By Mariano "Anong Santos

PINOY Publisher/Editor

Election 2015 traffic getting jammed

Here in the U.S. as well as back home Traffic is getting heavy on the expressway to the 2016 elections, with more and more hopefuls announcing plans to run for President or Vice President.

Jojo Binay, undaunted by many allegations of plunder, continues to burn rubber on the hot campaign trail. At least three potential presidential candidates have not yet announced their plans to run—Sen Grace Poe, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Two also-runs of past presidential elections are back on the road. Former Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a veteran of the 2004 presidential election who lost to Gloria M. Arroyo, spoke about another run for Malacañang.

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, despite her health problems and who lost the 1992 and 1998 presidential elections, announced that she was considering running for President again.

Grace Poe leads the polls dislodging Binay from first spot. She is being courted by no less than President Aquino to be Mar Roxas’ running mate.

So far Grace is playing it coy and hints that if she runs it will be the top post with her good friend, Chiz Escudero on the No. 2 spot.

The Inquirer reports that the Nationalist People’s Coalition is waiting until the end of August to unveil a run by Poe and Sen. Francis Escudero.

Here is the rest of the Inquirer report:

Duterte continues to deny his political ambitions go beyond his hometown in Davao, but the public still believes he will run for either President or Vice President.

The potential candidates are by no means set, with two and a half months to go before the filing of certificates of candidacy from Oct. 12 to 16.

Some of the presidential hopefuls themselves are also prime targets as running mates.

Netizens energized by Santiago’s plan to run have suggested that she take in Poe or Duterte or Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.

Roxas still hopes Poe will slide down to Vice President but he is already considering other partners, including Duterte, Robredo and Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV.

Cayetano is still hoping that his own Nacionalista Party (NP) will put him up as its presidential candidate, while Trillanes says he is “100-percent” sure of running for Vice President.

Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., is being linked to Binay as a running mate.

Former House leader Danilo Suarez said the race for the presidency was wide open in view of the controversy hounding Poe.

Suarez disclosed that his party, Lakas, initially expressed interest in supporting Poe but backed off because it found the questions about her residency too serious to ignore (Poe is reportedly a year short of the 10-year residency requirement, as she was still a US resident as of 2007).

“I think this is a valid issue and a lot of groups like the Philconsa (Philippine Constitution Association) and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines have stated she will have a problem meeting the qualification requirements,” Suarez said.

Meanwhile, billionaire Donald Trump is clearly enjoying his new celebrity as one of a dozen and a half Republican hopefuls. He is topping the poll among GOP voters—undoubtedly to the delight of the Democrats.

Hillary Clinton being criticized again for the emails she sent while serving as the Secretary of State remains in a commanding lead while left-leaning democrats are rallying behind Se. Bernie Sanders.

A Clinton and Jeb Bush contest is expected, come next year’s elections in the U.S. while President Aquino confined his praises during his July 27 State of the Nation’s Address to his Interior Secretary Mar Roxas—raising speculations that Mar will be PNoy’s anointed one.

Aquino’s 5-year economic report card

Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Philippine Daily Inquirer has a summary of PNoy’s last State of the Nation Address last July 27. The following are the areas in the economy where he did well.

— Appointed people with integrity and independence (Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, Commission on Audit Chair Grace Pulido-Tan, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima)

— Increased the dividends of government-owned and -controlled corporations to P131.86 billion in five years

— Increased BIR collections to P1.3 trillion

— No more reenacted budgets

— Better world perception of the Philippines: “Asia’s Rising Tiger,” “Asia’s Rising Star,” and “Asia’s Bright Spot”

— Increased foreign investments with P6.2 billion in 2014, the highest in our history

— Increased local investments with P2.09 billion

— 8-percent growth of the manufacturing sector

— Lower unemployment rate, at 6.8 percent, the lowest in the past decade

— Better labor and management relations; total strikes down to only 15

— Expanded beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to 4.4 million households

— By 2013, no more backlogs in the number of textbooks, classrooms and chairs

— Started to implement K to 12 program.

— 8.6 million finished Tesda courses; with 71.9 to 91.26 employment rate

— Doubled PhilHealth beneficiaries to 89.4 million; covered the poorest 40 percent by 2014

— Completed the Cadastral Survey

— Accomplished 78 percent of Sitio Electrification Program

— Philippine air carriers now off European Union blacklists

— European Maritime Safety Agency continues to recognize our maritime education certificates (saving the jobs of 800,000 Filipino mariners).

— In process to buy out the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) private maintenance contractor

— Armed Forces of the Philippines modernization—acquired/bought 2 C-130, three C-295 medium lift transport and 2 2-212 light lift transport, 6 landing craft utility, 12 FA-50 fighter, etc. Completed 56 modernization projects and approved 30 more

— PNP equipment to “shoot, scoot and communicate”—302 patrol jeeps of 2,523 bought have been delivered; 12, 399 handheld radios; 30,136 long firearms; 3,328 investigative kids and 16,867 radios

— Oplan Lambat-Sibat able to arrest 163,00 wanted persons and neutralize over 1,000 gangs; decreased homicide cases to 23 per week

— Built 57,000 housing units for men and women in the armed services

— Infrastructure: completed Lullutan Bridge in Isabela province and Jalaur River Multipurpose Project in Iloilo province; started/ongoing projects include Balog-Balog Multipurpose Project Phase 2 in Tarlac, Basilan Circumferential Road, Muntilupa-Cavite Expressway

— 50 ongoing public-private partnership projects

— SWS survey: 8 out of 10 Filipinos trust the Philippines will be among the “developed countries.”

— European Commission lifted yellow card/ban for Philippine fish products.

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