2016 elections now

  • Philippine Airlines quits flying shark fins amid outcry

    Philippine Airlines quits flying shark fins amid outcry

    AFP News
    Philippine Airlines quits flying shark fins amid outcry

    Philippine Airlines (PAL) said Thursday it has stopped flying shark fin cargoes, joining a number of other Asia-Pacific carriers in taking a stand for marine conservation. The fins are used in shark fin soup, a much-valued delicacy in Hong Kong and China. Conservationists say booming demand for such fins has put pressure on the world's shark populations, prompting calls for measures to restrict their trade. Air New Zealand as well as South Korea's two largest airlines, Korean Air and Asiana, …

  • Philippines' oldest artworks in danger of disappearing

    Philippines' oldest artworks in danger of disappearing

    AFP News
    Philippines' oldest artworks in danger of disappearing

    The 127 engravings of people, animals and geometric shapes are the Southeast Asian nation's oldest known artworks, but encroaching urbanisation, vandals and the ravages of nature are growing threats. The artworks have been declared a national treasure, regarded as the best proof that relatively sophisticated societies existed in the Philippines in the Stone Age. "They show that in ancient times, the Philippines did have a complex culture. Museum scientists believe the carvings date back to …

  • Hong Kong, Philippines end emotional hostage row

    Hong Kong, Philippines end emotional hostage row

    AFP News
    Hong Kong, Philippines end emotional hostage row

    Hong Kong and the Philippines announced Wednesday they had resolved an enduring and deeply emotional row over a deadly hostage crisis, allowing soured diplomatic relations to return to normal. The breakthrough came after a deal was struck on the most sensitive issues of compensation to the victims of the tragedy, which saw eight tourists from Hong Kong killed following a bus hijacking in Manila in 2010, as well as an apology. "The resolution of the incident enables the normalisation of the …

  • Google+ boss leaving the company

    Google+ boss leaving the company

    AFP News
    Google+ boss leaving the company

    The executive credited with bringing the Google+ social network to life is leaving the Internet colossus after playing a key role there for nearly eight years. Vic Gundotra announced Thursday his departure in a post on his Google+ page, saying that he was looking forward to a "journey yet to come" and not revealing his reasons for leaving. Along with being in charge of the Google social network launched in a challenge to Facebook, Gundotra is known for his work with independent developers …

  • UN Yemen envoy says rebel group agrees to talks

    Associated Press

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. envoy to Yemen says the country's president and Shiite rebels have agreed to discuss the group's disarming. …

Even boxer Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao got bitten by it. He admitted recently in Macau that he is considering running for Philippine presidency, possibly in 2016. The first to do so, Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay already announced his availability in 2012. Just before the 2013 elections, Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. also said he is open to become a candidate. Just after the elections, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., possibly as a trial balloon, broadly hinted he will run for presidency. Of course, the ruling Liberal Party is expected to field its presidential candidate in the 2016 elections, although it is still mulling over whether it is Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II or another LP stalwart.

Of course, we cannot leave out possible top-ranking senators such as Senate President Franklin “Frank” Drilon, Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Ejercito Estrada, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Senator Loren Legarda, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, and 2013 topnotcher Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares. After all, the Senate, with its national constituency, is the traditional launching pad for presidential bids.

Aside from them, there are other possible presidential bids, such as from former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada or, a dark horse, businessman Manuel “Manny” Pangilinan. The list is by no means complete, as ambitions and opportunities met in future scenarios.

What is evident is that the campaign preparations—and even the campaign itself—for the 2016 presidential election have started. No serious presidential wannabe can afford to be caught unprepared.

The media nowadays are full of “exposés” and praise pieces about the 2016 would-be candidates. This is the sure sign of the campaign season starting.

What are the stakes for 2016? Of course, the holding of presidential power comes at the top of all considerations. The Philippine president, more than even the US president, enjoys wider latitudes of authority, short of Ferdinand Marcos’ own dictatorial powers during martial rule. He or she can appoint officials down to the sixth level of bureaucracy (provincial level), judicial officials down to the municipal level, and military and police officers down to the level of captains or equivalent. He or she can make line vetoes of the national budget, realign or authorize disbursements of public funds, inside or outside the national budget, and can control the pork barrel funds of legislators and internal revenue allotments of local governments. There are other powers that can also be cited.

And, of course, the perks and privileges…no one comes even close to the president’s with a whole presidential security brigade for escort, several tens of billions a year for presidential budget, and a whole fleet of air, sea and ground transportation assets for travel.

Who is the politician would not want to be the president? Indeed, who is the actor or boxer who will refuse the opportunity? Of course, the popular comedian actor Dolphy has his classic repartee when he was asked the question: “What if I win?” However, as far as I know, he was never asked by the kingmakers.

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.

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