Cleaning up an election

  • Philippines calls on ASEAN to urge China to halt land reclamation

    Philippines calls on ASEAN to urge China to halt land reclamation

    Reuters
    Philippines calls on ASEAN to urge China to halt land reclamation

    The Philippines called on its Southeast Asian neighbours to unite in urging China to halt reclamation of land in the South China Sea, but the call failed to raise widespread support ahead of a regional summit. China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas. Its claims overlap with those of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. Recent satellite images suggest China has made rapid progress in filling in land in contested territory …

  • Philippines urges ASEAN to stop China in South China Sea

    Philippines urges ASEAN to stop China in South China Sea

    Associated Press
    Philippines urges ASEAN to stop China in South China Sea

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The Philippines on Sunday urged its fellow Southeast Asian countries to take immediate steps to halt land reclamation by China in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, warning that failure to do so will see Beijing take "de facto control" of the area. …

  • Philippines urges Southeast Asia to rally to halt China reclamation in …

    Philippines urges Southeast Asia to rally to halt China reclamation in …

    Reuters
    Philippines urges Southeast Asia to rally to halt China reclamation in …

    The Philippines on Sunday called on neighbouring Southeast Asian nations to push for an immediate halt to China's reclamation in the disputed South China Sea ahead of a regional summit. China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas, with overlapping claims from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. Recent satellite images suggest China has made rapid progress in building an airstrip suitable for military use in contested …

  • Family, friends in Baltimore mourn death of arrested man

    Family, friends in Baltimore mourn death of arrested man

    Associated Press
    Family, friends in Baltimore mourn death of arrested man

    BALTIMORE (AP) — Mourners filed for hours Sunday past the coffin of the man who died after sustaining serious injuries in the custody of Baltimore police, somberly paying respects after a night of violent protests. …

  • HKMA sells HK$14.88 bln to keep Hong Kong dollar in trading band

    Reuters

    HONG KONG, April 27 (Reuters) - The Hong Kong MonetaryAuthority (HKMA) intervened in the currency market again late onFriday, selling a total HK$14.88 billion ($1.92 billion) in HongKong dollars as the local currency hit the strong end of itstrading range. The city's de-facto central bank, which has intervenedmultiple times in the market in the past fortnight, had soldHK$13.18 billion ($1.70 billion) earlier that day. The Hong Kong dollar is pegged at 7.8 to the U.S. dollar,but can trade …

Philippine workers discared election banners and posters at a depot in Manila on May 11, 2010. The Philippines …
More than a month of the national electoral campaign has passed—and the words that come to mind are: boring, pretentious, and, surprising, clean. Except for some TV ads and the usual sorties, nothing much was heard or seen of the campaigns. Unsurprisingly, what became the stuff of news were the feeble attempts at issue positioning and debates, mudslinging, the fluctuating surveys, and the intramurals within and among senatorial and party-list candidates.

Related: Clean, honest polls also voters' responsibility, Comelec says


The more surprising development is the huge decline in posters and tarpaulins in public places outside of designated areas by the Commission on Elections. Related to this is the rising consciousness of the voting public on issues of electoral reform such as political dynasties, automation of the electoral system, illegal pre-campaigning, campaign finance.
 
The “anti-epal” campaign stands out as a breakthrough, discouraging many of the candidates from putting their faces and names on billboards and project signage. It also led to adoption by some government agencies and local governments and to more public recognition for a principal campaigner, Juana Change.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) issued Resolution No. 9615 to strictly enforce the elections laws on allowable poster sizes, type of campaign materials and places to post campaign posters. Several senatorial candidates and party-list groups had already been cited for violations and some of them are already undergoing legal investigation by the Comelec. There is considerable public support for the election body on this.

Also read: Comelec tells youth: Make use of social media for clean polls

Of course, it remains to be seen if the Comelec, with the help of concerned agencies and civil society organizations, can maintain this stance into the local election campaigns due to start next month. These local campaigns are expected to produce the largest number of violations of the campaign poster regulations; these will tax to the limit the political will shown so far by the election body.

The changes in the national campaign behavior, both of candidates and the voting public, reflect the increasing changes in the voter behavior. That is, from one of relying on the tried and tested norms of traditional politics of money, popularity, and  political alliances to one that is more open to electoral and political reforms, issues and positions, and platforms and programs.

However, these changes are still in transition and a large part, if not still the majority, are still vulnerable to the siren song of traditional campaigning. However, change is already written on the wall.

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.

  • Pagasa: Drought may worsen
    Pagasa: Drought may worsen

    The drought in 12 already dry areas in the country is expected to worsen as the summer season peaks next month, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned yesterday. In an advisory, PAGASA said the provinces of Albay, Bataan, Batangas, Biliran, Cavite, Cebu, Ilocos Norte, Leyte, Misamis Occidental, Pampanga, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur will continue to receive “way below” or “below normal” rainfall in May. PAGASA defines …

  • Maximum restraint for Phl troops in West Phl Sea
    Maximum restraint for Phl troops in West Phl Sea

    The military has advised its pilots conducting surveillance in the West Philippine Sea to exercise maximum restraint even if they are being bullied by Chinese troops. Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala said all actions of the pilots should be consistent with the declaration of conduct signed by claimant countries. Armed Forces public affairs chief Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc said the Philippines should remain on moral high ground when it comes to the territorial dispute. A …

  • MMDA simulates rescue march after quake, tsunami
    MMDA simulates rescue march after quake, tsunami

    The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) yesterday led the annual rescue march from Quezon City to Manila, giving rescue volunteers a glimpse of possible scenarios if the metropolis is hit by a strong quake or is inundated by a tsunami. Cora Jimenez, MMDA general manager, said 700 volunteer rescuers walked from the Quezon City memorial circle to the Bonifacio monument in front of the Manila city hall to simulate a response-exercise to a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. Renato Solidum, …

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