Think Pieces

Browse Think Pieces and other opinion articles published on G-Watch as well as other websites. 

1 September 2013
What to watch in the 2014 reformed pork

Here are five areas to watch in the new set-up to make the reformed pork less fatty

25 August 2013
Get a Grip to Seize this Moment: Congress is the Battlefield

A fight as big as bringing down the pork barrel SYSTEM will take a long time. We want to bring back the integrity of our political system. End the culture of "suhulan." Restore the effective checks-and-balance relationship between the executive and legislature. This will take a long time.

So as not to get lost in the fight and be of disservice to our cause, we need to start somewhere where there is opening. We have to understand the institutional context of the country and the power dynamics to identify that opening.

25 August 2013
Dear good and honest Congressperson

'I enjoin others to try to fill-up the blank below and send the letter to good and honest Congresspersons you know too'

23 August 2013
Come As You Are: In Defense of Colors and Flags

One of the reasons the Pork exists is because it filled-in the gap of our maldeveloped/ underdeveloped party system, which is supposed to be the mechanism that facilitates the relationship between the executive and the legislature. And party system, in simplest term, refers to how you organize political partisan affiliations. 

There is a fundamental problem if we are organizing a rally against a system that is perpetuated because of the underdevelopment or maldevelopment of the system for partisan politics if we are organizing it in a way that discredits or neutralizes the latter. We are contributing to a mindset in our political culture that is keeping us from developing our party system, key in making pork irrelevant or at least not the sole determing factor in the relationship between the executive and the legislature.

21 August 2013
5 reasons pork perpetuates corruption

The pork barrel is a scam fueling a patronage-based political culture and perverting the political system

17 May 2013
Ateneo FactCheck 2013/ PODER Rapid Assessment of the 2013 Elections

While generally peaceful and credible, there are setbacks in the conduct of the 2013 elections that require attention. 

  • Voters turnout. Voters turnout is 70%, lower than in 2010 (76%) and even in 2007 mid-term elections (75%). There are 15.6M registered voters that did not vote. 12.3M in 2010 and 11.2M in 2007.
  • Use of PCOS. 200 PCOS are defective. This is less than 1% of the total 78,000 PCOS machines.
  • ERV: generally peaceful. 51 killed, 65 wounded (during election period). In 2010, 54 killed and 74 wounded. In 2007, 56 killed, 69 wounded. But the difference in figure is minimal. Still, violence was part of the elections. 
  • Voters list. Not much of a problem. Unlike in the past elections, disenfranchisement was not a major challenge this elections.
  • Canvassing - This is the major setback in the 2013 elections. 70% completed in 48 hours. Far below than in 2010 election: 78.55% in 11 hours. 

16 May 2013
Coalition of Convenience

The weakness of parties vis-à-vis personalities and families has a lot of ill-effects on democracy. One of the more serious problems it causes has something to do with making accountability in the exercise of power precarious and extremely difficult. Personalities and families operate in private spaces that are away from the public eye, hence are protected from public scrutiny or any accountability checks. Abuse of power and sheer bad, ill-informed decisions of politicians involving matters of national importance are at the heart of bad governance in the country, which makes accountability one of the biggest pre-requisites of governance and political reform.

7 March 2013
Traversing the Historical Continuum of Reform, Institutionalizing the Politics of the Reform Process

Institutions matter and institutionalizing this reform process including the political dimension of it must be attended to so that it becomes a norm and its momentum cannot easily be subverted. Patronage politics supported and fed by political elites is an all-enduring institution in the country. For it to be subverted and replaced by modern and empowering institutions, the reform process and its constituency must also take the form of institutions--repeated pattern of behavior with predictable results that is accountable and efficient. Working towards party building and party system development that is democratizing must be taken up as a critcal challenge to the reform constituencies and champions.

27 September 2012
Jesse Robredo’s lessons for the Left

The Robredo case underscores one critical point for the Left: the new Left is out there. The current Left can either recognize this and do something about it, or once again be left out in the emerging politics of change.

29 August 2012
To Account a Life For Others

But more than losing, we have gained much through his life and through his death. A loss as big as Jesse Robredo involving a person that has touched so many lives means God is sending messages wholesale. There is a common message for all, for groups, for collectives, but there is also a unique message for every individual who would be blessed to find the message especially for them. This big a loss will be big a gain if we discern in our hearts and soul the meaning of this loss in our individual and collective lives and the message He wants to tell us. That's one way this loss will serve the good for each of us and all. That's the way Sec. Jesse will be with us forever.