ell, it looks like the
presidency won't happen for Grace Poe—at least not in 2016. And
we're delighted. As far as we're concerned, the freshman senator who is
only halfway through her first term in office is totally unqualified to
be president for now. She lacks the experience,
and because she's lived
abroad for so long, still lacks a true "feel" for Philippine issues. If she had become president, she would have had to rely
primarily on others
for guidance—ala Cory Aquino.
So who else? Well
there's Jejomar Binay. The name Jejomar itself is quite interesting.
It's suppose to be a contraction of "Jesus, Joseph, and Mary." But
shouldn't they be named by order of importance? Christians (Catholics
especially) say: Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Joseph being the least
important of the three). So, to be theologically correct, Binay's first
name should be Jemarjo, not Jejomar.
All this is immaterial
at this point anyway since Binay has lost the commanding lead he once
had in the polls. All those charges of corruption seem to have taken
their toll. So now the public just can't see Binay as someone they can
Then there's Miriam
Defensor-Santiago. For starters, we have a problem with married Filipinas who
use hyphenated surnames. Why not just go with one or the other—like
Grace Poe and say "to Hell with my husband's surname, I'm using my
maiden name." Miriam trails everyone at this stage so no one really
takes her candidacy seriously. Come to think of it, nobody takes Miriam
seriously about anything anyway!
Next is Mar Roxas. He's
the guy we most want to see get to Malacanang. The problem is, he can't
seem to connect with the voters. His handlers have tried the moniker
"Boy Palenke" to make him appear more "masa." Problem is, the masa isn't
buying it. They just don't see him as one of them.
So who's left? Davao
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and he's surging in the polls. The poor masses and
the well-off both seem attracted to him. The tough, "Dirty Harry"
persona he projects seems to be what most Filipinos want in their next
president. His critics however say he's a thug who has no regard for the
law. They say he had no problem "eliminating" small-time crooks and drug
dealers from Davao, but could do nothing about big-time warlords like
the Ampatuans who own a palatial-sized home in that city.
If Commissioner Etta
Rosales and her team at the Philippine Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
ever manage to lift their fat behinds off their padded swivel chairs and
actually begin doing what they are being paid a salary by the Filipino
people to do, multiple charges of human rights violations might be
leveled against Duterte and his vigilante accomplices for all the
"salvaging" (killings) that have gone on in Davao for decades ...
allegedly with the tacit approval of the mayor.
So to our chagrin, the
saying "be careful what you wish for" might just come back to haunt us.
If Poe is eventually disqualified, Duterte may end up the winner. So
we've replaced a seemingly inexperienced candidate with an alleged thug. Unless of
course, Duterte himself gets thrown out of the race. Then it will be
Binay vs. Roxas ... still an uphill battle for Mr. Palenke—but with far
better odds for him. Bottom line: at this point it is still anyone's