The last to file could be first


So the last shall be first, and The first last; for many be called, But few chosen.
–St. Matthew’s Gospel Verse20:16 New Testament of the Holy Bible

If Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago filed her Certificate of Candidacy for the presidency yesterday, just in time to beat the Oct. 16 deadline, she will be the last natural-born Filipino politician to enter the race. She will round up to four the personages who will seriously contest the presidency in the May elections next year.

I was afraid that if Senator Miriam would not push through with her candidacy, we would be facing next year an election of false choices, wherein the candidates we would be compelled to choose from are all running under false pretenses; viz,

• Mar Roxas running with a hand-me-down agenda from President Aquino — the misnamed “Tuwid na Daan” (straight path) program of government – and the daunting challenge of defending on the campaign trail the appalling record of BS Aquno .

Vice President Jejomar Binay running like a Christlike figure, carrying a cross of persecution on his shoulders, and the Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales playing Pontius Pilate.

Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares running for president, as though she fulfills all the consitutional qualifications for the presidency (including being a natural-born Filipino) and possesses the even more stringent professional and intellectual requirements for the job.

With the three hobbled by a handicap, there was a chance that the field could be reduced to two candidates, or even just one.

When news finally came yesterday of Miriam’s filing her COC, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief.

Miriam, I am convinced, would bring credibility and gravitas to the 2016 election. She would force the candidates to debate the issues. And she would force Filipino voters to look for substance, not show, in the candidates.

Propelled to the front rank of contenders

There was some drama up to the end whether the lady would file her COC as she intimated earlier. There were questions about her physical fitness for even just filing her candidacy papers.

Now that her COC has been accepted and certified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), she is officially, and for better or for worse, a candidate for president.

Now that she has chosen Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr as her running mate for the campaign and elections, she has propelled herself into the front ranks of the presidential contenders.

If their campaign comes together as planned, and rallies thousands, perhaps even millions to their cause, the Biblical promise could come to pass. Miriam, with her masteral degree in theology, may just be the type who would think that being the last to file her COC is an advantage.

A parable of equality in heaven

The Biblical passage needs explication so it’s not wantonly misunderstood and misapplied.
Jesus made the statement that “many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first” in His response to the disciples’ asking what reward they would have for giving up everything to follow Him (Matthew 19:27-30; Mark 10:28-31). He reiterated this truth in Matthew 20:16 at the end of the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. This statement is not, as many believe, a description of the reversal of earthly roles in heaven. There is no hierarchy in heaven wherein the poor and oppressed will rule over the rich and powerful when we get there. Nor will those believers who enjoy wealth and prestige on earth be somehow abased in heaven. Earthly rank will not automatically translate into heavenly rank.

When Jesus told the disciples they would be greatly rewarded in heaven for what they had given up on earth, He was making a contrast with the rich young ruler, who was unwilling to give up much of anything for Christ’s sake (verses 16-22). The “last” in this world—the disciples in their poverty—would be “first” in the kingdom of heaven. Conversely, the “first” in this world—the self-sufficient rich—would be the last to find the kingdom.

An intriguing and compelling tandem

Miriam Santiago and Bongbong Marcos as a tandem is intriguing and compelling.
Miriam will be making her third run for the presidency. Bongbong bears the burden of carrying the legacy of his father, President Ferdinand Marcos, and of restoring the family name to national respect and regard, after three decades of demonization by the dominant Yellow forces.

One media colleague, Dick Pascual of the Star, has called the Santiago-Marcos tandem “a game changer.”

It will fundamentally change the 2016 race, to the extent of even becoming the favorite to win it all.

I will go even farther. I believe a Santiago- Marcos teamup could become the antidote (or kryptonite) to the perpetration of wholesale cheating by Smartmatic in the May 2016 election. Individually , Miriam and Bongbong have their own respective constituencies and bases across the archipelago. They have strong records and credentials as leaders and public servants. If you combine the two in a strategic partnership for 2016, they can build a formidable national organization in a hurry. And they can attract the kind of funding to meet every challenge during the campaign.

The idea of an antidote to cheating came from a friend who specializes in political consulting. In his analysis, he said that President BS Aquino dreads being thrown in jail by the next administration, so he will do anything to put a friendly face in Malacañang, including stealing the election.

He said only a really formidable and popular team, who can command sufficient support from the people and police-military forces can stop this cheating scenario from happening.

If the team can command sizable national support, and attract enough muscle to back it up, they can deter any dark agenda to steal the election from them. People power will be the ultimate weapon.

I see the Santiago-Marcos tandem as one that can command popular support across the length and breadth of the archipelago, and enough muscle to preserve their victory. I think the people will not allow Miriam to be cheated of victory a second time around. It is a miracle that she is standing for election in 2016, having overcome a bout with cancer.

It is remarkable that this late in the day, we Filipinos have this formidable pair on whom to bestow the challenge of leading our nation to the 500th year of discovery and Christianization.


Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. Regardless of what others will say or predicts, here are some political realities that must be considered. There is the Solid North combining with 60% of Visayan votes (Antique, the Negroses, Samar, the Garcia support from Cebu). Notwithstanding his stand on the BBL, it is a fact that there are quite few Ilocanos in Mindanao, mostly economically influential and of course the support of Mayor Duterte. Now let’s go to the Bicol region. It is going to be split 5 ways and the effect on M&M becomes negligible. With Mayor Estrada and Guia Gomez endorsements, that can easily be translated to 4 million Tagalog votes. The question is, would the Estrada, Gomez and Duterte endorsements translate for Miriam?

  2. At the end of the day, Yen, money talks bullshit walks. Pnoy Aquino knows this and you know it. Mar is a puppet and all but he will win. Santiago is all talk and no money not even from Marcos loot from his father and friends will help her win the election. Binay is damaged goods. People will know that all the years of preparation will come to naught because whatever he will spend (from where it comes from?) will be watched and will be restricted by Comelec. Llamanzares is delusional to think that the voters will not be bought and she will not be disqualified. Robredo will win the VP slot by default. That is only the money variable. It will flood the electoral landscape. Where will the money come from? First, the lump sum budgets which no one in the opposition was able to dismantle. Thanks to Engineer Napoles. She has effectively held hostage by seducing the legislative branches, military, and all agencies of government for Aquino with stash of cash. Then the savings coming from the “liasons” of the different agencies stashed in drawers and storage warehouses. But the big bets will come from the billionaire class from Indonesia, Malaysia, Hongkong, and from members of the Makati elite club who has been buying the stocks of the major telecoms which SEC allowed to do. Second, Comelec is purely an Pnoy Aquino brainchild. The automated system is his back-up plan if all else fails. Sadly, none of the smartest lawyers was able to legally dismantle it. Third, is the threat of declaration of martial law which reared its ugly head only recently when Aquino already said that it has to be passed “immediately” otherwise there will be trouble. With the BBL and all the other rampant disregard of the rule of law, breakdown in public services and corruption none of the key players in the Aquino regime were incarcerated. This is not Mar’s manifest destiny. This is Pnoy’s plan since he became president all along. Get it!!

  3. Very true! Miriam-Bongbong is God sent tandem. They are a kind of public servants long awaited for Filipinos. God bless us all!

  4. Roldan Guerrero on

    It is a sure victory for MDS/BBM tandem. If Roxas still wins, rigging and massive cheating exist again, then it will surely ignite another people`s power to happen. It is every Filipinos` dream to get back to a Nation of Dignity and we can only do this by deleting the STUPIDS leading this country. We are still lucky at last. God has given us the right leaders to manage this failed nation into a nation of DIGNITY and PROSPERITY! We should now grab the VISION of OPPORTUNITY which is within our grasps. ITS NOW OR NEVER! Miriam is right, the Philippines becomes a better place to live if she and BBM are given the chance to do so.

  5. A holly alliance of SAN MARCOS will save our nation against the evil of BIPOMAR, a political disorder that can destroy the moral fabric of a nation. Vote wisely and God bless our nation!

  6. We, Filipinos are no longer hopeless looking for a candidate that may propel our country to give the next generation a future. For the present crops the likes of Grace Poe, wag tayo umasa sa style nya kuno dapat ayusin nya muna ang kaso nya sa SET at saka lng tumakbo kung klaro na ang citizenship at residency, nag aapura akala nya maloloko nya mga Filipinos.Kay Mar, huwad na daan, un ang ginawa nila sa Presidendy ni Bonoynoy tpos itutuloy nila ang Mas Huwad na Daan! Kay Binay, bilib na sana ang mga Filipino, kaso nasobrahan ang yaman kaya bistado ang pagka corrupt nya! At least si Miriam, puro paninira lng ginawa sa kanya simula kay tabako na nagdaya sa kanya!
    Let Vote Miriak-BBM tandem, ito ang patok ngayon sa mga pinoys.

  7. But Miriam has an undisclosed baggage….Narciso “Jun” Santiago- the notorious money making machine of BOC.

  8. isidro c. valencia on

    Miriam always tries to project her achievements. Maybe the motivation is to conceal her disappointments. For example, her grade in the Bar Examination was, according to some reports, only 76 percent, which is far from exemplary.

    Senator Santiago is a well-known political butterfly who always sips the nectar of power in bloom and money in a big room —Erap Estrada, Gloria Arroyo, Renato Corona and now Bongbong Marcos.

    But she can’t sip the nectar of People Power, although she is a beneficiary.

    Miriam who is also well known in social media as “Brenda” or with brain damaged poking jokes that she hasn’t seen yet “Crispin and Basilio.”

    She claimed she had lung damaged and recuperated. claimed. Miriam should present in public “medical records of her lung cancer, because there are people who don’t believe.

    • Sorry to say, your the one who project as if your righteous,your mind is corrupt. Im critical to people who are critical to other people,why not run? Word of advice,examine yourself first,your family,your friends and evdn your environment. Before you say something hollow.OK?!

    • These days what matters most is how a person accomplished her professional attainment in this world with high integrity and self-discipline and Sen. Santiago belongs to the most respectful lawmaker Philippines ever have and did not deserve condemnation of others whose innuendo is rather futile and destructive. Unfortunately only very few lawyers fits the very good example she has demonstrated.

  9. Plainly speaking, this Miriam-Bongbong pair is HEAVEN-SENT. God has finally made his counter-move against the devil in this country.

  10. Thank you Mr. Makabenta for sharing your opinion. Just like the many who felt there is no good choice among Binay, Roxas and GP, I pinned my hope on Duterte, who made Davao, one of the best place to live in the Philippines. When Duterte announced that he is not running, I felt like the Philippines was doomed. At that time, nobody was talking about Santiago, because she was relatively quiet about her intentions, not to mention her health status. Now, the race has leveled up to give every Filipino a choice in terms of competency, experience in public service and trustworthiness.
    – Santiago and Marcos Jr. are both well educated, nobody will question their intelligence. Both of them can truly represent our country in both domestic and international community.
    – Their capability is already proven by their long track record in public service.
    – Nobody questioned their integrity so far as they were not involved in any corruption charges.
    – With Santiago at the helm, the rule of law will govern and not the notorious “rule of the yellow mob”.

    Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the other candidates. God bless the Philippines.

  11. Good move! Has Marcos confirmed their tandem? Both have to really put their acts together to gather more votes. But this is really a welcome surprise. Now let’s see the SWS and Pulse Asia survey. Who will loose votes?
    By the way, Miriam is very popular in the middle class, what about with the masses?

  12. Leodegardo Pruna on

    Definitely, Miriam and Bong-Bong would be able to neutralize the evil scheme of cheating with the use of the hocus-PCOS or OMR machines by the yellow party. The “tuwid na daan” would become “tuwad na daan” and surely it will be the third branch of government that will go after the crooks in this administration not as what we are having now “selective justice”. A new beginning to end the dark ages we went through. God bless the Philippines.

  13. Silvino V. Simsiman on

    The Santiago-Marcos tandem for 2016 will help focus on important issues for uplifting the Filipinos in general rather than on current usual “politics”. On to progress and unity for the improvement of the whole Filipino nation!

  14. A very good combination of mind, knowledge, fresh ideas on how system works and will work. A very clean records for both to start a new administration. With all the hopelessness that’s going on, there’s still light at the end of the tunnel.

    • I agree, let us all join the crusade to elect miriam and bongbong on 2016. Good luck to all of us.

  15. You are right. MIriam’s entry into the fray lends instant quality to the field of candidates for the presidency. I hope the people realize this time that the death of parents should not be the guiding inspiration in choosing a president. Neither should it be the popularity of an actor-father.


    Good analysis, Yen. We Filipinos should all think about this country before casting
    our votes. Do not be swayed by the tuwad na daan of the yellows, the Binay’s corrupt dynasty or the Poe’s celebrity status. Be concern about this country who until now
    is lagging behind its Asian neighbors because of government funds landing into the
    pockets of the corrupts who are vindictiveness of this administration. During the
    Marcos years, students from Thailand use to come to the Philippines to study
    rice production in Los Banos, Laguna. This country was self sufficient in rice then.
    Decades later, the teacher (Philippines) returned to importing rice while the student
    (Thailand) notched itself into exporting rice. That’s the country’s situation
    after Marcos.

  17. Felimon A. Soria on

    Well said Mr. Makabenta. I have great admiration of Mr. Roxas and said it before that he is decent, humble and well educated and he is going to be good for the Filipinos but a Judge to be a president of the Philippines or any country if my memory serves me right, is the first of its kind. It will make us look good in everyway and I think she is the one the Filipinos are looking for all this time.

  18. This is a God sent tandem – “TO SAVE THE PHILIPPINES”
    from a man who will do anything to steal the result of the
    elections in 2016 because he does not want to go to jail
    and stay in jail until his death.

    If they will steal the elections – THE ILOCANOS (including me)
    will march to Malacanang and Hacienda Luisita and occupy it
    until that Lunatic President is out. It will be a repeat of the

  19. For the past weeks, I’ve been anxious to know whether Mayor Duterte will file his candidacy for President and of late, whether Sen. Santiago will make the deadline. Quite frankly, it was a sigh of relief when I finally saw Sen. Santiago holding her COC. Before her filing, I definitely made up my mind to vote only for the Veep and no President.

    On the two opposing sides regarding the qualification of Mrs. Llamanzares, my legal background convinced me that she is NOT a natural-born Filipino citizen. In addition, I also question the procedure she did to officially reacquire her Filipino citizenship. Most of all, she didn’t have the necessary experience and background to lead the country of 100 million, or so, population, amidst all the problems; on Roxas, he hasn’t shown any ability to solve problems on his own, shown no initiative and political will and who, despite its inexistence, promise to continue the “daang matuwid”. To me this ‘slogan’ is a farce; it’s divisive, selective and ‘vindictive’; and, on Binay, I don’t believe that the five plunder cases are all politically-motivated, otherwise, the accusers would be facing a great liability. He cannot just deny them, he has to disprove them.

    Qualification for qualoification, the MDS-BBM tandem is the team to beat. With the solid north which, whether we like it or not, is still “solid” especially with the name “Marcos”. While some may ascribe the negatives against this name, BBM, just like any person on earth, has no means of choosing his parents. Besides, he has his own achievements to reckon with, which are much more solid than the other Veep candidates. *He did not get any bribe during the Corona trial), As a pluses, he has a strong family and political ties in the south. He also must have the support of smaller groups in Mindanao on account of his considering them in the BBL hearing. Besides, Mayor Duterte promised to support him. Finally, he has no problem with name recognition.

    On MDS, she has a well-known and nation-wide sterling record of personal and public achievements. She is tops and no one can question her outstanding record of performance in the executive, judicial and legislative branches of the government wherein she has served “par excellence”. She belongs to the “cream of the cream” of government officials, past and present. She is a ‘titan’ compared to the other candidates.

    MDS and BBM will give the others a run for their money. At last, we have a pair whose records of public services show an unquestionable ability and sincerity that can make a real change for the betterment of the Philippines in every way. They can bring back the respect, dignity and love of country to all. Long live the Philippines!

  20. Miriam, from Iloilo and Bong2 from Ilocos Norte is an excellent tandem. Rody from Davao and Bong2 is also a good tandem. The rest are garbage.

    • Yes good observations!! The rest dont have political will, they serve at the mercy of fat business man. Nothing to offer relevant to our nation,pinapaikot lang tsyo ng mga opportunistang,huwad na leader.