BBM-Sara rivalry now showing

By Herbrt Vego

FORMER President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is the “flavor of the week”. Her recent pictures showing her separately on different occasions with former Vice-President Leni Robredo, incumbent VP Sara Duterte-Carpio and former President Rodrigo Duterte have been tainted with political colors.

This, despite Arroyo’s statement that her meeting with Robredo had not been pre-arranged but was incidental during a dinner party with “friends from Bicol,” where they only “chatted about Bicol politics.”

Perhaps, her “no shows” in President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos’ recent foreign trips have triggered public suspicion that she had ceased to be his “secret weapon”.

Are we to jump to the conclusion that she is inclined to support the presumed candidacy of Sara for President in 2028 against Marcos’ first cousin, Speaker Martin Romualdez? And the best way for Sara to make it is to win Robredo over to their camp?

It would not be so easy, even on the pretext that Marcos had robbed Leni of the presidency in what is now emerging as a “rigged” 2022 presidential election.

What if Robredo decides to run again?

You see, the wins of both Bongbong and Sara have gone under heavy clouds of doubt because of the “pandaraya” issue against the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Smartmatic (supplier/operator of the vote-counting machines).

Thanks to the “three wise men” who call themselves “TNTrio” for questioning why 20 million votes were supposedly counted on the first hour, calling it “mathematically, logically and statistically highly improbable.”

The “trio” refers to retired Brig. Gen. Eliseo M. Rio, Jr., a former Secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology;  Augusto C. Lagman, a former COMELEC Commissioner; and Franklin Ysaac, the President of the Franklin Financials Consultancy.

The trio has filed a petition for mandamus before the Supreme Court, seeking to stop telecommunication companies from deleting data transmission logs on election night, pointing out alleged discrepancies in the transmission of election results on May 9, 2022.

While we don’t expect Marcos with 31 million votes and Duterte-Carpio with 32 million to be booted out, we expect Smartmatic to disappear in the forthcoming 2025 and 2028 elections.

Incidentally, why did VP Sara get more votes than Pres. Marcos?

Banwa, binagbinaga.



THE full implementation of the lifeline rate discount for the marginalized energy consumers has been extended until January 1, 2024 as MORE Pore power continues to process barangay-to-barangay applications

This is in line with the Tripartite Advisory on Lifeline Implementing Rules and Regulation agreed upon by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Department of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD):

“The DSWD, DOE, and ERC have observed a noticeable increase in the number of qualified marginalized end-users who have registered under the Lifeline Rate Program. In spite of the significant increase in the number of registrants, there remains a considerable number of thrm who have yet to avail of the benefits of registering under the Lifeline Rate Program.

“All Distribution Utilities (DUs) are directed to exert more aggressive promotion efforts to disseminate information on the Lifeline Rate Program and to continue accepting and processing applications. To allow for the roll-out of more aggressive promotion and registration efforts from DUs, consumers and the Government, as well as the review of the registration requirements, the full implementation of the new Lifeline Rate Program is hereby moved to January 2024. Starting 1 January 2024, only those who have approved applications shall be entitled to avail themselves of the subsidy provided under the Lifeline Rate Program.”

The qualifiers for the program are those with a consumption level of 91-100 kWh, who may  avail themselves of a 5% discount on their electricity bills; 81-90 kWh, 10% discount; 71-80 kWh, 15%; 61-70 kWh, 20%; 51-60 kWh, 30%; 41-50 kWh, 40%; 31-40 kWh, 50%; 21-30 kWh,  65%; and those who consume 0-20 kWh will be given a full 100% discount on their electricity bills.