Been getting emails asking what I thought of the coming (May) presidential elections. I sort of dithered, asking do I have to? (think about it, that is), one of the main reasons being that though there were so many candidates (99 who wanted to be president), 99% were uninteresting. If you’ve been born bored as I was, there’s no greater bane than uninteresting.
So finally, this week, when the inquiring emails reached a ridiculous 350, I took a look.
And decided I like the platform of Sen. Jamby Madrigal. Access it and read at her website – www.jambymadrigal.com. She seems to be engaged in a wide spectrum of concerns – from LRT long-lines to fisherfolks, to the Visiting Forces Agreement (she’s against it) and the Magna Carta of Women. Many women politician get to power by (re)molding themselves to symbolize the male traditional view of how a woman should be (as in non-controversial and malleable) and thus de-genderize themselves in the process, becoming a conduit for conservatism. Sen. Madrigal seems to have escaped this; seems, indeed, to have made it a point to buck this feudal-patriarchal system.
I say “seems” because I’ve never met her, don’t know her but must say I like her oomph and am sorry that she does not have as widespread support as she deserves.
Of the three principal candidates – Noynoy Aquino, Manny Villar and Gilbert Teodoro –I can’t seem to find anything new or exciting. Joseph Estrada one must discount, as there are no second acts in the Philippines, unlike the US.
Gilbert Teodoro suffers from the legacy of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo but despite that seems articulate and rational. Well-mannered, one must say.
Of Noynoy Aquino, just about all I say is that he's NOT likely to precipitate a Constitutional crisis to extend or maintain his power. Matter of family legacy. His father died for the 1935 constitution and his mother promulgated the 1987 constitution.
Not sure I can say the same for Manny Villar, who’s spending the peso equivalent of fistfuls of dollars to make it to the presidency, welding an unlikely alliance of right to left, making one wonder as to what his core values are…kind of indicating a monomania … It seems to me – seems again, as I’ve not met any of these protagonists and merely follow their pronouncements and actions through media – that Villar would not be one to hesitate were he to deem a constitutional crisis necessary to maintain, extend, enhance his powers.
That’s not an easy thought for someone who lived under martial law or has had to respond to many maneuvers of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her followers to maintain, extend, enhance her/their power this past decade.
A country whose constitution is constantly threatened does NOT have even an iota of security.
As for the rest, let me say right off the bat that I won’t even consider anyone backed by organized religion, religious sects, etc. The principle of separation of church and state was a hard-won one, through revolts, uprisings, revolutions, through centuries. Throwing it away simply because it is easier to live by dogma than to think and be responsible for one’s actions is just not my cup of tea – or coffee, preferably Jamaica Blue Mountain.
So we come to the final question: will I – should I -- endorse Jamby Madrigal? Hmmm, never endorsed any candidate before; nor am I sure it will do her much good but sure, why not, yes – on principle, based on her platform. -- #