“Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a persons turns about
When they might have won had they stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow…
You may succeed with another blow.”
Amidst the chaos in the country today – blinding insanity, overwhelming stupidity, unnerving ignorance and incompetence – I am almost tempted to quit and just go home to my places in Mindanao, immersed in my books and music and write poetry once again. But this is easier said than done. Besides, it is not just I who have always been dreaming to change the world. So the unnamed person who has written the above lines has come to the rescue, whether she is man or woman.
Leni Robredo – the last man standing
I met Leni just once – on the floor of the Lower House of Congress. It was Congressman Douglas Hagedorn of Palawan who introduced me to her. There was nothing significant about the meeting, it was very casual. But there were things about her I remembered very well – her simplicity, civility, lack of guile and her commanding presence.
It is not often you find those qualities in a person these days, irrespective of nationality or tribal origin. In this world of pretense and plasticity, finding such a person is like a breath of fresh air in a starry-studded evening in May at my beach house in Camiguin, so familiar, like Mathew Arnold’s Dover Beach or Yukio Mishima’s The Sound of Waves.
The chance encounter stayed in my mind and I was awakened when I learned she was the reluctant running mate of Mar Roxas, the presidential candidate of PNoy. I did not give it any thought since I have a very strong aversion for anything that has something to do with President PNoy Aquino. In my opinion, PNoy is a poisoned tree and nothing coming from him by way of an idea is rational or worth entertaining. And even as of this writing, I have not changed my mind and I don’t think I ever will since that would be short of a miracle.
But we are talking here of country
After a continuing review of the kind of presidential candidates we have for the May 2016 elections – an admitted criminal whose mind, in the words of Senator Trillianes, is sick, and who has a dysfunctional and evil heart; a denying criminal whose pachydermous insensitivity to overwhelming evidence is at best amusing, at worst despicable; a senator who is not quite prepared to do the job; and probably the best among them, Mar Roxas, but is a candidate of PNoy – I am compelled to search for a redeeming grace for this country among the vice-presidential candidates.
Why? Because if anyone of the first three in the preceding enumeration gets to be President, God forbid, not one is likely to finish his/her term. Duterte – with his ailments and dirt in his whole being, he will likely choke to death and not finish his term. Binay – he will probably go to jail in the first possible opportunity. Poe – she will likely be impeached before the end of her term. In the case of Roxas, if he malfunctions, Leni is likely to defy him, any day and any time!
In the first three circumstances, she would become President and the Philippines will be blest for it because, based on her record and interviews, she is a woman of character; a no-nonsense public official; she knows what she is doing; she loves this country; she is a woman of principles and courage; a woman with a lot of balls; and a woman who is a family person, lives a simple life with no pretenses.
In a Mar Roxas presidency, there is no way she can be intimidated to toe the presidential line, if it runs against her principles. She will be there for the people even if she has to break ranks in the process.
All my life I have been fighting for this country and I still do. My best option for a change of system is still a constitutional transition government. But in its absence, for the moment, I recommend to the voters of this country LENI ROBREDO for Vice-President in May 2016, whoever is your choice for President. In voting for her, you can take pride in being a Filipino. She is the silver lining in the present campaign. She knows how to be Vice-President and in cases of accident, natural intervention or by legal design, she can be President worth having and can do tremendous honor to this country, which has somehow lost its luster.
I will fly home to Camiguin, a beautiful island, which for now is Paradise Lost because of corrupt public officials, to vote for LENI ROBREDO for Vice-President, with a continuing hope that with her election our island and this country will become Paradise Regained.