The president God wants


Filipinos aren’t sure what kind of president we want. That’s what randomly selected voters seem to be saying in the latest Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations voter surveys on presidential candidates.

Senator Grace Poe, Vice-President Jejomar Binay and Secretary Mar Roxas are now ten percentage points or less of one another. That was Fernando Poe Jr.’s lead over Gloria Arroyo in January 2004, which reversed to a seven-point survey deficit — extrapolated to two million votes — just before the May elections. So anything can happen.

God’s preference is a bit clearer, if one’s reads Scripture. Saint Paul’s Letter to Timothy (Tim 3:1-5), quoted below, though referring to early Christian leaders, offers a good set of do’s and don’ts for Filipino leaders as well:

“Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.”

Wouldn’t it be a breath of fresh air to have leaders beyond reproach, faithful to their spouses, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, gentle and not quarrelsome? And not enamored with money.

The nation thought we had such a president in Benigno Aquino 3rd. He didn’t have a wife, but his fabled parents and his anti-corruption slogan and campaign made many think he was irreproachable.

Sadly, the reality, recounted in “Is Aquino Corrupt?”, our September 10 column (, has raised disturbing questions about him. And the way politics has been practiced under him may have also encouraged wrong leadership habits and ways.

The love of lucre
If leaders are not supposed to be lovers of money, somebody forgot to tell both Malacañang and Congress. When the Palace wanted pet bills enacted or peevish officials ejected, it made sure the Senate and the House wallowed in pork barrel grease.

Other administrations used the Priority Development Assistance Fund to get legislators dancing to the President’s tune ever since PDAF’s precursor, then called the Countryside Development Fund, was born under Aquino’s mother Corazon.

But the amounts and brazenness of pork under Aquino leveled up, with amounts trebled from past years, and queues for fund releases at Speaker Sonny Belmonte’s office right after greased votes were cast.

Even worse from the Christian view were pork perks proferred to pass the Reproductive Health Bill. After calling for a “conscience vote,” Aquino used Congress’s favorite carrot so lawmakers would play deaf to God’s voice in their hearts — that’s what conscience is — and listen to the kaching in their pockets.

Quantum leap in quarrelsomeness
Lucre love isn’t the only bad habit exacerbated in recent years. There’s quarrelsome, too. Now, Filipino politicians have always been a nasty bunch, always giving tit for tat.

Hardly a day passes when there isn’t some elected or electable leader pointing the finger at another of his or her kind, claiming anomaly or inanity, but really fighting not for principle or the public good, but pogi points and media mileage.

But here again, there seems to be an escalation in top-level testiness in the current regime. While bigwigs certainly won’t leave digs from rival worthies unanswered, they usually ignore missives from mere mortals in kind.

Until Aquino’s retort in devastated Tacloban at a distraught rice trader telling of armed looters firing at his warehouse. Instead of sympathy or remedy, Aquino let loose: “You’re still alive, aren’t you?” — setting a new standard for quarrelsomeness.

Being quarrelsome puts the leader — his pride, position, views, feelings, and wants — above others. Even when he stands up for principle or the public good, it’s really for his own prestige and advancement. And that’s the exact opposite of the leader God wants.

‘The servant of all’
When Jesus heard His apostles arguing who was the greatest of them, He admonished: “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”

Faced with suffering, the servant-leader is quick to help victims and alleviate agony, not shift blame and skirt responsibility. He does not tolerate anomalies that rob and burden the nation, like the crony maintenance contract which messed up the Metro Rail Transit.

Most of all, he would not commit the worst offense in God’s book: leading others to sin, for instance, by abetting unprecedented smuggling at the ports, plying lawmakers with illicit funds, or pressuring judges to render unjust, unlawful rulings.

Now if we keep getting the wrong kind of leaders, it’s our fault too. Philippine political culture favors tough-talking, dole-dispensing candidates with vast nationwide networks of loyalists, who then want their cut in the spoils of victory.

Rather than being served, the least of our brethren are too often left to suffer, then manipulated through media into cheering the powers that be. These self-serving potentates should hear the prophet Ezekiel lambasting ancient Israel’s leaders:

“I, the Lord God, say you shepherds of Israel are doomed! You take care of yourselves while ignoring my sheep. You drink their milk and use their wool to make your clothes. Then you butcher the best ones for food. But you don’t take care of the flock! You have never protected the weak ones or healed the sick ones or bandaged those that get hurt. You let them wander off and never look for those that get lost. You are cruel and mean to my sheep.”

Yesterday was the feast of a Filipino who served and offered his life for the Lord. May God give our leaders some of the righteousness, service, and sacrifice gifted to Saint Lorenzo Ruiz. And may He open our eyes to choose those who would serve with integrity and compassion — not the quarrelsome lovers of money we keep electing.


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  1. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    29 September 2015

    I thought all along, as millions of Filipinos who happen to be Roman Catholics, that this biblical “God,” who is transcendent, omniscient and all-powerful ALWAYS GETS WHAT HE WANTS.

    If he wants a completely honest and completely capable President of the Philippines, at least 80 percent of whose population are said to believe in “him” as Christians, one has to assume that he succeeds in it. Right?

    An honest appraisal of the actual performance not only of President Aquino, his Cabinet, his constitutional officers, but also of the Senators and Representatives of the Congress, can only show compellingly that this “God” has failed.



  2. brandon chokwang on

    Crab mentality nothing will happen, all of them they just fight only for what they want instead of just what they need.

  3. We practically don’t know who will be the next rightful leader to rule our debts entangled country?

    1. Will it be a “A Trying-Hard Kargador” from the Philippine Aristocracy?
    2. Will it be a semi Dark-Skinned candidate who is a deeply classified Aquino bet?
    3. Will it be a Co-Councilor of Naturalized Born Pilipino Senator?
    4. Or will it be the Naturalized-born Pilipino senator whose chairmanship of the Mamasapano SAF-44 Massacres probe proved effective of freeing Aquino from accountability and any question of “Guilt.”

    5. Mar Roxas 2nd In fact has proven to be a submissive minion of his Big Boss Aquino, incompetent, bi-polar and with a juvenile temperament. Roxas 2nd has been even responsible of creating a hellish situation for Yolanda survivors, Filipinos commuters using the dilapidated MRTs.

  4. Problem, my dear friends, is to find the candidate who could live up to those Biblical standards. That has been, is and will always be a problem for our nation, particularly because we seem to be bereft of leaders (or would-be leaders) who have a strong sense of nationhood. The “kanya-kanya” attitude of most adulterates that sense, I must say.

  5. Mr. author, let’s try to examine ur insight qualification of a leader who you are trying to demolish.
    You said, “Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above –
    1.) Reproach, – ROXAS (like PNoy fond of blaming others though at fault)
    2.) Faithful to his wife,- DUTERTE (as long as good leader, mind ur own personal.)
    3.) Temperate & self-controlled, – DUTERTE (doesn’t compromise mistakes)
    4.) Respectable – DUTERTE (criminal-punisher) / BINAY(people’s money looter)
    5.) Hospitable, – ROXAS/BINAY (don’t care with Yolanda & SAF 44 victims)
    6.) Able to teach, – ROXAS / BINAY (shows poor leadership)
    7.) Not given to drunkenness, – BINAY (the alcoholic)
    8.) Not violent but gentle, – DUTERTE (iron-fist to impose discipline to criminals)
    9.) Not quarrelsome, – DUTERTE (normal if one attacks you & f u believe u r right)
    10.) Not a lover of money.”- BINAY (the no. 1 corrupt among incumbent officials)

    All your points against Duterte are actually favorable to majority & personal attack.
    In short you discreetly endorse Poe who knows nothing good or bad on what happens next, no solid platform of gov’t…… so unstable what remains to be seen.
    DUTERTE is the guy…ladies and gentlemen.

  6. This is a great article worth sharing to all! Biblical standards should be used to evaluate all leaders. Sadly, this government has fallen short of those standards. Let us pray that people would make the right choices based on Biblical – not selfish – standards in the next elections.

  7. Your thesis is based on the results of the latest surveys, so please read your neighbor Yen Macabenta’s article on these surveys. As for Christian values, I suggest that to test how the people view the credibility of the Catholic Church as a teacher of morality, the Church should field a bishop as a presidential candidate. There must be at least one deeply religious and highly credible Catholic who can rally the people behind the words of Jesus Christ in a population of 95 million Catholics, isn’t there?

  8. Let us not “spiritualize” or romanticize too much the simple choice of a leader. Did not God chose David who killed Goliath? Was David faithful to his wife? Was Alexander the Great not a conqueror? No great secular leader in history had been able to pass such test. Why? Because such test was not for them. Such test is for church leaders. As a supplementary criteria, we may consider Paul’s criteria. But, to find a leader who is best for this country, we need to discern whose vision and personality has effected change for the better in the lives of the people. So far, among the four, Binay and Duterte have track record. Now, between Duterte and Binay who love money less?

  9. If BINAY had any decency. ( a word missing from every politician dictionary ) he would blow his brains out.

  10. akala ko mahilig lang ang mga taon na humaga at umidolo sa isang sikat na tao ,kaya itong ang laging ibinoboto, mayroon pa palang mas matinding ugali ang ilang pilipino.
    Kapang nakita at narinig nila ang isang gustong kumandidato,na dumedepensa at nagtatanggol sa karapatan ng ibang religion,kahit na siya ay mabuti o may kakayahan,ito ay kanilang nalilimutan dahil ang galit sa puso nila sa ibang religion ang nagpapabago ng kanilang katinuan, mas malulunok nila ang isang alam nilang magnanakaw at walang nagawang tama habang nasa katungkulan, kaysa sa taong nagtatanggol sa karapatan ng ibang religion.
    Ito ang mga taong maglalagay ng pangulo hindi dahil gusto nila dahil galit sila sa ibang religion .,,MARAMI PANG TAON BAGO MAABOT NG PILIPINAS ANG HUSTISYA KATULAD SA EUROPA AT AMERICA .pinaiiral ang tamang katwiranm

  11. Aquino is not the president God wants for his people in the Philippines. But it’s not Grace Poe or the pro-choice and anti-Life Marcos or the killer Duterte.

  12. Nancy Bulok Cake on

    You said “And not enamored with money.” You statement definitely refers to Binay. He’s got so much love for money to the extent of STEALING billions of pesos from the government of Makati. 95% of Filipinos abroad or OFWs believed that Binay stole billions of pesos. Laman ng usapan sa abroad ng mga Pinoy ang kasukdulang pagnanakaw ng mga Binay kaya lahat halos sila ay nagdadasal na huwag manalo si Binay.