PNoy Factor in 2013 Elections

  • 15 wounded in mosque attack at Philippine police camp

    15 wounded in mosque attack at Philippine police camp

    AFP News
    15 wounded in mosque attack at Philippine police camp

    Fifteen people including 10 police officers were wounded in an attack on a mosque at police camp on a remote Philippine island long plagued by Islamic militancy, officials said on Saturday. Successive blasts targeted the mosque inside Camp Kasim on the island of Jolo early evening Friday -- an initial grenade attack followed by a bomb explosion less than 10 minutes later that was intended to target police who rushed to the scene, local authorities said. "It seems the (first) explosion was set …

  • Philippine economic growth slows to three-year low

    Philippine economic growth slows to three-year low

    AFP News
    Philippine economic growth slows to three-year low

    Philippine economic growth in the first quarter slowed to a three-year low of 5.2 percent, well below forecasts, due to lethargic government spending and weak exports, officials said Thursday. "While growth in the private sector remains robust, the slower than programmed pace of public spending, particularly the decline in public construction, has slowed down the overall growth of the economy," Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told reporters. "Exports were the other source of the …

  • US affirms 'ironclad' promise to defend Philippines

    US affirms 'ironclad' promise to defend Philippines

    AFP News
    US affirms 'ironclad' promise to defend Philippines

    US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told his Philippine counterpart on Wednesday that Washington's pledge to defend the Pacific nation remains "ironclad" and called for an end to land reclamation in the South China Sea, officials said. In talks in Hawaii with Voltaire Gazmin, Philippine secretary of national defense, the Pentagon chief "reaffirmed" the strong ties between the two countries and discussed territorial disputes in the contested waters of the South China Sea, where Beijing has been …

  • Powerful quake strikes off Japan; no tsunami warning

    Associated Press

    TOKYO (AP) — A powerful and extremely deep earthquake struck a group of remote Japanese islands and shook Tokyo on Saturday, but officials said there was no danger of a tsunami, and no injuries or damage were immediately reported. …

  • French farmer who killed alleged truffle thief gets 8 years

    Associated Press

    PARIS (AP) — A court in southeast France has sentenced a farmer to eight years in prison for the shooting death of a suspected truffle thief. …

By Ramon Casiple for Yahoo! Southeast Asia

The midterm elections traditionally are a preserve of the incumbent president. Conventional political wisdom says that the sitting president—using government resources and the power of his or her powerful position—decides, in many cases, the outcome of senatorial and local elections. The 2013 national, local, and ARMM elections are no different.

Of course, the 2007 national and local elections deviated from this conventional wisdom. Then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was at the abyss of her popularity and the most of her endorsed senatorial candidates, including Miguel Zubiri, lost. Her endorsement then was seen as a kiss of death.

We have now an exactly opposite situation. President "Noynoy" Aquino enjoys stratospheric ratings in the surveys, with almost four out of five Filipinos satisfied with his performance in implementing his promised anti-corruption and anti-poverty reform agenda. He enters the 2013 election period with an unprecedented endorsement power.

His personal participation in the Liberal Party senatorial slate selection process has changed the process as well as the landscape of the senatorial contest itself. It has also led to certain changes in the local political contests.

The impact of the high presidential rating is nowhere more manifested than in the dearth of opposition candidates in almost all levels of electoral contests. The only open opposition to the Aquino ruling coalition are candidates aligned with former president Macapagal-Arroyo.

All others have declared or affirmed their support to President Aquino.

The 2013 elections will not be a referendum on the performance of the Aquino administration.  Does this mean that there is no more opposition? Of course not; there are plenty of them. Aside from the members and allies of the former GMA administration, there are the extremists of the Right and Left who are perennial critics and opponents of all post-Marcos democratic regimes. Within the ruling coalition itself, there are those who have their own grievances against Aquino but are too intimidated to come out in the open and possibly lose their privileges.

The high presidential rating and the ineffective opposition opens the window for an unprecedented presidential influence in the 2013 elections. In particular, those who are seen by the voters as adhering or supporting the Aquino administration's "matuwid na daan" (straight road) vision and program will enjoy the advantage. Those whom the president will personally endorse will also have the advantage.

For all candidates who matter, at least a part of the route to electoral victory goes through the Jose P. Laurel St. in San Miguel, Manila.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • 15 wounded in 2 explosions in restive southern Philippines

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — At least 15 people have been wounded in two separate blasts that hit a police camp in a restive southern Philippine province where Muslim militants operate, police said Saturday. …

  • 15 wounded in mosque attack at Philippine police camp
    15 wounded in mosque attack at Philippine police camp

    Fifteen people including 10 police officers were wounded in an attack on a mosque at police camp on a remote Philippine island long plagued by Islamic militancy, officials said on Saturday. Successive blasts targeted the mosque inside Camp Kasim on the island of Jolo early evening Friday -- an initial grenade attack followed by a bomb explosion less than 10 minutes later that was intended to target police who rushed to the scene, local authorities said. "It seems the (first) explosion was set …

  • US missile cruiser docks at Subic
    US missile cruiser docks at Subic

    A US Navy missile cruiser has dropped anchor in Subic Bay as part of “routine port call,” amid rising tension in the West Philippine Sea stirred by China’s island building activities and other threatening moves by its forces. The arrival of the Ticonderoga-class missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG-67) at the Subic Bay Freeport in Olongapo City yesterday was “just a routine port visit for ship replenishment and routine maintenance of shipboard system,” said Philippine Navy Public Affairs Office …

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