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In the Philippines, Good Mayors Don't Necessarily Make Good Presidents

e've seen it all before with Joseph "Erap" Estrada. And if either Jejomar Binay or Rodrigo Duterte win in the upcoming election, we will likely see it again—a president out of his element, grappling with a job that's way over his head.

Many still remember what a fiasco the Estrada presidency was. A man of questionable morals,Joseph Estrada, in Malacañang Palace on August, 1998 he was building palatial mansions for his numerous mistresses each of which acted as though they were royalty. Goons and scalawags, gambling lords and two-bit scam artists walked in and out of Malacañang like they owned the place.

The  "Erap" presidency was a nightmare to educated class. A slap to the face of the country's elites by those with no money and little education, but with numbers large enough to elect anyone they chose for president.

Unfortunately, the Erap administration was a disaster. However, when he started his political career in as Mayor of San Juan, Rizal in 1969, he turned out to be a popular and well-loved as mayor. He paved most of the roads in that small municipality, beautified its public areas, and kept its police force on a short leash. San Juan was quickly transformed from a town with potholed dirt roads to a city with wide concrete streets and beautiful public spaces.

Sadly, one's success running a small municipality does not automatically translate into similar success running a nation. The difficulty and complexity increase exponentially and that is what voters, as well as candidates, fail to grasp. The small-town, parochial, hands-on way of doing things that work so well in the mayor's office, don't work in Malacañang's presidential office.

Binay has been a mayor for decades. The same is true for Duterte. Both are now running for president. And we believe that neither will be good at it. In addition to the reasons we highlight above, serious corruption allegations hound Binay, while temperament and probable involvement with vigilante groups hound Duterte.

Vice President  Jejomar Binay and Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte

So those of you considering voting for either Binay or Duterte, think long and hard about it. Think about how far the Philippines is behind its more developed neighbors. Think about all the big problems facing the country. Most importantly, think about future generations of Filipinos who will have live with the consequences of a Binay or Duterte presidency.

The small-town perspective of former Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, and current Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will likely make their terms a replay of Estrada's failed presidency. We Filipinos shouldn't put the country through that kind of anguish yet again. So a big "NO" to either Binay or Duterte for president! Published 2/8/2016

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