The Filing of Certificate of Candidacy is Over, What’s Next?

Seasoned politicians, medical doctors, and leaders of cause-oriented groups flocked to the Harbor Garden Tent of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila on the first week of October to submit their certificates of candidacy (COC) as the Commission on Elections selected the tent as the venue for COC filing for national posts.

Outside the premises of Sofitel, supporters of politicians gathered during the COC filing period to cheer their chosen candidates amid protests from different groups.

But the big surprise was former Senator Bong Bong Marcos’ filing of a COC for president. Presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, who has been leading presidential surveys, decided to seek reelection to the dismay of her supporters.

From the day she announced that there should only be one Duterte who should run for a national position, many from the political spectrum must have thought that Sara was referring to the presidency and vice presidency. 

President Rodrigo Duterte said in January 2021 that "the presidency was no job for women because of their emotional differences to men,” dismissing speculation that his daughter would succeed him next year."

"My daughter is not running. I have told Inday not to run because I pity her, knowing she will have to go through what I am going through," the President said.

The President then accepted the nomination of the PDP-Laban faction headed by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi for the position of vice president. But during the second day of COC filing, the President’s longtime aide Senator Bong Go filed a COC for vice president, replacing Duterte. On the last day of the filing period, Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa submitted a COC for president, making him the standard-bearer of the ruling party.




The Rise of Bongbong Marcos

FERDINAND “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has clearly shown his intention to seek the highest office in the land once held by his father, the late strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos. His running for office is met with hostility by the “Yellows” and in response, Vice-President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo filed her bid to run for president to oppose the younger Marcos, thus bringing the Marcos-Aquino “family feud” back into the spotlight.

Since 1986, the Marcos name has become equated with “evil” owing to the Martial Law years characterized by brutal oppression of anyone who dared speak against the Marcos regime. In addition, there was the issue of ill-gotten wealth, which landed the elder Marcos as committing the biggest theft, according to the Guinness Book of Records. This notoriety also extends to his immediate family, and the younger Marcos is no exception.

Our history books have been denouncing the Marcoses to the extent of demonizing them. We tried to bring them to justice but to no avail as each case was dismissed one after the other.

By the 1990s, just when many thought the Marcoses were through, they started making a comeback in the political arena.


What explains Marcos Jr.’s popularity?

By: Joel Ruiz Butuyan - @inquirerdotnetPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 04:04 AM October 18, 2021]]

A week after our presidential candidates were officially made known, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is emerging as a huge front-runner. If elections were held today, he would become our country’s next president.

In the most recent Pulse Asia Survey, Marcos Jr. garnered 15 percent of the votes, second to Sara Duterte’s 20 percent. But with the latter officially out of the running (at least at this time), Marcos Jr. leads all other candidates. This is also confirmed by informal surveys made by various groups online. What explains this resurgence of the Marcoses, even in the face of well-documented and court-decided evidence 

‘We are here to demand citizenship.’ Rally presses Congress and Biden to move on immigration reform.

“President Biden, we ask that you stop deportations and protect immigrant communities like mine,” Margot Zamora at the really Friday in Little Village.

By Sneha Dey  Oct 8, 2021, 4:48pm CDT, CHICAGO SUN TIMES

Margot Zamora lives in fear that her husband

will be deported. He works as a construction worker, is the sole provider for the household and is an undocumented immigrant.

“I’m afraid that I will wake up tomorrow and that he won’t be here just because he wasn’t included in this citizenship for all,” she said. “We’re one family, we’re one home, but without him, we’re nothing.”



Adidas to open its largest store in the Philippines: What to expect


By JANNIELYN ANN BIGTAS, GMA News, Published October 18, 2021 5:35pm

MANILA, Philippines — Adidas is set to open its largest store in the Philippines on October 22.

It will be called the Brand Center and it will occupy a whopping 1,500 sqm in Makati's Glorietta 3. It will have a selling space of 1,300 sqm filled with a wide range of sporting and lifestyle goo


More tourists visit Boracay as restrictions eased

By: Nestor P. Burgos Jr. - Reporter / @nestorburgosINQPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 04:40 AM October 18, 202

ILOILO CITY—Tourist arrivals in Boracay are picking up again after community quarantine restrictions were loosened due to a slowdown in COVID-19 cases on the island resort.

Tourists going to Boracay from Oct. 1 to Oct. 10 reached 6,925, according to data from the tourism office of Malay town in Aklan province where the island is located.

Seventy-four percent, or 5,125, were leisure travelers from Metro Manila. This was already more than the 6,702 tourists who visited the island in September.

The island and the rest of Aklan were under modified enhanced community quarantine, the second strictest quarantine level, until Sept. 7, which prohibited leisure travel to the island.

US panel votes to authorize J&J COVID-19 vaccine booster

Agence France-Presse / 11:12 AM October 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — A high-level panel of US medical experts voted unanimously Friday to recommend authorizing a second shot of the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine.

The decision will help end a sense of limbo for 15 million Americans who received the first dose but were worried whether it was enough to protect them, particularly after the rise of the Delta variant.

OCT. 18 - 25, 2021

Bongbong Marcos tops
'street surveys' among presidential bets


Former senator and former presidential son, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. arrives at the Harbor Garden Tent of the Sofitel Manila in Pasay City on October 6, 2021 to files his certificate of candidacy for the presidency in the May 2022 Elections. PHOTO BY ENRIQUE AGCAOILI


By  Bernadette E. Tamayo, TMT, October 14, 2021


MANILA, Philippines —  FORMER senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. would be a runaway winner in the 2022 presidential race, based on a series of surveys by vloggers.

The Kalye (Street) Surveys from October 1 to 11 showed that 60 percent of respondents preferred Marcos over six other candidates to be the country's 17th president.

Of the 2,137 respondents, 1,307 expressed their preference for Marcos. Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso came in second, with 345; Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo at third with 231; Sen. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao, 125; Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, 89; Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, 23; and Davao City Mayor Duterte-Carpio, 17.

Marcos is the standard-bearer of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas.

Rappler scraps

'biased' survey


Rappler polled for about 30 minutes before it was taken down.

By  Bernadette E. Tamayo, TMT, October 18, 2021


MANILA, Philippines — ONLINE media outfit Rappler deleted its Facebook presidential survey after netizens accused it of using the poll for propaganda, according to several vloggers on Sunday.

The vloggers said Rappler has apologized to "angry" netizens and explained that the survey had to be taken down since it was not aligned with its objectives.

They said the manipulation was discovered when the total number of those who reacted "did not tally" with the list of netizens who actually reacted.



All candidates should be heard, even Bongbong

October 17, 2021, TMT

AS expected, the volume of black propaganda has grown with the onset of the election season. Mudslinging, character assassinations, and outright lies are, regrettably, common fare in a political process, but that does not dampen our desire for an elevated discourse on national issues as well as for an honest review of character and competence, commonly expected from the next President. Of course, every aspirant should answer tough questions and face scrutiny between now and election day. And all of them deserve to be heard.

Views and platforms can and should be challenged without being disrespectful. Our hope is for a civil and meaningful election discourse. Most might see that as wishful thinking, and they would probably be right. Already, social media and other channels are rife with name-calling and similar attacks



‘Vote-buying to go digital’

COMELEC LOGO SEPT 13, 2021.jpeg

Posted October 17, 2021 at 01:40 am by Vito Barcelo, MANILA STANDARD

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections is training its guns on online vote-buying for next year’s synchronized national and local elections.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the poll body will start talks with digital wallet operators to help track possible electronic vote-buying.

“We have what we call e-wallets or e-payments systems. In fact, I will talk to a company that does that because they have monitoring tools,” he said.

“It's not clear to me that the use of e-wallets for vote-buying can be banned. But what is important for ‘ right now is that we are able to identify behavior that signals vote-buying,” he added.

Potential foreign funding for VP’s campaign flagged

October 7, 2021 | 5:08pm

MANILA, Philippines  — Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. director Linconn Ong ran to the Supreme Court to challenge his continuing detention after the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee cited him in contempt and ordered his arrest.

Ong, through his legal counsels, filed a Petition for Certiorari on Thursday, assailing the Senate's September 10 order and asked the SC to order his immediate release from detention.

The Pharmally executive is one of the resource persons in the ongoing Senate Blue Ribbon Committee inquiry into government pandemic spending.

PHIVOLCS: Taal Volcano’s sulfur dioxide emission 'anomalously high'


Taal Volcano remained under Alert Level 2 even as it emitted “anomalously high” volcanic sulfur dioxide gas from its crater on Friday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said. (File photo

By JAMIL SANTOS, GMA News, Published October 15, 2021 8:04pm

MANILA, Philippines —  Taal Volcano remained under Alert Level 2 even as it emitted “anomalously high” volcanic sulfur dioxide gas from its crater on Friday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said.

In an advisory, PHIVOLCS said a total of 23,576 tonnes of sulfur dioxide (SO2) was recorded in the morning, the second-highest after the volcano emitted 25,456 tonnes on October 5.

Further, degassing at the Taal Main Crater was "noticeably voluminous" and generated steam-laden plumes as tall as 3,000 meters above the Taal Volcano Island (TVI),” it said.





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SWS: Raffy Tulfo tops senatorial poll ahead of Eleksyon 2022


RAFFY TULFO (File Photo)

By LLANESCA T. PANTI, GMA News, Published October 15, 2021 5:14pm


MANILA, Philippines — Broadcaster Raffy Tulfo has topped the latest Social Weather Stations' senatorial preference poll ahead of Eleksyon 2022.

The SWS survey, commissioned by the Stratbase ADR Institute of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, showed Tulfo with 57%.

Tulfo topped Pulse Asia's survey results released two weeks ago with 55.2%.

The latest SWS poll has former senators Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda, and former Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar tied at second to fourth with 41%.

Rounding up the top 12 are:

Taguig representative and former Senator Alan Cayetano with 38%

Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri at 34%

former Senator Jinggoy Estrada at 29%

Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan with 28%

television host Willie Revillame with 25%

Senator Risa Hontiverso with 25%

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian with 21%  and Senator Ri

Of the 12, Pangilinan is the one out of the Senate race in Eleksyon 2022 because he already filed a certificate of candidacy for vice president as the running mate of opposition standard-bearer Vice President Leni Robredo.

The SWS survey was conducted from September 12-16 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults aged 18 years old and above nationwide.

The 1,200 participants are broken down into 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

The sampling error margins are ±3% for national percentages and ±6% for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. -NB, GMA News

OCTA: 5k cases by end-Oct.

Could bring NCR to Alert Level 1 or 2; But doctors wary of easing curbs

Posted October 18, 2021 at 02:20 am by Macon Ramos-Araneta, MANILA STANDARD

MANILA, Philippines — Independent researchers tracking the coronavirus pandemic said the number of COVID-19 cases in the country is likely to drop to 5,000 to 6,000 a day by the end of October—two months ahead of their previous estimates—but doctors warned against complacency and easing restrictions too soon.

The OCTA Research Group on Sunday said the numbers have been steadily improving over recent days, with the daily count of new cases no longer surpassing 10,000.

The reproduction number—or the number of people one infected person can infect—has dropped to only 0.64 nationwide, and the seven-day average cases are 8,400, OCTA fellow Guido David said.

He said the hospital utilization rate is also declining, based on data from the Department of Health. In Metro Manila, it is said to be only 47 percent, but the intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rate is still high.

Just last Sept. 29, David said new COVID-19 cases in the country may decrease to around 5,000 to 6,000 per day by December. He said the projected decrease in cases is because the surge of infections is already ending in Metro Manila and other areas.

David said that Metro Manila, which last month was under alert level 4, maybe scaled down to alert level 1 or 2 by December.

As cases declined, Metro Manila was downgraded to Alert Level 3 on Saturday.

But doctors expressed concern over the easing of restrictions.

"We are worried that based on previous experience, every time we ease restrictions, the people forget observance of health protocols," said Dr. Maricar Limpin, president of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP).

In an interview with ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo, she said

hospitals remain short-staffed because of virus infections among health workers, and the expected exodus of nurses following intensified recruitment in the United Kingdom and the United States.

As businesses open, she recommended a physical distancing of two meters and urged the public to observe minimum health standards

"If we don't have anything important to do, we should remain home. Let's protect ourselves and our loved ones," she said.

An infectious disease expert, Dr. Rontgene Solante, said ICU utilization was still high at 75 percent.

Despite the decline in cases, he said, the country is far from achieving herd immunity and the target of vaccinating 90 percent of the target population.

At present, he said, only 31 percent of the target population has been vaccinated against COVID-19.


IATF asked to include US, Canada in no-quarantine list

By Kris Crismundo  October 15, 2021, 3:07 pm PNA

MANILA – Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion has welcomed the lifting of mandatory quarantine from “green” countries but is hoping that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Diseases (IATF-EID) will also grant lesser restrictions for travelers from North America that includes the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

During Go Negosyo’s Bakuna Town Hall virtual meeting on Friday, Concepcion said lifting the mandatory quarantine reduces costs for travelers and will help in reviving the tourism sector.

However, it may not be enough to help airlines and tourism enterprises to recover as the Philippines is not a popular destination for countries in the green list.

"Green list" economies include Algeria, American Samoa, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Eritrea, Falkland Island, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Kiribati, Madagascar, Mali, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Niue, North Korea, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Poland, Saba, Saint Helena, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Sint Eustasius, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tokelau, Tonga,

Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, and Yemen.

“We’ve requested that they include countries in North America, Canada, and some European countries. Because of what we see, Thailand and Singapore are starting to open up and redefining these country levels, allowing America. So, I feel that hopefully, we hope to move towards that level,” Concepcion said.

He added it would be timely for the Christmas season as there are many Filipinos in North America and Europe wanting to go home.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez had earlier pushed for shortening the number of days of mandatory quarantine for foreign nationals in order to encourage more foreign investors to visit and look for business opportunities in the country. (PNA)

DOT welcomes expanded indoor seating in NCR restos

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora  October 1, 2021, 2:19 pm PNA

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Friday welcomed the expanded indoor seating capacity for fully vaccinated persons in establishments in the National Capital Region.

Based on the latest Inter-Agency Task Force resolution, indoor dine-in services are now allowed 20 percent seating capacity, with an additional 10 percent for establishments granted a Safety Seal by the government.

The DOT noted that the allowed seating for outdoor dining remains at 30 percent but may increase by an additional 10 percent if the restaurant is also a Safety Seal recipient.

“It is worth noting that the IATF-EID backed the proposal as 99 percent of tourism workers employed in DOT-accredited hotels and restaurants in Metro Manila have been inoculated against Covid-19," said Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat.

“We are confident with the cooperation of our tourism stakeholders — guests, workers, and hotel and restaurant operators — to ensure the safe reopening of restaurants to a higher number of guests by strictly observing the new seating capacity,” she added.

Romulo-Puyat also encouraged the public to patronize DOT-accredited establishments as their employees are already vaccinated and their operations are strictly monitored by the Department to ensure the observance of health and safety protocols.

Metro Manila remains under Alert Level 4 until October 15. (PNA)