PNoy Factor in 2013 Elections

  • 70 years on, survivors keep memory of Battle of Manila alive

    70 years on, survivors keep memory of Battle of Manila alive

    Associated Press
    70 years on, survivors keep memory of Battle of Manila alive

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Seventy years have not dulled the memories of survivors of the monthlong Battle of Manila. The mass killings by Japanese forces, the loved ones lost and the desperation are etched in their minds, as is the elation when American forces finally rescued them in the closing months of World War II. …

  • Toll in Philippine clashes with Islamists rises to 26

    Toll in Philippine clashes with Islamists rises to 26

    AFP News
    Toll in Philippine clashes with Islamists rises to 26

    A military assault on Islamic militants in the southern Philippines entered its fifth day on Saturday, with the toll rising to 24 guerrillas and two soldiers dead, officials said. Ten Abu Sayyaf militants were killed in a two-hour clash on Friday after the army pounded their jungle lair on Jolo island with artillery and helicopter gunships, said Colonel Alan Arrojado, who is leading the assault. Battles were raging in the mountainous and thickly forested villages of Patikul town, an area …

  • France's Hollande visits typhoon-hit Philippine town

    France's Hollande visits typhoon-hit Philippine town

    AFP News
    France's Hollande visits typhoon-hit Philippine town

    French President Francois Hollande met survivors of one of the world's strongest typhoons in a remote Philippine coastal town on Friday, seeking to sound a global alarm on climate change ahead of a crucial UN summit. Hollande is on a two-day trip to the Southeast Asian archipelago, regarded as a frontline state in the struggle against global warming, as part of his campaign to build diplomatic momentum ahead of the Paris summit in December. The French president is determined to broker an …

  • More than 6,000 killed in 'merciless devastation' in Ukraine:  …

    More than 6,000 killed in 'merciless devastation' in Ukraine:  …

    AFP News
    More than 6,000 killed in 'merciless devastation' in Ukraine:  …

    The UN reported Monday over 6,000 people have perished in the "merciless devastation of civilian lives and infrastructure" in Ukraine, and warned the targeting of civilian areas could be a "crime against humanity." "More than 6,000 lives have now been lost in less than a year due to the fighting in eastern Ukraine," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a statement accompanying the report, which noted a "serious escalation" in the conflict since 2015 began. He …

  • Iraq launches operation to retake Tikrit from Islamic State

    Iraq launches operation to retake Tikrit from Islamic State

    Associated Press
    Iraq launches operation to retake Tikrit from Islamic State

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Backed by Iranian-supported Shiite militias, Iraqi forces launched a large-scale offensive Monday to retake Saddam Hussein's hometown from the Islamic State group, the first in a series of campaigns to try to reclaim large parts of northern Iraq from the Sunni extremists. …

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.

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