We must not think of ourselves only. Our choice of President will affect the futures of our other neighbors in Asia. Why?
A President who clings to China will do policies different or contrary to the expectations of other nations, including the United States and Japan. A President who fights China will probably be dragging everyone to a conflict which will be regrettable in the end.
This Spratlys island is a balancing act, something which a populist president will never ever understand.
How about the Bangsamoro Question? The Bangsamoro Basic Law is sure to be passed sometime next week. Implementing such a law requires a toughie of a leader at the same time, someone who knows how to tame those among the propertied classes who feels threatened by the BBL.
It may be popular to talk tough on China but doing so may affect another side of the bilateral relationship with them. It may likewise be unpopular not to engage them but doing so may affect other ties with other Asian countries as well.
We don't need a Populist president come 2016. What we need is a strategic thinker of a President, someone who knows how to detach himself from the throng and sees things at a distance.
This is not the time to consider state matters as a trifle. Our economy and our future are inevitably tied with the regional economy and it is not enough anymore to treat things in isolation. With this ASEAN integration, our hiccup at one side of the region affects the other side of the equation.
We must not be self-absorbed or be selfish to think that our decision come 2016 is ours and ours alone. The traditional borders that separate states from each other are slowly crumbling and state actions cannot be treated as impacting in one place only.
If we elect a popular candidate yet unprepared, we are doing the country, the future generations of Filipinos and even our Asian neighbours a great disservice.
Let us stop thinking of Malacanan as just an entertainment hub. I know it's hard not to considering that it has acted as such laughable manner since the very start of this Republic.
These times are different. We may regret our actions come next year when we trade state matters over emotions or over populism or over elitist propaganda against a potential perfect candidate.
Or we might be electing someone whose allegiance in the first place is placed elsewhere. Such is the danger and the importance of 2016 that we start taking these elections very seriously.
Or, leave state matters to a Council instead of the present form of government.