Archive for Philippine Presidentiables

The 2010 Presidential Election Circus: The True Practice of Democracy

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine News, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2009 by JJ Duque

I love the Philippines. I love the fact that there are several well-meaning people who are motivated to serve the nation. Just take a look at all those who want to become President and lead the Filipino people. Wow, there are so many of them. Really – it’s so touching that so many of them are willing to dedicate so much time, effort and money to become President of the Philippines. Anyway, without further adieu – here is the official list of those who filed for their candidacy for the position of Philippine President, and their respective Vice Presidential partners and senatorial candidates (as applicable).

Potential President of the Philippines and Emperor of the World

Potential President of the Philippines and Emperor of the World

Noynoy Aquino (President) and Mar Roxas (Vice President) are the candidates of the Liberal Party. Their slate for the 12 senators include Ralph Recto, Sonia Roco, Teofisto Guingona III, Ruffy Biazon, Ana Theresa Baraquel, Alexander Lacson, Nereus Acosta, Danilo Lim, Dr. Martin Bautista, Yasmin Busran-Lao, Franklin Drilon and Serge Osmena.

Joseph “Erap” Estrada (President) and Jejomar Binay (Vice President) for the Partido ng Masang Pilipino – UNO. Their senatorial bets include Jinggoy Estrada, Jun Lozada Jr., JV Bautista, Rodolfo Plaza, Jose de Venecia III, and Juan Ponce Enrile.

Gilbert Teodoro (President) and Edu Manzano (Vice President) for the Lakas-Kampi CMD. Their candidates for the senate include Bong Revilla, Lito Lapid, Rey Langit, Ramon Juico, Silvestre Bello III, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Raul Lambino.

Manny Villar (President) and Loren Legarda (Vice President) of the Nacionalista Party. Their official candidates for the senate include Adel Tamano, Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana, Susan Ople, Ramon Mitra III, Pia Cayetano, Ariel Querubin, Bongbong Marcos Jr., Lisa Maza, Satur Ocampo and Gilbert Remulla.

Dick Gordon (President) and Bayani Fernando (Vice President) of the Bagumbayan Party. They have no senatorial bets because they believe they can work with anybody and everybody.

Jamby Madrigal (President) will run as an independent without a running mate, and also without a senatorial slate.

Brother Eddie Villanueva (President) and Perfecto Yasay (Vice President) of Bangon Pilipinas. Their senatorial bets include Ramoncito Ocampo, Kata Inocencio, Zafrullah Alonto, Israel Virgines and Alex Tinsay.

Manny Lopez (President) will run as an independent, and claims he is better than US President Barack Obama.

Rigoberto Madera Jr. (President) will run as an independent and if elected will move on to become the next US President, the next UN Secretary General and Emperor of the World.

Only in the Philippines do we see such awesome democracy practiced, and where everyone can qualify to become President of the Philippines as long as they fulfill the requirements for their Certificate of Candidacy (COC).

This is the circus, and this is  democrazy!

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Philippine News:Gilbert Teodoro Picks Edu Manzano As VP Running Mate

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine News, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2009 by JJ Duque

I haven’t blogged as much in the past few weeks. Not that there hasn’t been much happening, but actually the fact that there hasn’t been much posting here means that I’ve been quite busy lately. Mostly, I’ve been busy with organizing the co-founding of Green Agenda Philippines, which is an advocacy program part of the non-government organization called Earth Tribe Council. Loads of development there, which I hope to share here in the Philippines Funwall once things get a bit more concrete.

Also, with all the things going on in the country, I’ve just had to shrug my shoulders and kinda sigh. It’s not that I’m hopeless, but it’s just that I’d rather follow the wise words of Thumper who said, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say nothing at all.”

In keeping with that wise saying, I’d like to share my thoughts on the decision of defense secretary and presidential aspirant Gilbert Teodoro to pick showbiz personality Edu Manzano as his running mate for vice president.

In a previous post in the Philippines Funwall, I had some unkind words to say about Gilbert Teodoro and the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) earlier in October at the height of the disasters brought by the storms that ravaged the Philippines. (You can read about what I had to say earlier by clicking here.)

Anyway, I did announce back then that Glbert Teodoro lost my vote. Well, he still hasn’t earned it, especially with his decision to take Edu Manzano as a running mate for vice president.

I admire Gilbert Teodoro to an extent, and I really am thankful that he was very dedicated during the relief and rescue operations despite the NDCC’s failure to a quick response. I’m certain it wasn’t his fault that the NDCC wasn’t equipped to deal with the disaster when Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) first struck, but Gilbert Teodoro has done well in being more prepared for the other storms to follow. And that I will give him credit for.

I guess Giblert Teodoro felt that he could run for President, given that he had done well to gain public recognition during his efforts at handling the disasters and storms. The next thing he needed to do was to find a running mate, and he shopped around some of the glitziest names of showbiz-politics, including Loren Legarda (former Senator and news anchor), Bong Revilla (Senator and action star), Tito Sotto (Senator and Eat Bulaga  host) and Vilma Santos (Batangas governor and hall-of-fame actress).

Eventually, Gilbert Teodoro settled for Edu Manzano – the fomer Optical Media Board chairperson and also an actor. Gilbert Teodoro‘s move to shop for a showbiz-political partner is similar to what Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo did when she picked out running mate Noli De Castro for Vice President.

Gilbert Teodoro‘s decision to opt (and shop around) for a showbiz-political partner makes me rethink how smart and “for the future” he really is. I mean – the mere fact – that he thinks showbiz personalities will bring him more votes just goes to show that he still is a traditional politician, who still believes in the popularity contest of the upcoming 2010 Philippine National Elections.

Well, certainly it is a popularity contest with all sorts of names to remember come election day. A voter’s list would have to include names of  barangay captains, mayors, vice-mayors, city councilors, a congressman, 12 senators, a vice president and a president. And just imagine the list of names a voter has to weed out just to come up with that list.

Anyway, Gilbert Teodoro is the cousin of senator Noynoy Aquino, who is also gunning for the Presidential seat. They’re both nephews of Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr., the president of San Miguel Corporation. Now – what does that say to us about family and politics? The obvious presumption is that the family doesn’t get well enough to support the decision of another family member to run for a position, and then goes against that family member anyway. Certainly, such a situation would divide the family. And what is family if not the backbone of our society? With that argument in mind, I could presume that Gilbert Teodoro (and Noynoy Aquino for that matter) are not such dedicated members of their family, causing a great divide with their decision to run against each other for the Philppine Presidency.

Well – that’s just one issue. The news that Gilbert Teodoro was frantically shopping around for a vice president just goes to show his unpreparedness for the Presidential campaign. It seems like his decision to run for President is on a whim, probably fueled by his recent rise to political stardom over his overwhelming national publicity upon coordinating relief and rescue operations during Ondoy and Pepeng and other storms to follow.

Seriously, you’d think that someone who was prepared to run for President should’ve had a running mate to begin with. Now that just makes me rethink if Gilbert Teodoro is prepared at all for the task of Philippine President if he can’t even be prepared for a campaign for that position. With the elections nearing, Gilbert Teodoro hasn’t even yet established a political platform if he were to become President, and I think a true public servant for the people would’ve already thought of an agenda in helping restore the country prior to even running for any position.

All that Gilbert Teodoro has done is made himself more popular. He has yet to address the country’s needs and provide solutions for its problems. Or provide concrete steps in assuring that the solutions that are currently being worked on are kept in place.

Edu Manzano For Vice President of the Philippines

Edu Manzano For Vice President of the Philippines

And then – he has Edu Manzano for a running mate. Well, I won’t comment much on Edu Manzano. I leave it up to the universe to expose him for what he truly is – an actor who knows how to play the part. Maybe the decision of Edu Manzano to run for vice president will be a wake-up call for him. Edu Manzano does have the heart to serve the public, and even ripped up his American passport when he ran for Makati City vice mayor to show his true patriotism. He won that election to become the vice mayor, but lost at the next election when he ran for Makati City Mayor.

Since then, he has been sidelined in the political scene, and his small stint as a law enforcer for pirated CDs and DVDs  (chairman of the OMB) doesn’t really say much for his capabilities to execute the law. Personally, I’ve heard more stories of other controversies about Edu Manzano, although I haven’t confirmed that myself. I guess it’s but natural for a popular figure to be surrounded by controversy, but I just hope that the notoriety will not do damage to the well-meaning Presidential campaign of Gilbert Teodoro and Edu Manzano.

At the very least, the Gilbert Teodoro and Edu Manzano campaign will surely be entertaining. Certainly, the political soirees of the Gibo-Edu pair will bring the likes of Luis Manzano (Edu’s son), maybe Angel Locsin (if Luis can keep her long enough), and Pinky Webb, whom Edu Manzano is currently dating. Maybe, his campaigns will even bring around his former wives like Vilma Santos and Maricel Soriano.

Hmm. Edu Manzano and his many wives. Now – that also says something about your vice presidential candidate. I wonder if Edu Manzano would be pro-divorce? If he is, then maybe he might win my vote after all.

For the sake of Edu Manzano – I just hope the snow doesn’t blow out in these tropics – which is my version of I just hope the shit doesn’t hit the fan.

Philippine Politics: Call A Spade A Spade, And A Pig A Pig.

Posted in All About The Philippines, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 25, 2009 by JJ Duque

Calling The Attention of Philippine Daily Inquirer Columnist Conrado de Quiros!

Conrado De Quiros

Conrado De Quiros

(The following excerpt was written by JR De La Cruz, former Most Illustrious Fellow of Upsilon Sigma Phi)

Conrado de Quiros, you are the man. Few opinion writers in the Philippines can lay claim to your impeccable writing style, to your uncanny choice of words, and the thing I love most – your sardonic wit, which not only amuses but also almost always hits the point. After the death of Cory, however, after that moving eulogy you wrote (that eulogy ought to be immortalized, side by side with the apocalyptic ‘May Araw Din Kayo’), you have dropped all pretense of humor and subtlety and have suddenly turned into Noynoy Aquino’s biggest propagandist.

I have great respect for you, Mr. de Quiros, but I just do not, cannot, and will not buy all the “Battle-of-good-vs.-evil, Noynoy-is-our-Messiah-slash-Obama (please lang, sir. Wag naman.)” propaganda. I don’t buy all this contrived madness the Kapamilya network, “civil society” and the grand old Partido Liberal are trying to ram down our throats.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing personal against Noynoy. I’ve met him once, and he is obviously a nice guy. If I was voting for student council president, or maybe even mayor, I probably wouldn’t hesitate to vote for him. By all indications, he is indeed one damn good person, as you, Mr. de Quiros, would put it. But really, is one damn good person what we need right now? Is nice enough to take us out of the mess we are in? Is his amiable personality enough to gloss over the fact that he has spent most of his years in Congress doing, well, not much, and that, just like the lot of them, he is a politician taking advantage of this singular opportunity – of all things, his mother’s death – to be president?

The bigger man, the wiser man, the one damn good person would, after seeing the multitude of mourners outpouring their devotion for his mother, have declined the temptation to be goaded into running; in Tagalog, hindi siya magpapabuyo. Certainly, a good man would have at least waited a little longer and not announced his candidacy right after the ritualistic 40 days after the passing of his mother, making it seem like he was just obliged to comply with Filipino tradition so as not to look insensitive, but at the same time that he couldn’t wait a day more since he’s thrown his hat in the race too late and must thus make up for lost time.

For in his years of public service, in his whole life, really, can Noynoy honestly say he thinks himself competent enough to be president? Or is it more likely that the crowd at his mother’s wake, and his slew of very able advisers – pardon the digression, but Drilon, Abad, which side are you on lately? – emboldened him into that way of thinking? While in his “period of discernment”, I was hoping that for at least once in my life, I would witness a true statesman, selfless, wise, like the previous generation witnessed Ninoy. He would’ve been that statesman had he declined, knowing he knows nothing and being truly wise for it. Alas, the blinding allure of power, the buoying wave of his mother’s (not even his own) supporters, was too strong to resist. If this doesn’t reek of political opportunism, I don’t know what does.

I agree, we shouldn’t vote purely on competence. But that shouldn’t stop experience from reminding us what happens if we vote for an incompetent president. What happens is we vote a hundred thousand advisers with him/her. What happens is after three years in office, we try to take him/her out again, realizing we made a mistake. If we’re unsuccessful, we call it a coup attempt. If we’re successful, we call it Edsa Dos. What happens is we pin our hopes on another popular icon, another shining symbol, without realizing that we’re being f*cked by the same people over and over again.

I agree, Mr. de Quiros, we do need someone we can trust. But I don’t see how that someone is Noynoy at all. On what action, on what defining issue, on what aspect of his life, save for being born into his name or being born in Hacienda Luisita, should we base our trust in him? If the name and the land bear it all, why then don’t we throw all our support behind Kris Aquino, or yes, Gilbert Teodoro? A press briefing right after the announcement of the Noynoy-Mar tandem is very telling.

Asked how different he was from Teodoro, his second cousin, Noynoy, probably caught off-guard, only managed to say that he hoped not to “engage in meaningless arguments but rather on how we intend to push our beliefs in how to govern the country and convince people who has a better plan and platform of government between us”. Yeah, right. Evade the question, give a motherhood statement.

His running mate, correctly realizing that the answer his partner gave was so lame, butted in saying that it was apparent Aquino had difficulty answering the question because after all, he and Teodoro were relatives. Mar then offered his own answer, saying that the difference is “Secretary Gibo said he believed in the programs and policies of GMA and that he would continue them, and Sen. Noynoy does not want the crooked, the wrong. He does not want mulcting and plundering. So, he will do what is straight and true. That’s their difference.”

First of all, to dismiss as meaningless argument the most compelling argument he can make – that of differentiating himself from his cousin – tells us that maybe he himself recognizes that there is not much of a difference between them. Second, for Mar to say that Sen. Noynoy does not want the crooked, the wrong, the mulcting and plundering only exposes his and his running mate’s hypocrisy. Didn’t Noynoy sign the impeachment complaint against Pres. Estrada in 2000, become Deputy Speaker of an Arroyo-JDV Congress in 2004, run for Senate under Erap in 2007, and now isn’t he in the middle of talks with Erap again? Now you tell me who’s a better man, one who flip-flops between two crooks or one who remains loyal to a crook despite her dismal popularity? To paraphrase Orwell, it’s like looking from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again, only to see that it is impossible to say which is which.

You denounce, Mr. de Quiros, Ronnie Puno for having served three masters who delivered this country to the dogs – Marcos, Erap, Gloria – conveniently leaving Cory and Ramos out of the enumeration, as if 1986-1998 were such glorious years in our nation’s history. But really, how different is Ronnie Puno from the posse who currently surround Noynoy? We want a prime example? Let’s look no further than Drilon, the Chairman of Noynoy’s party and one of his closest supporters. Let’s see. He served as Justice Secretary and Executive Secretary of Cory, Justice Secretary of Ramos, Senate President of Erap, ran under Gloria’s “People Power Coalition” in 2004, before bolting once again and re-emerging now behind Noynoy Aquino. How many masters has he served? What makes him better than Ronnie Puno? Again, between the two of them, it’s impossible to say which is which.

All I am asking, Mr. de Quiros, is that you call a spade a spade, and call a pig a pig. If it is a choice of the lesser evil and not a battle of good versus evil then say it. Expose each and every candidate to the people so that we may make an informed decision. Do not stoke our pent up anger at the present administration and our outpour of emotion for the late president into an emotional vote for Noynoy. Sayang e. Magagamit nanaman yung mga tao. Magagago nanaman. Turn it instead into an indignant demand to our candidates for something new, something real. They have never faced that anger. They have not been made accountable for their past actions. Because what we always try to do is to look for that symbol, that pearl, regardless whether that pearl lies among the swines. You are an opinion writer, yes, and are thus entitled to espouse one candidate over another. You are a friend of the late president and of the Aquinos. But I hope you realize that you also represent for many from our generation someone to look up to, and we do not have much left. Please, for the sake of a truly informed electorate, for the sake of political maturity, stop the propaganda and heed this call.

I still love you, Conrado de Quiros. And I love Ninoy. Cory, I am indifferent to. But we all know what will happen if Noynoy wins in 2010.

Philippine Politics: Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas – The Team To Beat

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine News, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2009 by JJ Duque

A couple of weeks ago, Senator Mar Roxas gave up his bid to run for president in 2010 in order to allow Senator Noynoy Aquino to run for president. The move of Mar Roxas was doen with the intention to push what’s best for the country. It was uncertain whether or not Mar Roxas would become the vice-presidential running mate of Noynoy Aquino, or whether he would just seek another term as senator.

However, it is now official – Noynoy Aquino for President, and Mar Roxas for Vice President in 2010. Mar Roxas made the announcement at the historic Club Filipino in Greenhills on September 21.

Speaking in Tagalog, Mar Roxas stated, “I am wholeheartedly accepting the responsibility to be Noynoy’s partner in our fight for change.”

Mar Roxas for VP and Noynoy Aquino for President

Mar Roxas for VP and Noynoy Aquino for President

The Aquino-Roxas team has vowed to put a stop to corruption and to fight for a change that will overcome the greed of politicians.

“It’s bigger than the two of us, it is bigger than the Liberal Party. It is about our collective third for change. It is about our thirst for change finally overcoming those who want to continue the tayo-tayo system, the horse-trading, the greed, the self-interest, the transactional politics that has been the biggest roadblock to progress and prosperity for all,” Mar Roxas said.

“This is about what is straight and what is crooked. This is about the honest against the corrupt. This is about right versus wrong, ” he continued.

On a personal note, although their jump from the starting gun may be a bit late, considering that several other presidentiables have already begun their campaigns much earlier (i.e. Manny Villar, Dick Gordon), it is not at all a lost cause for Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas. Actually, I think the fact that they’ve announced their team puts them ahead of everyone else. Senator Manny Villar has already stated his candidacy a logn time ago, and has prepared diligently for the upcoming elections. However, Manny Villar has not yet announced a running mate to be his vice-president, and maybe he has to do so soon if the Filipino people are to seriously consider his presidential campaign.

At the very least, despite their late intentions – Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas have come up with a team, which is more than the other presidential aspirants have done despite their early head-start at campaigning. The common goal of Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas to fight for change in this country gives both of them a solid foundation to embark on issues that will improve the country’s governance, and eventually pave the way to progress that will be for the Filipino people.

Incidentally, Noynoy Aquino‘s father – national hero Ninoy Aquino – and Mar Roxas’ father – former Senator Gerardo Roxas  – are both members of the Upsilon Sigma Phi. Ninoy Aquino is from batch 1950 while Gerry Roxas is from Batch 1946.

One other thing that Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas have in common – Korina Sanchez, but that’s a different soap opera altogether.

Mabuhay si Noynoy and Mar!

Philippine Politics: Governor Ed Panlilo Drops Out of 2010 Presidential Race

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine News, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , on September 5, 2009 by JJ Duque

Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio, who is also a priest on leave, declared his intention to drop out of the 2010 Presidential race at a press conference in Club Filipino, Greenhills – the same historic venue where Philippine Senator Mar Roxas also announced his withdrawal from his bid for President.

According to Gov. Ed Panlilio‘s statement, he is giving up his campaign for president to give way to the support of Senator Beningno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Even if it’s similar to the announcement made by Mar Roxas -right down to the venue and the press release – Governor Ed Panlilio couldn’t possibly have been that serious in his intention to run for President. I mean – has the Pampanga Governor even seen the surveys and polls? Well, if he has, then he’ll probably notice that his name won’t even come up in the top 10 of any survey for Presidential elections. That alone is reason enough for him to stay out of the 2010 Presidential race. Really now – did he really think he could win?

Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio

Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio

Had Gov. Ed Panlilio run for President, I would’ve considered him a nuisance candidate. Sort of like Brother Eddie Gil, and possibly Eddie Villanueva.  What’s up with these Ed’s who keep thinking they’ll ever become President. President Ed? Sounds like a horse from a TV show.

Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines have expressed delight over Panlilio’s decision to withdraw, and even some concluded that – “maybe it’s about time he just return to his priestly duties.”

I personally think Governor Ed Panlilio is just trying to make an ala-Mar Roxas sacrifice in the hopes that he will generate the same kind of sympathy from the Filipino people, who have expressed a thumbs-up for the withdrawal of Mar Roxas because he put country before self. Now, watch carefully – I have a feeling Ed Panlilio will try to make a run for the Philippine Senate, and will hope that his press release will gain him a favorable Senate seat under the slate of Noynoy Aquino.

Ay nako!

Philippine Politics: Nonoy Aquino and Mar Roxas To Be Running Mates In 2010 Elections

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine News, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , on September 1, 2009 by JJ Duque
Noynoy Aquino for Philippine President in 2010

Noynoy Aquino for Philippine President in 2010

Philippine Senators Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas looks to have joined forces in the campaign for the Presidential race. To what capacity is yet to be known, but what has been announced is that Mar Roxas is giving his aspirations to become the next Philippine President, and instead has vowed to support the candidacy of Noynoy Aquino, who has shared his intention to run for President.

Mar Roxas already has television ads regarding his campaign for the Phlippine Presidency in this coming 2010 national elections, but after discussions with Noynoy Aquino, he officially withdrew his candidacy. According to Mar Roxas, “Today I am announcing my support for the candidacy of Noynoy Aquino for President for 2010″ for reasons he stated as “putting country before self.”

It’s still unknown if Mar Roxas will be the Vice Presidential running mate of Noynoy Aquino, but he will certainly be supporting Noynoy Aquino.

Now, the decision of Noynoy Aquino to run for President may have certainly been affected by recent historic events, especially that of the death of his mother, former President Corazon Aquino. The millions who poured onto the streets during Cory Aquino‘s funeral cortege can be taken as a huge sign of voter turnouts for Noynoy Aquino, and probably influenced his decision to run for President. Whether the Filipino people will translate their fondness and respect for Cory Aquino to a vote for Noynoy Auqino for President remains uncertain. But then, it seems that both Mar Roxas and Noynoy Aquino recognize that the situaton could be a better gamble to win the Presidency, especially if it becomes a popularity contest. Because as it stands – the popularity contest is being won by Presidential aspirant and former Senate President Manny Villar.

And maybe – since the poll isn’t going the way of Mar Roxas, then his giving way to Noynoy Aquino is a prudent decision. However, it’s pretty difficult to imagine what kind of miracle strategy Noynoy Aquino is going to pull in order to become the next President. Other Presidential aspirants already have their campaign machinery mobilizing throughout the nation, and Noynoy Aquino has yet to put his foot on the starting block. But then, if there’s anyone else who is certain to make it happen – then perhaps Noynoy Aquino can, and Mar Roxas recognizes that.

After all Noynoy Aquino‘s father is national hero Ninoy Aquino and his mother is the iconic mother of Philippine democracy Cory Aquino. Noynoy Aquino actually carries the name Benigno Aquino III, which will look great on a Presidential sample ballot. And it might even actually help that his younger sister Kris Aquino is one of the most popular TV personalities in the country, despite the natural controversy that follows her around.

Philippine Politics: Will Manny Villar Become The Next President?

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2009 by JJ Duque

Former Senate President Manny Villar is currently leading the Pulse Asia survey on whom the Filipino people would want to become the next Philippine President to succeed Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

If the survey holds up come election day on 2010, then indeed we could certainly see Manny Villar become the next President of the Philippines.  Will he really become the next Philippine President? I think – yes.

Why? Well, while all the other Philippine presidentiables were still in the process of deciding whether they would run or not, Manny Villar already stated his intention to run a long time ago. Of course, it’s easy to just simply make a press release in the papers to say that you would run for the Presidency, but in Manny Villar‘s case – he actually committed vast resources and efforts in preparation for his campaign.

And we’re not just talking about campaign materials. We’re talking about the vast resources of talented people who would help him run his campaign throughout the country.

As early as now – Manny Villar has ads on television. These ads have been on the drawing board a long time, and have been carefully plotted out. The earlier versions of this ad were carefully screened, critiqued, re-edited, and really went through a thorough process. What is being shown today in television is the result of a well-planned and well-executed ad that certainly makes its mark on its audiences. Its proper time-slot placement and frequency of air-play is just as impressive.

More than the ads – Manny Villar has aligned himself with several key people who will be certainly instrumental in his campaign. Just recently, Philstar.com published an article on “The Honor Guards” of Manny Villar. And just who are these “Honor Guards?”

Manny Villar and His 'Honor Guards'

Manny Villar and His 'Honor Guards'

First, there’s the young Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, an Ateneo Law Grad who helps out the Tropang Villar as the one in-charge of “national interest matters.” Then, there’s Laguna Representative Justin Marc “Timmy” Chipeco, who is a Law graduate from the San Beda College and Arellano Law School, and is in charge of  “local governance.” Former Pampanga Representative and Upsilonian Juan Pablo “Rimpy” Bondoc, who earned his masters degree in Public Administration form Harvard University takes charge of  “finance and economics.” Adel Tamano is the current president of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) and the first Filipino Muslim to have graduated fromt he Harvard Law School with a masters degree in Law, and is in charge of “education, legal and Mindanao issues.” Former Cavite Representative, news anchor and Upsilonian Gilbert Remulla, who earned his MA in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York, is in charge of “political affairs.” Lastly, Bukidnon Representative Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, an Ateneo Law/Economics graduate, is in charge of “budget and Mindanao issues.”

These 6 honor guards of Manny Villar are all members of Villar’s Nacionalista Party(NP) and are the spokesmen for the NP, on the varous issues stated above. Obviously, the NP is a political party that has some sleek brains and a very ready attitude to tackle the work needed for a Presidential campaign (or even for a possible run at Senator as in the case of Adel Tamano).

Their combined teamwork and resources set them apart from the rest of the other political parties who still cannot decide on who will be their bet for President. The other political parties will squabble and hold countless meetings and politicking before coming to a decision. By that time – the political machinery of Manny Villar will be ten steps ahead of any competition, equipped with a solid political platform that will provide answers to our country’s problems.

The next leader will certainly have several problems to face in order to uplift the Philippines from its current state. If we are to move forward as a nation, we have to be able to back up the leadership with a solid  political will that is ready to address the many concerns of its people. One definitely has to be prepared. This preparedness of the Nacionalista Party is what sets them apart from the other presidentiables. And if this is the kind of attitude Manny Villar will bring with him to Malacanang, then rest assured that the country will be in good hands. Because, at least, Manny Villar has shown that he is prepared to lead at a time when others can’t even decide which route to run.