Saturday, July 31, 2010

My message to the team on the Senate Presidency race

July 25, 2010
Between 8:00AM-9:00AM
Through SMS


Today we announce our withdrawal from the SP race.

Thank you to all of you for your support and prayers. We stuck our necks out to try and help move our nation towards a new direction. Why? Because we must be willing to take risks. We must be willing to try and do things differently. We must be willing to be bold and daring for the cause of change. There are no guarantees. There is no such thing as a sure thing. What is essential is that we were courageous enough to try and do something different for our nation. If we fail to achieve what we set out to do then that comes with the struggle to effect change.

There will be defeats. There will be setbacks. The road to genuine change is never easy. We cannot be faulted for indifference or inaction or in being faint hearted in the face of the serious challenges facing our nation. What is essential is we were bold enough, daring enough, courageous enough to do battle for the sake of change and reforms.

In the quest for genuine change for our nation there is no such thing as failure, only delay. The struggle continues!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Official statement on my withdrawal from the Senate Presidency race

I realize today that there are political realities and developments that prevent us from securing the needed 13 votes resulting in a deadlock or stalemate.The inability of a majority in the Senate to unite behind one leader does not speak well of the Senate and the individual senators. Sa halip na pagkakaisa ay nagkakanya-kanya.

This does not serve the national interest. It is a disservice to our people who want to see in our leaders efforts at solving the country's many problems. Instead they see political maneuvering and posturing. Much as I would like to go down fighting, I realize that to continue with my bid would keep the Senate fragmented and disunited. The disunity must now end. I believe I can help make it happen by voluntarily stepping aside.

After prayer and reflection, consulting my family and our Senate allies I have decided to withdraw from the race in order to pave the way for the senators to choose another from our ranks who can unite us.

We urge our colleagues in the Senate to set aside our differences and unite. Our people in the last elections expressed in no uncertain terms their desire for genuine change. The first order of business for the Senate in order to do its job is to be able to achieve unity. With my withdrawal I am hopeful we can help make it happen.

It has been a very difficult experience for me and my family but If I had to do this all over again for the cause of genuine change and reforms for our nation I would. I would like to thank our people for their prayers and support. We fought a good fight.

Monday, July 5, 2010

10 Reasons Why There is Genuine Hope for the Philippines

Note: Last week's inaugural ceremonies marked the beginning of renewed hope for the country as we ushered in a legitimate President with a fresh and clear mandate from the People. I couldn't help but feel misty-eyed then as, together with my wife and three daughters, I witnessed the exit of a corrupt regime and the entry of a leader who carries on his able shoulders the hopes and dreams of our people. With our support, it is my fervent hope that President Aquino will be able to carry out the reforms that he had committed during the campaign, so that, together, we can bring our country closer to Developed Nation status and to the abundance that our people and our children deserve.

In light of these hopeful times, I am reposting a blog entry that I wrote in March last year. It it my hope that in reading this you, too, will find reasons to once more hope, dream, and believe.



10 Reasons why there is genuine hope for the Philippines

We are strategically located at the heart of East Asia. North East Asia (Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, HK) and South East Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos) combined makes East Asia. Every major city in East Asia is 4 hours or less away from the Philippines by air transport. If ours were a real estate venture in a commercial area, ours is a location to die for. We can be the shipping and air transport hub of East Asia. We can be the top tourist destination of the region. We can be the cultural center of the region for performing arts.

2) WE ARE NO. 1 in AQUAMARINE RESOURCES WORLDWIDE. We have the most diverse aquamarine ecosystem in the entire world that if managed properly will feed not only our hungry people but will be a source of huge revenue coming from a world in dire need of aquamarine resources such as fish, seaweed and other similar products. The Seafood basket and aquamarine resource center of the world. We can be the aquamarine resource powerhouse of the world.

3) WE HAVE A HUGE TOURISM INDUSTRY POTENTIAL. Our people are by nature extremely friendly and hospitable. We are only doing/achieving some 3M tourist arrivals annually while our neighbors are doing four or five time more with 12 to 15 Million tourist visits annually. It has been said that other countries in the ASEAN are doing so much more with so little in terms of natural wonders and beautiful sites while we are doing so little with so much. With the right infrastructure such as highways and airports and seaports in place we can be the number one tourist destination in Asean if not Asia.

4) WE ARE NOW NO. 2 IN THE BPO INDUSTRY WORLDWIDE AND CAN BECOME NO.1. We are, I am told currently second to India in the Business Process Outsourcing Industry. I am told as well that this industry expects 30 percent growth this year despite the worldwide recession as foreign companies look aggressively to lowering costs of doing business and therefore look to business outsourcing.

5) WE ARE AN EXTREMELY CREATIVE AND ARTISTIC PEOPLE. We have been called the songbirds of Asia. Our reputation as performers is legendary throughout the world (although we have never been boastful about it). We can be the center of performing arts in Asia wherein millions would visit the country annually to marvel at our cultural performances and our artistic productions.

6) WE HAVE THE EMERGENCE OF A NEW GENERATION OF PROGRESSIVE AND RESULTS ORIENTED PUBLIC SECTOR LEADERS. Since the restoration of democracy in 1986 and the passage of the Local Government code in 1991 (or some 20 years now), public officials have began to work with new resources (40 percent of national taxes are now plowed back to LGUs compared to less than 10 percent in 1986) made available by decentralization. Today a new generation of public sector leaders is emerging that is empowered, that is vision driven and results oriented. This explains why we have successful Local Government initiatives in Marikina, Makati, Naga City, Davao City, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Calbayog City and General Santos City among others. Hence from a generation of public sector leaders that by and large was corrupt, lacking in vision, lacking in creativity and innovation, we now have the emergence of a new generation of public sector leaders with integrity, with proactive leadership and with a commitment to reform and genuine change. New governance models and templates that are solving age old problems in the field are being forged, being tempered as we speak. A new brand of political leadership is emerging focused on solving age old problems in governance. The old, failed methods utilized by the trapos will soon be crushed and defeated.

7) INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY ADVANCEMENT IS ENHANCING OUR SENSE OF NATIONHOOD. We are fast becoming one nation, rather than a 'country' of many languages and many islands, now being connected by information communication technology. The ethno-linguistic barriers that used to keep us divided are being shattered by the interconnectivity of information technology. Today an entire generation of Filipinos fully understand and can connect with the Filipino language because of 2 decades of television news in Filipino (all TV news used to be English until 1986). The 3 elements of nationhood are common language, common territory and common economy. We are now becoming a nation because information technology is breaking the barriers that have prevented us from becoming united as a people. It is also now reconnecting some 10 Million Filipinos overseas to the motherland. We are becoming one nation and one people.

8) WE HAVE A RE EMERGING MIDDLE CLASS MINDSET. After over three decades of the OFW boom, we now have a new generation of citizens steeped with modern ideas coming from the highly successful host nations like Japan, Honh Kong, Singapore and the United Sates. Europe too has become host to hundreds of thousands of OWFs. The OFWs who have experienced life in these highly developed nations can now compare and contrast these experiences with the experiences in the motherland. In highly developed nations there is to a greater extent, a greater sense of accountability and a greater sense of justice and fair play.Our OFWs bring all that back home and having been enlightened by the experience will demand greater of their leaders back home. People are beginning to say enough is enough and are actually doing something about it.

9) WE ARE A YOUNG NATION. Close to 30 million of our 45 million voters are 18 to 35 years old. Very young. If harnessed effectively, these young voters can usher in the political and electoral change that we need to happen for genuine political and economic reforms to take place.

10) WE ARE A PEOPLE WHO LOVE TO LAUGH, WHO LOVE OUR FAMILIES. We are a resilient people. We can draw unimaginable strength and fortitude in times of difficulty in order to move ahead. We know how to survive despite so much pain and suffering. We know how to cope. We are willing to sacrifice so much of ourselves in order to provide for our family, our loved ones. This strength will not only bring us out of the mess we are in but will ensure that we are able to reach greater heights in our collective desire as a people to have a better life for those we truly care for, for those who mean the world to us. Our resilience in the long run will not only make us survive but will also ensure that we will triumph in the end.

We have enough reason to hope. We have, as a people, enough reason to act on these hopes and when we do, the genuine change we all seek will finally see the light of day and yes, by all means, in our lifetime.