six years the crazies come out en force in a mad rush to file
Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) for the Philippine Presidential
Elections. The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) gives everyone only a
four-day window within which to file their COCs. Thus the normally
busy COMELEC offices in Intramuros turn into a madhouse of frenetic
activity as who's-who politicos and their supporters parade in and out
of that compound. So lets take a quick, less serious view of some of the
more serious contenders for the Philippine Presidency and Vice
Presidency. In random order they are:
- Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.
Santiago actually worked for Ferdinand Marcos, so while she doesn't
paint herself as a Marcos-loyalist, her choice for VP is understandable.
Having miraculously survived stage-four lung cancer, the feisty Ilonga
legislator has her eyes once again on the presidency.
Here's what we like
about her—she's determined, hardworking, and honestly looks like she
wants to leave a positive legacy to the country. She's also had years
of experience in government—very important as far as we're concerned.
Here's what we don't
like about her—she's arrogant, flies of the handle too easily, and
carries this enormous chip on her shoulder thinking she's smarter than
anyone around her. And she's just too "crazy" to be president.
Having Marcos as her
running mate will likely be a plus for her in the North, but the
"Marcos" name still carries significant liabilities everywhere else.
Bottom line: at this
stage it is hard to see the Santiago-Marcos tandem as a serious
contender for either office.
Grace Poe - Francis
Our bias may be showing but there is really nothing nice we can say
about Poe (who actually should be running as "Grace Poe-Lamanzares' or
simply "Grace Llamanzares" but she knows she won't get many votes if she
If we have to find
something we like about her—we guess it would be guts and ambition,
because you have to have a lot of both to run for something you appear
completely unqualified for (like Nancy Binay who became Senator ... but
that's another editorial).
There's a lot we don't
like about her—at this stage, Poe is simply a big question mark for most
"thinking" voters (emphasis on the word "thinking" of course). No one
really knows what she knows and what she doesn't. No one knows where she
stands on the many serious issues confronting the country. How good is
she at bargaining, or standing up to pushy foreign neighbors?
Having Escudero as her
running mate will be a big plus for her. In fact he should be the one
running for president and she for vice president. But if many Filipino
doctors have been able to swallow their pride and work as nurses in the
U.S., then we guess Escudero can do the same and play the role of VP in
a (heaven-forbid) Poe administration.
Bottom line: Escudero
"yes," Poe "definitely "no."
Jejomar Binay -
We realize we
are showing our bias, snobbishness and political incorrectness when we
say Binay is just too short, dark, and ugly to be president. He looks
more like a jeepney driver than a statesman—but that's just our opinion.
Nonetheless, we stand by it. When the assembled ASEAN heads of state
hold hands and smile for the cameras, guess who'll be the shortest and
least statesmanlike-looking in the group—if Binay becomes president?
Filipinos have already suffered through almost six years of having to put up
with a president who appears somewhat retarded in photographs.
What we like about
What we don't like
about him—we already stated in a previous editorial. First and foremost
(and Binay can never deny this) is the fact that he skirted the
country's term limits law by having members of his family run for his
office after he "termed-out" so that he could legally run for that
office again and again. This is a blatant disregard for a law which says
that after three consecutive terms—it's "thank you very much for your
service now give someone else the chance to serve." Most local
government officials are also guilty of this and they should all be
booted out of office, as far as we're concerned. What is happening in
the Philippines today is nothing short of a travesty. So Binay (and
Rodrigo Duterte if he were to run) gets our thumbs down for this reason
Will Honasan be a plus
for Binay? Probably not. The "idol" of the EDSA-One revolution couldn't
leave well enough alone. Instead Honasan thought he could continue doing
one coup after another. His undistinguished career as senator affirms
the theory that "Rambo" types have their brains
located on their lower extremities instead of in their heads.
Bottom line: a big "no"
for Bi-Hon (Binay and Honasan).
Manuel "Mar" Roxas -
Maria Leonor "leni" Robredo
We saved this duo for last because we can't find much to critique or
make fun of. Here's what we like about Roxas—he's a team player, not a
prima donna like most Filipino politicians. He's also well educated, but
most importantly for us, like Santiago, he's had years of experience in
both the legislative and executive departments.
What we don't like about
him—he's just too boring! Nothing about his entire persona excites us.
Donald Trump described rival candidate Jeb Bush as a "low energy" person,
well we see Roxas that way as well. Although he may have sterling
credentials, if he cannot manage to "dial it up" a bit, he might never
make it to Malacañang.
Though not Roxas' first
choice for a running mate, Robredo might turn out to be a plus for him
after all. She seems to have a lot more "spunk" than he does. And her
husband, the late Jessie Robredo built a legacy of service to his
constituents while shedding the trappings of power that accompany
government posts. And Unlike Poe whom she has criticized, Robredo is
fully aware of the enormous responsibility placed on her shoulders
should she become vice president.
Bottom line: for now at
least it has to be Mar and Leni.