January 31, 2023

Congratulations to Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong for a well-deserved second term.
Now that the Covid-19 pandemic threat has become manageable, Magalong can now focus more on the city’s other major concerns which are contained in his 15-point program.
With a cooperative city council members chaired by Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan and some councilors that he carried with him to victory, Magalong will surely get the council’s support on his agenda.
It will be interesting, though, to observe the moves of the councilors who won under the ticket of the other party.
But considering that the other parties seem not to have a program of government to pursue, expect them to just be reactionaries to any move of the mayor.
In the coming months, and considering that the next local elections will just be three years away, expect some members of the city council and maybe even the congressman to start positioning themselves for the chief executive post anticipating possible move of Magalong to a national post.
Remember that Magalong wanted to be a one-term mayor at the start of his political career. We were told that it was Sen. Ping Lacson who encouraged him to run for mayor, as a prelude to Sen. Ping Lacson’s intention to run for president.
Indeed, Lacson ran but lost in the last political exercise. Oh, well, whatever, that is now behind us.


So, Vice President Leni Robredo lost. It is now time to move on and we can only hope and pray for the success of the incoming administration to bring our country out of misery and sorrow.
May God grant the new leaders the wisdom to govern wisely. After all, it is our country’s and our children’s future at stake.
The formidable task of choosing who shall sit in the Cabinet will spell the President’s brand of leadership.
He needs to orchestrate a symphony of governance that must soothe and heal the already deeply wounded Filipino soul and inspire adivided people to tread a common path towards a better life especially for the poor, the oppressed, and disadvantaged countrymen.
To do so, he must choose from among the thousands, if not millions of talented, competent, and honest Filipinos, regardless of their political leanings or beliefs, who shall team up with him and implement government policies.
To be sure, he must also harness the expertise of those in the opposition such that only the best of the best with impeccable credentials must be appointed.
In other words, patronage politics and cronyism must be eliminated. This formidable task becomes doubly challenging because of the nation’s unsettling economy that is burdened with trillions of dollars in debt, rising prices of food, basic commodities, unemployment, corruption, drugs abuse, media disinformation, so on and so forth.
We should pray to God that we shall not be visited in the coming months with devastating natural calamities. We could just imagine what life will be if another virus of pandemic proportion will again visit humanity.
So far, only two Cabinet positions have takers – the Department of Education and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
The intended appointees to newly-created Department of Migrant Workers and the Department of Labor and Employment were also sounded out. We expect to read on media other possible nominees. Until we see the complete list of Cabinet secretaries, we shall reserve comment on the cabinet.


The Commission on Elections-dismissed disqualification case against presumptive President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. finally reached the Supreme Court and it bears following up if only to enrich one’s understanding of electoral process and jurisprudence.
The question is: in the event that Marcos Jr. is disqualified, who will assume the presidency – Sara Duterte or Robredo?
Note that the Senate Electoral Tribunal is scheduled to proclaim the winners of the last presidential elections by the end of this month. But the SC en banc will not meet until June 14 and by then the Senate Electoral Tribunal would have proclaimed Marcos Jr. and Duterte as president and vice president, respectively.
Election law experts say that time would not be an issue because the SC could still rule beyond the proclamation.
More on this next time. (DEL CLARAVALL)

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