Blog Watch: Top 13 posts in 2013

Originally posted at  Blog Watch: Top 13 posts in 2013

The year 2013 is Blog Watch’ fourth year, made even busier than ever because of the 2013 elections and controversial issues like the pork barrel scandal and the President’s Development acceleration program (DAP).  We continued our Voters’ education articles where we researched on the platforms and programs of the senatorial candidates and party list candidates.  Due to time constraints and confusion over premature campaigning, we were only able to cover less than 10 senatorial candidates. Despite such limitations, our readers showed interest in learning more about the 2013 elections through our articles on platforms and voting criteria.  Two  issues not found in traditional media such as the working conditions in Vietnam and libel suit against a blogger brought about happy endings.  The Department of Labor and Employment agency (DOLE) suspended the particular Vietnamese company  from hiring temporarily Filipinos while the libel charges against the blogger was dropped.

If you missed any of our Blog Watch commentaries and feature articles for 2013, here’s your chance to browse through our top thirteen articles in terms of popularity or traffic.  The popularity of a social media post is not relevant if it does not bring about a policy change.  Our most popular post  in 2012  was about the Department of Education K to 12 Program followed by the call to abolish the Anti- Cyber Crime law. As of this writing, a temporary restraining order is still very much in place against the anti-cybercrime law.

For 2013, take a look at our top 13 posts:

1.     Power to the People #MillionPeopleMarch        by Jego Ragracio

Filipinos here and abroad  showed their anger towards the thievery of the  pork scandal. Many were pissed off about  the trouble making people accountable.   The Million People March brought many citizens from all walks of life  in Luneta to show their anger towards what is happening. The power of the people was so evident a few days before the August 26 protest when the President announced that the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) is now abolished.  It didn’t stop the people from continuing on with the march.

2.     Finding out where the pork train goes  by Megan Flores

Where Does the Pork Train Start and End?There have been many allusions to the existence of a rebate or percentage system existing that benefits from pork barrel funds. Although no one has come out in the open to tag and name those who do this, there are a lot of stories. Different sources privy in government dealings consistently disclose that contractors and suppliers usually give 50% rebates on medicines/medical missions.

3.     Why Filipinos shouldn’t work in Vietnam  by Cocoy Dayao

Cocoy wrote the story of an OFW to show  the real plight of some of our Filipino workers  in Vietnam . It was the OFW’s wish that workers who contribute so much to this country be afforded full protection of their rights. On April,  DOLE suspended GLN English Learning Centerpending investigation of the the OFW complaints. However, it seems that GLN  invented a language centre named JOLO to get around the POEA’s temporary suspension – POEA Case No. DAE13-04-0570. The case continues.

4.     Facing repression: Aquino gov’t intensifying attacks vs activists, critics  by Vencer Crisostomo

The writer reported several incidents of suspected military surveillance and harassment.   These cowardly attacks against activist organizations and their leaders further stoke the fires of outrage and further show the need to intensify the struggle for genuine freedom and democracy..


5.     UP Manila Freshman Student Commits Suicide Allegedly Due To Lack of Money for Tuition  by Bernadine Racoma

The untimely death of a young person who is full of promise is generating a number of responses, mostly outrage and renewed efforts at overturning some of the anti-student policies of the University.

6.     Voting matrix: How to select a candidate to vote for as senator  by Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

“Who are you voting for?” is a question that our readers often ask us.   The exercise of the voting matrix illustrated that the voter needs to base their decision on a rational informed-based process.


7.     Fitch investment grade rating: The collapse of credibility by Dean de la Paz

While the Palace raved over the Fitch Investment BBB+ rating, the writer pointed out that  the substance of the rating were policies from the previous government (repaying debt, high external position, high dollar reserves, etc.) and simply continued by a current hierarchy headed by an Arroyo appointee.

8.     Notes on the SC oral arguments re Cybercrime Law #NoToCybercrimeLaw   by Vencer Crisostomo

Though there is an indefinite TRO versus the anti-cybercrime law, the  challenge to Filipino netizens and bloggers is to be vigilant and to further intesify efforts to make sure Cyber Martial Law is junked.

9.     Senatorial candidates with strong trade and labor platforms and the Senatorial candidates with food and agriculture as their primary priorities  By Bernadine Racoma

Filipino voters wanted to know which of the senatorial candidates’ platforms were strong on trade, labor platforms , food and agriculture among many other areas. This is a positive sign as it shows the voters are doing their research online and not just relying on traditional media for the information.

10.  How President Aquino will ruin his 2013 by Carlos Maningat 2039

Carlos wrote this article at the start of 2013.  He says “presumably, the ruling clique will try to orchestrate gimmickries again this year in a vain attempt to steer clear from trouble. Evading looming firestorms this year though will be tough for Aquino, as the bankruptcy of his leadership gets clearer by the day.”  Events have shown that for the first time,  President Aquino suffered his lowest ratings after the Million People March.

11.  A Group Buying site files a libel suit vs a blogger by Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

Written at the start of 2013, the  libel suit filed by Metro Deal against blogger SilkenHut was dismissed for lack of “prima facie evidence” on March 24, 2013.

12.  Pork barrel, by any other name, is anti-development  by Carlos Maningat

It took a growing anti-pork barrel dissent for President Aquino to utter the “it is time to abolish the PDAF” spiel, only to propose reforms in the system seconds after. The same offline and online outrage should make him realize, too, that his pork barrel double talk will not appease the millions who marched to Luneta on Monday, Aug. 26.


13.  The Pork Barrel Scam: Getting Away with Billions of Pesos by Bernadine Racoma

What has happened to the charges filed at the Ombudsman?   No case has yet reached the Sandiganbayan. Very few from the huge cast detailed in special PDAF audit have been charged for the loss of public funds. Nor has the public been shown detailed accounting of pork spending outside of 2007 to 2009.Perhaps netizens can continue to  denounce all the delaying tactics and lack of definitive measures to get to the bottom of this pork barrel scam once and for all.


Indeed, the year 2013 brought in action, policy changes  and awareness on many social issues. Despite our limitations (yes, we have day jobs), this is our modest contribution to citizen participation in government.


Thank you for being part of the Blog Watch community and for being with us in 2013. We look forward to engaging more with you in our social media network in 2014!


Photo by Noemi Lardizabal-Dado. Some rights reserved.