If it were not for the fact that Gibo Teodoro was associated with the present squatter of Malacañang, I would’ve seriously considered him the most worthy candidate for the presidency. However, as a law dean said, “galing at talino” (competence and intelligence) would not be enough as far as the present situation of the country is concerned. We have to vote for the person who can plug the hole into which the country has fallen. And right now, that hole is corruption. Right now, what we need is a person who is stubborn enough to get rid of people who are digging our country’s grave. Gibo, for all his brilliance and sterling credentials, is not the man for this job. His “galing at talino” will only be useful if he dissociates himself from the persons he continues to pay homage to. His reluctance to openly drop Arroyo cost him the presidency. His insistence that the Constitution needs to be amended, even if the consequence of such a move means Arroyo’s resurrection and ascendancy to power, cost him the trust of the people.
When will Filipinos learn that they are not as dumb as Arroyo would like them to believe? Did Manny Villar really believe that he could hypnotize people into voting for him by flooding media with his ads? He should’ve learned from Prospero Pichay who tried to “plant” himself in the Senate by spending preposterous amounts for ads. In the end, the millions or billions of pesos he spent sent him to the kangkungan instead of to the “Upper House.” A barrage of ads will only work for persons who have credibility in the eyes of the public. Mar Roxas had this when he bombarded the airwaves with his “Mr. Palengke” jingle. Villar did not have it during the campaign.
As for Richard Gordon, he’s no Optimus Prime, to be sure. While he may seem to possess the attributes that make for a good president, his haughty approach may have turned off many Filipinos. He once said that we should not focus too much on the sins of the past and instead move unceasingly forward. He was wrong there. Going along with his plan would have set a bad precedent. It would send the message that we can steal all we want so long as we don’t get caught with our fingers inside the cookie jar.
Erap Estrada joined the electoral fray with nary a thought that he could pull off some miracle. But thanks to his and Juan Ponce Enrile’s tirades against Villar, Estrada drew supporters of Villar to his camp. He placed second behind the man in yellow. I think this feat alone already is enough to make him feel that he has already won. After all, he only wanted to go out with a big bang. And it looks like he will.
—RUEL H. ESPALDON
1275 Don Quijote St.,