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Poll races

Manila, Philippines – The political cauldron is really boiling as we approach the homestretch of this year’s electoral exercise.

“Wreckers” and “Dirty Tricks Departments” of various candidates have started spilling out incredible propaganda aimed at discrediting their opponents or passing the word around that front-running bets are dead, gravely ill or have just simply withdrawn from the race.

The colorful campaign period for local officials, which started officially last March 29 and will end May 10, will surely keep everyone on his toes considering the seriousness Filipinos take their politics.

In Metro Manila, some of the more exciting political races to watch are those in Manila (between Mayor Alfredo Lim and former President Joseph Estrada), Taguig (Mayor Lani Cayetano and former Councilor Rica Tinga) Pasay (among Mayor Antonio Calixto and his formerly known financial backer George del Rosario, and former Mayor Wenceslao “Peewee” Trinidad).

In Paranaque the race is between the sons of two mayors: Councilor Benjo Bernabe and Rep. Edwin Olivarez. For the second congressional district, UNA bet Vice Mayor Gus Tambunting, who is endorsed by incumbent Rep. Roilo Golez, runs against independent candidates former Mayor Joey Marquez and Pacifico Rosal.

In Caloocan, it’s a three-cornered fight: Councilor Ricojudge Echiverri, Rep. Oscar Malapitan, and former Mayor Macario Asistio. For Congress: Ricojudge’s father Mayor Recom Echiverri and Oscar’s son Dale Gonzalo Malapitan.

People say the most boring ones are those in Makati City, Quezon City, San Juan City, Malabon, and Mandaluyong City.

It is just hoped that with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) doing a superb job so far, the enthusiasm of the people and the candidates will not deteriorate into some bloody incidents.

With the Comelec in firm control, we may as yet have the cleanest and most violent-free elections ever.

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Last Thursday, I wrote about how two Japanese karaoke bars allow their young female entertainers to be taken by customers out of the workplace while in the middle of work for a fee.

Well, following up on the issue, I did some further digging. I checked with the Manila City Hall Bureau of Permits and Licenses and discovered that it was only last April 2 that Cynthia KTV renewed its license and only last April 5, a day after this corner took it to task, that Saori KTV applied for a license. Both establishments are located on M. Adriatico Street in Malate.

I get goose-pimples for their audacity to operate without city hall license. I do not know how the tough Mayor Alfredo Lim — a former police general, former NBI Director, and former DILG Secretary — can take this. This is clearly an insult and dare to the Lim administration.

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