Top 10 Most Controversial Politicians of 2009
In the year 2009, Filipino politicians were not spared from being linked to controversies that reaped the ire of the citizens. These politicians have managed to be in the spotlight for infamous reasons ranging from political exposés to domestic affairs.
In August, citizens reacted angrily to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s alleged $20 million dinner in New York with other government officials. This was denied by Malacañang and branded as “gross exaggeration.” On 1 December, Arroyo filed her Certificate of Candidacy to run as representative of the Second District of Pampanga. This move garnered negative reactions among different sectors of society. In her blog, writer Raissa Robles wrote that people may think of Gilbert Teodoro as a puppet should he win as president and Arroyo as congresswoman. Just a few days after her filing for candidacy, Arroyo again received unfavorable reaction when she proclaimed martial law in Maguindanao in connection with the Ampatuan Massacre investigation process.
On 21 October, former president Joseph Ejercito Estrada announced his bid to run for president in 2010. He maintains that he was forced to run because he did not find a suitable candidate that can unite the opposition party. His candidacy pushed legal experts and ordinary citizens alike to check the provisions in the Philippine Constitution with regard to re-election of a former president. Despite these issues, Estrada is still determined to push through with his candidacy.
People petitioned for Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to run for higher office in the 2010 elections after his mother Cory Aquino passed away in August. His intention to run was announced after attending a spiritual retreat. Noynoy Aquino chose fellow senator Mar Roxas as his running mate under the Liberal Party. Aquino’s candidacy is hounded by attacks pertaining to the Hacienda Luisita massacre on 16 November 2004, where twelve picketing farmers and two children were killed. He maintained that his share in the stocks of the said property is only 4% and that he is willing to give it up.
Manny Villar was forced to resign as Senate President on 17 November 2008 due to lack of support in the Senate. This followed after Panfilo Lacson pointed to Villar as being responsible for inserting 400 million pesos in the 2008 National Budget to fund the road extension project which would run through his hometown, Las Piñas City. This was confirmed by a former executive in one of Villar’s real estate companies. Villar’s name was cleared of the allegation through Senate Resolution 1472 which was filed in 16 November 2009, a day before he formally announced his intention to run for president with Loren Legarda as running mate.
Mar Roxasinitially intended to run for the highest office in 2010. His plans changed after he decided to give way to Noynoy Aquino. He announced his decision to withdraw on 1 September 2009 at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan. “Country above self,” Roxas said at the beginning of his speech. On 21 November, the Liberal Party formally launched the Aquino-Roxas tandem after he accepted the offer to be Aquino’s running mate in the coming elections.
Pampanga representative Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo made news once again after his live interview in GMA 7’s morning show, Unang Hirit. In the interview, Arroyo was interrogated by anchors Arnold Clavio and Solita "Winnie" Monsod about his property in the San Mateo county near San Francisco. Video clips of the interview were uploaded tio YouTube and went viral over blogs and social networking sites. The video received more than 3,000 comments from YouTube viewers who found Arroyo to be unprepared and uneasy. Arroyo appeared on the morning show supposedly to address reports by Vera Files, a group of investigative reporters, that he did not declare the said property in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities for two years in a row.
Luis Singson caught the ire of feminist groups such as GABRIELA after beating his common-law wife, Rachel “Che” Tiongson, and Tiongson’s lover. “I was still good, I did not kill them,” Singson said in an interview. Tiongson filed a case against Singson according to Republic Act 9262 or Violence Against Women and Children Act. She withdrew the case soon after.
Datu Andal Ampatuan Jr. is the current mayor of the town of Datu Unsay, Maguindanao. He is the primary suspect behind the massacre of 57 people in Ampatuan, Maguindanao on 23 November. Among the dead was the wife of Buluan vice-mayor Datu Ismail "Toto" Mangudadatu. Mangudadatu related that four people who requested anonymity positively identified the mayor with the gunmen. Mangudadatu’s wife was supposed to file his Certificate of Candidacy that day. The vice-mayor is running against Ampatuan Jr. for the governatorial seat of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in the 2010 elections.
Francis Escudero originally intended to run for president in the 2010 elections. However, he officially dropped out of the race on 24 November. Among the factors he cited was the lack of campaign funds. He also considered his friendship with fellow senator Noynoy Aquino. A month prior to his decision, Escudero announced his exit from the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
As early as 5 June, Panfilo Lacson made it clear that he was withdrawing from the 2010 elections and cited a lack of campaign funds as the reason for his decision. His announcement came a day after former police senior superintendent Cesar Mancao II returned from the United States. On 22 July, Mancao accused him under oath as a suspect in the murder of Bubby Dacer and Emmanuel Corbito about nine years ago.
- “1 OF 2 MIKEY ARROYO ON MEDIA SUICIDE WITH IGAN & WINNIE MONSOD - HOW DO YOU EARN MILLIONS?” YouTube. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Report on Arroyo's NY dinner exaggerated – Palace.” ABS-CBN News Online. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Arroyo announces bid for Congress seat in Pampanga.”]
GMANews.tv. http://www.gmanews.tv/story/178167/arroyo-announces-bid-for-congress-seat-in-pampanga (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Arroyo proclaims martial law in Maguindanao.”] ABS- CBN News Online. http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/12/04/09/arroyo-orders-martial-law-maguindanao. (Accessed December 7 2009).
- “Why be afraid of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s run as a mere congresswoman?”] RaissaRobles.com. http://raissarobles.com/2009/11/30/why-be-afraid-of-president-gloria-macapagal-arroyos-slide-to-congress/. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Estrada to run for president in 2010 elections.”] Manila Bulletin. http://www.mb.com.ph/node/225666/e. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Can former President Joseph Estrada run as President in 2010?” AttyAtWork.com. http://attyatwork.com/can-former-president-joseph-estrada-run-as-president-in-2010/. (Accessed December 7, 2009.)
- “Noynoy Aquino.”] Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noynoy_Aquino (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Leftists press Noynoy on Luisita.” ABS-CBN News. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Villar got P400M from C5 project – lawyer.” Inquirer.net. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Manny Villar: News, Articles, Controversies...” The 2010 Philippine Presidentiables Community Portal. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Senator Manny Villar is still not cleared of C-5 road mess: Reso 1472 junked.” Filipino Voices. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “14th Congress Senate Resolution No. 1472.” Senate of the Philippines 14th Congress. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “(UPDATE 2) Mar Roxas withdraws from 2010 race.” ABS-CBN News Online. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Now official: Roxas is Aquino’s veep.” Sun Star Network Online. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Mikey Arroyo under fire on YouTube.” Inquirer.net. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Chavit beats up common-law wife, lover.” Philippine Star. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Chavit's wife reveals physical abuse.” ABS-CBN News Online. (December 7, 2009).
- “Palasyo Malambot Kay Chavit.” Gabriela Women’s Party. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Andal Ampatuan, Jr..” Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Massacre suspect surrenders.” PhilStar.com. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Not his time: Chiz Escudero quits race.” Inquirer.net. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Road to nowhere’ leads to bigger mess, Lacson says.” Inquirer.net. (Accessed December 7, 2009).
- “Mancao implicates Lacson in Dacer-Corbito double murder case.” Balita-dot-ph. (Accessed December 7, 2009).