2016 elections now

  • Philippines asks airline passengers to check for MERS

    Philippines asks airline passengers to check for MERS

    AFP News
    Philippines asks airline passengers to check for MERS

    The Philippines on Thursday asked more than 400 passengers who shared an airline flight with a man infected with the MERS virus to check in with the health department immediately. …

  • Philippines quarantines man over MERS fears

    Philippines quarantines man over MERS fears

    AFP News
    Philippines quarantines man over MERS fears

    Philippine health authorities said Wednesday they have quarantined a Filipino who arrived from the Middle East because he tested positive for the deadly MERS virus. The man, who arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday, is not yet showing symptoms but has been isolated in hospital, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said. The Health Department is also quarantining the man's family and tracing the people who had contact with him during his flight to see if they may also be infected with the MERS or …

  • Philippine leader apologises over 'world's worst airport'

    Philippine leader apologises over 'world's worst airport'

    AFP News
    Philippine leader apologises over 'world's worst airport'

    Philippine President Benigno Aquino publicly apologised on Wednesday for failures in air conditioning at Manila airport, already named by an online travel guide as the world's worst. The fresh debacle at Terminal 1, used by foreign airlines, came as millions of Filipinos begin travelling for the Easter holidays during one of the hottest months of the year. The transportation ministry also issued a separate public apology Wednesday, on the eve of four-day Easter holidays in the Catholic …

  • Hawaii lawmakers still at odds on minimum wage

    Associated Press

    Hawaii House members put forward a new minimum wage plan Thursday that would allow most employers in the state to take a longer time to increase wages. In the new proposal presented to a conference committee ... …

  • China says one-fifth of its farmland is polluted

    Associated Press

    BEIJING (AP) — Nearly one-fifth of China's farmland is polluted, mostly from yearslong accumulations of toxins from factories, mining and agriculture, the government said, raising sharp concerns about the country's food safety after years of unbridled industrialization. …

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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