Monday, October 26, 2015

The 2016 circus has began

I usually refrain from writing about politics or posting something about it especially on social media. However, the times when you can't just help commenting on articles or posts pertaining to the current political atmosphere in the Philippines seem to be increasing. Fortunately, I have good self control as I am also aware of the sensitivity of some people, many of whom are friends, when it comes to politics and the state of the nation. However, I do have some thoughts about the declared candidates for president and vice president, which I will share here.

The current crop of candidates for the presidency and vice presidency of the Philippines is not as exciting or interesting as previous elections. One candidate was supposed to have been the standard bearer of his party in 2010 but ended up giving way to the current president and eventually losing to the incumbent vice president who is also running for the presidency. While the latter is saddled with so much heavy baggage from allegations of corruption, the other candidate is saddled with allegations of ineptness. It doesn't help that the same candidate is part of the elite, the oligarchs who have influenced the country for a very long time and who have been accused at many times of pursuing their interests first before the country's. 

The elite candidate has as running mate a widow of a popular mayor turned local government secretary. She has been thrust into the limelight to bring legitimacy to a platform of reform and straight path despite her being a bit green in politics. Though attractive to many who are seeking good governance, there are questions if she is 'winnable' compared to her rivals for the vice presidency. One of those rivals is a former leader of coups against the government who seems to have mellowed down over the years but represents military adventurism in the country. He is also one who seems to have been napilitan lang tumakbo (forced to run by circumstances) as many possible partners have distanced themselves from the current VP.

Then there is one who fashions herself as a fresh personality but is not without controversy considering her becoming a citizen of another country in the past. Add to this allegations about her nationality stemming from her being a foundling who was adopted by showbiz royalty. She is being tagged as a puppet of her running mate, who is skillful and wily enough to be believable in concocting something to that effect. This vice presidential candidate was supposed to have been among the architects of the vice presidential defeat in 2010 of the presidential candidate due to the support given to the incumbent VP by this senator.

Last among the presidential candidates is a person who could have won the presidency back in 1992 when she first ran for the highest government post in the country. She didn't have the political machinery back then but it was she who captured the imagination of the youth back then. Her defeat probably was due to the first instances of dagdag-bawas before this was 'perfected' by a slew of candidates who have been branded as trapo (traditional politicians = corrupt politicians). Then as now, this candidate has been alleged to be brenda (brain damaged), an allusion to insanity. But then you have to be insane to run for president of this country and try to solve its myriad problems, right?

What is most interesting about her now is not her but her running mate. In 1992, she partnered with the son of arguably the most loved (if not the best) president we ever had - Ramon Magsaysay. Today, she is running with the son of arguably the most vile (if not the worst - depending on what angle you are looking at) president we ever had - Ferdinand Marcos. Questions abound of the complicity, the awareness of the son in the sins of his father and the rest of his family and their associates. And many of these are legitimate making his candidacy and the prospect of him becoming president (yes, there is such a possibility) is unpalatable to many.

These are the presidential and vice presidential candidates we have now in the Philippines and God help the electorate choose who among them will be leading the country for the next six years from 2016. Hopefully, we do get to vote wisely and have leaders who would be wise and decisive in transforming this country into a progressive and equitable state.

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