The political situation in the country this 2016 is expected to be filled with deception, a trait associated with the monkey, which, according to the Chinese Zodiac, will be its year.
Professor Bobby Tuazon, director for policy studies of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (Cenpeg), said this year’s elections will be dominated by the dynastic politics of deception where gut issues are trivialized by the feud of personalities, power and money.
“We expect more of the same–more dynastic politicians will lord over the elections,” Tuazon said in a text message to The Manila Times.
He noted that rather than serving as a democratic instrument, elections only perpetuate old politics, which is ruled by the elite.
Tuazon said people cannot expect any substantial benefit from the elections because Philippine politics does not institute reforms needed to raise the quality of life of the people.
“By the end of this year, the country will remain at the bottom pit of Asian growth. The public should start thinking beyond elections and beyond 2016,” he added.
Proposed anti-political dynasty bill remains pending at the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation headed by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel 3rd.
The proposed bill prohibits relatives from running for public office at the same time, within the same province, city or municipality, or from occupying national positions at the same time such as those in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Pimentel, in an earlier interview, said under his substitute bill, only one member of a family will be allowed to hold a national post.
Meanwhile, political analyst Ramon Casiple said he expects a four-way presidential contest between independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), Manuel Roxas 2nd of the Liberal Party (LP) and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of the PDP-Laban.
Casiple, the executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform (IPER), noted that Roxas’ alleged elimination strategy will likely fail and that Poe will be allowed to join the 2016 presidential race by the Supreme Court (SC).
“Roxas will have to do double-time to catch up with the others,” he said.
Aside from Poe, Duterte is also facing several disqualification cases at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) questioning the legality of his being a substitute presidential candidate of the PDP-Laban that earlier nominated Martin Dino as the party standard-bearer.
Casiple said he does not expect Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who is also running for President, to be able to campaign on equal terms because of her health condition.
Santiago was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2014, and took a leave of absence to undergo medication.
According to the senator, her cancer has been cured and that she is ready for her presidential campaign, which will begin next month.
Santiago, who enjoys a strong following in social media, has chosen independent vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr, as her running mate.
“She [Santiago] may have a chance only if the elimination strategy paid off,” Casiple noted.
The political analyst was referring to the supposed strategy of Roxas’ camp to eliminate Poe and Duterte from the race through disqualification and cripple Binay with corruption charges.