Son of Philippines’ late dictator dreams of presidency

MANILA (Reuters) – The Oxford-educated son of the Philippines’ former dictator Ferdinand Marcos wants to follow the footsteps of his namesake father by winning a seat in the upper house of Congress in May as a first step toward the presidency.

“If we succeed in what we are doing now, it wouldn’t be bad to be president. The presidency would be a good cap to one’s political career,” Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr told foreign correspondents in Manila.

The 52-year-old congressman from the northern Ilocos Norte province, his father’s bailiwick, recently launched his second attempt to run for senator. He lost in the 1995 polls, claiming he was cheated of a seat in the 24-member Senate.

His father started his career in the post-war Philippines as a congressman, then was a senator before becoming the country’s longest serving president. Marcos ruled as a dictator in the last 14 of his 20-year rule and was ousted in 1986 by an army-backed popular revolt.


Ampatuans: Billionaires of 3rd poorest province?

MANILA, Philippines – Officially, the networth of the Ampatuan clan’s patriarch is P11 million. Unofficially, however, the wealth of embattled Andal Ampatuan Sr., former Maguindanao governor, and his family members, could reach up to at least P1.3 billion.

The official accounting of Ampatuan Sr.’s wealth was based on the 2002 statement of assets, liabilities and networth disclosed by the Maguindanao governor to the government.

Aside from Ampatuan Sr., who has been a politician for decades, other relatives also hold various public positions. Public officials are required to submit an accounting of their wealth for transparency.


4 bets shine in ANC’s Harapan: analysts

MANILA – Four presidential candidates gave strong performances at ANC’s “Harapan: The Presidential Forum” on Wednesday, according to several political and media analysts.

Among the experts’ favorites were Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino Jr., Sen. Richard “Dick” Gordon, former Defense Sec. Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr., and former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada.

Imaging expert Emily Abrera said Aquino, Teodoro, and Gordon made the most sense and “didn’t waffle” when they answered questions on morality, as well as their views on political dynasties, population control, insurgency, and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s bid for a congressional seat.


Arroyo files COC for congressional bid

MANILA – President Arroyo on Tuesday filed her certificate of candidacy to run for the 2nd congressional district of Pampanga, making her the first incumbent president in Philippine history to run for a lower position.

Arroyo first heard Mass at the St. Augustine Church in her hometown of Lubao, Pampanga before proceeding to the local Commission on Elections office. She was accompanied by her husband, Jose Miguel, while hundreds of supporters cheered.

Mrs. Arroyo earlier said she made her decision to stay in government due to the clamor of her supporters in Pampanga. “After much contemplation I realized I am not ready to step down completely from public service,” she said in a radio interview.


Battle of ABS-CBN ladies?

That’s how political observers see the VP race in 2010

Trust the campaign veterans to look at events from unexpected perspectives.

One strategist, who has been through several national campaigns, instantly shared with Newsbreak a comment when the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD party announced on Friday that former Optical Media Board chair Edu Manzano would be its vice presidential bet for 2010.

“So it’s going to be Korina vs Loren vs Pinky now?” he said. The comment is in reference to Manzano’s known close friendship with ABS-CBN news talent Pinky Webb.

Come to think of it, those running for vice president next year are either related one way or another to ABS-CBN news talents, if not talents themselves.


Cory Aquino magic is back

In death, she revives People Power.

MANILA, Philippines—For one last time, Corazon Aquino returned to the scenes of her greatest political triumphs.

And as it was more than two decades ago, she drew multitudes who showered her with cheers, confetti and even tears in a huge outpouring of love and gratitude for the woman who led them in their fight to win back their freedom.

Ayala Avenue in Makati, where Aquino marched to defy a dictator in 1983, and EDSA (Epifanio delos Santos Avenue), where the People Power Revolution she inspired was born, turned into seas of yellow for one brief afternoon.

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Gov chooses politics over priesthood

Panlilio: It is God calling I run for president.

MANILA, Philippines—Priest-turned-Governor Eddie Panlilio of Pampanga on Tuesday announced that he had decided to run for president in 2010.

“I have every intention to file my candidacy on or before [the deadline of] Nov. 30. I’m ready for all the consequences, including dispensation from priesthood,” Panlilio declared at the weekly forum arranged by the Catholic Media Network in Intramuros, Manila.

“Until today many people were not sure [whether] I will run. They only learned today; we are only announcing our decision today,” he said.

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DPWH usec, 2 others hurt in ambush

PUBLIC Works Undersecretary Ramon Aquino was wounded yesterday in an ambush staged by two motorcycle-riding men in front of the DPWH main office in Port Area, Manila.

Aquino, chief of staff of Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, was hit in the chest and abdomen but is in stable condition at the Manila Doctors Hospital, said Undersecretary Rafael Yabut.

Physicians are also checking damage to Aquino’s liver, he said. Aquino’s aide Antonio Caneleta was hit in the face while his driver Victor Salonga was wounded in the right cheek.

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Senator Trillanes: RP baselines law a sellout

MANILA, Philippines - The baselines law signed by President Arroyo that classified the Kalayaan Islands and Scarborough Shoal as a “regime of islands” is a “sellout,” detained Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV has said.

Radio dzBB’s Nimfa Ravelo reported Thursday that Trillanes said the the Philippines has no more choice but to accept it due to lack of time.

“The tragic part is, we have no choice but to accept it because of the approaching deadline. Otherwise, we would be forever disqualified from claiming our extended continental shelf (ECS),” he said in an article on his Web site.

The baselines bill defines the scope of the national territory in compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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SEC official ordered to go on leave

SECURITIES and Exchange Commissioner Jesus Martinez was ordered by President Arroyo to go on leave over allegations that he received bribes from the Legacy Group.

Arroyo’s gesture is seen as empty, however, because Martinez is retiring tomorrow after serving a full seven-year term in the seven-man body.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said Arroyo also ordered Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez and Presidential Anti-Graft Commission chair Constancia de Guzman to conduct a separate investigation.

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