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My 2016 Presidential Candidate March 31, 2016

Posted by Janjan in Uncategorized.

I did not plan to tell people about who I would vote for the 2016 Presidential elections, primarily because I did not know who my candidate was either.  None of the current options are palatable to me.  All of them have gaping character shortcomings that I consider deal-breakers.  I also did not want to tell people because I do not personally believe in campaigning.  I want people to form their own minds, not because someone else influenced them into it, but because they felt that that person was the right choice.

But for the past few days, a lot of friends asked me who my candidate was.  It seemed that my opinion really mattered in helping them decide.  A part of me is flattered by it, while another wants to shake them up and remind them that I blog about showbiz and other inanities and am no role model in making intelligent decisions. But nonetheless, enabler that I am, I’ve decided to blog about my choice for Presidential candidate.  (And really… flattery will get you very far with me.  Very very far, shameless narcissist that I am.)

To summarize, I only have 3 candidates in mind, the white knights of the campaign:  Grace Poe, Rodrigo Duterte, and Mar Roxas.  The rest, forget about it.

So Are You Voting for Grace Poe?

I really like Grace Poe.  I really really like her.  She’s so intelligent, articulate and personable.  Among all the candidates, she’s the one I want to root for the most, simply because she’s someone I would want to be friends with.  I believe her when she says that she is honest and that she has good plans for the Philippines.  To be honest, I really don’t care if she’s an American citizen or not… I believe her when she says that her heart is into public service and that she will serve us well.  She could be one of our great Filipino presidents.

But no, I’m not voting for her.


So Are You Voting for Rodrigo Duterte?

Some years back, during the height of the Yolanda calamity, I ran a trope on Facebook, offering to run for Vice-president if ever Rodrigo Duterte ran for President.  Back then it was just a running gag, albeit a very popular one among the circle of lovable scamps and bums that make up my Facebook Friend List.  I would like to think I somehow got the ball rolling for Digong in my own little way.  (A remote possibility, considering one of my cousins is in Duterte’s staff)

Davao is your only proof of Duterte’s competency and vision.  From what used to be a chaotic and lawless crime zone, Davao rose from the ashes and became a utopia ruled under Duterte’s iron fist.  Where the drug trade is curbed (allegedly), no smoking is allowed on the streets, and crime is kept to a minimum.  (That is, unless you’re a criminal because due process of law is not followed, allegedly, in Davao for those who indulge in acts of crime.  Except for adulterers and bigamists.  Gee, I wonder why… *wink wink*)

Duterte is tough, decisive, incorruptible and draconian in a time when people are clamoring for a Filipino Lee Kuan Yew.

But no, I’m not voting for him.


So Wait… Who ARE You Voting For Then?

Well, obviously, by process of deduction, I’m voting for Mar Roxas.



Well, honestly, I do.  Mar Roxas reminds me so much of that nerd from high school who just does not seem to get it right, social skills wise (and I would know, because *I* am that nerd).  He tends to put his foot in the mouth with his numerous off-kilter public stunts and statements.  I’ve also heard the accounts of my friends who were in ground zero during Yolanda.  I’m not very fond of the guy, but yes, I’m going to vote for him.


Dude, are you on drugs?  Why not Poe or Duterte?

Let me explain where I’m coming from.

I am a CPA-Lawyer.  My primary legal practice involves the formation and planning of organizations.   I have businesses of my own, and I help in the creation and planning of businesses and non-profit organizations.  My work requires me to look at the people who make up an organization and align the business to fit their personalities, goals and what they hope to accomplish.  (I’m also a bit of a mythologist, so bear with my incoming pedagogical explanation).

I’m taking that experience and seeing the Philippines as an ongoing concern and corporation… a fictional entity comprised of very flawed but idealistic people who despite of the wretched mistakes of their past, still have the audacity to dream a better life for themselves and their children.  How do you translate that culture and hope into something sustainable using the resources (i.e. candidates) that are being offered for us now?

The misfortune I see in our electorate is that we are very beholden to voting for personalities.  It’s like the hero worship of sports figures, to the extent that nothing the hero does can ever be wrong in our eyes.  As such, we identify ourselves with our heroes and expect their shining qualities to save us from the wretchedness that we, as a nation, created for ourselves.  We look for father- and mother-figures because we do not want to be responsible for our own upliftment.  We expect our heroes to magically wave their hands and our problems will go away.

I made that mistake with Noynoy Aquino when I voted for him as President last time around.  I bought into the EDSA magic.  While I don’t regret my choice (more into this later), I do see however that he does have character flaws which prevented him from becoming the most ideal President that I had formed in my mind.

Whoever wins in this elections, if you voted for him or her because of the personal hero myth you projected into your candidate, prepare to be severely disappointed when you find out that your hero is as flawed as the rest of us mere worms.


Yeah, yeah, yeah, get to the point.

The point is, despite Noynoy’s shortcomings, we still ended up doing a lot better than expected.  We did a very good management and pay-off of our national debt and turned things around so that we are the ones lending money to other nations.  We made substantial (albeit flawed and partial) gains against corruption.  Our credit ratings as a nation has soared and we are currently the darling of the economic world.

And how was this possible?

PNoy had a whole team called the Liberal Party (LP) which came into pervasive power, filling up not only the Executive Branch, but also the Legislative, through the numerous congressmen and Senators who make up LP, and in the Local Government Unit.  This means that for the longest time in Philippine history, the government started acting like a coherent unit of people with shared visions, ideals, and measurable, tangible goals.

One solid proof is in the fact that for the first time since God-knows-when, our Legislative Branch was finally able to submit an approved national budget before the deadline set by the Constitution.


Dude, Who Cares About the National Budget??  We’re talking about the Presidency here!  We Want Crime Reduced, Federalism Enacted, and SSS Benefits Given to the People!

No, you SHOULD care about the National Budget.  In any organization, whether public or private, the budget is what determines whether or not the organization can meet the goals it sets for itself.  The budget determines how much resources to allocate for the priorities of the organization for any given year. You want crime reduced?  Throw money into giving better benefits and armaments to our Philippine National Police.  You want fiscal benefits from the government?  How much money of the budget will we allocate to schools, healthcare, infrastructure development, etc?  We can’t prioritize all of them.  We need to determine how much of our money goes to what priority.

So yes, the passage of the National Budget IS a big deal. The fact that during the entire time of the PNoy administration, Congress was able to pass an approved budget consistently says a lot about how effective LP has been in lobbying for its proposed priorities.

To cite a radical example of what happens when you don’t pass the budget, I point to Cebu City, where the Sanggunian council is split between those who are loyal to incumbent Mayor Michael Rama and those who are loyal to former Mayor Tomas Osmeña.  There is no commonality of interests between the two, hence every Resolution and Ordinance to be enacted has to be fought tooth and nail, resulting in no cogent local law passed for the betterment of Cebu.  Both teams try to block one another from their goals out of sheer spite at being each other’s opposition.  The city budget of Cebu is held hostage, so year after year, we never are able to pass one.  We have to keep on relying on past allocations to determine how much money goes to where.

Hence, look at Cebu City.  It is the biggest city in the Visayas but it has the crappiest roads among all the provinces, without the building of any decent sidewalks for pedestrians.  We barely have a functioning public hospital for our indigents.  Forget about wide open spaces and playgrounds for our children to play in, the closest thing we have to a public park is that small thatch of greenery in the middle of Fuente Osmena, and Plaza Independencia.  Public library?  I doubt that they’ve even made any substantial updates on their books since the 1960’s.

I don’t want a country run by split interests and opposing ideologies.  It’s in our best interest to be governed by one political party.


Get To The Point Already, You Long-winded Bean Counter!!

Hey, that’s Mister Long-winded HANDSOME Bean Counter to you, sir.

The point is, we only have 2 political parties with a full complement of candidates, not only in the President and Vice-President, but also in the Senate, the House of Representatives, and in the local slates.  Those parties are UNA and LP, and between the two, I’d rather throw my cards in with LP because while it’s not perfect (and sometimes downright infuriating), LP has made substantial gains and progress during its run under the PNoy Administration.

And while some Senators, Congressmen and other LGU officials have thrown in their allegiance to Grace Poe and Rodrigo Duterte, the fact is that these people are few and far in between.  They could not compare to the solid foundation that LP has built in its incumbency.

What I’m trying to say is that while I am not sold out on Mar, I am however, willing to see what LP can do if given another chance (especially considering none of the other parties are palatable).  And Mar is LP’s front runner, and as front runners go, among all the candidates, it is Mar who has had the most extensive experience, exposure and linkages  in the national government.  It is Mar alone who is a legitimate Wharton graduate (some would insist undergraduate, but whatever.  To-MAY-toe, To-MAH-toe.)  It is Mar alone who has studied economics.

The point is that while Mar is someone I wouldn’t share a beer with, I don’t think I would mind too badly if he’s the guy running the beerhouse operations, knowing that he’s not going to pick fights with his own staff.

So yes, here I am again, pitching my hat in and joining the Yellow Army.  I know this will make me very unpopular among my legion of friends who have pledged allegiance to the Mayor of Davao, but it is what it is.

Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo are my candidates.  Dovie’andi se tovya sagain.