Theeeeere they goooooooo….

Posted by watchmen
October 14, 2021
Posted in OPINION

Watching the candidates file their COCs last week, I cannot help but recall the familiar reportage of a horse race sportscaster of yesteryears, the late Tony Trinidad.

As soon as the race horses sprinted out of the San Lazaro hippodrome starting gate, Trinidad’s voice would blare… ‘Theeeeere they goooooo… Second by second, Trinidad would describe how the riders jockeyed for position…with one or two riders “coming from the outside”…until the winner was decided at the homestretch.

In many ways, the political contest is similar to a horse race. Even the terms are similar. Candidates vying for a position are described as “running” or “tumatakbo.” No wonder it is called a political derby.

Around this time, never ending questions are revived and debated?

Can an incumbent president run for vice president? Why not? A literal interpretation of the constitution contains no such prohibition. Opponents, however, argue that such a situation violates another norm – the law of “hiya” and “delicadeza.” The supreme law arbiter at the moment cannot decide on this in view of the lack of a justiciable case. But who knows?

Should political dynasties be outlawed? Should there be minimum educational qualifications for those seeking elective offices? Should “nuisance” candidates be penalized?

Those opposed to dynasties claim the need to democratize the electoral process. Those in favor claim the matter is best left to the electorate.

Those seeking minimum educational qualifications argue that even lowest level appointive positions in the public service are required to be filled by at least high school graduates.

A story is told that friends of the late great comedian Dolphy had been persistently egging him to run for office. With his tremendous popular appeal, Dolphy’s friends said that he was a sure winner.

But the level-headed Dolphy was aware of his own limitations. His consistent reply: “What if I win?”


Completely vaccinated

By this Wednesday, my whole family and the members of our household will be fully vaccinated.  We were not choosy as to the brand. We decided to take what was available. So we received different shots – Sinovac, Sputnik, Aztra, Pfizer. Fully vaxxed notwithstanding, we resolve to still observe strict health protocols both for our own protection and those of people around us.

We would like to thank the medical team of Taguig City Mayor Lino Cayetano for the home visit in order to vaccinate my wife who is bed-ridden.  Ditto to the team of Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, especially Dra. Carolyn Magalong and Nurse Karen, who stood by their post to minister to Muntinlupa’s residents.

Incidentally, I learned from Rovi Viloria, Muntinlupa City acting PIO head, that the city government is inching closer to its vaccination target. As of October 1, 86.2 percent of the target population of 385,725 have received their first dose while 72 percent have been fully vaccinated. Vaccines administered included Sinovac, Aztra Zeneca, Gamaleya, Pfizer, Moderna, Jannsen and Sinopharm.


The trusted Ayala brand

Ayala has once more demonstrated its strong brand acceptance in the international market when it raised $400 million in fixed-for-life (non-deferrable) senior perpetual bonds last September 16.

At a coupon rate of 3.90%, the notes are the lowest yielding unrated perpetual fixed-for-life notes in Asia. They were also offered at 40 basis points less the initial price guidance of 4.30%.

The notes were 4.4times oversubscribed and supported by a wide range of high-quality investors. Estelito Biacora, Ayala Corporation treasurer, was ecstatic. “This is a testament that these investors recognize Ayala Corporation’s strengths as the best proxy to the Philippine sovereign… They see us as having the best-in-class management in governance and the long history of successful credit issuances, whether domestic or international.”

AC Chief Finance Officer Alberto de Larrazabal noted that “despite Ayala Corp not having a formal rating in the marketplace, the investors were prepared to extend this facility… The demand was absolutely strong and we were able to pierce the 4% interest rate, which was a feat of and by itself.”  Mr. De Larrazabal described the successful bond offering as “truly a testament to the reputation of Ayala in the financial markets.”

“It is quite remarkable that, in the midst of this pandemic, we have been able to refinance a large part of our debt at significantly lower rates. This has definitely helped us during this very challenging period and is allowing us to get ready for the recovery. We can all be very proud of the fact that the Ayala brand is so trusted and respected in the capital markets,” Fernando Zobel de Ayala, President and CEO of Ayala Corporation, said.

The joint lead managers and joint bookrunners for the offering included BPI Capital (Ayala’s investment banking arm), Citi, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Mizuho and UBS.

Ayala’s last issuance in international bond market was in 2019. Its first $400 million fixed-for-life perpetual bonds in 2017 won IR Asia’s Philippine Capital Market Deal and The Asset’s Triple A Country Awards’ Best Corporate Bond in the Philippines.



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