Big switches

Fast forward two weeks later.

The country, after the euphoria of witnessing a speedy election count, now takes a sober look back.

Its big jump to automation has produced one of the most interesting switches–or re-switches–of our leaders yet. The roll of public officials attaining or resuming power in 2010 will confuse anyone trying to put a pin on the Filipino’s fluid voting standards.

Start with the 15th Congress. In Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition style, only 2010 will bring together the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Imelda Marcos, and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in one House.

The new batch of senators are a bunch of old names–reelectionists, returnees, and relatives.

And as if one was not enough, our “president-apparent” is another offspring of another former president.

We’re seeing history repeat itself with a twisted sense of humor.

Many point out the irony of an incoming President Aquino III along with an incoming Senator Marcos Jr. And the horror of a State of the Nation Address with Aquino talking, Marcos and Arroyo behind him.

Picture of Pres. Gloria Arroyo surrounded by Maguindanao governors Andal Ampatuan Sr and Datu Sajid AmpatuanMaguindanao governor elect Esmael Toto Mangudadatu hours before he is proclaimed in Shariff Aguak

Other victories portend the possibilities of change. In Maguindanao, a widower is picking up the pieces half-left by the regime that murdered his wife.


Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, clan leader in a province of a few warring clans, became governor in an interesting climax to last year’s massacre.

On our last reporting day in the capital Shariff Aguak, we saw Mangudadatu brave threats of an attack should he be proclaimed. He rode a guarded weapons carrier from his town Buluan to the capitol built by his nemeses, the Ampatuans.

The toll was four days of waiting for far-off towns to transmit their voting results. Some results came via compact discs, others through PCOS.

Only one town was missing by May 14. But the canvassers decided to proclaim Mangudadatu and running mate Ismail “Dustin” Mastura anyway.

They presumed that if the town’s thousand-plus voters all voted and went all the way for Ampatuan ally Datu Ombra Sinsuat, he would still fall short of Mangudadatu’s votes.

The new governor faces the cliché challenge of uniting a province ravaged by warlordism, conflict, poverty and a decades-old dynasty.

And we could only hope he succeeds, given that the capital is Ampatuan country and that his provincial board may more or less have Ampatuans too.

Elsewhere, the story is bleak. Hailed local governance reformers like governors Grace Padaca of Isabela and Ed Panlilio of Pampanga lost their turfs back to the families they beat.

Yet some things never change.

Political families remain entrenched. Manny Villar lost the presidency, but his son Mark inherited the Las Piñas congress seat. Bong Revilla leads the new senators, while his wife Lani is the new Cavite rep.

We thought we would see the last of the “sore loser” mentality when almost all Presidential candidates began conceding to Senator Aquino just two days on.

But the complaints against the band of C-containing entities like Comelec, Smartmatic, PCOS machines, and CF cards soon caught up.

And so, our exhilaration at the swiftness of the count was cut short by the dragging manual canvass of votes for President and Vice President peppered by the lineup of witnesses to alleged cheating–most of whom lost their races.

This as most Filipinos–and even other nations–already assume we’ve switched to a President-elect.

Can we just fast forward to June 30?

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4 comments on “Big switches

  1. Nice.

    Very good observations. We all want to move on…but our job is to pick up the pieces and make sure that there is justice.

  2. just in case you dont visit back the blog to read my reply.

    excuse me. naiyak ako. Anjo, you know i dont reply to your random group messages through the bj101 y@grp or i think it’s the J121 y!grp BUT i find it amusing and nice to have an idea where some of my friends are. 🙂

  3. Pingback: August to August: A first year of firsts « PinoyJourn

  4. Pingback: A Tale of Two TMs | PinoyJourn: Stories behind the Stories

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