There’s not been much excitement during the first two days of filing of certificates of candidacy that saw Vice President Jojo Binay and Senator Gringo Honasan as among the first ones to turn in their COC at the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
I don’t think it would’ve been much different if Sen. Grace Poe showed up. Same thing with “Tuwid na Daan” standard-bearer Mar Roxas 2nd.
But maybe many will agree with me that it would’ve been entirely different if Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte joined the fray.
I was hoping the 2016 polls would not turn into a popularity contest and mudslinging mayhem.
Duterte’s advocacy on federalism would have been an interesting campaign issue.
The nation that awaited Duterte’s decision “before considering their choices” is now left with many say “a choice between evil and lesser evil.”
I did not personally endorse Duterte. How could I do so when he kept saying he didn’t plan to run?
At press time, Duterte declared that he had decided not to run for President at all.
Earlier, his camp clarified he would not need to make a declaration prior to his filing of his COC.
Unfortunately, it’s a no-go for the popular, controversial and enigmatic Davao City chief executive.
It would’ve been much different if he did otherwise.
I have nothing against having half dozen or even a dozen “presidentiables.” Trite but true the saying, the more the merrier.
I am for a wide range of choices available for the people, particularly for those actually going out to cast their vote on May 9, 2016.
Not “exciting” so far but these national elections are crucial because of the most dire and serious issues that our country confronts almost 30 years after Ferdinand Marcos fled Malacañang.
There are those who blame Marcos, who used to play golf with then-Singapore strongman Lee Kuan Yew and other Asian leaders who picked his brains, for the country’s misery.
All these press releases about “economic gains” under the Aquino administration simply do not mean anything to the greater number of Filipinos who have not experienced better quality of living.
Poverty and hunger remain widespread despite the corruption and irregularity-riddled Conditional Cash Transfer program.
Thousands of homeless people, including children, can be seen all over Metro Manila.
There are rampant kidnappings, abductions and disappearances, like that of activist Jonas Burgos, who remains missing.
Justice has not been served the victims of the Maguindanao massacre, including media members, and the 44 policemen from a Special Action Force team who were killed by Muslim separatist rebels in January this year.
Man, the poorly-maintained Metro Rail Transit 3, the backward mass transport system and the neurotic traffic gridlock along EDSA and elsewhere.
Despite a ballooning annual national budget and foreign debt, the ordinary Filipino remains impoverished.
Arguably, millions of Filipinos look back and see better things 30 or 40 years ago under a terribly demonized strongman.
Ironically, there has been a growing clamor for a “strongman,” which description befits Duterte, many believed.
Well, if one comes to think of it, there is not a dearth of strong men, only they’ve chosen to run for Vice President and senator.
* * *
We welcome your reaction, comments, complaints or exposé. Please email them to email@example.com or personally visit us at the TV5 Field Office at 2nd Floor, Quedsa Plaza, Quezon Ave. corner EDSA, Quezon City, between 9am-4pm Monday to Friday.