2010 Philippines Elections: Ready, Steady, Go…?

On February 9, 2010, the official 90-day campaign for election in the Philippines will commence.  With current President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo out of the running because of term limits, the race for the Philippine presidency is currently wide open. 

With at least 10 officially registered presidential candidates, the sprint for the presidency will be fast and furious. The presidential pelaton includes: Vetellano Acosta (New Society Movement party), Benigno Cojuangco-Aquino (Liberal), John Carlos de los Reyes (Ang Kapatiran), Richard Gordon (Bagumbayan-VNP), Jamby Madrigal (Independent), Nicanor Perlas (Independent), Gilberto Teodoro (Lakas-Kampi-CMD), Eddie Villanueva (Bagong Pilipinas), Manuel Villar (Nacionalista).  The early breakaway consists of former Philippine Senator Manuel Villar and  Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III who is currently serving in the Philippine Senate. The impeached but now pardoned former President Joseph Estrada, and Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr., former National Secretary of Defense, round out the lead pack.   With a history of weak political parties, personality politics and celebrity usually winnow the field of “Presidentiables.”

Thailand’s Ex-PM Thaksin Traveling Too Close for Comfort?

The only Thailand Prime Minister to serve out a full term, Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted by the Thai military in 2006, and since then has been traveling the world as a man without a country.  Sentenced to two year prison term for corruption by Thai Supreme Court, Thaksin has eluded extradition deftly, but recently Thaksin’s increasing stopovers in Cambodia has brought a frown upon the “Land of Smiles.”