)” which basically contributed to the success of the Philippine May 2010 election. It also means that manual election system is now part of the Philippine history. Although there were isolated glitches but rectifying the same would be an overwhelming success in the future Philippine electoral processes.

Congratulations to the winners! Especially to my President. The mandate of the Filipino people has spoken and now Aquino is armed with that mandate. Please don’t disappoint us, the Filipinos is giving you a chance to eradicate corruption once and for all. Don’t tarnish the good reputation of Ninoy and Cory. Keep us out from poverty and fix the problems we so desperately want to fix, the infrastructure, education, energy and health care.

II: The Aftermath

However, the aftermath of election remains unresolved. For each election brought a landslide of garbage. These are the rubbish generated not only by voting the wrong people in public office. These are the waste left in the election campaign of candidates from local to national to village level fighting for elective positions in government – posters, brochures, banners, placards, pamphlets, sample ballots, stickers, calendars, pins, buttons, banners, and other printed materials. Not to mention the billions of Pesos the government spent every election. A taxpayer’s money used to exercise our right of suffrage is a lot of money that instead can be used in other form for the benefit of the poor Filipinos.

Perhaps a two party system is the answer to this problem. It can lessen waste of votes and waste of taxpayer’s money.

III: What is a two party system?

Two Party System

Two Party System

The two-party system is a form of party system where two major political parties dominate in most elections, in part, at any level.

Under a two-party system, one of the two parties in general has a majority of the legislature (the parliament or a house on a bicameral system),  and is determined as the majority party. The smaller parties as the minority party called.

Prominent examples of countries with two-party systems including the U.S., Honduras, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Malta and Japan. Even though these countries are often thought of as two-party states, other parties have little longer, but significant bases and have seen the candidates elected to local or regional offices. In general, a two-party system, a share of the political spectrum in a field right and left parties.

Some governments, certain chambers of a two-party system and the other similar to a multiparty system. For example, the policy of Australia largely two-party (if the Liberal Party and National Party are both parties at the national level because of their longstanding alliance) for the Australian House of Representatives are elected by a ballot of the majority. However, others are more common in the Australian Senate, a proportional electoral system uses more amenable to smaller parties.

IV: Federalism

One of the most complex foundations of the United States is the principle of federalism. This is the idea that the central government does not control all power in the country. States also have the powers reserved for them. Each state is responsible for its own affairs without always relying on the federal government.

I think the form of government that we are now simply too overwhelmed with problems, the services required by the people and other things that need attention. If it decides to somehow transfer the important services closer to people, then at least relieved the national government too much effort. Even the developing countries, the development of sub-economy, and then in different parts of the country is most likely to occur.

If Philippines will embrace a Federal system of Government, we will split into separate regions or states, each with its own autonomy and economics and law. Each region has to manage its own affairs of governance. Maybe, a Governor, the highest chief executive of the region, could head it. Each region will have a democratically elected member of the Senate. We don’t need hundreds of  “districts” lawmakers that will represents in Congress. We don’t need many elected officials. The lesser representations in the Senate or Congress the lesser the corruption in government and could perhaps eradicate rampant vote buying during elections.

Federalism could result in better consultation and cooperation that will lead to improvements in any sector and good management. In the social sector, a federal government can play a key role in ensuring a high quality of life for all citizens in their own regions according to their customs, traditions and beliefs.

The federal region will see to it that the public goods, the supply market is enough and perhaps can compete to other regions in the implementation of infrastructure, learning and training, transportation, healthcare and environment protection.  It will give opportunity for each region, instead of treating them as recipients of services from the national government.

It can also anchor for economic growth and development on a policy of genuine agrarian reform and true industrialization of the regions in the entire country. It will ensure that the Philippine economy produced from all over the country will be competitive in the world market.

The National Federal Government should impartially allocate and encourage foreign and domestic investments among the regions that should translate to the local employment, food on every family’s table, decent housing and medical care, and quality education for all. The delivery of basic social services will always take precedence, as the welfare of the entire nation shall never be sacrifices to gods of the global market.

To the new administration, perhaps it’s about time to think and study a two party political system and a federal form of government for a better Philippines.  But before that, we need  Charter Change. – Bong A.

The lady with a big SMILE: 2010 AKBAYAN Party list nominee

AKBAYAN Party list nominee

AKBAYAN Party-List Nominee : Ellene Sana – Correcting Injustice, Promoting Human and Migrant Rights Here and Abroad.

Ellene Sana, the curly haired small lady with the big smile is an in and out human rights and migrants’ rights advocate. The current Executive Director of the Center for Migrants’ Advocacy-Philippines (CMA), an independent policy advocacy group working on issues of migrant Filipinos through research, education and direct assistance, Ellene is known for being an authority on migrant-related issues often invited as a resource person in forums, governmental and otherwise, both here and abroad. From providing direct assistance to organizing activities to promote the rights of migrant Filipinos, her name has become synonymous with migrants’ advocacy.

She is also acknowledged as a strong advocate of women ‘s issues. Together with women migrant workers, they seek the comprehensive protection of all women migrants from abuse and violence. A licensed Civil Engineer, she decided to leave her comfort zone and work full time to promote and advance the rights of the deprived and underprivileged, something which is close to her heart, being a political detainee herself in Mindanao in 1991.

Then again, Ellene’s advocacy is not limited to her fellow kababayans but also with other marginalized citizens as well. In 1997, Ellene was a founding member and coordinator of the Philippine Solidarity for East Timor and Indonesia (Phil-Seti), then the most active and relevant solidarity group based here in the Philippines which actively campaigned for the democratization of Indonesia under Suharto, and the independence of East Timor. In 1999, she was a member of an International Election Observer Team which monitored the United Nations-sponsored Referendum of East Timor and currently, an active member of the Free Burma Coalition (FBC).

Ellene takes her international solidarity and human rights work so seriously that she became re-acquainted with incarceration. In 1996, she was detained by the Malaysian authorities together with 48 other foreign advocates when they participated in an Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor held in Kuala Lumpur. She was again detained in 1998 this time in Burma by the ruling Military junta because of her pro-democracy activities in support of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Among the most momentous of Ellene’s crusades was the campaign that cemented the participation of Overseas Filipino Workers in our political process. With the help of the CMA and AKBAYAN, the Overseas Absentee Voting Law was passed in 2004, granting voting rights to overseas Filipinos.

However, not everything about the indefatigable Ellene is work. To many young advocates, Ellene is a sort of a “nanay-nanayan”, a nurturing and “cool “mentor and a good friend. She loves music and in a not so busy day, you’ll find her in the company of friends and colleagues singing and dancing to the beat of good-old reggae music.

With her entry in the 2010 partylist elections as one of AKBAYAN’s nominees, Ellene will surely be a strong voice of Filipino migrants in Congress.

First day of the 2010 OAV in Riyadh

The Official Residence of the Philippine Ambassador in Saudi Arabia (Bulletin Boards “Certified List of Overseas Absentee Voters”)

Today,  April 10, 2010  registered  Filipino absentee voters  comprised of Overseas Filipino Workers and  Migrant  Filipinos around the world will start casting  their votes  to choose new  Philippine national leaders, the President, Vice President and 12 Senators and 1 Party List. There are 93 Philippine embassies and consulates general around the globe that includes four designated centers in Saudi Arabia.

As a responsible citizen of the Republic of the Philippines and an absentee voter, it is my obligation to vote and I see to it that I will cast my vote in the first day of the voting period which ends on 10 of  May 2010.


I and my long time friend and Filipino Community leader Alex Veloso Bello were among the first absentee voters to arrive in the Philippine Embassy.  We noticed  that around 7:30 am  Philippine Embassy staff were busy preparing the elections paraphernalia’s  in the basement  of the Embassy where the voting process will takes place for  3rd Overseas Absentee Voting in Riyadh.  

Basement (The Polling Center)

Bulletin boards where the names are posted can be found at the Basketball Court before you enter the polling areas in the basement.  As usual, there were only handful absentee voters who came early in the first day of voting period.

At exactly 8:00 am, all precincts A to Z were already manned by the members of the Board of Election Inspectors.  We were the ones who were recognized as the first to vote.

We were able to meet the Cultural Officer Attache Rosario Malicse  and   Vice Consul Atty. Rousell Reyes , in charge of the 2010 Overseas Absentee Voting at the Philippine Embassy before leaving the Embassy compound.

Alex Veloso Bello at Precinct “B”

There are 52,887 registered voters in Riyadh, 37,063 in Jeddah, 21,537 in Alkhobar and more than 1,000 in Buraidah. There are four designated voting centers in Saudi Arabia, the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, Consulate General in Jeddah, the International Philippine School in Alkhobar (IPSA) and the Philippine International School in Buraidah.

The first day of the voting period was peaceful and in order. We are hoping that in the next few days absentee voters will troop down to the 4 designated voting centers to cast their votes.  

The Republic of the Philippines Official Seal at the Main Entrance of the Philippine Embassy

 The Philippine embassy officials are requesting those registered  absentee voters during the last 2003, 2006 and 2009 registration to verify their names first in the Certified List of Overseas Absentee Voters (CLOAV), which can be accessed either on the Commission on Elections website ( or the embassy site:   You can also access the CLOAV in this blog by clicking this link OAV Philippine Embassy Advisory.   

Those  names  found in the list are required to present either their valid passport or iqama, or any valid identification documents such as OWWA, SSS, Pag-IBIG identification cards or a driver’s license.

 On the next succeeding days, Saturdays to Wednesdays, voting opens from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Riyadh. On Thursdays and Friday, voting is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In Alkhobar, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Saturdays to Wednesdays and Thursdays and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Alkhobar and Buraidah.

In Jeddah, voting is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on all days.

On the last day, May 10, voting starts at 8 a.m. in Riyadh, Alkhobar and Buraidah, and 10 a.m. in Jeddah. Voting stops at all centers in the Kingdom at 1 p.m., which coincides with the 6 p.m. end of voting time in the Philippines. – end –

My choice is not your choice

Tomorrow, April 10, 2010 is the first day of Overseas Absentee Voting that will end on May 10, 2010. 

Below are my  choices  whom I feel worthy of my vote.

President: Noynoy Aquino

Vice President: Manuel Roxas


1)      Toots Ople

2)      Bebot Bello

3)      Martin Bautista

4)      Ruffy Biazon

5)      Alex Lacson

6)      Lim

7)      Sonia Roco

8)      Liza Hontiveros Baraquel

9)      Enrile

10)   Adel Tamano

11)   Franklin Drilon

12)   Jinggoy Estrada

My Choice

Your choice is not my choice, no one could dictate you to whom you will vote. Just do the right thing according  to what your heart says.  Voting  is sacred, voting is the essential elements of freedom, it is a duty,  and therefore  don’t waste your  right to be heard;  that’s what democracy is all about. – Bong Amora