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2010 in Focus

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2010 in Focus: The Cabinet [UPDATED]

The Supreme Court on February 22 voted 10-5 to deem as resigned Cabinet members and appointed officials running for elective national and local positions in an election.

It essentially reversed its December 1, 2009 ruling, allowing appointed officials to run for elective positions in an election without them being required to resign first from their appointive posts.

In light of this, here is a list of Cabinet members who have filed their Certificates of Candidacies at COMELEC and submitted their courtesy resignations to President GMA, and the elective positions they will run for in the 2010 Elections.

  • Eduardo Ermita
    Executive Secretary
    – for Congressman, 1st District of Batangas
  • Rolando Andaya, Jr.
    Budget Secretary
    – for Congressman, 1st District of Camarines Sur
  • Hermogenes Esperon
    Head, Presidential Management Staff
    – for Congressman, 6th District of Pangasinan
  • Agnes Devanadera
    Justice Secretary
    – for Congresswoman, 1st District of Quezon
  • Augusto Syjuco, Jr.
    TESDA Chairman
    – for Congressman, 2nd District of Iloilo
  • Arthur Yap
    Agriculture Secretary
    – for Congressman, 3rd District of Bohol
  • Edgardo Pamintuan
    Presidential Adviser for External Affairs
    – for Mayor of Angeles City
  • Raul Gonzales
    Chief Presidential Legal Counsel
    – for Mayor of Iloilo City

Here is another list of Cabinet members who are yet or are expected to resign, and the corresponding elective positions they will run for in the 2010 Elections.

  • Alfonso Cusi
    MIAA General Manager
    – for Congressman, 2nd District of Mindoro Oriental

Also, here is a list of former Cabinet members under the Arroyo administration who have resigned before or upon filing  their CoC’s at COMELEC and before the Feb 22 ruling, and the corresponding elective positions they will run for in the 2010 Elections.

  • Gilbert Teodoro
    former National Defense Secretary
    – for President (under Lakas-KAMPI-CMD)
  • Bayani Fernando
    former MMDA Chairman
    – for Vice President (under Bagumbayan Volunteers)
  • Ralph Recto
    former NEDA Chairman
    – for Senator (under the Liberal Party)
  • Silvestre Bello III
    Secretary to the Cabinet
    – for Senator (under Lakas-KAMPI-CMD)
  • Anthony Golez, Jr.
    former Press Undersecretary
    – for Congressman, Bacolod City
  • Luis “Chavit “Singson
    Deputy National Security Adviser
    – for Governor of Ilocos Sur
  • Hermogenes Ebdane
    former Public Works Secretary
    – for Governor of Zambales
  • Lito Atienza
    Environment and Natural Resources Secretary
    – for Mayor of Manila
  • Avelino Razon
    Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
    – for Mayor of Manila
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2010 in Focus: The Congress

[For the Congressmen of the 15th Congress, click here.]

We’ve earlier assessed the composition of the Upper House, also known as the Senate. Now, we’ll look at the other half of the bicameral Congress, the Lower House. The Lower House’s membership is almost 12 times bigger than that of the Senate. As a result, “the numbers game” and the “3/4 rule” are usually exhibited in passage of bills, observance of quorum, and most notably in the approval of impeachment complaints against the President.

For the third installment of 2010 in Focus, The Stand looks at the current composition of the House of Representatives, and how the 2010 Elections might shake it up. We’ve also sort the Representatives of the 14th Congress by party affiliation, by term, and by district.

A Little Overview

Congressmen, as they are usually known, have three-year terms, and are allowed to be elected for three consecutive terms. Each legislative district in the Philippines, numbering 215*, has its own representative in Congress.

In addition, voters elect party-lists embodying different sectors in society during elections. The winning party-lists obtaining at least 2% of total party-list votes nominate its representative(s) to the Congress. However, the Congress follows a certain formula as stated by the Constitution to dictate how many sectoral representatives in all, as well as how many representatives per party-list, would be allowed to sit in Congress.

Congress Membership

The House of Representatives of the 14th Congress presently has 267 members: 215 district, and 52 sectoral Congressmen. There were originally 272, but sadly four died in office: Rep. Wahab Akbar [Basilan] who died during the 2007 Batasan Bombing, Rep. Danilo Lagbas [Misamis Oriental, 1st District], Rep. Victor Dominguez [Mountain Province], and Rep. Crispin Beltran [Anak Pawis party list]. Danilo Ramon Fernandez was elected as Congressman of the 1st District of Laguna, but was removed from office after failing to meet minimum residency requirements.

Meanwhile, Rep. Josephine R. Lacson-Noel [Malabon-Navotas], replaced in 2009 the elected Alvin Sandoval after winning an electoral protest.

Representatives by Party Affiliation

Unlike the United States’ two-party system between the Democrats and Republicans, the Philippines abide by the multi-party system. As a result, it is difficult to gauge and predict the inclination of Congress as one body towards certain national issues and agenda.

Anyhow, here’s the current composition of the House of Representatives according to party affiliation.

Composition of the 14th Congress

The Lakas-KAMPI-CMD Party is the ruling party in the current Congress, with 138 Congressmen (64% of all district representatives) affiliated with the party. This means that if they could always convince 63 more Congressmen, the Party would always have its way and attain a 3/4 majority when voting on certain bills and complaints. The party came to be after the Lakas-CMD Party and Pres. GMA’s KAMPI Party merged in 2009. House Speaker Prospero Nograles [Davao City, 1st District] is a member of the party.

However, the said merger was not OK to every member of both parties. The faction of former Pres. Fidel Ramos and Rep. Jose de Venecia Jr. [Pangasinan, 4th District] broke away from the merged party and sticked with the Lakas-CMD Party, calling themselves the “Lakas Originals”.

Coming in second is the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), with 31 members. Prominent surnames within the party include Cojuangco, Mitra, Duavit, Dy, Angping and Gatchalian. Deputy Speaker for Luzon Arnulfo Fuentebella [Camarines Sur, 3rd District] is of the NPC.

In third and fourth places are two political parties making another “renaissance” in Philippine politics: the Liberal Party and the Nacionalista Party, with 16 and 13 members, respectively, in Congress. The LP and NP were bitter rivals in Philippine politics, dating back to the 1940’s.

The Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino Party (PMAP) is headed by former Pres. Joseph Estrada, while the United Opposition (UNO) coalition by Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay. Both parties hold three seats each in Congress.

PDP-LABAN and LDP also hold three seats each. PDP-LABAN was formerly associated with former Pres. Cory Aquino, while the LDP is headed by Sen. Edgardo Angara.

The KBL is associated with the Marcoses, and its only member in Congress is the former President’s son, Rep. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. [Ilocos Norte, 2nd District].

There are three Independents in Congress: Reps. Roilo Golez [Paranaque City, 2nd District], Edno Joson [Nueva Ecija, 1st District] and Luis Villafuerte [Camarines Sur, 2nd District].

The remaining 52 seats go to party-list representatives.

Representatives by Term of Office

Congressmen by Term (14th Congress)

If there is something sure in the 2010 Legislative Elections, it is the fact that there would be 69 seats left by Congressmen on their third and final terms for 1st Termers to be elected in the 2010 Elections.

Almost 2/3 of the 3rd Termers are from the Lakas-KAMPI-CMD Party, so if we’re talking strategy here, other parties must focus on winning those 42 seats of the ruling party.

It should also be noted that all seats would be on the line in the 2010 Elections. With the re-emergence of the LP, NP and NPC, as well as the reinforced forces of PMAP-UNO, we may see a major change in the landscape of the 15th Congress, in terms of party affiliation of its members.

From here, we’ll concentrate on the district Congressmen of each major island group in the country — that is, of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Congressmen of Luzon Chart (14th Congress)

Luzon has the most representatives among the three island groups, with 117. Pangasinan and the City of Manila has the most districts, with six. The NCR has the most representatives, with 29.

As we can see above, the ruling party has strong supporters from Regions III, IV-B and the CAR. The LP has a strong showing in the CALABARZON area, while the NP has five Congressmen from the NCR. The NPC has representatives for every region in Luzon.

The representation and party affiliation in NCR is notable, because every party (except KBL) is represented in the said region. Note the colors in the chart above. The representatives of Region IV-A is also an interesting observation.

Congressmen of Visayas Chart (14th Congress)

The Visayas is the ruling party’s biggest stronghold, as evidenced by the chart above. Only three parties rule in Visayas: Lakas-KAMPI-CMD, NPC and LP. The NPC has no representatives from Eastern Visayas, while the LP (despite the presence of the Osmeñas in Cebu) has none in Region VII.

Cebu and Negros Occidental has six representatives each, the most in the island group.

Congressmen of Mindanao Chart (14th Congress)

Mindanao is almost an administration stronghold, if not for the few per region coming from different parties. The NPC has five representatives from Mindanao, while the LP, NP and PMAP have two each.

Zamboanga del Norte, Bukidnon and Davao City are the most represented ones in Mindanao, with three districts each.

So there you go. After the 2010 Elections, we’ll all see how the landscape of the House of Representatives would change, and if the ruling party would retain its majority in Congress. The 2010 Elections is a colorful one, and would surely be an interesting one!

2010 in Focus: The Senate

[For the Senators of the 15th Congress, click here.]

For this post, we’ll focus on the Senators of the 14th Congress of the Philippines, and how the 2010 Elections may shake up the composition of the Senate.

(As a reminder, there are 62 candidates for Senator in the 2010 Elections.)

The Senate by the Numbers

Before we start, here are some general observations from the current members of the Senate:

  • Sen. Mar Roxas placed first among the 12 Senators elected in 2004. So did Sen. Loren Legarda in 2007. But in the 2010 Elections, both Roxas and Legarda would be running for Vice President.
  • 15 Senators are members of the majority bloc, led by Juan Miguel Zubiri
    8 are of the minority bloc, led by Jinggoy Estrada
  • 4 of the current 23 Senators, or 17%, are women
    (Cayetano, Defensor-Santiago, Legarda and Madrigal)
  • Among the Senators elected in 2007, 3 were prominent members of the military
    (Lacson, Honasan and Trillanes).
  • 7 Senators have parents and/or relatives as former Senators
    (Aquino, the Cayetanos, Estrada, Madrigal, Revilla and Roxas).
  • Only 2 Senators apiece represent
    Visayas (Roxas is from Capiz, and Santiago from Iloilo) and
    Mindanao (Zubiri is from Bukidnon, and Pimentel from Misamis Oriental).

—–

Legends and notes for the images below:
* Green – would run for President in 2010
* Orange – would run for Vice President
* Yellow – Senators running for re-election
* Senators are ordered by their place during the 2004 and 2007 Elections, respectively.

—–

Senators Batch 2010

Six seats in the Senate are guaranteed to have new owners, as they would not be up for re-election in the 2010 Elections. Two Senators would be gunning for the Presidency and one for the Vice Presidency, one would be seeking a Congressional seat, and one would be looking forward to their retirement from politics.

Senators elected in 2004

* With the whole Liberal Party behind him, Sen. Mar Roxas initially planned to run for President, but with the emergence of Sen. Noynoy Aquino after the death of former President Cory Aquino, Roxas willingly gave way to Sen. Aquino and agreed to be his running-mate. If elected, he would be second-generation Vice President #2, after Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

* Sen. Jamby Madrigal will be among the eight candidates for President. She is a grand-daughter of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos. If elected, Madrigal would be the Philippines’ third woman President, and the first Independent candidate to win the Presidency.

* Sen. Richard Gordon would also be running for President, under the Bagumbayan Volunteers banner, with former MMDA Chair Bayani Fernando as his running-mate. If elected, Gordon would be the second Philippine President from Zambales, after Ramon Magsaysay.

* Six Senators are hoping for re-election in the 2010 polls:
Sens. Ramon Revilla and Lito Lapid [Lakas-KAMPI-CMD],
Sen. Pia Cayetano [Nacionalista Party],
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago [People’s Reform Party], and
Sens. Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada [PMP-UNO]

* Sen. Rodolfo Biazon is running for Congressman of the Lone District of Muntinlupa.

* Senators Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel opted not to run for re-election. Instead, he would retire from Philippine politics altogether. Pimentel has worked for the government since the Marcos Administration

Alfredo Lim was elected as Senator in 2004, but won as Mayor of Manila in 2007.

—–

Senators Batch 2013

Three Senators elected in 2007 dared to run in the 2010 Elections. Even if they lose, they would still retain their Senate seats, for their terms would end in 2013.

However, if either Aquino or Villar wins the Presidency and Legarda the Vice Presidency, two Senate seats would be vacated as a result, a first in Senate history. More importantly, if that happens, it would be the first time in Philippine history that two incumbent Senators would win the two highest posts in the country.

Senators elected in 2007

* Sen. Loren Legarda would try once again to become the 15th Vice President of the Philippines, after failing to do so in 2007. She is from the Nationalist People’s Coalition, but would be Villar’s running-mate in 2010. If elected, she will be the second woman Vice President, after (once again) Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

* Sen. Manny Villar, Nacionalista Party’s standard-bearer, attempts to propel himself to the Presidency using the pro-poor platform. He was born in the slums of Tondo, but made a name for himself in Las Piñas, becoming its Mayor and Congressman. He was elected as Senator in 2007. His party, the NP, re-emerged this year to rekindle its political feud with the LP. If elected, he would be the first President from the NP in 24 years, since Ferdinand Marcos.

* Sen. Noynoy Aquino, as stated earlier, had no plans to run for President. But after Cory Aquino’s death, the clamor of the people pushed him to the top of the LP heap, and became its standard-bearer. If elected, he would be the first President from the LP in 49 years, since Diosdado Macapagal; and second-generation President #2, after Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

—–

Pres. GMA sure is a trendsetter!

2010 in Focus: The Cabinet

The Supreme Court on December 1 recently made a ruling, allowing appointed officials (this includes Cabinet members) to run for elective positions in an election without them being required to resign first from their appointive posts.

This means that if the said official lost for an elective post in an election, he still retains his appointive post. But if he wins, I think he must choose between the two (please correct me on this).

Voting 8-6, the court ruled as unconstitutional provisions in the election laws mandating that appointed officials are deemed resigned once they file a CoC.

The provisions are violative of the equal-protection clause of the Constitution, and discriminate against persons holding appointive positions, the justices asserted.

And since the ruling doesn’t require appointed officials to resign by the start of the election period, Malacañang won’t force Cabinet men to resign, Ermita said. [1]

Senators have voice out their opposition to the ruling.

In light of this ruling, here is a list of current Cabinet members who have filed their Certificates of Candidacies at COMELEC, and the elective positions they will run for in the 2010 Elections.

  • Silvestre Bello III
    Secretary to the Cabinet
    – for Senator (under Lakas-KAMPI-CMD)
  • Eduardo Ermita
    Executive Secretary
    – for Congressman, 1st District of Batangas
  • Hermogenes Esperon
    Head, Presidential Management Staff
    – for Congressman, 6th District of Pangasinan
  • Agnes Devanadera
    Justice Secretary
    – for Congresswoman, 1st District of Quezon
  • Arthur Yap
    Agriculture Secretary
    – for Congressman, 3rd District of Bohol
  • Augusto Syjuco, Jr.
    TESDA Chairman
    – for Congressman, 2nd District of Iloilo
  • Luis “Chavit “Singson
    Deputy National Security Adviser
    – for Governor of Ilocos Sur
  • Lito Atienza
    Environment and Natural Resources Secretary
    – for Mayor of Manila
  • Avelino Razon
    Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
    – for Mayor of Manila
  • Edgardo Pamintuan
    Presidential Adviser for External Affairs
    – for Mayor of Angeles City
  • Raul Gonzales
    Chief Presidential Legal Counsel
    – for Mayor of Iloilo City

Also, here is a list of former Cabinet members under the Arroyo administration who have resigned before or upon filing  their CoC’s at COMELEC, and the corresponding elective positions they will run for in the 2010 Elections.

  • Gilbert Teodoro
    former National Defense Secretary
    – for President
  • Bayani Fernando
    former* MMDA Chairman
    – for Vice President (under Bagumbayan Volunteers)
  • Ralph Recto
    former NEDA Chairman
    – for Senator (under the Liberal Party)
  • Rolando Andaya, Jr.
    Budget Secretary
    – for Congressman, 1st District of Camarines Sur
  • Anthony Golez, Jr.
    former* Press Undersecretary
    – for Congressman, Bacolod City
  • Hermogenes Ebdane
    former Public Works Secretary
    – for Governor of Zambales

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