Tag Archive | "elections"

2016 Elections Post-Mortem | FF Podcast


This week, we talk about the results of the elections. We discuss “moving on” and the next steps for the Philippines during the new presidency.

You may also download the podcast file here.

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FF Podcast 103 (Audio): Candidate Duterte and the New President Syndrome


FF Podcast 103 (Audio): Candidate Duterte and the New President Syndrome

This episode of the Filipino Freethinkiers Audio Podcast is the last of our election series. Here, we talk about Candidate Rodrigo Duterte. We lay it all out in this final episode before the elections. We also talk about the New President Syndrome and why participating in politics doesn’t end on election day.

You may also download the podcast file here.

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Candidate Duterte and the New President Syndrome | FF Podcast


This week, we wrap up our election series with Candidate Rodrigo Duterte. We lay it all out in this final episode before the elections. We also talk about the New President Syndrome and why participating in politics doesn’t end on election day.

 

Links
https://www.hrw.org/report/2009/04/06/you-can-die-any-time/death-squad-killings-mindanao
http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/apr/18/the-war-on-drugs-has-failed-time-to-stop-fighting-and-start-thinking
http://opinion.inquirer.net/94123/ones-walk-away-davao
https://youtu.be/kuq_uf9vN_8?t=59m50s

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FF Podcast 102 (Audio): Candidate Poe and Strategic Voting


FF Podcast 102 (Audio): Candidate Poe and Strategic Voting

This week, we continue our series on presidential candidates with Grace Poe. We talk about whether her inexperience is an asset or a problem. We also talk about voting strategically.

You may also download the podcast file here.

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Candidate Poe and Strategic Voting | FF Podcast


This week, we continue our series on presidential candidates with Grace Poe. We talk about whether her inexperience is an asset or a problem. We also talk about voting strategically.

You may also download the podcast file here.

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast feed

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast feed

Filipino Freethinkers podcast on iTunes

Filipino Freethinkers podcast on iTunes

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FF Podcast 101 (Audio): Candidate Roxas and Whether Voting Changes Anything


Filipino Freethinkers Audio Podcast 101

This week, we continue our series on presidential candidates with Candidate Mar Roxas. We discuss whether Mar of the same is better and whether voting even changes anything.

You may also download the podcast file here.

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Candidate Roxas and Whether Voting Changes Anything | FF Podcast


This week, we continue our series on presidential candidates with Candidate Mar Roxas. We discuss whether Mar of the same is better and whether voting even changes anything.

You may also download the podcast file here.

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Filipino Freethinkers podcast on iTunes

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FF Podcast 100 (Audio): Candidate Binay and the Social Media Echo Chamber


FF Podcast 100 (Audio): Candidate Binay and the Social Media Echo Chamber

This week, we continue our series on presidential candidates with Candidate Jejomar Binay. We talk about what we learned during our interview with him. We also discuss whether social media accurately portrays the national sentiment towards politics.

You may also download the podcast file here.

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Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) on iTunes

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Candidate Binay and the Social Media Echo Chamber | FF Podcast


This week, we continue our series on presidential candidates with Candidate Jejomar Binay. We talk about what we learned during our interview with him. We also discuss whether social media accurately portrays the national sentiment towards politics.

You may also download the podcast file here.

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast feed

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast feed

Filipino Freethinkers podcast on iTunes

Filipino Freethinkers podcast on iTunes

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FF Podcast 099 (Audio): Candidate Santiago and the Duty to Vote


FF Podcast 099 (Audio): Candidate Santiago and the Duty to Vote

This week, we are starting a series on each presidential candidate, leading up to the May 9 elections. We start with Miriam Defensor-Santiago. We talk about her campaign and whether or not we have the duty to vote at all.

You may also download the podcast file here.

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Candidate Santiago and the Duty to Vote | FF Podcast


This week, we are starting a series on each presidential candidate, leading up to the May 9 elections. We start with Miriam Defensor-Santiago. We talk about her campaign and whether or not we have the duty to vote at all.

You may also download the podcast file here.

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast feed

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast feed

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Filipino Freethinkers podcast on iTunes

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L2MF Post #07: On Religious Bloc Voting


Dear Dad,

Today I would like to talk about events that are of great importance to a democratic society: elections.

Two elections have been scheduled for the year 2010. First, the national elections which were held on May 10th, and the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections today.

In a republic with a free society, elections are held in order for the citizenry to choose their leaders. Voting is both a right and a duty of every individual citizen. It is only during elections when everyone, regardless of socio-economic standing, religion, creed, gender, and ethnic origin are equalized. “One man (or woman), one vote”, so they say.

Now I would like to explore a rather controversial issue concerning elections in the Republic: religious bloc voting.

There are religious organizations that practice bloc voting. I would not mention the most prominent one, for it is common knowledge that it is the one being courted by most politicians, even though its members only comprise a tiny percentage of the population. Their unity is both admired and criticized by various segments of the society.

I have enlisted the help of a crack research team to find answers to questions surrounding the practice of religious bloc voting.

____________________

1. Why is it that even in elections, unity is enforced in the church?

This question can be answered by using verses from the Bible.

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,

“then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

– Philippians 2:1-3 NIV

Members of the Church should thus be united in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is often said that the Church is the body of Christ, with the members as the many parts with different functions.

____________________

2. What does the word “vote” mean?

There is an oft-quoted dictionary definition of the word “vote”, which is used to justify the act of bloc voting.

vote – expression of judgment

– Webster’s New International Dictionary p. 2295

There is also a verse that features the word “judgment”:

“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”

– 1 Corinthians 1:10 English Standard Version

Here are links to other definitions of the word “vote”:

Should I bet my jackboots and pigs?

____________________

3. Did the early Church practice bloc voting?

There was once an issue during the time of the early Christian Church where a debate about the uncircumcised Gentiles and their inclusion in the Church and the promise of salvation. (See Acts 15:1-19.) The leadership of the Church had to come up with a decision in order to avoid unnecessary divisions.

(Side Note: In Robert Greene’s The 33 Strategies of War, under the part of organizational (team) warfare, it is said that divided leadership is dangerous. Unity of command is a must if victory is to be achieved.)

____________________

4. Isn’t voting just a worldly matter?

“You know that in the future we will judge angels, so surely we can judge the ordinary things of this life.

“If you have ordinary cases that must be judged, are you going to appoint people as judges who mean nothing to the church?”

–  1 Corinthians 6:1-4 (New Century Version)

This has something to do with legal disputes, and little or nothing to do with voting.

____________________

5. Should church members obey the government authorities?

The members of the church are also part of the citizenry. Church leaders say that the flock must participate in the exercise of their right and duty to vote.

“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority,

“or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

“For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.”

– 1 Peter 2:13-15 NIV

In the case of our Republic (which does not have a king), we have the President and other authorities who execute the laws of the land.

Here’s another oft-quoted verse used in support of bloc-voting:

…Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

– Matthew 22:21 NIV

This has something to do with the payment of taxes, which is a duty of the citizen to the State (symbolized by Caesar). Since voting is also a duty to the State, the preachers also used this verse for their purposes.

When a member complies with the Church’s ruling, he/she fulfills both the duty to the State and the duty to God.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

– 1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,

“so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

– Romans 15:5-6 NIV

Therefore, to vote as a bloc would bring glory to the Lord God and to the Lord Jesus Christ. Whether or not the endorsed candidate wins the election, the flock would still uphold the unity.

____________________

6. Wouldn’t bloc voting curtail the church member’s freedom to choose?

Basically, a free individual can do whatever he/she wants. In a free society, every individual should have the freedom to choose his/her food, drink, jobs, and everything else. The choice of candidates is no exception.

Here is yet another oft-quoted verse to answer the question:

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

– John 8:36 NIV

The Son referred to in this verse is Jesus Christ. An obedient church member is the truly free individual.

6.1 But free from what?

“What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”

– Romans 6:21-22 NIV

6.2 So that means the church member can’t do what he/she desires?

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

– Galatians 5:16-17 NIV

Yes. This could only mean that an individual cannot be free in worldly sense, but free in the spiritual sense. The poor soul is therefore compelled to subdue his/her free but “sinful” nature and comply with the church dogma.

____________________

7. Is there something in the law that is against this practice?

There is a section in the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines which enumerates the prohibited acts in elections.

Section 261. Prohibited Acts. – The following shall be guilty of an election offense:

(d) Coercion of subordinates. –
(1) Any public officer, or any officer of any public or private corporation or association, or any head, superior, or administrator of any religious organization, or any employer or land-owner who coerces or intimidates or compels, or in any manner influence, directly or indirectly, any of his subordinates or members or parishioners or employees or house helpers, tenants, overseers, farm helpers, tillers, or lease holders to aid, campaign or vote for or against any candidate or any aspirant for the nomination or selection of candidates.

(2) Any public officer or any officer of any commercial, industrial, agricultural, economic or social enterprise or public or private corporation or association, or any head, superior or administrator of any religious organization, or any employer or landowner who dismisses or threatens to dismiss, punishes or threatens to punish be reducing his salary, wage or compensation, or by demotion, transfer, suspension, separation, excommunication, ejectment, or causing him annoyance in the performance of his job or in his membership, any subordinate member or affiliate, parishioner, employee or house helper, tenant, overseer, farm helper, tiller, or lease holder, for disobeying or not complying with any of the acts ordered by the former to aid, campaign or vote for or against any candidate, or any aspirant for the nomination or selection of candidates.

Here you go, either this is crystal clear or as clear as mud. This would place the church member between observing the law and obeying the word of the Church. No matter what the Code says, obeying God’s (or the Church authorities’) Words has a higher priority over the laws of the land.

Conclusion:

Those who practice bloc voting, though small in number relative to the national population, can still be a force to reckon with. Even in other controversial issues such as the RH Bill, the Church I am referring to in this letter is the David to the Roman Catholic Church’s (or CBCP’s) Goliath.

As private organizations, churches, especially religious corporations, have the right to influence their members. The Constitution recognizes the freedom of religion in this Republic. I just do not know of any religion which is free.

I am human, not sheep, and my birthright is freedom!

Seluj Albatini

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Power and Addiction


One minute I held the key
Next, the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

Those lines were from Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, a song about a king who lost his kingdom. I sometimes wonder how it feels like to be a person of power one minute and an outsider the next. It must be the worst hangover.

I had often read that Power is the most addictive drug. With “conventional” drugs, you get high for a few hours. With Power, you get high continuously for years. With conventional drugs, you feel like you can do anything. With Power, you actually can do anything.

Then comes the hangover. The crash. I remember a line from the movie Amistad about how there is nothing more pathetic than a former president. Maybe this is why some people will do anything to stay in power. Some would willingly sell their souls, and those who didn’t believe in souls would gladly run over the bodies of their own children if that’s what it takes to gain and regain immense power. It’s really not unlike the meth addict who will do anything for the next fix.

In January 2009, less than two weeks before Barack Obama assumed office (he was already president-elect then), I saw this picture of the five living US presidents standing side by side with George W. Bush at the center, Obama and Clinton at either side of him, and Bush Sr. and Jimmy Carter beside them. It was a sight to behold. No matter what it meant to be the most powerful man in the world, these men had known and accepted that the Presidency is bigger than the president, that it is the Presidency that gives the president his temporary power, and that each of them must pass on the torch that he once clutched so tightly from the moment it was passed on to him.

I wonder if our country’s torch will be passed as willingly, and if our people will be able to sing:

Now the old king is dead
Long live the King!
.

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