Philippines Election Journal

Long term monitoring of Philippine elections development.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monitoring what people say about 2013 Senator candidates

One tool I started using in the last elections was Netvibes. Created a dashboard then tracking what people say about various presidential candidates.
Two weeks ago, I updated the tool and began monitoring the tweets citing various Senator candidates for the 2013 elections. Will gradually set up independent tracking pages for each of them as the days go by.

However, monitoring what is being said today on these political personalities, I can't help but notice the following:

  1. Most tweets about Chiz Escudero were all about sightings of him being with Heart Evangelista
  2. Loren Legarda tweets were mostly sound bites from statements she has issued.
  3. Alan Cayetano and Cynthia Villar are being attacked on their perspective on political dynasties. But actually, they are not alone with that one. If I recall correctly, even Chiz Escudero, Nancy Binay, Bam Aquino, Jack Enrile, and Sonny Angara sees nothing wrong with it.
  4. Tweets about Jamby Madrigal includes funny side comments about what she says and does. Am not sure if she is being taken seriously at all.
  5. Grace Poe is benefitting from the loving support of Susan Roces. I guess her recent stint as MTRCB head gave her some distinct positive relationship with television networks.
  6. Nancy Binay and Bam Aquino are seen as coming out of nowhere political candidates. I guess being viewed in the same perspective as Jack Enrile.
  7. With 2 Magsaysay running as Senators, Jun and Mitos, I wonder how will they be written in the ballot. Also, it seems Mitos is more active in campaigning and raised eyebrows with her "best congresswoman" bus advertisement. 
  8. There are also candidates quiet at this time which results to hardly any mention of them in Twitter. This includes Jun Magsaysay and Antonio Trillianes.
With the individual dashboard set-up, I am sure there is more to be seen and shall update this post once they are up for proper linking and reference to parties interested in monitoring these candidates.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Will you vote for Senator Chiz Escudero for a 2nd term?

Google search results for Chiz Escudero
Last February 13, 2007, I was able to witness the online launch of Senator Chiz Escudero bid for the Senate in a Yehey chat session. Was excited then especially when my 2 questions were approved by the moderators.

Six years later, it is the election season again. Not surprisingly, Senator Chiz Escudero is on the top spot in surveys. And so I decided to kick off the reactivation of this blog with my reflection on Chiz.

One of the 2 questions I asked then is the primary legislation that he will work on. Of course, Senators file a lot of bills. But usually, during the 6-year stint, they will be able to work on one or two they will author and see it passed until the end. His answer was "guarantee accessibility of education to all Filipinos up to college and not only up to high school."

Am not sure whether he was able to achieve that.

To learn about what he has done, I ran a Google search and made the following observations:

Website has a virus
My first stop was his website (I won't link to it till am sure it doesn't have a virus anymore) but got immediately redirected to an error Bing page and my Sophos anti-virus giving a warning that it has downloaded a virus (that needs to be cleaned up manually). Fortunately, it is a Windows virus and am on Mac. Still figuring on how to find it - for it doesn't appear in normal file search.

Senate and Wikipedia page not updated
With the website down, I had to look for other resources online. His Senate and Wikipedia page doesn't have listing of bills he led, pushed for in the Senate, and passed in the last 6 years.

I hope Chiz can make time to have them updated for not being so gives the impression that he hasn't pushed for a single bill that he authored, presented in the plenary, and that became a law as a Senator.

The Heart Evangelista factor
I can't help but notice that Heart Evangelista stories shares the same page 1 exposure when you search for Chiz Escudero. Although some have a "kilig" factor on this one but its timing can also be perceived as a campaign gimmick.

But of course, it will be unfair to dismiss that the couple is not sincere with each other. Remember when Mar Roxas declared his love for Korina Sanchez? There was a lot of "kilig" factor to that one too but when they took their relationship to marriage at campaign time, it was seen to be politically motivated - which is also unfair for the couple.

Some may see the Chiz-Heart buzz as a strategy to take the focus away on negative issues that hounded the Senator in the past weeks such as the quality of work he has done as a legislator. I guess when you set up yourself differently - like someone to be relied upon to push for what the people needs and communicate that very well whenever he gets interviewed or gives a talk - legislation lapses doesn't sink in that easily especially when actions contradict each other.

Christine Elizabeth Flores
Of course, stories about him and ex-wife Christine still being "friends" appeared prominently too on search engine results. Although when you start dating someone in showbiz, your past life also becomes showbiz. Questions will be asked on the separation reasons. It is likely that both of them will have to answer that someday or let the rumor mill spread the word on the reasons they know about.

Black propaganda target?
Some note that Chiz will be a popular target for black propaganda. Although, I think even if he is called by so many names - worst I saw so far is a traitor, I doubt it will affect his chances of winning.

Activity and commitment

One question asked in the 2007 chat was, "Will he function less after being elected (like what most politicians have been)"

Chiz answered then saying something like "hopes his track record can speak for his activity and commitment after being elected."

Will you vote for Senator Chiz Escudero for a 2nd term?
So will I vote for Senator Chiz Escudero as a Senator for another term? Not sure yet. I guess till I know more about the past 6 years, I can't say for now. Unless of course I will just be contented with the impression - that he is a nice guy.

(Will be doing a follow-up post and feature other candidates too. Your insight and suggestions will be very much appreciated.)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Join Automated Elections 101: A Step-by-Step Guide Webinar on May 7

Everyone is invited to join this free webinar on Automated Elections 101: A Step-by-Step Guide this May 7, 2010 from 7 pm to 9 pm.

This is a two (2) hour discussion of the different phases of the automated elections.

Our resource persons are Atty. Milabel R. Mujer and Atty. Yvette P. Chua. They are among the consultants of the University of the Philippines Institute of Government and Law Reform (IGLR) who worked on the project to develop a Handbook on Automated Elections, Canvassing and General Election Monitoring. The project seeks to cement a solid understanding of election rules and regulations, particularly those covering automated elections.

Atty. Chua is presently connected with a Makati law firm, while Atty. Mujer is connected with a foreign asset-based lending firm. They both graduated in 2005 from the University of the Philippines College of Law.

Sign-up now!

For first time attendees, here is what to expect once you are logged on to the webinar on May 7.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Noy Watch launched to track election anomalies

Just got a heads-up that, the official website of presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino, has launched Noy Watch - an interactive platform to help interested parties track election anomalies as they unfold in and around the Philippines. It is a collaborative citizen-driven monitoring for the Philippine 2010 election. The map is meant to give a general idea of where the incidents are occuring.

It uses the Ushahidi Engine - a platform that allows anyone to gather distributed data via SMS, email or web and visualize it on a map or timeline. The goal of the application is to create the simplest way of aggregating information from the public for use in crisis response.

I first heard about the engine when I saw the above video last year that co-founder Erik Hersman presented. Impressive on how the platform was also used in Vote Report India that not only covers anomalies but also what went well.

What I like (plus) about the Noy Watch effort are as follows:

  • Allow supporters to have a control center for reporting anomalies found in the elections during the campaign period, election day, and vote counting.
  • Creates a spirit of transparency and watchfulness as supporters are empowered with this platform.
What I find to be challenging (minus) are:
  • The non-verified reports not having the appropriate legend. I think it should have a category of its own. Otherwise, the initiative can be accused of rumor mongering if it won't have proper classification for unverified reports.
  • Who will perform the verification? What is the standard process of verification?
What I find to be interesting are:
  • If the site will receive a report citing a Noynoy camp anomaly, will it be published?
  • If site can also be used to reflect election precints in the country where supporters lodge their observations or findings directly.
I'm sure that there will be more efforts like this in the future. Moreso 3rd party similar sites, perhaps own by a news or monitoring network, to encourage reporting from everyone interested about the elections.

(P.S. If you have time, I hope you can join the Map Your Election Precint Contest)