Thursday, May 14, 2015

Presidential talk and Why We should not treat the 2016 Presidential election as a trifling thing

One idiot congratulating another idiot
I am totally disappointed and in fact, enraged on how this discussion about the next president is turning out. Frankly, most of us are choosing our candidates based on perceived popularity and party affiliation, not on skills or performance or even intelligence.

President Aquino and his allies are choosing who to support based on one faulty assumption--that person should toe the "Tuwid na Daan" line as if it is the state ideology. This tuwid na daan is a propaganda line, nothing more. It says nothing about how do we deal with external and internal threats to our survival as a nation.

Grace Poe's name is cropping up because she is right now the star of the show. Political parties, even the United Nationalist Alliance are jacking up, trying to get her into their stable. Idiots.

No one among them even asked her about her position or stand in issues, her management approach or even the things that she'll be bringing into the table once elected as either president or vice president. Since she's figuring quite well in the ratings department, we might as well elect her inspite of her inexperience or her total ignorance on governance.

Her surname carries weight, but aside from that, what other things will she offer for us? How will she engage China and the United States? What will she do with terrorist groups? How about gut issues? What is her stand on privatization, agrarian reform, women's rights, gay rights, abortion, FOI, and peace and order?

Will she declare martial law when the times call for it? Will she decide to push the button for the execution of a known criminal when the times warrant it? What role will her husband play in government?

Davao City mayor Duterte's name is also showing up in surveys purposely being pushed by Lakas NUCD men. Reason why? The basis is a survey which shows that majority of Filipinos will vote for the person perceived to exercise strong political will. Everyone knows Duterte's name is legendary when it comes to this department, but no one actually thought that Duterte's methods border on the extreme and you can't do that when you're president. The mayor's hordes of supporters will just be disappointed once Duterte succeeds in the election because his tough guy talk will amount to absolutely nothing once he realises how things work in Malacanan.

Can Duterte stand toe-to-toe with the Big Boys here in Luzon and the Visayas? Will he be tough with smugglers? How about China? His supporters expect him to issue incendiary statements against this Global superpower and will he then, do it just to play with them?

Two gentlemen: Mar Roxas and Vice president Jejomar Binay are likewise asking us to consider one of them as our President come 2010. Even the son of a dead strongman Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr is joining the fray, positioning himself as a viable candidate, and so do Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Chiz Escudero and Antonio Trillianes IV.

Think, think, my fellow Filipinos---who among them can stand toe-to-toe with other leaders in the Asian region? Who among them will have the guts to do the necessary things and stand by decisions and laws which are not exactly popular but laws which we sorely need for our survival as a nation?

Just assume that all of them are intelligent, but who among them has the experience, the strong political will and the character of a good president? What we have now are people who think they can do the job but if we analyse them one by one, we'll arrive at a very sore conclusion---as what Christopher de Leon said in that iconic Lino Brocka movie--Tinimbang ka Ngunit Kulang?

FRankly, our presidential elections in 2016 is VERY CRITICAL and VERY important because it will affect the balance of power in Asia six years down the line.

2016 is a very important watershed in Philippine history for three things: first, the next six years will surely bring tremendous economic growth in our country but without an effective and clean bureaucracy, such growth will only benefit a few and not a majority of our people. Second, the Philippines is at the very centre of a potential serious regional conflict that may involve two of the world's superpowers: China and the United States. This early, the Pentagon itself has said that it intends to assist the Philippines in developing a naval base 22 kilometres away from the Spratlys Group of Islands, the potential conflict area. Japan has started its joint naval exercises with the Philippines and other allies in the SouthEast Asian region have intimated their collective desire to assist the Philippines in its potential engagement with China.

This Spratlys issue not just affects the sovereignty of our country but likewise is becoming a potential threat to all other countries in the region.The US has already declared that the area is a very important strategic trade route used by countries around the world. IN building that humongous facility in one of the islands of the Spratlys, China is exploiting the weakness of the Philippines and other claimant countries for its own military advantage.

The potential of a shooting war looms bigger and larger today than say five years ago. Or, even if this does not lead to an armed conflict, such Chinese moves are now being interpreted in a very bad light by several countries. Fact is, many Asian countries are worried that China's moves are wrong and can actually drag the entire region into a very serious naval conflict.

The Philippines is very important in the resolution or because if we elect a populist president come 2016, we might find ourselves in a bigger and deeper mess than two years ago. If we elect someone with extremist tendencies or as soft as a baby in the person of Mar Roxas, things would either turn for us or against us.

If our next President swings towards the East, then, the direction of our economy will be different Same goes if we decide to go to the West.

Lastly, Mindanao is still a big threat to us. For one, international terror groups roam throughout this region in wanton abandon. Will the Bangsamoro Basic Law provide the necessary mechanisms effective in arresting the development or rise of militancy?

I am sure other rival countries would try and is probably in contact with rebel groups or their leaders in Mindanao just to assure themselves that this experiment fails in its face. It is in the interests of other groups to try and fan the flames of conflict in that side of our country so that our government remains unresponsive to other issues of the State.

If we fail to elect a suitable leader come 2016, and we decide to choose like how we did during these past few years, then, we all need to accept one inevitable consequence of our foolishness--our continued underdevelopment as a Nation.