Is there prospect for the hybrid election system (HES)?
Bobby M. Tuazon
CenPEG / 17 Nov. 2022

Twelve years after CenPEG called for electoral reforms including replacing the Smartmatic-outsourced Automated Election System (AES) with a Filipino-designed hybrid system, the poll body Commission on Elections (Comelec) finally convened a forum on Nov. 16 to tackle the urgency of instituting electoral changes.

MOA signing
Comelec chairman Garcia (extreme left); 3rd to 5th Natalie Pulvinar, Hector Barrios, and Commissioner Celis

Rightsizing and reengineering bureaucracy

Nelson Celis / The Manila Times column / August 10, 2022
Posted by CenPEG, 16 August 2022


The rightsizing and reengineering of the bureaucracy in the DICT would be a good model for other government agencies with similar cases by obliterating services and processes due to usage of obsolete technology or irrelevant procedures through the merger of redundant business processes.

(NOTE: CenPEG Fellow and long-time AES Watch spokesperson, Nelson J. Celis, has been recently appointed as the new commissioner of the Commission on Elections.)

The May 2022 Elections and the Marcos Restoration: Looking Back and Beyond

Posted by CenPEG.org
22 June 2022

The new administration of Marcos, Jr. and Sara Duterte faces a daunting set of governance challenges rooted in festering structural and institutional constraints amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and rapid changes in the regional and global environment.

Voters wait for their turn to vote (Courtesy: AlJazeera)

Poll automation a sinking ship; time to use a hybrid system
Posted by CenPEG / 21 May 2022

Comelec’s AES – outsourced from foreign company Smartmatic since 2010 – is now a sinking ship that should be replaced immediately by a more reliable election system.

FIT4E convened by CenPEG in 2011 proposed alternative voting system.

Voters go to the polls on May 9

Center for People Empowerment in Governance
April 2022 / Public Edition

If the rebranding stories are true, many of the votes that could go to Marcos, Jr. on May 9 can be said to be the result of social media manipulation.

Cambridge Analytica
Cambridge Analytica

Disqualification cases roil Marcos camp; biggest Left political bloc backs Robredo-Pangilinan team

Posted by CenPEG
14 February 2022


Whatever their final outcomes in the Comelec, these legal cases will almost certainly be appealed to the Supreme Court and its consequences for the entire presidential race are immense.

A Race for Power of Political Dynasties
Bobby M. Tuazon
Posted 26 Jan. 2022

The May 2022 elections will further entrench the country’s ruling political dynasties while the Filipino people will continue to be marginalized from exercising their democratic rights to governance. Once again, we will see familiar faces and the same political dynasties not only in Malacañang but also in Congress and the provinces.

ntm-ntdPhoto by The Atlantic

Clash of political dynasties
Accents May 2022 elections

November 2021 Monthly Political Analysis
Posted 17 Dec. 2021, CenPEG

The May 2022 presidential race is turning out to be a repeat of previous elections – a feud among the country’s dominant political dynasties. The jockeying for power has resulted in the split of the ruling political party, political realignments, and moves by one clique that are apparently meant to mislead rivals. In the end, these dynastic conflicts leave many voters puzzled and others, outraged.

tribune.net photo
Photo: Tribune.net

On proclaiming a winning candidate
Nelson Celis, Manila Times, Dec. 15, 2021
Posted by CenPEG 17 Dec. 2021

The proclamation of a winning candidate should be based on the electronically transmitted and digitally signed election results.
smartmatic machinesSmartmatic machines

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.


What are geopolitical implications of U.S. defense chief's visit to the Philippines?
Bobby M. Tuazon
Reposted by CenPEG / 03 February 2023

Austin (left) is welcomed by Marcos, Jr. at Malacanang. Photo by SunStar

The Marcos government's deepening defense ties with the U.S. with all its strategic goals against China would risk damaging relations with Beijing, not to mention mutual agreements on economic cooperation and assistance.

Configuring Philippines-China ties under Marcos, Jr.; Philippine Development Plan and controversial funds
December 2022 Monthly Political Analysis
Posted 13 January 2023

Universal Periodic Review at the UN headquarters in Geneva Philstar.com

For decades, the Philippine government’s human rights record has come under close scrutiny by the UN and other rights watchdogs over its failure to end extrajudicial killings victimizing social activists as well as drug suspects.

Posted by CenPEG / 08 November 2022

Because of the institutional and structural fault lines comprehensive economic and political reforms remain unattainable. Unless these systemic problems are effectively addressed, it is unlikely that the six-year presidential term of Marcos, Jr. could usher in and sustain meaningful reforms.

Multidimensional Poverty Index

Marcos, Jr. pivots to the US; faces tough economic challenges

Monthly Political Analysis / September 2022
Posted 28 Oct. 2022

In just two months, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. took a reverse gear in foreign policy from pledging to promote an “independent foreign policy” in July to a pivot shift to the United States.

Marcos, Jr. meets Biden (NBC News)


Marcos, Jr. in cryptic ties with China
as he commits to U.S. defense alliance

Posted by CenPEG
14 September 2022

Marcos, Jr. (left) and US State Secretary Antony Blinken (right). Photo courtesy Philippine Star

A tentative analysis of the major challenges confronting the Marcos, Jr. government shows that such challenges are not only deep-going but also institutional with their roots traceable not only to the first 70 years of the post-independence present republic but to the enduring semi-feudal and semi-colonial foundations of the country’s political system that have persisted for centuries.

Philippines - a geostrategic battleground?

Roland G. Simbulan
Philippine Daily Inquirer / August 24, 2022
Posted by CenPEG 27 August 2022

We are a hairbreadth away from a miscalculation of grave consequences that threaten human existence.


The other side of Shinzo Abe: historical revisionism, denial of war crimes

Roland Simbulan
Philippine Daily Inquirer / July 26, 2022
Posted by CenPEG / 21 August 2022

Abe seconds before his assassination. (Photo: NPR)
Abe seconds before his assassination. (Photo: NPR)

Abe is credited for his Indo-Pacific strategy with the United States, Australia, and India, which committed Japan to a more aggressive role in the united front against China. The irony of it all is that, even though he tried to remilitarize Japanese foreign policy, his career as a modern leader of Japan was ended by an ex-member of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force.

Indonesian leader's China visit: Elevating bilateral relations

Bobby M. Tuazon
CGTN 28 July 2022
Posted by CenPEG, 29 July 2022

China Indonesia ties

Like Quad, the AUKUS trajectory is aimed at China – which American President Joe Biden has tagged as a "global security threat" – and is a threat as well to Indonesia and other major countries in the region whose bilateral and multilateral relations with China are anchored on economic growth and peaceful cooperation.

Rethinking ASEAN ties with U.S., signs of another Cold War may be in the air
Bobby M. Tuazon CGTN
Posted by CenPEG, 05 April 2022

Joe Biden; UK, US & Australia flags

As in the rest of the world, the Southeast Asian region will see more of this in the years ahead. The world has become more complex, and signs of another Cold War are in the air.

Maelstrom Over the Killing Fields: Interventions in the Project of National-Democratic Liberation
A Book Review by Paul Gabriel L. Cosme, Macalester College

Filipinos, especially intellectuals and compatriots, may find San Juan’s work refreshing, challenging, and seriously provocative. But above all, Maelstrom strongly reminds us of the complicated yet rich history of struggles over the making of the Filipino nation and its psyche.

book cover

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.


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.


CenPEG’s 16th book launched
Posted by CenPEG, 24 Oct. 2022

Temario C. RiveraCo-editor Temario Rivera introduces the book

CenPEG’s 16th book, The Marcos Restoration: The CenPEG Papers on Election 2022, had its public launch on Oct. 19, at the Oblation Room, University Hotel, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.


The CenPEG Papers on Election 2022

October 19, 2022
University Hotel, Guerero St., cor Aglipay, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City


Sisa’s Vengeance: Jose Rizal’s Sexual Politics & Cultural Revolution
By E. San Juan, Jr.
Quezon City: Vibal Foundation, 2021

Book Review by Jeffrey Arellano Cabusao
Posted by CenPEG, 19 Sept. 2022

book cover design

Moving beyond the fetishism of hero worship, Sisa’s Vengeance gives us the tools to read like Rizal—to comprehend the complex trajectory of Filipino becoming in ways that connect us to our rich history while simultaneously unleashing our collective potential to determine our future.

Pandesal Forum
August 10, 2022

Taiwan Problem: Analyzing China Response, Impact on Philippines of this Crisis

Nancy Pelosi’s history of belligerency on Beijing

Bobby M. Tuazon
Posted by CenPEG / 03 August 2022

PELOSIUS House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (NDTV.com)

If it happens, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s preconceived visit as head of a congressional delegation to Taipei is the latest stroke in America’s camouflaged strategy of supporting Taiwan’s independence.

14th State of the Presidency
The Marcos, Jr. Presidency: Key Challenges from the People's Perspective


Pandesal Forum, May 6, 2022


Pandesal Forum, April 22, 2022
Can we trust the Smartmatic AES system on May 9? PANDESAL FORUM


Pandesal Forum, March 25, 2022
THE PARTLIST SYSTEM TODAY: A social justice tool lost; prospects of reform


A quest for peace in Europe
Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / March 16, 2022
Posted by CenPEG / March 16, 2022

The proposed new European security system needs a space in the diplomatic table to allow a peaceful solution to conflicts in Ukraine and elsewhere. It will create a security balance which means a freeze if not a complete halt to Nato expansion.


The Russians are coming!
FEB 23, 2022 / Rappler
Posted by CenPEG, 01 March 2022

In war, truth is the first victim. Disinformation spreads false narratives – and war hysterias.

Ukraine-mapMap showing Russian troops’ intervention Source: iNews

Pandesal Forum, February 25, 2022
Social MEdia: The battle ground for the May 9 Election?

Social MEdia: The battle ground for the May 9 Election?

Pandesal Forum, January 25, 2022


Pandesal Forum w/ Prof Bobby Tuazon

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.

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

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