PolWonk is a conjugation of three words policy, political and wonk which, in various aspects have been associated with the career and training she had over the years. PolWonk sums up her interests and advocacies. It is a weekly column, appearing every Fridays, in The Lobbyist

PolWonk is a conjugation of three words policy, political and wonk which, in various aspects have been associated with the career and training she had over the years. PolWonk sums up her interests and advocacies. It is a weekly column, appearing every Fridays, in The Lobbyist.
 

MUCH has been done at the feet of political campaigns. In order to win, branding and positioning are tools of the craft that have often used to capture the imagination of the voters. The 2016 elections taught us why authenticity was important because with it, candidates became close to the voters by being themselves; less luster and brilliance but appearing or sounding like voters gave candidates the chance to open the door and leave it ajar as the campaign progressed. Problems have croppped up when candidates positioned themselves according to some preconceived packaging so that the brand could shine or be made better. But fitting it to the candidate is the challenge. That is why some would rather be presented as is with less retouching and just plain persona. That is one of the strategies of PRRD that will have an influence in May 2022: who is authentic?

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A PRESIDENTIAL candidate once said that positions should not be inherited (hindi pinamamana). This mayor thought it would be a clear contrast and an early dig at a sitting president. If you look at the Philippines and other countries, there are dynastic influences whether at the national or local levels. Dynasties also fall because the nature of elections is one person, one vote. There are good and bad dynasties too. And that is what separates Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio from the rest of the kids of politicians: she does not want to be with her father in an election contest. It's either her or the father. It's her team or none. It's her way of running things or she walks away. Clearly, Duterte-Carpio does not want to be defined by anyone. Duterte-Carpio is her own person, and that is why today, she is not a presidential candidate.

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WHAT does it take to be president of this country? Why would a Mindanaoan, the first from the island, be seen in a very different light? Is it because we have often been used to looking at our country through the lens of Luzon? We are reminded of Gramsci's center-periphery model, a "spatial metaphor, which describes and attempts to explain the structural relationship between the advanced or metropolitan 'center' and less developed 'periphery'" either within a particular country or as applied in economic development." Then, there is also the "hegemonic culture" that propagates its own values and norms so that they become the "common sense" values of all and thus maintain the status quo.

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is doing battle on several fronts for the May 2022 elections: ensuring there is honest, orderly and peaceful elections by warning that he would use the military, getting ahead of the Commission on Elections, which technically has control over the military and police during the campaign period and on election day; signing his certificate of nomination and acceptance, and making the affair public for everyone to see that he is serious about running for vice president; and releasing the names of the administration's Senate slate.

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IT has often been the case that we ask learned individuals to understand the poor more, to empathize with the poor and be with them since the class D and E in the country constitute around 60 percent of the population. More and more, those with pedigrees and advanced education are not seen as being one of them. In 2016, we saw an outlier lord it over those who have prepared for the totem pole of their careers with the garish mayor from Davao being associated with ordinary Filipinos to the point. He talked, cursed and dressed like them as a presidential candidate. His speech was totally different, and he sounded different from those from Luzon.

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THE Philippines is 123 years old and in all these years, we have often worn the Luzon lens when we talk of the country; more so of the National Capital Region (NCR). There are people from Luzon who have not traveled to Mindanao because of the peace and order situation there and the preconceived notion that Mindanao is different from the rest of the country.

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THE Red Cross (RC) is a humanitarian organization, and never has it been associated with profit. If we go by the International Red Cross (IRC) and Red Crescent Movement (RCM), it is an "international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide. It was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering."

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THE 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA) is an election budget, which was submitted by the Executive last August 23 to the House of Representatives, where budget review will commence. Speaker Lord Allan Velasco has set September 16 as the date for its House passage. The Senate will therefore have half a month to complete its review before the end of the general registration on September 30 and the filing of the candidacy certificates from October 1 to 8 per the Commission on Elections (Comelec) calendar.

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AND with that, boxing legend and Sen. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao, the champ mentioned in same breath as Muhammad Ali, apologized to his worldwide fans for not winning the Pacquiao-Ugás fight. He said thanks several times in all his post-fight interviews. What Manny has done in boxing is truly a mark of a sportsman. Pacquiao, likewise, thanked Ugás and his team. His record stands at 72 fights, 62 wins and 8 losses.

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DEMOCRACY is supposed to be the rule of the majority, defined as 51 percent of the total turnout of voters. There is total registered voters and turnout. We look at the former as the sum total of registered voters broken down by island as: Luzon (56 percent), Visayas (21) and Mindanao (24).

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THE bold move of Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson and Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto 3rd to declare candidacy early is a welcome development for we should be able to size up candidates not by sheer soundbites, but by actual platform of governance that tells you where they plan to take this country post-pandemic, and how we will solve the economic problems that come with Covid-19.

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WITH President Rodrigo R. Duterte delivering his last SONA yesterday, heralding the opening of the third regular session of the 18th Congress, one can just count the working months before the campaign starts going to May 2022: five months in 2021 and two months in 2022, or a total of seven months with February to May 2022 as campaign and E-day. The seven months will mean passing the General Appropriations Act (GAA), the most important legislation for the remaining months, before everyone goes campaigning. Take note, all elected legislators will have filed their certificates of candidacy by October before Congress can actually debate on the GAA.

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