Reform: The Making of a Philippine Presidential Campaign
There is real possibility for a significant leap in the reform process in the Philippines after the 2010 elections. If, as seems likely at this time, Noynoy Aquino wins the presidency, a number of converging developments could produce the conditions necessary for change. The first is Noynoy himself, who has successfully embodied the political legacy of his mother Cory, and his father Ninoy. This, in turn, has introduced a new dimension of enthusiastic voluntarism to the election campaign. Finally, the people running Noynoy's campaign constitute the leading core of an enlarged reform constituency.
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Let's not make the perfect the enemy of the essential."
Barack Obama, February 04, 2009
The funeral of Cory Aquino, Noynoy's mother and President after Marcos in 1986, disrupted Philippine politics in completely unforeseen ways. During a seven day wake after her death on August 1, 2009, thousands of people lined up from seven in the morning till 2AM the following day, many for as long as five hours, to stand before Cory's coffin for a few seconds to pay their respect. The funeral march lasted nine long hours as several hundred thousand lined the streets impeding the funeral cortege. All of this was conducted with a solemnity befitting the occasion, but there was a palpable, electric political buzz.
One of the early drafts for the Noynoy platform, quoting from the Rev. Mark Hession's homily at the Funeral Mass for Senator Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy went to the root of the political meaning of Cory's funeral. "In the Catholic tradition, the mass of Christian burial weaves together memory and hope. The worship of the Church locates us, precisely between a past we reverently remember, and a future in which we firmly believe." Strangely (because they're of the past) Ninoy and Cory represent the future in that they've become the embodiment of the kind of politics/government we should work for.
The platform draft also pointed out that "Cory's death and the celebration of her life that was her wake and funeral reached out to something deep and primordial in Filipinos. We were reminded of our connections with each other. We recognized again our shared past, future and eventual destiny." For my Marxist friends who kept looking for a Left explanation for what happened when Cory died, I wanted to say "Stop looking with only class struggle eyes. There are occasions in a nation's life when people look beyond class to community, to "our connections with each other".
Soon after the funeral, a "draft Noynoy for President" movement erupted with surprising speed. Columnists as diverse as Alex Magno, Conrad de Quiros, and Billy Esposo agreed on calling on Noynoy to run for president, probably the first time they agreed on anything. Noynoy for president groups sprouted all over the place like mushrooms after a summer rain. Still in the throes of grieving, Noynoy and his four sisters, were mesmerized, overwhelmed by the speed with which the movement developed.
Having been elected three times as congressman from Tarlac, the family's home province, then as senator in 2007, Noynoy was already a seasoned politician. But during his decade in politics, Noynoy operated under the giant shadow of his mother, from all indications, happily enough. His political persona was of someone relaxed, not too ambitious, self-effacing. His political opponents took this to mean that Noynoy was shallow, a political lightweight. But people, especially the poor, took this to mean that Noynoy took after his mother. They have had enough of ambitious, grasping, constantly- angling-for-photo-ops politicians.
Noynoy's colleagues in the Liberal Party at first resisted the push for Noynoy to run for president. They had worked to elect party president Mar Roxas for almost two years. Party leaders encouraged Noynoy to think instead of running as Mar Roxas' running mate. Noynoy himself was at first ambivalent. He had never seen himself as running for president. He barely had time to grieve. But he felt an obligation to respond to those who wanted him to run. He saw this movement as an extension of the tremendous public response to Cory's death.
It was Mar Roxas who broke the impasse. After marathon discussions between Mar and Noynoy over the course of the last weekend in August, Mar decided to step down from his presidential run. Mar made the announcement on September 1, exactly one month after Cory passed away. He told Noynoy that the clamor for him to run for president was so strong that he had no choice but to make way. Prior to this, Mar's numbers had slowly climbed up but still had a long way to go. He told Noy that it was more important that one of them won to carry the torch of reform than which one.
Mar press conference was followed by Noy's announcement that he would go on a religious retreat and announce his decision whether to take on the challenge of the presidency right after the end of the fortieth day of the mourning period. Mar's sacrifice of his ambitions boosted his political stock tremendously. When he accepted to become Noy's running mate a few weeks later, he quickly jumped to the top in the surveys. Noy's disruption of the presidential race was confirmed when the first surveys after his entry had him taking more than fifty percent of preference, almost twice that of the runner up.
A Reform Constituency?
The excitement generated by the Cory funeral, and the overwhelming lead of Noynoy in the surveys has tended to dominate discourse. What is not widely known is that these developments, while mostly spontaneous, was foreshadowed by earlier developments. The people building the organizational infrastructure of the Noynoy campaign have worked together on various political projects for several years, some for over a decade. The core ideas of the campaign, the need to build a reform constituency around a serious program of reform, have been slowly crafted in the past couple of years.
Discussions on the formation of a reform constituency were driven by intense anti-GMA sentiment. The Garci tapes scandal in June 2005 led to an attempt by reformers in the cabinet to get Arroyo to resign. Although later focused on the Hyatt Ten, the six cabinet secretaries and four other senior government officials who left the government, the attempt foreshadowed the Noynoy-Mar campaign. The Liberal Party, until then part of the government coalition, joined the Hyatt Ten. The Makati Business Club, and CODE NGO, Cory Aquino, together with two senior prelates called for GMA to resign. The attempt, however, remained a limited, and ultimately failed power play. It did not include an effort to build a larger, popular coalition around the demand.
These groups and individuals, drawing more and more anti-GMA people, worked together on various political projects, most successfully, blunting attempts by the ruling regime to amend the constitution. But it was not until after the 2007 elections that people began to think in terms of coming together into a reform constituency. Over a million, mostly young people volunteered for various election watch groups. Local candidates such as priest-activist Ed Panlilio (Pampanga, governor) and Abang Mabulo who ran against GMA's son Dato in elections for congressman in Camarines Sur, generated enthusiasm nationally.
In July 2007, I wrote "The 2007 clean elections volunteers, the local groups who supported Among Ed and Abang Mabulo, reform parties such as Akbayan, and many, many social movement activists constitute a substantial political force. These groups proved their capability in EDSA 1 and EDSA 2, and more recently, by leading the anti-chacha forces which stopped both peoples' initiative and con-ass. For years these groups have given expression to the peoples' hopes for reform with their advocacies and campaigns. They have the support of the academe and media. Together they have the capability to shape an even larger reform coalition.
Can these groups become a source of votes large enough to be significant in a close presidential race? Yes, if they can give expression to the long frustrated yearning for reform in large sections of the business community and the middle class. These groups can then provide the financial and network resources for generating votes in the D and E groups of voters. You can't anchor a whole campaign on these votes. You still have to be effective in "trench warfare" (winning the support of local politicians). But a reform agenda backed up by tens of thousands of volunteers can provide a multiplier effect to TV and radio ads.
Although these groups stayed together long enough to stop the JdV-GMA chacha, it will take major effort to wield them into a campaign force. What has to be overcome is a civil society predisposition towards "watchdog" and advocacy type work and an aversion to partisan political activity. What is required to overcome this is a candidate with solid reform credentials, and a role in shaping the candidate's reform agenda. Outside of party list campaigns, the last election was the first where middle class groups and civil society actively engaged in partisan activity." 
The experience of civil society activists who joined the Estrada and later the GMA administrations was another factor in favor of this type of political project. In both administrations, individual civil society activists became the focal point of coalitions with 'apolitical' technocrats in stopping the more egregious policy positions tied to money making schemes of political operators. In the end, civil society 'crossover' individuals ended up being frustrated. The main reason, of course, are the principals themselves who choose to make money and/or concentrate on survival. But the other reason is that, as individuals, without a defined political project to unite them, reformers were no match for the operators in the battles in the Malacanang snake pit.
"It is easy to craft a reform agenda. There are lots of them littering the pathways of our political life. What we have not had is a reform agenda backed by an organized, self-conscious movement for reform. We have also not had a reform movement working closely, carefully with a presidential candidate with good chances of winning. Political conditions, at this time, make such a political project feasible. To make such a project possible, we have to avoid a number of pitfalls, and maximize potential strengths.
We have to start with a common understanding that while we want to introduce a new element into a presidential election, it remains a contest fought in the old way, with the instruments and the requirements of old style politics. We want to introduce the discourse of reform into a political exercise that historically has been devoid of reform discourse. Our political project has to add to our candidate's campaign, not take something away from it. We can't make it impossible or even difficult for our candidate to win over enough political clans with vote banks into his machinery. We cannot ask our candidate to take reform positions with a lot of immediate losers."
Reform constituency work began to gain momentum in the course of 2008. A lot of this was spontaneous, groups of friends getting together out of disgust with politics, and to look for ways out. One of the more carefully thought out processes was that organized by Dinky Soliman and others at the Incite-Gov NGO. The first Looking Back, Moving Forward workshop was done in September 2008. Participants of this initial discussion group were first-and second-generation civil society leaders, or those who took up leadership positions from the 1970s to early 1990s. The second workshop was held in December 2008, this time with third and fourth generation civil society leaders as participants, which included the current leadership of the CODE-NGO Board of Trustees.
Thoughts and Sentiments
The third workshop in February 2009 planned "... the strategies and next steps needed to move the work of social transformation forward over the next five (5) years." Having tried for many years to persuade civil society people to consider partisan political activity, I was stunned by the unity of opinion at this workshop. Being partisan, supporting candidates, especially a presidential candidate was not anymore an issue. How to go about it was the main discussion. But more fascinating was how people arrived at their partisanship.
The political consensus was that "the goal is to link the work of CSOs on poverty reduction to politics; it's the use of power to change the situation, and part of using power is to be engaged politically in a partisan way. The poverty agenda is key; it is integral to the use of power in politics. This is responding to the present context of intensifying poverty and very weak political structures to help address all of these issues, because the present structures are helping only the ruling class." The group recognized that middle-class organizing is important. It was affirmed that we should engage the middle class in our work on transformative politics... Yet a question remains - who will do this work?
The link with EDSA 1 and 2 was easily arrived at, especially since the workshop was only a month after the eighth anniversary of EDSA 2. What EDSA I and II proved is that CSOs/reform forces have the political ability, because it is not easy to bring down an incumbent president, and yet they were able to do it with two presidents. The problem lies in that CSOs have not demonstrated any ability to put up even just one administration - they can bring down, but cannot put up administrations. However, some people feel January 20 should become a day of atonement for CSOs for the role they played in putting President Macapagal-Arroyo into power.
The deeper meaning of EDSA for the participants was fascinating. Karen Tanada, longtime leader in the peace and women's movement, felt that 23 years after People Power I, that particular form of people power is still surprising for her. Even if you prepare for it, there's a build up to it, you still don't know what will happen (if civil disobedience will work, etc.). One message for her then is that we can always be surprised by events. Somehow, Karen thinks this is because of the collective unconscious of Filipinos for struggle - reflected from the time of the Katipunan - which demonstrates the Filipinos' ability to rise above challenges through an uprising, precisely because of this memory of struggle.
This time, however, the situation doesn't necessarily have to take the form of People Power I, of people coming out to the streets. What form it will take will undoubtedly be a surprise, but one thing is for sure: Filipinos have the capacity. But the seeds need to be planted, nurtured, and built-up for that to happen. Let's not get exhausted; we just have to keep at it, and it may come soon - at any time. Remmy Rikken, longtime leader of the women's movement, agreed with Karen. "There is going to be another EDSA, but this time it will be different: this time it should have a soul. That is what is lacking. We have to be prepared that heaven will send us another unexpected thing."
Ging Deles, a key leader of the Hyatt Ten group, said "EDSA still embodies, in a very concrete way, the best that we can be; so unafraid and sure that we can overcome evil. On the other hand, EDSA also stands as the many sayangs in our history - despite the country's many firsts (republic in Asia, democracy in Asia, revolution, etc.), the Filipino people are still in despair and have even lost their sense of meaning in the country. ... there is a real need to keep moments like these... to make it alive as a living memory that burns in the heart of Filipinos, ... How did we lose it? EDSA I was just 22 years ago, and EDSA II was just 8 years ago; but because we don't keep our beautiful moments alive - our moments of courage and truth, of knowing that we are worthy... "
Sylvia Okinlay-Paraguya said EDSA for her is summarized into two phrases/words: "too many minds" and "surprise". The former refers to the need to focus, because there are too many minds now, even among NGOs. Looking at EDSA, it really might change its form now; now there are little EDSAs. We need to look at these and see which ones will gain momentum and numbers over time. The 2010 elections can be a new form of EDSA too, if we will be able to participate in it well. Pauline Lawsin-Nayra asked "Shall we make this anniversary a launching pad for a 400 something days campaign towards May of 2010? By that time we will have a new leader na pinaghandaan natin ngayon (that we prepared for now). I think we should begin with the end in mind - always."
Partisanship and Reform
Giving organizational expression to the political resolve of civil society leaders was easier said than done. A series of consultations in the provinces were held with a wider range of CSO leaders about setting up a "Change Politics Movement" (CPM). With admirable directness and resolve, CPM leaders said they would undergo an organized "primary" to select leaders the CPM would campaign for. The criteria hammered out at these consultations, honesty and integrity, record on issues of concern to CSOs, and 'winnability'. As it turned out, CPM had more difficulty getting people to register than was originally thought.
In fact, CPM's directness and resolve contrasted sharply with the indeterminacy of other initiatives. Kaya Natin (We can do it!) built on the popularity of local government officials Jesse Robredo (Naga City Mayor), Ed Panlileo (Pampanga Governor), Sonia Lorenzo (San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, Mayor), Grace Padaca (Isabela, Governor) to generate a lot of media mileage. The Kaya Natin roadshow in colleges and universities generated enthusiasm among students. But towards mid-2009, Grace Padaca and Ed Panlileo got into a very public pantomime on who of the two would run for president. In the end, both of them now support Noynoy, but not without confusing a lot of their admirers.
The Movement for Good Governance (MGG) had a range of initiatives, most of them non-partisan. One MGG project which attempted to run a primary to select national candidates was overly ambitious and ended up not doing much of anything. But the problem was not organizational, it was conceptual. The MGG formula for picking a presidential candidate starts with NOTA (None of the Above). If you are a "presidentiable", never mind your record, you are judged as trapo. The unstated formula seems to be that if you have risen in politician ranks to become a serious presidential contender, you must be trapo. Since governors Ed Panlilio and Grace Padaca have only reached the provincial level, they must be OK.
There are a couple of strangely interrelated vantage points, one, the search for the "pure" non-trapo candidate, the other the "lesser evil candidate" formulation. One of the problems that I have with the search for the "ideal" candidate is that its proponents give themselves an escape route. In the end, they say, if they can't find a viable presidential candidate, they will pick the "lesser evil" among the remaining presidential candidates. The "Good versus Evil" frame gets carried into the real world; "they're all evil, we just have to pick the least evil among them". This is a formula for "political resignation", for knowing now that at some point you will give up.
Candidates such as Kapatiran's JC De los Reyes, or Nicky Perlas clutter candidates' fora. Worst, they encourage pie-in-the-sky political attitudes which drag idealists into dead ends. In a way, those groups who are pushing people to work for reform in the 2010 election but are non-partisan, are going to cause less damage. Getting young people to register and to take their vote seriously such as Youth Vote or the Register to Vote (RV) project of Senator Kiko Pangilinan, or encourage people just to get involved such as Ako Mismo will have a base from which to move forward.
The problematic relationship between partisanship and reform were manifest in the Mar Roxas campaign. In a political career that spans three terms in the House of Representatives, two stints as Secretary of Trade in two administrations, one term as senator, the Roxas name has not been linked with scandal. This is not a minor achievement. These are positions with ample temptation for corruption and rent seeking, temptations which many in similar positions have succumbed to. In a political system where election to the presidency, and other positions for that matter, bear little relation to competence in policy making, Mar Roxas has excelled with his dedication to the details of policy making, in both executive and legislative positions.
Mar and his campaign manager, Butch Abad agreed to build a reform constituency element into his campaign. Resources were poured into organizing Repormar, a network of organized sectors. Mar's campaign slowly began to get some traction. But it was difficult to convince recent converts to partisan politics in civil society. Those on the Left look with disdain on anyone who is not identifiably Left. Others in civil society want to engage in partisan politics but support fringe candidates whose only impact on the presidential elections will be to frustrate their supporters and to take votes away from reform candidates such as Mar Roxas.
Noynoy partisans should be forgiven for thinking that the wake and funeral of Cory was the "new EDSA", that it was the surprise that was heaven sent. It was perfectly logical (though at the time I did not see this) that people would want to "keep our beautiful moments alive", that the best way to do that would be for Noynoy to run for president. All hesitation about supporting a presidential candidate among civil society people disappeared overnight. The division between visionaries and pragmatists was bridged. Even pragmatists began to believe that the election of Noynoy would be a moment of transformation not just for the presidency but for the country as a whole.
In mid-November, two and a half frenzied months after Mar's generous bestowal of the torch to Noynoy, the campaign has began to slowly take shape. It was difficult transforming an already more than a year old Mar campaign into a Noy/Mar campaign. But Mar's generosity and continuity in the leadership campaign have made the transition easier. Mar's overall campaign manager Butch Abad, and LP secretary general Jun Abaya, LP Director General Chito Gascon are continuing work they did for Mar. There's a new Noynoy headquarters down the street on EDSA but the old Mar HQ is reviving with renewed Noy/Mar activity.
Most of the Hyatt Ten are back, leading key areas of work. Dinky Soliman, who wanted to stay 'non-partisan' until the Change Politics Movement process was over, now heads the team bringing some order into the many, many "Cory Magic" groups. There's a new communications group with professionals such as Johnny Santos, Yoly Ong and Enteng Romano who have been active in reform work for years. Noynoy's four sisters are all active in the campaign; entertainer Chris single handedly put together a polished MTV 'infomercial'. Cousin Rapa Lopa is deputy campaign manager. There are many others who may not want their roles given too much prominence.
From the beginning it was clear that the main message of the campaign would be change, from the corruption and self-serving survival politics of the Arroyo administration, to personal integrity and service to others as the touchstone of leadership. But it is not all touchy-feely 'new politics'. A "policy unit" has been hard at work on a real platform, one with main messages for the campaign, but also detailed policy papers for governing if Noynoy wins. Noynoy has taken this process seriously enough to have spent some 30 hours in discussions with the 'policy unit' in the past month alone. Policy clusters writing detailed policy reform papers bring together probably the majority of people who have thought and fought for reform for years.
A large campaign like this, with thousands of people at work, is, of course, not all peaches and cream. There is palpable tension between the "non-conventional" groups and the Liberal Party and other people working the "conventional" local politics and sectoral groups areas. Partly it is tension between groups who have been at work for a long time in the Mar campaign, and new entrants into the Noynoy campaign. Mostly its different campaign approaches. One side says it remains important to recruit local politicians who can help build local machineries for campaigning and vote protection. The other says Noynoy's popularity has nothing to do with local politicians and their machineries, that Noynoy's image should not be sullied by association with trapo (traditional politician).
Thankfully, there are enough people around who can bridge these differences.
On November 16, Pulse Asia one of two respected polling agencies reported the results of a survey done at the end of October. Noynoy remained on top with 44 percent presidential preference, more than twice the 19 percent of Manny Villar. Mar Roxas also remained comfortably ahead in the vice presidential race. This only confirmed the results of other recent surveys. What was striking is that the reason most-often cited in expressing a voting preference for Noynoy is his clean public record ("malinis") or, alternatively, not being corrupt "hindi kurakot".
"Around two in ten Filipinos (21.2%) are voting for a particular presidential candidate because he/she is not corrupt or is malinis - a reason cited by fewer respondents in May and August 2009 (7.1% and 6.3%, respectively)." Its as if, prior to Noynoy, people did not believe a truly honest president was possible. In May 2009, Pulse Asia said the leading reason for voting was a "candidate's being helpful to others (34%) while in August 2009, the top reasons cited were a candidate's having many accomplishments and his/her being pro-poor (20.3%).
Victory and Reform
We cannot, of course, predict what will happen six months from now in the elections in May. In the Philippines we say "In politics, one week is a long time." But this election is for the Noynoy camp to lose. We would have to do some really stupid things to lose the massive lead of Noynoy. While there will be many registered candidates for president, there are at this stage really only three serious candidates: Noynoy, Manny Villar, and Gibo Teodoro. The only other 'opponent' is the potential for serious fraud in the election.
The administration's candidate, Gibo Teodoro, is 'serious' not because he is popular (he only got 2 percent in the recent Pulse Asia survey), or because of the administration's much vaunted machinery which is already being slowly dismantled, but because many people believe that GMA and her operatives have not given up on retaining power after the end of GMA's term on June 30, 2010. One elaborate conspiracy theory has GMA going to the House, becoming Speaker and orchestrating a shift to a parliamentary form of government where she then becomes Prime Minister.
The "Speaker-to-Prime Minister" scenario requires an unlikely Teodoro victory, and just as unlikely, his making way for GMA. There are rumors of automated cheating, of failure of elections that would keep GMA as a holdover president. But many people trust Comelec Chair Melo and at least some of the commissioners. Messing up an election with probably more than a million candidates running will produce a lot of angry people. The Obama administration has also been unusually public about its hopes for a clean election and smooth turnover.
Manuel Villar is 'Money' Villar to many politicians. Although he has been Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the Senate, he has had a lackluster political career. It is his money which, by common belief, makes him the only strong challenger to Noynoy. He also has an effective "from rags to riches" narrative which he has drummed into people's consciousness with, reportedly as much as 500 million pesos of TV ads even before the start of the formal campaign. He is the personification of "old politics" the exact opposite of the "new politics" of the Noynoy campaign.
Villar will probably be able to win the support of many local politicians who need money for their own campaigns. But if Noynoy retains his lead in surveys close to the election, many of these politicians will probably shift. Even then, local vote banks constitute at best twenty to twenty five percent of the presidential vote. Even less since automation will lessen the capacity of local politicians to 'manufacture' votes. In the end, the election will be determined by how people feel about the candidates. TV and radio ads will go some distance in shaping that, but it will take a lot of ads to overcome 'Cory magic.'
I risk censure by my writing coach for using reform repeatedly. I do so in the hope that I can help get people to believe that we can do something in the coming election. Disgust with the way politics is conducted in our country is a reaction that is easy to understand because we've all felt it at one point or another. One altogether too common next step is to click the "close" or "minimize" icon - put it out of your mind until yet another scandal intrudes. If you have the resources, you take the "consciousness migration" a step further and do the "one-way ticket to Detroit" option. All these steps take off from the attitude that "I can't do anything about it anyway".
In fact, civil society, working with reform people in business and the churches, is the only political force that has succeeded in bringing down presidents. Not the CPP and not the politician 'opposition'. The only time that the Arroyo regime has come close to being overthrown was when the Hyatt 10 and the Liberal Party and their allies called on Arroyo to resign in 2005. But this capacity to destabilize and even to bring down governments has not been used to (successfully) elect a president and shape an administration. One result has been that people are disillusioned with the "EDSA formula" because it has not produced good governments.
If, a year ago, I was not sure we could put together a reform constituency, today I have lost my doubts. There is a reform constituency running, animating the Noynoy campaign. As a part of the Noynoy campaign, and as political analyst, I am confident that we can secure victory in May for both Noynoy and Mar. Where I am concerned is whether in a Noynoy administration, we will have enough political strength to undertake the necessary reforms. The capacity to support reform has to be built now, not after May 2010.
Most of our energies are, understandably, focused on securing victory in the presidential and vice presidential races. A Noynoy administration will likely face opposition majorities in both the House and the Senate. Cynics say most of these politicians will shift to the president's party anyway. But they will do so the better to position themselves for patronage. A new administration will have to maneuver adroitly in these treacherous waters. But we can make their job easier if we get more of our Senate candidates to win, and more importantly, if Noynoy wins with a landslide majority.#
 This is not your usual academic paper. In this campaign, I am a partisan. I support, work actively for the Noynoy Aquino campaign. Being partisan does not necessarily mean not being objective. The stakes for accurate analysis are higher when you're partisan. After May 2010, I hope to complete the plagiarized title to "The Making of the President, 2010".
 Mario Taguiwalo, "Ala-ala at Pag-asa (Memory and Hope)". The platform which appeared in two national newspapers on November 28, 2009 "A Social Contract with the Filipino People" was the result of many, many hours of discussions with Noynoy.
 While the exact percentage preferring Noynoy has varied from 51 to 44 percent, his lead over Villar, the perennial second, has remained at more than twice that preferring Villar in Social Weather Station and Pulse Asia surveys over the course of three months, September to November.
 Jose de Venecia, who as Speaker of the House of Representatives , spearheaded most of the effort to reform the constitution.
 Joel Rocamora, "Crafting a Reform Vote for the 2010 Elections", July 31, 2007
 See, for example, INCITE GOV, "Crossover Leadership in Asia", 2008
 Rocamora, Ibid
 THE MOVING FORWARD WORKSHOP, 25-27 February 2009, Lake Island Retreat and Seminar Center, Binangonan, Rizal. I attended these workshops, but rely here primarily on the excellent workshop reports.
 Sayang does not quite translate as "regret". Its more like "it's too bad"
 Pulse Asia's October 2009 Ulat ng Bayan Survey:Media Release on Filipinos' Preferences for the May 2010 Elections
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