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Mar 25th
Home Columns JGL Eye Filipino Politicians Continue to Ignore the Overseas Filipinos
Filipino Politicians Continue to Ignore the Overseas Filipinos PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - JGL Eye
Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Thursday, 12 November 2009 10:50




Ignoring OFs AKA GFs or the OPN



C HICAGO, Illinois (JGLi) – It is less than two weeks before the filing of certificates of candidacies on November 20 in the Philippines. But it looks like candidates are keeping their cards very close to their vests.


A friend of mine and a correspondent of Journal Group Link International, Fernando “Ronnie” M. Estrada, of San Jose, California, went to the Philippines for two weeks ending last week, primarily to attend a family reunion.


He noted that presidentiables are making themselves scarce by avoiding public events.


Mr. Estrada, however, said in his brief stay around Manila, the unpredictable weather allowed him to meet two presidentiables.


When he asked the president wannabes if they have a message to Overseas Filipinos (OFs) or what my friend, Marlon L. Pecson, calls "Global Filipinos" (GFs) or what my other friend, Bobby M. Reyes of Los Angeles, California, now calls the “Overseas-Philippine Nation” (OPN, pronounced open), one of the presidentiables said, “Hindi ko naman kailangan ang boto ng mga OFs/GFs/OPN. Kukunti lang naman sila. Dito na lang ako sa Pinas mag-ko-konsentrate sa aking pagkakampaniya dahil narito ang masa." (I really don’t need the votes of the OFs/GFs/OPN. They are just very few. I am going to focus my campaign here in the Philippines on the masses.)


Editor’s Note: To contact the Overseas-Philippine Nation, please e-mail


A lthough embarrassed by the blunt comment of the presidentiable, who is notorious for making embarrassing and frank comments without saying, “off the record,” the visiting Filipino-American dual citizen did not show his displeasure.




I remember the same presidentiable made a comment about the scandal involving a United States president. Because this presidentiable is a macho type who still does not add “off the record” to his controversial comments, one of his comments was picked up by the “foreign press” that made its way to the White House. That’s why when this presidentiable got into trouble, it was very hard for him to ask the help of the U.S. president he insulted.


I just hope our president wannabe will realize his mistake of ignoring the OF's/GF's/OPN's voting power. Not to mention the power of their purse – the money they remit or withhold to their relatives in the Philippines.


Our candidates should be reminded of the Chinese saying that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.


In short, a million votes come from a single vote. If they can convince one voter to support them, this voter can tell others to vote for them, not by addition but by geometric progression! Thanks to the cell phone and the Internet.


If the OFs/GFs/OPN can vote as a block, like the Iglesia Ni Kristo, or the Solid North delivered to Marcos, I’m sure  presidentiables will realize the votes of the OFs/GFs/OPN can alter the result of the election – a game changer.


In the past, at this time of the election year – seven months before the election – voters have somehow made up their minds on whom to vote.


Not this time.




As far as I can recall, some of the successful presidential candidates in the past elections had started their low-key campaigning at least two years ahead of the election. By the time, they filed their certificates of candidacies, campaigning is over.


This means that if you are a presidential candidate, you are ready to part with about one billion pesos ($24-M) to bankroll your national campaign. That is, because the Philippine Congress is too slow in passing an election measure that will allow voters and Philippine corporations to give limited donations to political parties.


If you do not have this kind of money two years before the presidential election, why even consider running for president?


Unless, you will be able to generate secret political contributions from the big business establishments, the Chinese, Korean and Japanese investors, who will be very reluctant to contribute for fear of getting detected because they are not allowed to participate in local political exercise, the K-F-R (kidnap-for-ransom), drug dealers, jueteng (gambling) lords, smugglers and other syndicates, running for president is going to be a very expensive and will be a losing proposition.


And when you win the election, how can you recoup your multi-billion-peso investment in your campaign?




Of course, you become a “commissioner” (get 10 to 20% slice) from every multi-billion-peso government contract.


The only problem with government contract is that it is followed by a paper trail that is very hard to deny. And this will turn you into a defendant to plunder charges.


If you want to temporarily escape those charges, you need to buy the influence of the congressmen so you can escape impeachment.


If you are termed out, you will be forced to cling to power by running for any office that will cloak you parliamentary immunity.


Just ask President Arroyo, who is now doing everything within her power to extend her nine-year term of office even longer.


I hope, visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who would be doing what Sen. Paul Laxalt did to President Marcos, is able to whisper to the ear of Mrs. Arroyo that if “you are going to cut, cut it cleanly.”


If not, Arroyo can go the way of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand who was toppled from power for becoming “unusually wealthy while in office” or former French President Jacques Chirac who was charged with “misappropriating public funds and abusing public office while he was Paris mayor from 1977 to 1995” after he lost his immunity.


Mrs. Arroyo will have a decision to make when she comes to grips with the moment of truth on Dec. 1st, the last day of the deadline of the filing of candidacies. ( # # #


C opyright 2009 The Journal Group Link International. The contents provided in the JGLi may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of the Journal Group Link International.


(Editor’s Note: Watch out for the upcoming outlet-oriented, subscription-based website of Journal Group Link International that guarantees originally sourced stories, features, photos, audios and videos and multi-media contents.)


Last Updated on Thursday, 12 November 2009 11:04

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