The presidential battles of the unfit and the fittest


“How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
How many years must one man have
Before he can see the sky?
How many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind.”
– From “Blowin’ in the Wind” as sung by Peter, Paul & Mary

In these trying times in the Philippines, one cannot help seeking refuge in music, books and writing. This is true with me because I love music, books and writing. This possibly could not be true with others because they have other loves. And the art of seeking refuge must be in something or someone you love. Escaping from chaos to the garden of your solitude, you find solace in the rhythm of your heart and in the depths of your mind.

The woes of Sen. Grace Poe
There are pervading rivers of hate in this country. The venom spewed by many with pronounced or hidden agenda against Senator Poe is visibly unhealthy. These people probably do not know that hate is self-destructive. And I am seeing the beginnings of self-destruction in the faces of many of her detractors.

Knowing the facts and the law in her case, and the existing circumstances, the way her detractors argue has reached the level of idiocy. They cannot even determine the difference between what is legal fiction and what is fact? Citizenship is a legal fiction – it is conferred by law, in this case the Constitution of the Philippines. Being natural born is an issue of fact.

Natural born simply means – born in this country. That’s what is meant in English and the language used in this dispute is English not Tagalog or the Filipino national language. That is the fact. Unless one of the protesters against the senator can prove that she was born in Mars or the moon and she was brought to the Iloilo church where she was found, so the story goes, by celestial creatures or aliens from outer space. Alegata et probata, he who alleges must prove his claim that Senator Poe was not born in the Philippines. It is as simple as that.

And no one up to this point has proven that she was not born in the Philippines, the excitement and bragging of her detractors over the decision of the Comelec notwithstanding. Moreover, the final legal arbiter on this issue is not the Comelec; it is the Supreme Court under section 1 Article VIII of the Philippine Constitution. But the final constitutional arbiter on this issue is the people under section 1 Article II of the Philippine Constitution which provides that “sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.”

The Comelec en banc must be very careful in canceling the certificate of candidacy of Senator Poe on the unproven claim of the petitioners, more especially so if it prints the 2016 ballots without Senator Poe’s name in it. If the Supreme Court reverses the Comelec ruling, who pays for the printed ballots without Senator Poe’s name, the Comelec commissioners? Caution is the better part of bragging.

The detractors of Senator Poe are jumping with glee about the Comelec divisions’ decision against her claiming that the three Supreme justices who are members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) who voted against her in the SET will participate in the SC deliberations. Wrong because the rules on judicial ethics mandate that they must inhibit, and so would the two fraternity brothers of Rodrigo Duterte who tried to persuade another frat brother of theirs, Representative Roy Señeres, to withdraw in favor of Duterte.

For the detractors of Senator Poe, it is too early to celebrate; it is too early to brag about the absence of a significant rally supporting Senator Poe. Rallies and revolutions are unpredictable as the weather in these times of climate change or at any other time. This issue has a tremendous potential as a triggering mechanism for a revolution.

From my point of view, the just and fair solution to this problem is to have the name of Senator Poe in the ballot while the Supreme Court is deliberating on the issue or wait until the elections. If Poe wins, then the Supreme Court case will become moot and academic and the quo warranto case goes to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

This is the win-win solution. Let the people be the ultimate judge! I am not for Senator Poe or for any of the three other leading candidates in the surveys. I do not believe in elections at this point in time. As I have maintained over and over again, the system is unjust and oppressive. It has to be demolished if the country must move forward. And in my vocabulary, not including the name of Senator Poe in the ballot is unjust and oppressive, if elections miraculously come at all.

Rogrigo Duterte and Roy Señeres
I have always dreamed of a Mindanaoan becoming President or leader of this country. The dreaming started when I was just a high school kid in the Misamis Oriental High School in Cagayan de Oro City. I have not stopped dreaming until today. Because of the critically desperate times in the country today, the dreaming has even become more intense.

On DUTERTE: When Duterte was rumored to be considering the idea of running for President, I thought my dreams will be fulfilled at last, until he started opening his big mouth grabbing every nonsensical idea for media mileage. He bragged that he has a lot of women. He bragged that he needs Viagra to make him enjoy living. He claimed publicly and openly that he has ordered the killing of criminals in his city and boasting that he has even personally killed some of these criminals. He appears to delight in killing. He said that the moment he gets to be President, he will start killing these criminals. He is a lawyer, yet he does not believe in due process enshrined in the Constitution that is why he is prosecutor, judge and jury. Weird, to say the least! His neither here nor there statements remind me of somebody’s friend whose first name is LUCI and whose last name is FER. No pun intended here!

Before he filed his certificate of candidacy, he said that if at all he files for the presidency, it would be because of Secretary de Lima who has been investigating his so called criminal activities in Davao City. Next, when the laglag or tanim bala erupted in media, he said he will file his certificate of candidacy because of the victims of the scam. Then, when Senator Grace Poe decided to run for President, he said he would run for President because he did not like a person with questionable citizenship running for President.

A confessed killer has no place in Malacañang, his place is in the national penitentiary. Or probably as an object in a zoo or in a circus but definitely not as President of this country

ON SEÑERES: So if I were a voter in this country, if elections come, the only sane and logical choice is Congressman Roy Señeres of party-list OCW. He is from Mindanao, coming from Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Norte. He has the qualifications beyond the bare provisions of the Constitution. He was once Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Chairman of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). He is the champion of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who number about eleven million and the oppressed contractual employees in many of the domestic and international corporations operations as well as other companies which have not incorporated, not only in the House of Representatives but outside of it. He has articulated his views for the OCW and the oppressed contractual employees who are victims of exploitation.

The Overseas Filipino Workers are dubbed as our modern Filipino heroes. What does that make of their champion? Does that not make him a super Filipino hero? He is that in my book.

Roy champions many other viable alternative institutions and programs to our present system. He adopts the parliamentary and federal system with definite specifics. He will bare his vision of the country, his road map and blue print of getting there in January 2016. He will also present to the people his dream cabinet also in January 2016. He has issued a challenge to the so called presidential front runners to a debate on specific programs and their qualifications.

The overseas Filipinos workers and the contractual employees should rally behind Roy and campaign for him. Roy is their champion. This is their season. This opportunity may never come again. This is true for Mindanaoans. We failed to go to the top with Vice-President Emmanuel Pelaez; there is a chance we can make it with Representative Roy Señeres!

The man has got character and that is what we need for a leader. When asked by frat brods to withdraw in favor of Duterte, he said he could not do it because Duterte is pro-death and he is pro-life. He also said that he has to continue to champion the OFW and the contractual employees as well as the poor and the forgotten. Withdrawing is being traitor to these people, his cause and his country. That is brains in his balls and balls in his brains!

Forget the others who are unfit, go for the fittest by the name of Roy Señeres.

But the Roy presidency is only my second option. The first is still the Constitutional Transition Government – a peaceful constitutional revolution. As I keep on saying, the present system cannot provide any hope for our people. However, the Roy Seňeres option provides a window of opportunity against all the avid candidates of the system.

If by election time, the CTG cannot be installed, for one reason or another, then the Roy Señeres option is the only second viable alternative to changing the system.

If by some twist of Fate elections come, my choice for President is Roy Señeres – the champion of the OFW and the contractual employees, and the Mindanaoans as well as the poor and the oppressed in this country.

It is about time, the people and media put Roy Señeres in the radar screen.


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  1. I always read in the Philippines newspapers and the heard from the media “let the public decide” and you just write the same phrase in this commentary, which means without the ruling authority the public will make a decision that is Anarchy. This is true when the newspapers were writing about Grace Poe and Digong Duterte, “let the public decide”. There are reasons democratic countries have “Commission on Elections”, and “The Supreme Court” these are ruling authorities that make decisions lawfully. Let these ruling authorities decide if these alleged candidates for president of the Philippines are truthfully qualified in the sense of legality of their candidacy.

  2. The form of government that we have will keep on failing until we shift to federal. Decentralization is the key. To keep the and actors and actresses but as incompetent leaders from getting elected to national government we should vote congress by region. And also we should we do away with senate. Depopulating Manila region is also the key to solve the criminality and traffic problems. Also we have to dissolve PNP as it is now. Criminals and thieves now are in the PNP rank and file. We can be as successful as Singapore if the development will be spread around the country not only in Manila. Will it be great if all the regions will have its own smart and competent leader elected locally by the people who are familiar with them.

    Let’s replace the constitution that made us subservient to oligarch foreign or local and corrupt politicians and government officials (PNP included).

  3. Ps . The party nominates,We elect a party and ther flatforms not a person , but max of 60 percent only so in the councel no monopoly and ther be check and balance

  4. You right Bono we have to revise the system from election to Govt system means from pres to parliament form , first the Elec system , we should not only Elec the national officials by parliamentary but start from the barangay mayor gov means barangay elect the council so those the mayor and governor then they councel Elec ther chairman, mayor gov , in this process it we’ll be cheaper no more dynasties cause when we amendments the system automatically we put in the provision no cousin nomination same family and same time for love of country at lest high school grade for chairman and college for mayor and up , now to become security guard you have to be college grade even scs requires also and we elec a party not a person , in the present system we Elec popular person not flatforms fyi

  5. “Natural born simply means – born in this country.” I may be an avid reader of Atty. Bono’s books but any law student worth his salt would surely know how to distinguish jus sanguinis from jus soli.

  6. So, meaning comelec should not removed any names of presidential candidates including inter galactic or Lucifer if that is your argument Mr. Adasa, let the people decide right!! let more than 100 candidates for president included in the ballot to be fair why you are asking only for the name of grace poe to be included if you are not voting for POE.

  7. Mr. Adaza is simply wrong. “Natural born simply means born in this country” is false. If this is teh case, then we can have an American, Chinese, Arab or foreigner President simply because he or she was born in this country with non-Filipino parents. Unfortunately, the Constitution is clear, one must have one of his or her parents a Filipino citizen (can be naturalized).
    Your proposal to allow Poe to have her name on the ballot and “let the people decide” is also wrong. If this is the case, would you the support Rizalino David and all those who filed a CoC for President to have their names on the ballot and let the people decide? Should they not have the same right and equal protection from the law as Grace Poe?

    • Atty Adaza is talking of Grace Poe who is a foundling (BOTH PARENTS ARE UNKNOWN), she was found in the Philippines, therefore she’s considered as a natural born FIlipino. If a child (NOT A FOUNDLING) was born in the Philippines with foreign parents, the child’s citizenship should be therefore the same as the parent/s.

  8. This might not be important, sir Bono but the lyrics but the lyrics you quoted was written by Bob Dylan. Salamat po.

  9. Maybe another interpretation of a natural born child to you Mr. Adaza is not cesarian. That sir is in the medical books.

  10. You wrote that “Natural born simply means – born in this country.” Sir, what about a baby born of an American father and American mother but born in the Makati Med, for instance? Is the baby considered a natural born Filipino? The answer is no? I’m not sure but based on your bald statement the baby is a natural born Filipino. Maybe that’s why we have the Constitution to guide us.

    • Jus soli and/or jus sanguinis, the Philippine constitution recognizes and upholds these criterias for citizenship, by soil and/or family, anyone born in the Philippines’ territory then he/she is a citizen, if born outside Philippines, but have Filipino blood parents, he/she can also be considered a citizen

      I believe Poe is a natural born Filipino, but the courts are arguing the fact that she gave up her citizenship and just reapplied

  11. Seneres knows very well how to handle diplomatic and labor affairs – two things that our country direly needs right now. If we want to stop those NPA sympathizers who are fighting on the pretense of “labor conditions unfair” (when all they want is power for themselves and nothing more) from running this country – we need Seneres because unlike all those NPA sympathizers combined, he actually knows how to initiate labor reforms and he knows damn well that contractualization was never legalized (which those NPA sympathizers claim), taipans just kept doing it (and the govt. just turned a blind eye like they always do when the wealthiest in our country do illegal things) to the point that everyone thinks its now legal.

    With Seneres, our OFWs welfare will be given more attention knowing that he had saved many OFW lives even if it meant personally appealing to say, the king of UAE. Among all the candidates, he’s the only one who included giving jobs to ex-OFWs in his platform (because we all know its hard for an ex-OFW to transition from being an OFW to being a domestic worker).

    If we want to finally put an end to the West Philippine Sea conflict and successfully assert to China that the disputed Spratlys are indeed ours – we need Seneres who is an experienced diplomat sent to multiple UN conferences earlier in his career.

    TLDR: He may not be the “putang ina mo” wielding Duterte but he surely has done a lot more than Duterte in his lifetime for someone who hails in Mindanao. Maybe Duterte is better off withdrawing and supporting Seneres considering that national politics are not his cup of tea (otherwise he should have stayed longer as a congressman but no, he wanted to go back to being a mayor).

    • I have not practiced my right to vote since 1995, because I don’t believe in election. But if I will vote this coming election I would rather vote for CONG. ROY SENERES. He’s not corrupt like Binay, not Abnoy like Pnoy, not a criminal like Duterte, Not sick like Miriam and not an apprentice like Grace.

  12. Congressman Roy Seneres is the only candidate most qualified to become our president. He has the best advocacy. Nobody can help the contractuals except him, because of his background in labor laws. Only he can save the OFWs our heroes, because of his experiences as ambassador. He is very religious, a very good family man, only has 1 wife. He is a GENTLEMAN. Please stop insisting on your candidates.

    • On that note, aren’t you insisting your candidate as well? Do not preach what you cannot do. Might as well let other people insist than making them shut up about it.

  13. Bono has been a long time ally in many legal battles against the corrupt Establishment, long with the late Atty. Alan Paguia and others, but in Poe’s case we believe Bono clearly diverges from the Law.

    I was born in the Philippines while my parents were in the process of naturalizing their citizen, according to mainstream low interpretation I became thus a “natural born” citizen by virtue of that process although a few like Sen. Miriam Santiago argued that a case cn be made of my status as “natural born”. This became an issue when I ran for the Senate as the only co-candidate of Miriam in the 1995 senatorial elections – the Comelec chiarman then whom I mercilessly lampooned in the columns after the 1995 elections due to the blatant dagdag-bawas of that election filed five cases against me for alleged falsifying my citizenship status and eventually got me in jail for five days (but that’s another long story).

    In defending Poe’s claim that she is a natural born Filipino Bono raises the point of “legal fiction” versus “an “issue of fact”; that is, of being born in the Philippines. I believe there is definition of legal fiction that is being used too loosely here, and the thought process that allowed Bono to conclude this is the legal fiction itself. All laws may be said to be “fiction”, that is, human invention; but laws once invented, established in a community or society or State, becomes the accepted “fact” with structure and physical consequences – facts that emanate from words written as laws.

    The Philippines has a Constitution, I dislike it it in most aspect but it had the physical consequence of putting me in jail for five days on account of my challenge to a particular provision of the Constitution. But there is room for interpretation still there. I argued using a part of that provision that I also “did not have to perform any act to perfect” my Filipino citizenship (my parents did it for me, should I be responsible for that?)

    In Poe’s case she cannot even establish that she is born of any Filipino parent, and worse she later renounced what regular citizenship she acquired by just being born in the Philippines – that is, her naturalized status – when she became an American citizen consciously and willingly, and maybe wholeheartedly, and then again “performed an act” to reacquire a Filipino citizenship for herself – clearly intending to joni politics and use whatever political capital gained from have a popular adoptive father who died and created a massive outpouring of sympathy (by the way I campaigned for FPJ wholeheartedly).

    Poe’s lawyers and the other like Saguisag, Panganiban, et al, are creating fictitious ideas about the international conventions on th issue of “foundlings”, about the “right of the people to decide” the issue regardless of what the Law that 100 million ohter people are expected follow says. Since that 995 controversy over my citizenship I decided never to run again but continue the course of serving public interest without political position… In 2007 President Estrada while in detention offered me a senate slot in an election year that would have given me all the chances to win. I declined and suggested Trillanes to be given that slot. I don’t regret it, I serve the nation bettr than most ofhte legislators in Congress and the Seante as a militant citizen. Poe should do the same and after some years skepticism over her motives may change and she’ll be respected as a Filipino citizen then – natural born or not.

    But to end this in a light note, I asked Teddy Boy Locsion what she thoughtof Poe’s citizneship status and he said, “Of course she is natural born, any one that comes outof the womb of a mother is natural born” Certainly, not Ceasarian. Chow.

  14. Leodegardo Pruna on

    Whether or not Bono admits, he is an avid fan of disgraced GRACE. Seneres is a decoy, second to none. Is Bono for the respect of the Philippine Constitution? Not even that, because the Constitution has defined what a natural born citizen should be and the conditions set forth has to be fulfilled before one becomes eligible to run for president. Let the SC finally decide. But, Comelec is dilly-dallying with Chairman Bautista leading the pack except for a lady commissioner who has already inked her decision. The rest including the chairman are waiting for the highest bidder. It seems that such has become a routine in high places in government starting with the executive branch. It is just too bad for our country. The longer would be to recover from the mess the country has become. God bless the Philippines.

  15. It is very obvious that Senator Grace is a natural-born Filipino and I definitely agree with you Sir. Her accusers don’t have any proof that her parents are of foreign blood or she was born elsewhere. She is qualified!

    • Leodegardo Pruna on

      Disgraced GRACE is accused of lying and that has been proven with the certifications she had signed regarding her nationality and residency. To erase all doubts, disgraced GRACE has to produce counter evidence to prove her so called honest mistake. If there is such an animal as an “honest mistake”. We don’t have to go Mars or Pluto in search of her nationality. We simply have to look at how she gained her American citizenship and thereafter renounced it. God bless the Philippines.

    • Lying is hiding something that is not known. It is a fact that Grace put 6 years and 6 months in her COC in 2012 and she already explained the reason why. Pieces of evidence have been given and yet not considered by a bias COMELEC. Thete is no lying there. It is the COMELEC who is lying by telling the people that they are not influence by Malacanang. They are betraying the Filipino people and dwpriving our right as provided in the Constitution.

    • adonis b. rocha on

      Rellay !!! She (Grace Poe) is qualified according to Erika. ” Que barbaridad ! Truly she is qualified to set up table in CM Recto and the Quiapo underpass for being a certified liar….just look at how she filled up her certificate of candidacies from senator to now for president…and oh her continued use for convenience of her beloved country’s passport, the USA despite she claiming to have re-acquired her Philippine citizenship. You called that desreving candidate. Thats the kind of politicians we have right now running this country and you want to push to 100Million Pinoys the likes of Grace Poe? Oh what a bad taste !

  16. Francheska Ramos on

    I agree with the part on Senator Grace Poe’s candidacy. Her case is more than a legal issue, it is an issue of human rights and morality. The people should indeed be the ultimate judge.

  17. Bravo to Mr. Adaza and FVR; Let the people decide How come nobody question Grace Poe when she ran and won for a senate seat. Her term is now halfway.

    • Leodegardo Pruna on

      Nobody knew because the Filipinos have been too trusting believing that her eligibility for the senate was truthfully stated/answered. The issue only came out because the negative side of our culture “inggit” and “palusot” were resurrected. God bless the Philippines.

  18. indeed it is too early for senator poe’s opponents. actually they should not be celebrating in the first place because she will not get disqualified at all. If the SC will be fair in her case, it should rule in her favor because we have domestic and international laws that protects foundlings from being stateless and considered to have parents who are born in the country they were found.

    • Leodegardo Pruna on

      One can only be fair when the matter under consideration is founded on TRUTH. But, when the issue is muddled with misrepresentations and deceptions, how can one be fair? God bless the Philippines.

  19. the final constitutional arbiter on this issue is the people under section 1 Article II of the Philippine Constitution which provides that “sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.”

    Forgive my ignorance but this questions are lingering in my mind:

    1. isn’t it the people wherein sovereignty resides are the one who ratified the constitution which sets the qualification for president?

    2. According to the 76% of the sovereign Filipino people who ratified the constitution, a person to be qualified to run for presidency he/she must be natural born Filipino, does it mean in order to have a win win solution we have to violate the will of the 76% of the people just to accommodate Sen Poe’s candidacy? Does it also means a popular candidate can run for presidency even if he/she is below 40 yrs of age and we just let the people decide?

    3. What if on the same day that Sen Poe was found, a child was also found in Quiapo church which looks like a black or caucasian, can we consider them natural born Filipino and can they run for president?

    4. Why don’t we let Sen Poe proves her citizenship first, then allow her to run on 2022?

  20. You nailed it,Commissioner Homobono Adaza.The only candidate that we can really believe that has the ball and brain is no other than Amba Roy Seneres.A devoted family man,Christian with a heart full of love to his country and must of all a believer in life.He is more capable to be our President than those DIRTY,FILTHY RICH and SCHEMING Politicians.

  21. adonis b. rocha on

    Hoy Mr. Homobono…dont invent again. We all know English and are not morons. In all job vacancies and that includes the presidency, there are qualifications to be met and if one does not meet it, he or she is automatically dropped. Try applying in Jolibee or any fast food outlets, and you will be shocked with the basic qualifications required, that a 3 years of high school education is not even considered for the job, in security agencies, a male applicant less than 5′-6″ is not considered, so with the army recruits, not taking into consideration yet educational attainment.

    The constitution does not require a “legal eagle like you”, in manner of what is required of a presidential candidate, you simply abbreviate the entire provisions and conveniently just zero in on “natural born”, a 1st year pre-law student or even a high school student would make a mince meat out of your truncated ” legal opinion”. Give us a break Bono, be real ! Grace Llamanzares was caught lying even in her senatorial certifcate of candidacy filed, and her battery of lawyers are making all “palusot” in arguing a lose case. What is written in black and white, is what your likes Atty. Bono used to argue in court as solid…need we say more? For all your pretensions of you are not for Grace Llamanzares….do tell it to the mountains ! Have a nice day Atty. Bono…better go fishing instead, its more worthwhile and relaxing than inventing a legal maxim kuno !

  22. Duterte has the balls to institute reforms and restore peace and order, Seneres is better off withdrawing and supporting Digong.