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Philippine Web users discuss Aquino Jr's presidential run

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-09-11

The Web reacts to the candidacy of NoyNoy Aquino, son of the former Philippine president, Corazon Aquino. Also in today's review of the Web: Net users mobilise for Cuban ‘Panfilo’, convicted for complaining he was hungry on a video.

Philippines: Noynoy Aquino runs for president

Senator Noynoy Aquino, son of the Philippines' former President, Corazon Aquino, who died last month, has announced he is running for the 2010 residential election in the Philippines. And upon the announcement, a yellow wave erupted in the local blogosphere.

It is with enthusiasm that many Net users welcomed the news on Twitter. Many inserted a yellow logo depicting Aquino into their avatar as a sign of support. The colour symbolised his parents’ resistance against the military regime in the 80s.

Supporters of his political group, the Liberal Party, have been encouraging him to run for the presidency for months. This blog was even specially launched online to attempt to convince him.

Similarly, a Facebook group was created to unite supporters of Noynoy Aquino. Currently, nearly 3,000 Net users have registered to support the man they regard as the candidate of change.

But others, such as the author of this caricature, do not believe that the son and heir of the Aquino family will be capable of defending the worst-off. His detractors doubt his desire to undermine the domination of the elite class, made up of land owners and to which his own family belongs.

However, Net users in the Philippines have great expectations for these elections. Around forty bloggers gathered to express their hopes, following the two mandates of President Gloria Arroyo which were tainted by rampant corruption.

Cuba's YouTube rebel

This man, bursting in front of a camera is called Juan Carlos González Marcos. He is an unemployed man from Cuba. In this video, widely broadcast on the web, he interrupts an interview on Cuban music to assert that he is hungry.

His face has now been seen around the world and his story has become the symbol of the Castro regime’s repression. In August, Juan Carlos, nicknamed ‘Panfilo’ was sentenced to two years in prison for "pre-criminal dangerousness". A crime routinely cited to sentence citizens considered too "noisy".

Panfilo, who had attempted to apologise, has appealed. In the run up to his trial at the end of September, the Web is rallying. A campaign entitled, "Food and Freedom" has been launched in Miami, where an exhibition has also been organised. And an online petition is receiving floods of signatures. The aim being to exert pressure on the Government and obtain the release of ‘Panfilo’.

Cuban blogger, Yoani Sanchez remarks that it is the first time a video has created a buzz so quickly in the country. She recalls with irony that the man was drunk, explaining why he dared to speak out.


Finally, many video bloggers are using the Web to send in messages of support.

And this photo montage recalls that Panfilo is not an isolated case, as the country is filled with hungry people.


Interpol stolen art database
Interpol has posted on the Web an original catalogue that lists the world’s stolen works of art. Photos and descriptions allow buyers, sellers, police officers, customs officials, antiques dealers and other inquisitive people to know whether the piece they are interested in has been declared stolen or otherwise. Thirty-four thousand works are currently listed.

Date created : 2009-09-10