Who do I want to win?
Actually the title of this post should be: "Who will I vote for?", but unfortunately, I'm not going to vote.
I was deactivated. I skipped voting during the 2004 elections, and when I tried to vote in 2007, for some reason I couldn't find my precinct. That's two consecutive elections that I failed to vote, and now I'm deactivated. While I'm in no way suggesting that the right to vote should be taken lightly, unfortunately that's what I did when I neglected to register again. I couldn't be bothered with the hassle I suppose, with all the things that have been going on at the time, and so now, on the historic eve of the Philippines' first automated elections, I'm not voting.
So, who do I want to win?
I'll be honest, there really isn't a candidate that I believe to be worlds apart from the others. All of them have their strengths, their weaknesses, their respective histories, good or bad. Some of them though, are probably more desirable than others to lead this country. While I don't claim to know everything there is about all of the presidentiables, I do read the newspapers, watch the news on TV and listen to commentaries on radio, so I may have a pulse on who should win, and who shouldn't...maybe. Of course you're free to disagree, because these are just my personal opinions and impressions. Take them with a grain of salt.
Let's turn things around and let me tell you first who I don't want to win.
I don't want Eddie Villanueva to win. His platform is based on change based on truth, change and righteousness. Nothing wrong about that, the thing is, he's a religious leader. He's the founder of the Jesus Is Lord Church. For me, this kinda blurs the Constitutional doctrine of separation of church and state. A good leader should be able to make objective hard and fast decisions, unfettered and unburdened by relative standards of morality and righteousness which vary from one religion to another. I don't want my President to be imposing his moral standards on me, I want him to lead the country, and not worry about my soul. That's my business. Jesus is quoted in the bible as saying: "Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." It simply means that the State, and God, are two different entities. Blur the difference, and, you may very well have a government prone to moral subjectivity instead of a government ruled by the letter of the law.
I don't want Jamby Madrigal to win. Little chance of that happening though. She comes from the upper crust of society. Nothing wrong about that as well, but I want a President who can empathize with the plight of the impoverished masses. How can she do that if she doesn't even know the price of galunggong or itlog na pula? Arguably it's not a big deal I suppose. But still, she should lower herself from her white-bread pedestal, instead of making poor people understand her...because she's rich. And she's always bitching against Manny Villar. Not that I'm a supporter of Manny Villar, because I'm not. I just believe one should exalt one's own achievements when running for public office, and not capitalize on the faults and weaknesses of other candidates.
Speaking of Manny Villar, I don't want him to win either, primarily because of the C5 Extension controversy. However which way you slice it, the C5 extension raised the value of his properties which it passed through. If he had a direct hand in causing the road to pass his properties, he's corrupt. If he claims to be not aware, he's incompetent. If he knew it would pass his properties and did not say a word or inhibit himself, he's unethical. Any of these traits surely make him unfit to be President. Villar also spent upwards of P3B for his campaign. If he sincerely wants to help the people, the P3B could have done wonders for the masses. And he need not run for public office. So apparently he's also ambitious, and a hypocrite. Two no-no's in my book.
Then there's Gilbert Teodoro. He's no doubt one of the smartest of the bunch. Topped the Bar in 1989. Got his Masters from Harvard Law School. His intelligence notwithstanding, I don't like him. Last year he bolted the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) which as Congressman he was a member of to cast his name as a contender for the Presidential nomination of Lakas-Kampi. He got the nomination, at the expense of Lakas-Kampi loyalist Bayani Fernando. Rumor is, he got the nomination because Lakas-Kampi was hoping his uncle, Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco, Jr., Chairman Emeritus and founder of the NPC would bankroll his presidential run. Cojuangco went on to support the candidacy of his other nephew, Noynoy Aquino, instead. While definitely intelligent, he's overly ambitious, and lacks loyalty, abandoning his party of more than ten years to join the administration (which everyone kinda hates) just for a shot at the Presidency. Personally, I consider loyalty to be a very important trait. He doesn't seem to have much of it though.
Then we go to Joseph Estrada. I have two words. EDSA Dos. Filipinos really have a short memory. He already had his shot. Let someone else give it a try.
I have mixed feelings with the following candidates. Any one of them would probably make a good President, but they're not without their flaws.
Take Richard Gordon. He's intelligent, competent, and capable of instituting change, as seen with his achievements with Olongapo City, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), the Department of Tourism, and the Philippine National Red Cross. What I don't like about him is his tendency to be arrogant and be a wildcard, which was what he showed before when he defied then President Joseph Estrada's order to vacate the SBMA, and his recent handling of the NBN-ZTE Broadband investigation where he recommended the prosecution of the witnesses and more or less exonerated the Arroyos of any wrongdoing. Still, he has proven himself to be an action man, so I guess I really wouldn't mind if he wins. But he probably won't, and that's a shame.
Then there's Noynoy Aquino. Son of two national icons, Former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., and former President Corazon "Cory" Aquino. His sister, celebrity Kris Aquino is an icon as well. Unwillingly thrust into the limelight after Cory Aquino passed away last year. Became the Presidential candidate of the Liberal Party after party President Mar Roxas gave way. Not much in the way of experience or track record though. Not known for his intelligence and charismatic speeches either, though he has the Aquino name to back his candidacy. No stain on his reputation, well maybe except for the Hacienda Luisita controversy, which is considered by some as a highly contentious issue, though some downplay it. Stands for integrity, reform and anti-corruption. He may very well win because he does not merely represent himself or his party, but his parents' legacy as well. Currently on top of most surveys. Is he the best candidate for President? Not necessarily, he's not known for his brains or achievements, but he represents the silent majority's ideals and desire for change and for clean and good governance. If he wins, expectations will be high. Will he be able to deliver? God knows.
And J.C. de los Reyes? Nothing against the guy, his heart is probably in the right place. But winning? I don't think so.
I'll stress that the above comments are just my casual observations and opinions, and are not meant to sway anyone to vote for or against anyone else. What's important is that you exercise your right to vote tomorrow, and remember what's at stake when you cast your ballot.
We should also pray that tomorrow's elections be peaceful, and that the country be spared from senseless bloodshed.