Marcos visits father's grave

By Catherine S. Valente, TMT, May 10, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — PRESUMPTIVE president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has visited the grave of his father, former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani in Taguig City

A photo released by his camp on Wednesday showed Marcos paying his respects to his father the day before after it became apparent that he would be the country's next president based on the huge lead he has over his rivals as shown by the partial and unofficial results of the elections on May 9.

As of 11:17 a.m Wednesday, Marcos garnered 31.08 million votes as against his closest opponent Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo's 14.8 million in 98.25 percent of election returns.

Marcos first entered into politics when he became Ilocos Norte's vice-governor at the age of 23 in 1980 while his father ruled the country under martial law.

He was elected governor in 1983 until his father's presidency was toppled and the family was forced to live in exile in Hawaii in 1986 as a result of the EDSA People Power revolution.

In 1992, Marcos won as representative of Ilocos Norte's second district. From 1998-2007, he served as governor of Ilocos Norte anew.

He returned to Congress in 2007 before he ran and won a seat in the Senate in 2010.

He also vied for the vice-presidential seat in 2016 but lost to Robredo.

Marcos: Sara to be DepEd chief

By Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star , May 12, 2022 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has chosen his running mate, presumptive vice president Sara Duterte-Carpio, to be the next secretary of the Department of Education.

In a brief statement to the media after a closed-door meeting with his transition team yesterday afternoon, Marcos announced his pick for the education department.

“I think I am already authorized to announce the first nominee that we will be giving to the Commission on Appointments when the time comes, should I be proclaimed (as president) – and that is, that our incoming vice president has agreed to take the brief of the Department of Education,” Marcos said.

Marcos did not take any questions from the media after giving his statement but assured them that he will be giving updates “in the next few days about what’s going on” in his team’s planning amid his imminent victory in the presidential race.

“ So, I talked to Inday Sara. I asked her if she can take on the job, because being the secretary of education is a very tough job, and she agreed to take it. I think it is because she’s a mother and she wants to make sure that her children are well-trained and well-educated and that’s the best motivation that we can hope for,” Marcos said in English and Filipino.

Marcos earlier bared that Duterte-Carpio would want to be the secretary of defense should their tandem assume the presidency and vice presidency, respectively.

Meanwhile, Marcos said he is open to include in his would-be Cabinet several experts and personalities “regardless of political leanings.”

“I will continue to be guided by the [person’s] competence and willingness to work with the next administration. We remove immediately what their political leanings have been. Kung lumaban ba sa atin, kung sumama ba sa atin [Whether they used to oppose us or they used to be with us], that’s not going to be part of the discussion,” Marcos said.

Marcos, however, said he intends to keep the core group of people who ran his campaign.

“The process we have established is that I am keeping our execom (executive committee) who ran the campaign. Sila talaga ang mga adviser ko [They were really my advisers].They will be the core group. But each department, we have to talk to specialists in that discipline or that sector,” Marcos said.

Marcos added that as early as now, his execom is already discussing who would be appointed in key positions in the executive department, particularly those who would be part of his economic team.

“My intention is to hit the ground running so that we are already [with possible appointees] if ever we would be proclaimed later this month... As I’m sure you can imagine, the economic managers are going to be critical for the next several years because of the pandemic and the economic crisis. So, that is something that we are looking at very carefully,” Marcos said.

“I am also guided by the critical areas that we talk about during the campaign – of course, the economy, price of energy, lack of jobs, education, infrastructure, all of these areas that are going to be critical in the next few years,” he added.

At least 3 vying for Senate president

By Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star , May 14, 2022 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — At least three senators will be slugging it out for the post of Senate president, who should be elected before the 19th Congress opens its first regular session on July 25.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian is the latest candidate for the post, although he is the first to declare his intention to head the Senate.

“I’m vying for the Senate presidency. I have some good plans for the institution,” Gatchalian told “The Chiefs” on Cignal TV’s One News Thursday, adding that he is banking on his six years of experience in the Senate and the “relationships” he has forged with fellow senators.

In fact, he claims to be in “talks” with some of his colleagues about his bid to be the next Senate president; and among them are previously reported early contenders for the post – Sen. Cynthia Villar and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Gatchalian did not say what response he got from Villar or Zubiri, if any.

“I bring to the table my work in passing important legislation on education and energy… They know me as very serious with work,” Gatchalian said.

He dismissed reports, including statements attributed to Sen. Ronald dela Rosa and returning senator Jinggoy Estrada, that initial counting of votes showed Villar as the next Senate president even as another returning senator, Francis Escudero, has been mentioned as a possible contender.

Gatchalian noted that the winners in the elections have yet to be proclaimed and that the 19th Congress has yet to convene.

He declined, though, from disclosing how many of his colleagues have committed to support his bid in the morning session of July 25, saying he would “reserve” the answer to that for the future.

The senator who hails from Valenzuela City said a “super majority” in both the Senate and the House of Representatives is possible because of the strong mandate of presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong Marcos Jr.

He said the Senate should be both “cooperative and collaborative” with the Marcos administration as such would help iron out differences between the legislative branch and Malacañang and “minimize or eliminate politics.”

‘Knows the rules’

On Tuesday, Zubiri said any talk about the jockeying for the Senate leadership was premature as the chamber still has pending bills to pass before the 18th Congress adjourns on June 3.

Some senators, who declined to be identified for now, however, appear to be siding with Zubiri, describing him as “most acceptable” and “consensus-builder” being well-versed with the Senate rules and traditions.

Senators see these traits as very important in ensuring the swift passage of legislation and promoting harmony, especially during debates and voting on crucial issues.

“Leaders of the Senate should know and follow the rules or else there will be chaos. The rules are there for stability… the Senate must maintain its good image of being independent,” one senator said, warning that poor leadership could lead to a coup in the chamber which could disrupt their work.

The senator also said members of the business community are also closely watching developments as whoever will be elected as leader of the Senate could influence the kind of economic legislation that will be passed by the chamber. – With Edu Punay, Evelyn Macairan

Loren on media

Returning senator, Antique Rep. Loren Legarda, has expressed optimism that the media would continue to thrive under the incoming administration.

The veteran legislator, who was a journalist for 20 years before joining politics, believes that while press freedom will face challenges – just as in previous administrations – it will remain protected by the 1987 Constitution.

“We thrive in a democracy. I was in media for 20 years. I know that it can’t be perfect in every administration,” she stressed in an interview with CNN Philippines.

She called on the media to continue performing its watchdog role under the incoming administration. “I will urge you, members of the media, to report in the most responsible and comprehensive manner,” she said.

Asked if she will be an ally of the media under a Marcos Jr. administration, the UniTeam senatorial candidate said she is an “ally of the Filipino people, not just for one sector.”

Having placed second in the 12-slot senatorial race, Legarda also laid down her legislative plans for the incoming 19th Congress, vowing to pursue her advocacy for sustainable pandemic recovery where economic plans should be intertwined with environmental protection programs.

“We can’t allow climate change policies to be handled by one agency. The whole government must mainstream climate change adaptation and mitigation,” she stressed.

Legarda also committed to push for the “One Tablet, One Student Act” for learning; employment generation, and job matching brought to the barangay level; civil union of same-sex couples, and annulment access for the poor.

She expressed reservations, though, on calls for the legalization of marijuana and the passage of an anti-political dynasty law.

Limited attendance at proclamation

At the Commission on Elections (Comelec), acting spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said yesterday that winning senators would be allowed to bring only three companions during their proclamation.

For a winning party-list group, only two representatives are allowed at the proclamation, said Laudiangco, who said these guidelines are necessary in the interest of public health during the pandemic.

While no date has yet been set, the Comelec is considering a same-day proclamation for the 12 winning senators and 63 seats in the House of Representatives to be filled by winning party-list groups.

“This is not a hard and fast rule. The Commission en banc (sitting as National Board of Canvassers or NBOC), upon the guidance of the Oversight Committee and Supervisory Committee, we are also studying if we could have a joint proclamation,” Laudiangco said.  “We have to wait for the resolution.” – Edu Punay, Evelyn Macairan

Duterte calls for the abolition of party-list system

By Alexis Romero -, May 12, 2022 | 7:03pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte called for the abolition of the party-list system under the next administration, saying the mechanism is being used by leftists to deceive and destroy the government.

Speaking during a meeting with some Cabinet members last Wednesday, Duterte claimed leftist groups have not done anything but to trick the government.

"I recommend the abolition of the party-list (system). It is being used. Although they are...a few, who still, participate in the government that they wish to destroy. It's ridiculous. They enter the government, they participate in the governance process and yet...what they really want is to destroy that government and replace it with theirs," Duterte said in Filipino.

"The party-list system has to be scrapped by the next president. It would be as good as any other time to initiate whether to convert Congress into a constituent body or call for a constitutional convention but which is very expensive to do," he added.

The party-list system aims to allow Filipinos belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors to become members of the House of Representatives. The system was created by the 1987 Constitution but its enabling law was enacted in 1995. Under the 1987 Constitution, party-list representatives shall constitute twenty percent of the total number of representatives. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the party-list system should not be limited to marginalized groups, and must be opened even to political organizations regardless of size.

Critics claim that the system is now being used as a backdoor to Congress of rich and influential politicians. Duterte has also assailed the system in one of his previous speeches, calling it an "evil" system financed by the rich and exploited by generals involved in narcotics trade.

But Duterte's criticism of the party-list system is not limited to the alleged participation of the wealthy and those with links to illegal drugs. Last March, Duterte accused party-list groups Kabataan, Anakpawis, Bayan Muna, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, and Gabriela of being legal fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the political arm of the communist rebels. He had also claimed that communists are using government funds to support armed rebels.

The president did not present evidence to support his accusations. The six party-list groups have denied Duterte's allegation, dismissing it as an effort to intimidate groups critics of the government.

Duterte claimed barangay chiefs and watchmen are being killed in areas with strong communist presence.

"If you are not a sympathizer (of the rebels), they would really kill you," the president said.

In the same meeting, Duterte said amendments to the constitution should be passed during the early part of the next president's term.

"There is really a demand of the moment, the changes in the Constitution, whether you want to convert it into a should be started immediately," the President said.

"If you do that when you are about to step down, they will say that you want to change some provisions in the constitution to allow you to run," he added.


The shift to a federal form of government was one of Duterte's campaign promises in 2016.

Paul Soriano, the creative behind the BBM win

Published May 13, 2022, 12:05 AM, by Anna Mae Lamentillo, MB


Presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s campaign highlighted two things: unity and positivity. His message resonated well with Filipinos as evidenced by his landslide win to become the 17th President of the Republic of the Philippines.

Apart from his campaign rallies, BBM’s message was relayed through his television and online advertisements, which kindled hope and inspiration. These are the kinds of ads you would not mind watching all over again because of the positive emotions that they evoke.

The creative behind these ads is Paul Soriano, a multi-awarded director who rose to fame for his films, including “Thelma,” which bagged the Best Director and Best Screenplay awards at the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) Awards in 2012; and “Siargao,” which won Best Director award at the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) in 2017.

Direk Paul’s production company, TEN17P, has produced critically acclaimed and groundbreaking films, such as “Transit,” “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis,” “Dukot,” “Dagitab,” and “Mariquina,” among many others. He is also renowned in concert, music videos and TV commercial scenes.

Any candidate would be fortunate to have Direk Paul in their team, and BBM is surely blessed to have him handle his campaign visuals. BBM himself refers to him as “our creative genius.” Their team-up was effective because there’s mutual trust and respect. They are, after all, family.

Paul Soriano

Direk Paul’s father is a first cousin of BBM’s wife, Atty. Liza Araneta-Marcos. BBM and Atty. Liza also stood as principal sponsors during Direk Paul and Toni Gonzaga’s wedding.

But while there’s a personal bond between the director and the candidate, it takes more than that to be able to produce advertisements that are believable and motivating, especially for a political campaign.

When asked where he got the drive and passion to be able to produce such beautiful videos, Direk Paul says it emanates from the candidate himself. BBM’s positivity—being able to see the good in everything, his belief in the beauty and potential of our country, his pride in the genius and industry of the Filipino people — is contagious that it easily infects the people around him, including Direk Paul.

Doing work that you love is energizing, increases your productivity, and creates a positive environment. Watch any BBM ad and you’ll feel not only how much Direk Paul loves his work, but also how much he believes in our next president.