ell it’s official;
neophyte Senator Grace Poe is running for president. To reiterate, our
stand on her qualifications remains the same: she is nowhere near
qualified to become president. She has no track record and no experience
under her belt. It is good that she chose Senator Chiz Escudero for her
vice presidential running mate. He’s had far more experience in
government and can offer her guidance should she become president.
The fact remains—and
we’ve stated this in previous editorials—just because you can win does
not mean you should run. In fact, this is the same argument Donald
Trump's detractors are using to argue against his becoming president of
the United States. He may have the money, and he may have the support of
Republican Primary voters, but many Republicans still do not see him as a
serious or viable candidate for the presidency.
And while we’re on the
topic of U.S. elections, from a Filipino perspective, it was thoroughly
refreshing to watch the Republican debate where the sharpest minds that
have lead the country as governors, senators, and business and
professional leaders, battle it out for the right to run for president.
There’s nothing similar
in the Philippine presidential elections. What you have instead in this
country is an “anointing.” Someone is anointed to lead the country as
president. It does not matter how qualified or unqualified that person
is. Our current president, Benigno Aquino III was the “anointed one” for
the 2010 elections. He was a mediocre congressman and later a
mediocre senator, a non-achiever with a reputation as one of the
“dullest knives in the drawer.” Yet he was “anointed” president by the
Filipino people because his mother, former President Cory Aquino
serendipitously passed away a few months before the elections. Cory
Aquino herself had no business becoming president as she personally
admitted that she was just a plain housewife and knew nothing about
running the country—she then spent six years proving that fact to the
China’s leaders have
run circles around our current president—they conned him into believing
they would leave Scarborough Shoal in mid-June 2012 as a storm
approached the area. In anticipation of the Chinese ships departing,
Aquino recalled the two Philippine Coast Guard vessels guarding the
shoal and ordered them back to port.
To his surprise the Chinese never left and have since cordoned off the
area preventing Filipinos from returning to the shoal. As kids, we had a
name for someone like Aquino. It was “utu-uto”or “sucker” in English.
Unfortunately, that is
the kind of leadership one can expect from leaders “anointed” to their
positions. Grace Poe, should she win, will be no different. She will be
an unqualified president bungling through one blunder after another—or
at best she would fail to seize the opportunities that could turn the
country around. It is no wonder that Philippine leaders are not taken
seriously by other world leaders. They have nothing in their resume that
passes for notable accomplishments. And the whole world knows this.
On Election Day,
Filipino voters, will have to take a deep breath, pinch their noses and
vote for Mar Roxas. He might be “Mr. Boring,” but he’ll be the most
qualified presidential candidate—by a wide margin.