Proxy wars in the 2013 elections

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    Philippines hits back at Beijing over South China Sea

    AFP News
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    AFP News
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    Philippines says China rushing construction in disputed sea

    Associated Press
    Philippines says China rushing construction in disputed sea

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top diplomat said Thursday that China has been rushing construction projects, including massive land reclamation, in the disputed South China Sea in hopes of forestalling any legal moves against its vast territorial claims. …

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    Japan industrial production falls 3.4% on-month in February: govt

    AFP News
    Japan industrial production falls 3.4% on-month in February: govt

    Japan's factory production in February fell by a worse-than-expected 3.4 percent month-on-month, turning down from a solid rise in January, according to official data released on Monday. The latest figures from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry missed economists' median forecast of a drop of less than two percent and reversed a revised 3.7 percent rise seen in January. "Industrial production shows signs of increase at a moderate pace," it said in the February report, using the same …

  • Tsunami warning after Papua New Guinea hit by 7.7 quake

    Tsunami warning after Papua New Guinea hit by 7.7 quake

    AFP News
    Tsunami warning after Papua New Guinea hit by 7.7 quake

    A 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea Monday, US seismologists said, with "hazardous" tsunami waves possible within 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) of the epicentre. The quake hit at a depth of 65 kilometres, some 54 kilometres from the nearest city of Kokopo on New Britain island and 789 kilometres from the capital Port Moresby, the United States Geological Survey said. "Based on preliminary earthquake parameters... hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts …

In the aftermath of Malacañang’s six-month suspension of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn “Gwen” Garcia, a tenuous ruling coalition has started unravelling.

United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) stalwarts Vice-President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay (PDP-Laban), former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada (PMP), and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (PMP) went to Cebu to personally show their solidarity and support to the embattled Governor.

Reportedly, UNA’s Secretary-General Rep. Tobias “Toby” Tiangco said that the suspension order is an act of “power grab and political persecution.”

Background: For Gwen, family,it’s Christmas Day in Capitol Building

The Liberal Party, leader of the opposing senatorial slate to UNA’s own, found it necessary to issue a disclaimer that it is behind the Garcia suspension.

Malacañang, for its part, advised Governor Garcia to just follow the rule of law and for the UNA leaders to advise her to do so.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has already sworn in Cebu Vice-Governor Agnes Magpale (LP), the sister of Secretary to the Cabinet Rene Almendras.

The Cebu drama—which still unfolds—puts a severe strain on the Aquino ruling coalition. UNA has a dilemma of sorts.

Related story: Post-RH bill politics

Its member-parties are still a formal partner in the ruling coalition and it recognizes President Aquino as the head of the coalition.

Yet, it is the subject of what it perceived as LP maneuvers that weaken them or, more correctly, weaken Vice-President Binay’s support in the 2016 presidential elections.

In this sense, it perceives the Cabinet, the Executive agencies, and many of those in Congress and local governments as hostile forces.

It may even extend to President Aquino himself, since he is the LP Chairman and head of the Executive Department.

However, UNA cannot openly go against the president since this will effectively kick them out of the ruling coalition and straight into the role of the opposition to the Aquino administration.

In turn, they will lose a lot of political and material advantages they have at present.

Also read: Did politics distract Manny Pacquiao in the ring?


It is also politically dangerous—as the Arroyo opposition and the Makabayan political coalition found out—to openly go against a hugely-popular president.

However, as long as UNA pursues a course that does not draw a clear line of distinction between them and the LP, it is vulnerable to further offensives from the latter.

The Cebu suspension—and possibly, the investigation into the jueteng connections of Pangasinan governor Amado Espino—may politically damage their 2016 presidential ambitions.

The proxy war in the 2013 elections is heating up.

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Ramon Casiple is a well-respected political analyst. He is also the Executive Director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform (IPER).

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