Political Partie and Elections

COMELeak: Telltale sign of poor governance (Part 3)
AES Watch Spokesperson
Manila Times
Feb. 22, 2017
Posted by CenPEG.org

PRESS CONFERENCE of AES Watch on May 11, 2016 at the PLM Manila where its conveners also warned voters on the impact of the Comelec dataleak on counting accuracy. CenPEG photo

If there’s no information security policy in a particular organization, then its operational procedures and practices are not at par with information technology (IT) best practices and/or international standards.

'COMELeak’: Telltale sign of poor governance
Nelson J. Celis (AES Watch spokesperson)
Manila Times opinion column
Posted by CenPEG.org


It was indicated in the terms of reference for the 2010 bidding of counting machines that the supplier should be a certified ISO 27000 company. The winning bidder, Smartmatic, was not! The COMELEC tried to cover up that it was practicing ISMS.

Were the automated polls a success?
Lito Averia
Manila Times column, July19, 2016 Posted by CenPEG.org

Using a simple non-discriminatory pass-fail assessment, since no other way of rating the performance of the AES had been established, it can be seen that the AES passed in only two (2) of the nine (9) factors listed above.


game over
GAME OVER: AES Watch conveners and poll volunteers call for the junking of Smartmatic, foreign marketing company which has monopolized the election technology system in 2010, 2013, and 2016. CenPEG photo

We owe it to voters’ and poll watch groups’ vigilance that what could have been a major election disaster characterized by fraud at the national level was mitigated. Contrary to claims of the PPCRV and some foreign observers, however, the elections was far from being a “success” as far as the automation system is concerned – it was even worst compared to the 2010 and 2013 automated elections. (AES Watch press statement, May 11, 2016)

May 19, 2016


Posted on May 5, 2016

Is the Comelec dragging the nation to a new round of political uncertainty because of its ill-preparedness in administering the May 9 elections?

AES Watch calls on poll body, voters, and watchers: All gears for poll disaster preparedness and recovery on May 9
To ensure transparent, honest and peace elections

Posted on May 2, 2016

ACTION CALLS: AES Watch leaders show key messages on May 9 polls. (L-R) Sr. Mary John Mananzan (BABAE and Kontra Daya); Analea Escresa, WeWatch; Evita L. Jimenez, AES Watch lead convener and coordinator; Nelson Celis, AES Watch spokesperson; former Rep. Glenn Chong; Atty. Herminio Buerano, Jr., Clean Air coalition; and Hector Barrios, CenPEG Fellow on Systems Studies. CenPEG photo

As the whole nation goes to the polls on May 9 to elect a new president and other thousands of public officials, the poll watchdog Automated Election System Watch (AES Watch) on April 28 called on the Comelec, voters, and candidates to prepare for preparedness as a response to what the poll watchgroup said a looming disaster.

Ex-Comelec adviser asks all commissioners to resign
CenPEG News
March 11, 2016

A former Comelec adviser today told all poll commissioners led by Andres Bautista to resign if they cannot implement the Supreme Court (SC) order on voter receipts.

On the practicability of voting machine receipts
H.A. Barrios
March 8, 2016

By itself, your vote receipt has no practical use. You cannot check if it has been included or excluded in the election return. You cannot affirm or complain about the election results based on your vote receipt. This is because the receipt represents your individual act while the election return represents the collective act of your precinct.

Implications of a court ruling that voting receipts are the VVPAT
H.A. Barrios
March 8, 2016

A ruling that vote receipts are required as the VVPAT would preempt further debate and establish by inference that the voting act is deemed completed upon putting the ballot in the machine. By that ruling, the receipt would be considered as the document that represents the act of election.

VIDEO of AES Watch's TAPAT demo & mock election July 2015 at Pamantasan ng Lungson ng Maynila

FEARLESS FORECAST (EPISODE II): Comelec will not comply with e-Commerce Law in 2016 elections
Nelson J. Celis
Fearless Forecast, Manila Times
Feb. 9, 2016
Post by CenPEG.org
Feb. 12, 2016

There’s no such thing as “machine” digital signature in the annals of the Philippine law to represent the signatures of BEIs/BOCs on written ERs/COCs. Smartmatic’s claim for the validity of their “machine” digital signature in the past two elections is a big LIE!

Fearless forecast: Comelec’s non-compliance with the AES law in 2016 (last of 2 parts)

Nelson J. Celis
Manila Times
January 12, 2016
Posted by CenPEG Jan. 14, 2016

Comelec Chair Andy Bautista (left photo) and movie icon Nora Aunor (right photo) test the Filipino-invented TAPAT voting machine during a public demo organized by AES Watch at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila last July 20, 2015. Photos by CenPEG

It’s no-brainer, non-compliance with the law is equivalent to converting the whole AES project to a Vote Cheating Machinery…’Abangan!’

Fearless forecast: Comelec will not comply with the AES law in 2016

Automated Election System (AES) Watch has again predicted that on February 9, 2016, three (3) months before the national and local elections (NLEs) on May 9, 2016, Comelec will not comply with RA 9369 or the automated election law. The prediction is based on Comelec’s past performances in 2010 and 2013, specifically its violation of Section 11 and other provisions associated with information technology (IT).

Posted by CenPEG.org
January 8, 2016

Cast of Clans: From Aguinaldo to Aquino, dynasties rule

By: Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, InterAksyon.com
December 19, 2015 11:31 AM
The online news portal of TV5
Posted by CenPEFG.org
Dec. 22, 2015


MANILA, Philippines -- From the country’s first president, Emilio Aguinaldo, to Benigno Aquino III, the incumbent, Philippine politics has always been essentially a family business.

The True Cost of a Political Campaign
Written by Wilson Lee Flores
Posted by CenPEG from ROGUE Magazine / rogue.ph

image from rogue.ph

To build a case for oneself in this country’s forthcoming national elections, a candidate requires charisma, connections, and billions of pesos in campaign funding.


Revisiting Istanbul Principles and its Relevance to Philippine CSOs
March 21, 2017

Evita Jimenez (right, standing) talks on development effectiveness. CenPEG photo

"Development effectiveness must coalesce with other sectors including professionals, local scientists, inventors, and educators, as well as small entrepreneurs and producers." - Evita L. Jimenez, CenPEG Executive Director

Paving the Way for Philippine CSO Development Effectiveness Work

Calls for resumption of talks mount

Government and NDFP negotiators in last year's Oslo talks.Photo by Kodao

“Total War” will only fuel armed struggle
February 8, 2017

No “total war” policy has ever succeeded since Marcos and full-scale anti-insurgency has only added fuel to the revolutionary movement of the CPP-NPA.

Now more than ever, resume the peace talks!
February 8, 2017

Statement of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform calling for the resumption of the peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines

Interview with US-based Filipino intellectual Kenneth Bauzon on the Duterte presidency

Understanding “Little Brown Brother’s” Realpolitik

Emeritus Professor of Ethnic Studies & Comparative Literature; Professorial Lecturer, Polytechnic University of the Philippines

President Duterte and with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, Oct. 20, 2016
President Duterte (left photo) and with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, Oct. 20, 2016 (right photo)

CenPEG tapped as resource group in peace talks
Oct. 4, 2016 CenPEG.org

Peace talksAt the PLM public policy forum are (L-R) PLM Executive Vice President Nelson J. Celis, GRP chief negotiator Silvestre Bello III, PLM President Lenny de Jesus, NDFP chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni, Jose Luis Yulo, lawyer Nashmyleen Adap Marohomsalic, and Prof. Bobby Tuazon. CenPEG photo

In the resumed talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the NDFP under the Duterte administration, CenPEG has served as a resource group in various forums and symposia organized by stakeholder organizations, universities, and other institutions.

Views and prognosis by CenPEG Fellows in 8th State of the Presidency

CenPEG News
August 1, 2016n

(SoP 2016 opens): Moderator CenPEG Executive Director Evi Jimenez (2nd from left, head panel) opens the 8th State of the Presidency round-table discussion together with NCPAG Dean Maria Fe Mendoza and CenPEG Fellows. CenPEG photo

Held in cooperation with the Dean’s office of the National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) of UP in Diliman as well as the Integrated Development Studies Institute (IDSI), CenPEG’s annual SoP last July 28 had nine Fellows taking turns looking into RRD’s policy pronouncements that were also underscored during the president’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA, July 25).

2016 SOP papers

Duterte’s plan to hold bilateral talks with China 'most practical way out' - CenPEG prof
By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) |
Updated July 14, 2016 - 9:55pm

prof-temy-riveraUP Professor Temario Rivera of CenPEG said bilateral talks with China is the most practical solution.



Watch CenPEG's Director for Policy Studies, Prof. Bobby Tuazon (second from left), talk on the new Duterte presidency together with other political analysts, in a TV interview by Singapore's Channel News Asia (CNA) on "Between the Lines", May 29, 2016. Political maverick Rodrigo Duterte is set to be sworn in as the 16th President of the Philippines, after winning a comfortable election victory. Can he live up to his promises to end the old ways of doing things? Our expert panel in Manila warns, if he doesn’t properly manage expectations, he could be swept out by the grievance politics he tapped into to get elected.

Experts: Nuisance bets reflect disillusionment, uneven playing field
By Levi Mora (philstar.com) |
Updated October 28, 2015 - 3:43pm

Posted by CenPEG from philstar.com

“This (dominance of elite) is one compelling reason for calling the election system as an unfair playing field, not competitive, and limits access to the poor but definitely qualified candidates." - Prof. Bobby Tuazon

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares. CenPEG photo

Partylist solon presses for tax cuts

One of the tax measures pending in the House of Representatives if House Bill (HB) 5401. Authored by Bayan Muna Partylist Reps. Neri Colmenares and Carlos Isagani Zarate, the bill seeks to restructure income brackets and rates of individual income tax.

Putrajaya Declaration: Zero Tolerance for Impunity

IACC2015Statement of the International Anti-Corruption Conference held in Malaysia

Posted on 4 Sep, 2015

Nearly 1,200 people from 130 countries gathered in Putrajaya, Malaysia to discuss one of the world’s biggest challenges: how impunity enables the spread of corruption. Delegates came together to find the most effective strategies to stop impunity and hold to account those who benefit from the abuse of power, secret deals and bribery.

Finally bearing fruit or foiled again?
Center for People Empowerment in Governance 
12:01 AM | Philippine Daily Inquirer, Talk of the Town,
A10 Sunday, January 4th, 2015

While without an FOI law the citizenry has admittedly had mixed success in combating corruption and other governance issues, a bad FOI law could make that common concern even more problematic.

New defense deal with U.S. needs Senate concurrence, opponents say
CenPEG position paper read at Senate foreign relations committee hearing

Senate foreign affairs committee members led by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago. CenPEG photo

The Philippine Senate’s foreign relations committee, on Dec. 1, 2014, was set to file a resolution expressing the upper legislative chamber’s “disappointment” over the signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) without Senate concurrence.

Download the papers here >>>

CenPEG vice chair on dzmm interview on VFA

CenPEG Vice ChairCenPeg Vice Chair Professor Roland G. Simbulan was interviewed extensively with Atty. Evalyn Ursua by tele-radio DZMM anchor Henry Omaga Diaz last October 25, 2014 about the murder of Jennifer Laude and the issue of jurisdiction and custody under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).


Global Currents

U.S.-based scholar E. San Juan, Jr. interviews Bill Fletcher Jr., African-American public intellectual

"I do not anticipate any changes in the near future in the absence of a movement on the ground in the USA that pushes the US on foreign policy generally and the US/Philippines relationship in particular. Frankly, the relationship is very comfortable for the USA and the ruling circles see no reason to change this." - Bill Fletcher, Jr.

WORKING FOR THE FEW Political capture and economic inequality
Oxfam Briefing Paper, Jan. 20, 2014
Posted by CenPEG.org (Jan. 27, 2014)

Economic inequality is rapidly increasing in the majority of countries. The wealth of the world is divided in two: almost half going to the richest one percent; the other half to the remaining 99 percent. The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.

The 8-Day Palestine-Israel War

Nov. 29, 2012 was the UN-declared International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. (The following day, Palestine – whose 8 million people have lived mostly in Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 – received its non-state member status from the UN General Assembly.) The Philippine Interfaith Solidarity Forum on Palestine was held on Nov. 29 at the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), Quezon City, where CenPEG Fellow Bobby M. Tuazon gave a talk.


Singapore envoy sees ‘peace and stability’ in ASEAN region
March 21, 2017

Singapore Ambassador Kok Li Peng. Photo courtesy of KBC

Anticipating the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN’s) 50th anniversary summit in the Philippines late this year, Singapore’s ambassador to Manila believes that the regional association has gone a long way with nary any divisive conflict since its membership expansion in the 1990s.

Trump’s immigration policy has deep roots in US xenophobia, racial prejudice - speaker
Feb. 22, 2017

Roundtable panel (L-R) Prof. Delia Aguilar, facilitator Evita L. Jimenez, and Prof. Epifanio San Juan. CenPEG photo

A policy round-table discussion dealing on US President Trump’s immigration policy was held on February 21, 2017 at the Japan Hall, GT Toyota Asian Cultural Center, University of the Philippines, in Diliman, Quezon City.

On February 21, CenPEG and the Asia for Development and Peace Today (ADePT) and in cooperation with the UP Asian Center will hold a -

RTD invitation

Also see Asian Center posting: http://www.ac.upd.edu.ph/index.php/news-announcements/1026-trump-immigration-travel-ban-policy-impact-fil-ams-ph-us-relations-roundtable

Simbulan book launched
in Washington, DC

Re-posted by CenPEG

book launch

The U.S. book launch of Whose Side Are We On? Memoirs of a PMAer by Dr. Dante Simbulan, an alumnus (Class 1952) and former professor (PhD in Political Science, Australian National University, 1965) of the Philippine Military Academy, advocate for national sovereignty and human rights activist, and a political prisoner during the Marcos dictatorship, was held at the National City Christian Church in Washington D.C., on Dec. 10, 2016. The book launching was sponsored by the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, and Global Ministries (Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ).

From a defender of the status quo to a change advocate
Former PMA professor and Marcos political prisoner launches book of memoirs

CenPEG News
Nov. 14, 2016

Hounded by the minions of Marcos, Dr. Simbulan became a political exile in the U.S., served as the first Executive Director of the Washington, D.C.-based Church Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, which campaigned for the termination of U.S. support to the Marcos dictatorship and the removal of U.S. military bases in the Philippines.

Book signing
Author Dante Simbulan autographs books as Duterte cabinet secretary, Liza Maza of NAPC (right), Alan Jazmines, and other guests wait for their turn. CenPEG photo


Theory and Practice – the CenPEG Way
August 16, 2016


Immanuel Kant once said, “Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play.” In line with this idea is the approach of UP Manila’s Political Science Practicum Program which emphasizes a balance between theory and practice.

Conference calls for people-centered policy actions for Asian development and peace
February 4, 2016


Issue Analysis and Commentary


Slim chance of deal in peace talks
By: Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer January 19, 2017
(Posted by CenPEG)

Duterte meets NDFP leaders at People's Palace
Duterte meets NDFP leaders at People's Palace.
GMANetwork.com photo

In the current talks, Mr. Duterte has narrow options. One is to find a common ground with the NDFP by adopting thoroughgoing reforms that require a coalition where the Left and other progressive movements take part in governance and lawmaking. Attritive bargaining and indefinite war are what’s left.


INDEPENDENT PHILIPPINE FOREIGN POLICY: Will it gain ground under Duterte?
Bobby M. Tuazon

The true measure of an independent foreign policy is that it should be coherent and enduring, must promote the country’s economic growth for the benefit of the people, must eventually make the Philippines as an equal, friendly, and peaceful partner of the world community; and must renounce war as an instrument of foreign policy. It should promote the country as a free and sovereign state.


Dealing with a bellicose, Third World Prez

By: Bobby M. Tuazon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
October 5, 2016


PRESIDENT DUTERTE’S resolve to chart an independent foreign policy has exponential implications on Asian geopolitics and puts a spike on US hegemony in the region. American lawmakers are mulling retaliatory measures. To them, the maverick Filipino President can be tolerated, but any move to oust a key US strategic military outpost in the Philippines is another thing.


Roland G. Simbulan*

     As the nation celebrates its 118th Independence Day this month ,and likewise awaits its maverick president-elect Rodrigo Duterte tobassume office as its 16th president, it is best to ask, "What direction will Philippine foreign policy have?" Change is coming, they say.


Is Rody ready for a face-off with US?
By: Bobby M. Tuazon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
June 16th, 2016

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s avowed independent tack in dealing with China over the issue of the South China Sea should be preconditioned on the immediate review of the Philippines’ treaty commitments. Both policy options are interwoven: An independent foreign policy will be meaningless without untying the knot that binds the country to a client relationship with the United States.


Duterte’s socialist experiment
Bobby M. Tuazon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
May 21st, 2016

It’s too soon to predict whether the mulled coalition government will work. However, Duterte’s planned first moves as president converges with the Left agenda—an end to labor contractualization, rebuilding the national steel industry en route to industrialization, and tax reform, among others.


Roland G. Simbulan
Posted by CenPEG.org
May 19, 2016

Dutertismo, if it aligns and taps the experience of the resilient progressive people's movement of the Left, can go a long way to promote an alternative program that is consistently advancing national sovereignty, for national industrialization, genuine agrarian reform and for an economy truly controlled by Filipinos.

Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte talks to peasants from the national alliance, Anakpawis, on February 9 this year during a pre-election dialogue in the University of the Philippines. Photo courtesy of Anakpawis


Probing presidential platforms
Bobby Tuazon
Philippine Daily Inquirer / Talk of the Town June 21
March 2, 2016
Posted by CenPEG.org

The challenges facing the next president are daunting: income disparities considered among the highest in Asia; derailed peace processes with communist and Moro rebels; high incidence of crime and corruption; the lack of an FOI law; low public trust in the elite-ruled government; an unstable state; and a weak criminal justice system.

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