We need to renew 'new politics' for the May 2022 polls
Nov. 16, 2021, Rappler
Posted by CenPEG Nov. 17, 2021

political dynasties

Photo courtesy SunStar

For all the issues pestering the country’s election system, one of the most critical issues is the need to demystify the election of a president as the elixir for the country’s woes.

Major Presidential Bets Formalize Candidacies but Last-Minute Surprises still Possible till Mid-November
CenPEG, 11 Nov. 2021


In the configuration of political forces and personalities as seen in the presidential and vice-presidential candidacies, what stands out is a divided broad opposition (five candidates) as against a single candidate (Marcos, Jr.) so far, who is identified with the administration.

The formidable force to contend with in 2022 elections
Nelson Celis, September 1, 2021,
The Manila Times
Posted by CenPEG, Sept. 1, 2021

ELECTION FRAUD protest.jpg

It is best that all watchdogs come together and be united to protect our votes in the 2022 elections. This is the only way to serve the majority of the Filipino people who are still hoping that their votes are really counted.

The ideal OQC operations for the 2022 elections
Nelson Celis / August 4, 2021 / Manila Times

Posted by CenPEG, 10 August 2021

Transparency server

This is a mind-boggling concern as there were direct and unauthorized interventions of the Smartmatic technical team with the transparency server. It's pretty obvious that there were no actual parallel counts or OQCs as the recipients were not getting election results directly from the ground, but rather from the transparency server.

Duterte’s “swan song”; going forward with reforms

Posted by CenPEG, 07 August 2021

Protesters rally near Congress. Photo: Rappler

Given the failures of the Duterte regime – which undeniably have deep institutional roots – the next administration has an opportunity to right the wrongs ensuing from bad governance and erroneous policies and begin the process of undertaking doable reforms by taking approaches radically different from those proven to be fatal under the Duterte and previous presidencies.

A President’s Death, an ICC Call, and Realignments ahead of the 2022 Elections: A Gathering Storm?
CenPEG, 18 July 2021


The outcome of the 2022 presidential election will have consequential effects on the relevance of the ICC investigation in the country assuming that it formally proceeds.

Simplify transmission of election results for transparent 2022 elections
By Nelson Celis / Manila Times
July 14, 2021
Posted by CenPEG July 16, 2021

PPCRV transparency server / Photo credit: CNN Philippines

Martin Luther King once said, "Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification."


Old ways must go in May 2022 polls
By: Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / Posted by CenPEG


Concerted people’s actions can be done to put an end to clan politics that, for centuries, has made the country’s political system rotten to the core.

Jostling for the presidency amid the pandemic and flaws in the election system

Posted 16 June 2021


1Sambayan’s 6 presidential nominees
Photo: Inquirer.net

Key political figures, party machineries and a powerful group of political families are now prepositioning to be in the frontline of contention as the country heads for the next national elections in May 2022. Election fever is up.

Clean voters’ database: A challenge to a transparent 2022 elections

Nelson Celis
May 19, 2021, The Manila Times
Posted by CenPEG May 27, 2021

Fifth of a series

Comelec-DILG collaboration is already mandated under existing laws, through the local civil registrar, in delisting deceased registered voters.

Clean voters’ database: A challenge to a transparent 2022 elections

Nelson Celis, TMT / April 7, 2021
Posted by CenPEG April 15, 2021

Alleged hacker
Alleged hacker in red hood. Photo: CNNPhilippines

A few weeks before the May 9, 2016 elections, the Comelec was hacked by two groups. This infamous hacking on March 27, 2016 led to the defacement of the Comelec’s website and the leakage of its 55 million registered voters.

Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) January 2021

The Pulse Asia Survey on Presidential Bets for the 2022 Elections: An Analysis of Results and Political Implications

PHOTO election pandemic MBPhoto courtesy of Manila Bulletin

This paper examines the results of the first public opinion survey on possible presidential bets for the 2022 national elections conducted by the Pulse Asia Research Inc. from 23 November to 2 December 2020. An established polling institution in the country, Pulse Asia does regular public opinion surveys on elections and issues of public interest. However, as a survey of public perceptions for a specific period, these results do not in any way establish a definitive listing of possible presidential bets or stable preferential ratings for specific names since the actual election is still about 15 months away and changes are to be expected.

Comelec’s PCOS-OMR system rejects public counting, enhances wholesale cheating
Nelson Celis, TMT
November 25, 2020
Posted by CenPEG, Nov. 25, 2020

hybrid system sa eleksiyon

Is the 2009 study of CenPEG futuristic that it could predict what could have happened in the last four national and local elections? Will the Congress under President Duterte’s administration pass these pending bills for our democracy…and for the Filipino people?


When history repeats itself

Nelson Celis, TMT / October 14, 2020
Posted by CenPEG, 21 Oct. 2020


Mark Twain said, “History never repeats itself but it rhymes” — there are like-sounding conditions that re-occur throughout history but not closely or the same sound.

Fraud: Its butterfly effect

Nelson Celis, TMT / August 12, 2020
Posted by CenPEG Aug. 14, 2020

Comelec data leak in 2016. Image:dailypedia.net

In our government offices, we have had butterfly effect experiences. A typical example is the infamous ComeLeak in March 2016, a few weeks before the 2016 elections, as the incident created humongous consequence

Hybrid election system in 2022: How do we proceed?
Nelson Celis, The Manila Times,
July 22, 2020
Posted by CenPEG

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon tests hybrid system during a 1-day forum-demo held by CenPEG / AES Watch at PLM in 2015. Photo by CenPEG

THE Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation (Cerpp), led bCenPEG_AES_Watch_hybrid_demo_2015y Sen. María Imelda Josefa Marcos, has been consistently deliberating Senate Bill (SB) 7 since it was introduced by Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd in July last year.

DocPH, a month after
Nelson Celis / The Manila Times / May 13, 2020
Posted by CenPEG
May 13, 2020

DocPH is a form of complex bayanihan wherein a group of Filipino doctors collaborate to help their sick ‘kababayans’ or countrymen, and at the same time helping DoH and the nation fight the pandemic.

Photo from CNNPhilippines

Democracy at stake: The need for poll system standards and certification

The test certifications in the last four national and local elections resulted in a lot of technical problems because of the absence or lack of test certifications of all the Automated Election System (AES) components.

Nelson Celis, TMT, February 19, 2020
Posted by CenPEG March 08, 2020

CERPP Feb 11 2020
Hearing of the Senate committee on electoral reform and people’s participation last Feb. 11, 2020. (CenPEG photo)

What legal basis are you referring to, Comelec?
Nelson Celis, TMT, June 12, 2019
Posted by CenPEG June 18, 2019

Protest rally against election fraud
Protest rally against election fraud

There are many legal grounds for banning Smartmatic as technology supplier in future Philippine elections.

JUNK Smartmatic! AES Watch renews call for public counting with electronic transmission
CenPEG.org June 06, 2019

Joint Congressional Oversight Committee hearing, June 4, 2019. CenPEG photo

“It’s about time the government give due recognition to effective and fraud free election system giving emphasis on Philippine sourced transparency and accountability as guiding principles (i.e. public precinct counting with people participation, electronic transmission and automated consolidation and canvassing) starting in the 2022 presidential elections.”

2019 elections assessment: Worst!
Nelson Celis, TMT
May 22, 2019
Posted by CenPEG
May 23, 2019

May 13, 2019 mid-term elections (Photo source Time)
May 13, 2019 mid-term elections (Photo source Time)

The AES Watch overall STAR card assessment of 2019 elections was “1” (Fail). This is similar to the past elections except that we experienced the worst so far based on the sheer number of technical problems, especially the mysterious seven-hour lull between May 13, 6 p.m. to May 14, 1 a.m.


The Great Faith
A novel by Jose Aguilar
(Quezon City: Pantas Publishing Inc., 2020)
Book Review
Paulino Lim Jr.
Emeritus Professor of English
California State University, Long Beach, USA


For anyone who wants to understand what it means to be a Filipino, a good place to start is Jose V. Aguilar’s engrossing historical novel The Great Faith, First published over 70 years ago, the novel is about “the Japanese occupation of the Philippines.”

The shadow of Bannon in Biden's anti-China strategy
Bobby M. Tuazon
Posted by CenPEG, 26 Oct. 2021

Steve Bannon (left) and Donald Trump, January 2020. Getty photo

The U.S. House of Representatives' recent vote to hold Steve Bannon, former President Donald Trump's chief strategist and adviser, has reopened a can of worms regarding his key role in anti-China policies that have persisted under Joe Biden.

Opinion 10:26, 28-Sep-2021
Biden's 'Pivot to Asia' at a dead end
Bobby M. Tuazon CGTN
Posted by CenPEG 03 Oct. 2021

Nuclear-powered submarine / Photo: The Australian

Biden's attempt to win over ASEAN to its side against China is doomed to fail. Not only is China the region's major trading partner, but the economic future of the ASEAN is tied to a harmonious relationship with the Asian giant.

Is the US aching for a war with China over Taiwan?
PUBLISHed by rappler SEPT. 22, 2021
Posted by CenPEG, 02 Oct. 2021

Photo by socialistalternative.org

Tracking geopolitics in the Taiwan Strait shows a looming confrontation between the US and China over Taiwan. And the US has something to do with it.

Dollars for America's war machine, human losses

Bobby M. Tuazon CGTN Opinion
Published by CGTN 13 Sept. 2021
Posted by CenPEG 20 Sept. 2021


In the long haul, U.S. military adventurism fueled by the MICC has limits. Given the overstretched military presence of the U.S. with some 700 military bases and the debacles that accentuate military failures, it will not be long before American military power will fall just like old empires.

Learning from an awakened dragon
Roland G. Simbulan - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / July 21, 2021
Posted by CenPEG / Sept. 03, 2021

China’s core leader Xi Jinping in a talk with rural villagers. CGTN Photo

Probably the first great lesson we can learn from China is its poverty eradication program, which, according to the IMF-WB and the UNDP, is “the most successful anti- poverty program in the world.” It has uplifted more than 800 million people to middle-class status in just a matter of four decades.

War-torn Afghanistan’s future in the hands of the Taliban
Analysis by Bobby M. Tuazon
Rappler, 01 Sept. 2021
Posted by CenPEG 02 Sept. 2021

TALIBAN_supreme_leaderMiddle Photo: Taliban Supreme Leader Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, a senior religious cleric

The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan is a reality that the world should live with. The whole of Afghanistan should be given the chance to live in peace and to decide their own destiny without foreign intervention.


With Afghan debacle, will allies trust the US?

Bobby M. Tuazon
Posted by CenPEG, 29 Aug. 2021

Taliban leaders at a press conference in Kabul, August 15, 2021.    Photo: Mother Jones

Now in control, the Taliban led by Haibatullah Akhundzada, a 60-year-old Islamic legal scholar, faces the daunting task of establishing their legitimacy, consolidating their power, and gaining international recognition.


Ni Roland G. Simbulan
Posted by CenPEG, 06 August 2021


Marami na tayong aral sa ating espesyal na relasyon sa Amerika na nagpahina lamang sa ating kakayahan na ipagtanggol ang sariling teritoryo at karagatan sa West
Philippine Sea dahil sobra ang pagkasandal sa U.S. 7th Fleet.

Afghanistan, where war knows no end

Bobby M. Tuazon
Posted by CenPEG, 28 July 2021

Photo by DailyTimes.com

If there’s any lesson Philippine authorities can learn from the Afghan war it is that military force won’t work. With the US achieving nothing after 20 years of war in Afghanistan, the Philippine government should now realize that US presence in the region serves only American interests.


Delia D. Aguilar
Posted by CenPEG May 27, 2021

Photos courtesy of aaww.org and paloaltoonline.com

It's going to be a long, hard haul, no doubt about it. Hopefully a mass social movement will be formed that acknowledges the limitations of the previous decade's ad hoc, spontaneous forms of mobilization and will find ways to solidify and sustain itself by securing support from similarly located populations.

VFA is for keeps
Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 04:04 AM
April 24, 2021
Posted by CenPEG, April 25, 2021

Rising tensions in South China Sea
Rising tensions in South China Sea (Photo: cfr.org)

The country is vulnerable to being dragged into a shooting war between the two powers in case of accidents or extreme provocations in the SCS. By then, it will be too late to call for a VFA review.

For a nuclear weapons-free planet
Roland G. Simbulan - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:02 AM
February 06, 2021
Posted by CenPEG / April 25, 2021

Southeast Asia-Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone launching Dec. 12, 1987

The TPNW is compatible with the Philippines’ commitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We must push for the ratification by the Philippine Senate of the TPNW, a constitutional process that will seal our international commitment.

Let’s celebrate resistance, not empire
Roland G. Simbulan - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / April 12, 2021 Posted by CenPEG, April 18, 2021

battle of mactan
Battle of Mactan. Photo from Annoyz View

As a nation, we can celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Mactan as a testimony to our ancestors who fought back magnificently against the empire, from Lapulapu.


The hidden agenda behind Biden’s first foreign policy speech

Bobby M. Tuazon
Posted by CenPEG
22 Feb. 2021

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping gestures to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden during a welcome ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Aug. 18, 2011. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Joe Biden, on February 7, iterated that his administration anticipates “extreme competition” but “no conflict” with China. How conflict with China can be avoided under an environment of “extreme competition” that may spawn miscalculations and provocations precisely creates the uncertainties and intractability of Biden’s foreign policy on Beijing. Ambiguity has no place in diplomacy and makes any negotiation fractious.

Can US-China relations 'reset' in the Biden era?
Bobby M. Tuazon | chinadaily.com.cn | 01 February 2021
Posted by CenPEG, 13 February 2021

China US flags.
The US should begin to accept that world systems change, old powers fade and new major countries rise. With eyes open, this can potentially be the first step toward resetting China-US relations. Biden and his policymakers need to welcome Beijing's overtures toward rebuilding the two countries' relations informed by mutual respect, non-interference and cooperation.


Biden: Reclaiming US credibility
Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet
January 18, 2021
Posted by CenPEG Jan. 18, 2021

Joe Biden
Photo: The New Republic

Philippine-US relations under the new Biden presidency will be shaped by America’s foreign policy on China in East Asia, most especially the South China Sea issue. Unlike the hawkish Trump administration, moderation and predictability may define Biden’s foreign policy on Beijing. But this doesn’t mean it will be less tough on issues that Washington sees as a threat to US primacy, or that it will allow China to have free rein.

Prospect for US-Philippine Relations: US-Biden vs China-Duterte?

Featuring an Interview with Bill Fletcher
E. San Juan, Jr.

Amid the horrendous pandemic ravaging of the globalized political-economy of Europe and North America, particularly the imperial U.S. heartland with close to half-a-million deaths, peripheral nations remain negligible. The neoliberal consensus has collapsed, inaugurating a new era of trade wars and ecological disasters. Such “shithole” countries like the Philippines, to use President Trump’s rubric, rarely enter public attention.

(Editor’s Note below)

Biden eyes a tougher regional presence
Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / October 18, 2020
Posted by CenPEG Oct. 21, 2020

Fil-Am early voter in US
Fil-Am early voter in US

In the Philippines, Biden’s foreign policy plan intersects with political forces, including defense and foreign affairs honchos, who want defense ties with the United States back on track as a deterrent to China.

Delia D. Aguilar & E. San Juan, Jr.
Posted by CenPEG.org
07 October 2020

The Philippines is still a U.S. dependency, whatever claims may be made about Filipino adobo, Miss Universe this and that, growing incomes of Filipino-Americans, increasing popularity of Filipino films, singers, etc. We are one of Trump’s “shitholes,” let us not demur, whose chief export and dollar-earners are Overseas Filipino Workers around the planet.


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.


Where do we go from here?

PART 2: CENPEG's 13th State of the Presidency 2021 (post-SONA)
Time: Jul 27, 2021 03:00 PM Quezon City
Speakers: Atty. Krissy Conti (Public Interest Law Center & National Union of People's Lawyers), on Human Rights and Anti-Terrorism; Journalist Inday Espina-Varona (former president, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines), on The State of the Media under Duterte; and Prof. Roland G. Simbulan (CenPEG vice-chair and former Faculty Regent, UP) on Duterte's foreign policy

PART 1: 13th State of the Presidency(SOP)

SOP 2021 - FB

Philippine Anti-Terrorism Law: Critical Reflections

Posted by CenPEG
03 April 2021

Lamchek, Colmenares and TemprosaLamchek, Colmenares and Temprosa

Human rights, while being recognized, is not comprehensively underscored in the global discourse. Firmly distinguished from non-state sponsored terrorism, state violence is always justified in the name of state security.

Watch/Join CenPEG's virtual forum
on March 20, 2021, 3-5p.m.

“International Counterterrorism Law and the Challenge to the Revised Philippine Anti-Terrorism Law: Critical Reflections”

March 20 Forum

A Sense of Nationhood and Philippine Sovereignty
CenPEG.org, 06 October 2020

A Sense of Nationhood and Philippine Sovereignty

The book, A Sense of Nationhood: The Bobby Tañada Reader, was launched in a webinar on Oct. 1, 2020. The launching of the book, the latest published by the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG), highlighted a virtual forum on Philippine national sovereignty.

Kurit Aki child artists hold workshop on Sept. 26


Paint brushes and acrylic paint were the media used by children as they showed their talents in visualizing their thoughts on the Covid-19 pandemic and how they should respond. Wearing face masks and face shields while maintaining physical distancing, 100 children from 10 teams participated in the Kurit Aki virtual workshop for 3 hours held on Sept. 26, 2020.

KURIT AKI DRY RUN by remote learning
September 16, 2020

kurit aki

The Kurit Aki project team held a dry run of its coming workshop on Sept. 16, 2020 from 9 a.m. – 12 noon using Zoom remote teaching. Teams of Kurit Aki children from 13 barangays in the towns of Canaman, Naga, Pasacao, Bula, Ocampo, Tigaon, and Minalabac participated.


Duterte’s termination of the VFA: New strategic moves?

“Facts show that, under the right conditions, China is capable of economic or territorial concessions in exchange for greater security. The case of the protracted negotiations over the Sino-Russia border and the latest trade war deal with the US are good examples.”

March 5, 2020

Eric Baculinao in Beijing

> Duterte’s termination of the VFA: New strategic moves?

2 CenPEG Fellows receive distinguished awards this year
Sept. 30, 2019

rivera-ilagan(Left)Boni Ilagan: Gawad Plaridel 2019; (Right)Rivera: UPAA awardee for democratization and governance

Better Active Today than Radioactive Tomorrow: Lessons from the Anti-BNPP Struggle in the Philippines
Roland G. Simbulan

Simbulan delivers his plenary paper at Taiwan No Nukes conference

3 Years of Authoritarian Rule under Duterte: An Alternative Perspective
CenPEG’s 11th State of the Presidency (SOP)
CenPEG News
July 26, 2019

(L-R) Nelson Celis, Temario C. Rivera, Joseph Anthony Lim (holding mike), and moderator Hector Barrios. CenPEG photo

Journalist killings, harassments, and intimidation in the guise of libel cases marked the state of the Philippine press in the first three years of the Duterte presidency.

Recto Bank fishing incident tackled at Saturday press forum
CenPEG June 18, 2019

The June 9 fishing incident at the Recto Bank in South China involving a Filipino fishing boat and a Chinese vessel was the centerpiece issue during the Saturday press forum at Annabel’s, Quezon City.

The Continuing Vulnerabilities of the Comelec-Smartmatic Automated Election System

May 8, 2019, 10 a.m. – 12 noon Consunji Room, 2nd Flr., Ang Bahay ng Alumni Magsaysay Avenue, UP Diliman, Quezon City

International conference on China’s ties with neighboring countries hosted by Jinan U
Posted Jan. 30, 2019

Two Fellows from the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) recently were session speakers at the international symposium on “China and its Neighboring Countries: Cooperation, Win-win and Sharing,” hosted by the Jinan University’s School of International Studies and Academy of Overseas Chinese Studies in Guangzhou, China.

CenPEG launches 15th book
Probing Duterte’s Foreign Policy in the New Regional Order

Issue Analysis and Commentary


A true national emergency bill
Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / May 09, 2020
Posted by CenPEG

In the last two years of President Duterte, policymaking should pivot to a reform track. Such policy shift should consider enhancing the country’s public health care system and nurturing health professionals—a priority long ignored by politics-ridden lawmaking.

Photo from foreignpolicy.com


Duterte’s pivot to Russia
Bobby M. Tuazon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Posted by CenPEG, February 26, 2020

Photo_by_SCMPPhoto by SCMP

Is President Duterte flashing a pivot to Russia by terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States? Is this the promise he made in 2016 to break away from America and form an “alliance” with China and Russia?


US-PH ties rock-solid despite China
By: Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / August 01, 2019
Posted by CenPEG
Aug. 2, 2019

PHOTO-Asia-TimesPhoto by Asia Times

Despite President Duterte’s “pivot to China,” the country’s alliance with the United States is not only solid but is on the upturn. Manila and Beijing may claim a “comprehensive strategic partnership,” but it cannot match the ironclad ties the Philippines has with its former colonial master.


End perpetual power
By: Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / July 11, 2019
Posted by CenPEG July 11, 2019

The chronic power monopoly by the elite suggests that the people’s fair representation in government that enables the country’s claimed democracy to work is nil.

DUTERTESTHE DUTERTES: All in the family. Photo from PEP.ph


The real transition for the Bangsamoro
Bobby M. Tuazon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 08, 2019
Posted by CenPEG March 11, 2019

The Bangsamoro leadership needs a reform vision, and must be ready to deal with local oligarchs and corporate landholders. This is the acid test for the new Bangsamoro leadership.


Lorenzana’s wishful thinking
Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / January 12, 2019
Posted by CenPEG January 17, 2019


New risks loom in South China Sea


Is there a vote for federalism?


Kim’s pivot to economy


Make or break for the Trump-Kim summit

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Center for People Empowewrment in Governance (CenPEG), Philippines. All rights reserved 2021