Stepping Down

For lack of anything better to say – I have re-posted here Mar Roxas’ concession speech delivered yesterday at Balay (LP Headquarters in Cubao):

Magandang hapon po sa ating lahat.

Sinulat ko po ang nais kong sabihin para wala akong makalimutan:

Gusto ko pong magsimula sa isang taos-pusong pasasalamat. Sa mga kababayan natin na kumaway, nakipagkamay, at kumopkop sa amin ni Leni nang bumisita kami sa inyong mga lugar. Marmaming salamat sa inyo.

Sa mga nagtiwala hindi lang sa akin, pero pati na rin sa mga prinsipyo na ipinaglalaban natin. Maraming-maraming salamat. Sa mga kababayan natin na habang kinakamayan ako, tiningnan ako nang mata sa mata at sinabihang ako ng “God bless you. Ipaglaban mo kami. Huwag mo kaming pababayaan.” Maraming salamat.

Salamat kay Pangulong Noynoy Aquino at sa kanyang pamilya. Sa ating partido, Partido Liberal, at sa kanyang mga kaalyadong partido. Salamat sa mga CSOs, mga NGOs, sa Silent Majority, sa mga ordinaryong mamamayan. Sa lahat sa inyo ng mga volunteers, sa aking pamilya—nandito ang aking misis, si Korina—sa ating mga kaibigan. Sa lahat pong tumayo, to all of you who took up the cudgels, who shared in our aspirations, na nakasama kong tumayo, maraming-maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.

Araw-araw, kasama ko kayo na humarap sa lahat ng hamon. Alam ko na marami sa inyo, stuck your necks out sa laban na ito. Pero sa kabila ng lahat, hindi kayo bumitaw. Nanindigan kayo. Sinamahan n’yo ako hanggang sa dulo. For that, I am very grateful.

Ngayon, hindi pa tapos ang laban ni Leni. Angat siya, lumalaban siya. Patuloy tayong magbantay, manalig, at sumuporta. Siguraduhin nating mabibilang nang tama ang kanyang boto.

At habang ginagawa natin ito para kay Leni, simulan na natin ang pagbuo sa minamahal nating bansa. Galangin at tanggapin natin ang pasya ng ating mga kababayan. Ayon sa unofficial count ng COMELEC, malinaw na si Mayor Rodrigo Duterte ang magiging susunod na pangulo ng Republika ng Pilipinas.

Digong, I wish you success. Ang iyong tagumpay ay tagumpay ng ating sambayanan at ng ating bansa.

Mga kababayan, higit pa sa pagiging supporter o kapartido ng kahit sinong kandidato – Pilipino tayo. Maka-Diyos, may pakikitungo, may malasakit sa kapwa, at naniniwalang lahat ng mahahalaga sa buhay ay pinaghihirapan.

Patuloy nating ipaglaban ang mga prinsipyong ito. Ibigay natin ang lahat ng ating makakaya para makamit ang ating kolektibong mithiin. Ipakita natin – sa bawat salita, sa bawat gawa, sa bawat kilos natin – ang tunay na diwa ng pagiging Pilipino.

I read somewhere that it is not the battle or the conquest that we remember. But the soldier who stood beside us, na tumutoo sa atin, who we treasure the most. Sa inyong lahat, maraming-maraming salamat. Hindi ko po kayo makakalimutan.

Mga kababayan, isang walang kapantay na karangalan na maging tagapagwagayway ng ating bandila. To have carried our flag. To have fought the good fight. To have kept the faith. To have finished the race.

Maraming-maraming salamat sa inyong lahat. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

I love you all!

There are many tears in the room. Let me tell you: this is not a time for tears. For our country, we have had a peaceful successful transfer of power. It’s not about me. It’s not about anyone. It’s about how we love our country and how we’ll do all that we can can for her. She’s the only one.

Maraming salamat po.


We have stood and fought hard for him amid the criticisms of friends. We distributed campaign materials. We prayed. We believed.

Well, the country has chosen its leader and I support the winner. I sure hope he turns out the man his supporters believe him to be.

mar-she's the only one

The Unlikely Ascent to Presidency

Whenever I tell people I want to become President of the Philippines someday, they ask me – then why are you not in politics or any politically related career right now? They think that I ought to be running for barangay chairman at the very least or if not working as part of someone’s cabinet.

But despite my ever nagging desire since childhood to serve at the topmost position in the country, I have also this predisposition that it won’t happen in a conventional way.

It won’t be because I am born of a political family. It won’t be because I have demonstrated aptitude in political office for X number of years. It won’t be because I am a veteran at politics and all the traps that come with it.

No. Rather, it will be because God says so.

Pretty far fetch for the most pragmatic mind right? Many would argue to leave God out of it. That roots, connections and lots of money are what is needed to win a presidency. But I disagree.

In fact, I wouldn’t want the position if I know for certain that God is not with me. For without Him, I would be walking into a death trap. I would probably be swallowed alive by a system so corrupt many have lost faith in it already.

But I haven’t. I believe that the Philippines can be turned for good. That like her ASEAN neighbors she can also rise from the ashes and ascend to a glorified spot at the top. Already, we know we have one of the fastest rising GDP in the region. Shocking if we take a look at the seemingly non-improvement of the lives around us but economics tells us that we are on the rise.

As I mull over how in 4 election cycles I will be qualified to vie for Presidency, I am struck at how the current Presidential 2016 elections is fanning out.

A year ago many dreaded that the only vocal – and most likely to win candidate – was Binay. Those who opposed him dug up so much dirt to mar his image to the doting public  that many were disillusioned with him. The impact was made regardless of the many counter measures the Binay camp attempted. After carefully placing his pawns in place during the previous elections, he now threads on precarious waters.

And yet, majority concur that his chances of winning remain high. The other candidates are equally marred and the public are also disillusioned of what they can do.

However from this seemingly lose-lose situation comes a beacon of hope – Grace Poe. A quiet politician who ran for Senate and emerged at the top. She did her job well serving as MTRCB Chief and many recognized her silent fortitude. The fact that she was also fighting to clear the name of her deceased father, Fernando Poe aided to her cause. Despite the reservations if she will make a good lawmaker, she proved herself time and time again to be a brilliant and humble public servant.

Now, as someone who has captured the public’s heart, she is eyed to be one of the contender for Presidency. And not just some contender but someone with the seal of trust of the current President as someone who can continue his projects. That endorsement would go a long way to securing Poe a seat in the Palace for despite criticisms against PNoy, many still contend that he has done more good than harm for the country.

This is in stark contrast to her possible opponents – Binay and Mar Roxas to name a few. Both Binay and Roxas through years of political career and strategic planning have planted in various places people who will aid them to their cause of being president. They are your traditional politicians. Note: I am not using trapo here to mean a negative thing. It’s just that they are your typical politicians who slowly but surely rose up the ranks. They played by the book. And now they are eyeing the top spot.

Grace Poe didn’t play by the book. She didn’t rise up the ranks of a political career. She has no people in strategic positions. She does not come from a political family. She’s not someone with an arsen of resources she can use to ensure she wins at all cost. She’s a wildcard entry. Yet being one, she is a welcome breath of fresh air.

In the Bible, there are many stories of unlikely ascent to power.

There’s Joseph from Genesis who despite being a slave and prisoner found himself to be the second most powerful man in Egypt second only to Pharaoh. There’s Saul, Israel’s first king who was simply looking for his father’s lost donkeys when Samuel saw him and made him king by the Lord’s prompting. And there was David who was a shepherd, faithfully guarding his flock from wild animals and showing bravery to fight the giant Goliath. He was soon selected as king by the Lord.

As the Bible said, God doesn’t look at outward appearances. He doesn’t measure the same way we measure. God looks at the heart. He sees what is inside. He sees the desire. And if we take delight in Him then surely He gives us the desires of our heart.

–Update as of July 31, 2015: PNoy has announced that he’s endorsing Mar Roxas to be his successor. Grace Poe’s political plans for 2016 – if she agrees to be a VP to Mar or any other presidential candidates or if she will run for Presidency herselft are not yet known.

Erap for President

What? Again? Not this time around!

joseph-estradaThis was my reaction when I learned that Erap is seriously considering running for presidency in the 2010 elections. He even has the nerve to refer to the study made by several political experts that he wouldn’t be breaching any constitutional law by running for presidency in the year 2010.

His arguments for him being qualified to run are in fact valid since according to Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III the constitutional provision against reelection of a president applies only to a sitting or incumbent president – and since Erap is neither, then he has all the green signals to run in 2010. After all, he hasn’t finished his last presidency term and he seems to have unfinished plans for the country, right?

Yet this would only materialize if the opposition wouldn’t unite under one candidate. Erap stresses over the fact that the votes of the Filipino people would be divided over the various presidential hopefuls of the opposition. They are no other than Ping Lacson, Manny Villar, Mar Roxas, Loren Legarda, Chiz Escudero and Jejomar Binay. He is worried that the same 2004 scenario, wherein FPJ and Lacson, two oppositional candidates who fought over the presidential slot were both “cheated” of their respective votes. He maintains that cheating against the opposition would be easy if they will field a lot of presidentiable candidates in the upcoming elections.

Well, we still have July or August to find out for certain if Erap will indeed run for presidency.

***Source: The Philippine Star News Page4 May 24, 2009***


democrats_republicans_head_to_head_1Erap’s headache over the numerous presidential aspirants of the oppositon brings to mind my opinions and views on the party system of the Philippines. The election scene of the country is obviously party-oriented and not reform oriented. I am no greaat fan of the US but I must admit that I admire their approach to democracy and elections – that is in the sense that they only have 2 parties – Democratic and Republican, the major difference being in the reforms and beliefs of the said parties. And when a voter votes, he or she considers not the politician per se but the party he is in and the reform or advocacy of that party he is part of.

In the Philippines, there is no control as to the number of parties participating in the elections. Every election year, we hear of parties being made with some fading into oblivion in the next election year. This has happened so many times that we have ceased to really concern ourselves with the party and instead managed to look at the candidate himself thus making our election process personality-based instead of reform-based. If we closely looked at the nature of these political parties, we would see that most of them have basically similar reforms albeit worded differently.

So why then are there numerous presidentiables who would simply establish their own parties if their previous party had the unfortunate slip in decision to make them the presidential bet? Does it not make us think that they are now merely running for their own personal gain and not for the reforms that they claim to be their motivations for serving the public?

comeleclogoI know that our country is unique and I do not have any intention of it being patterned entirely upon US election scenarios, much as I admire those scenarios. It’s just that I hope our public servants would stop and think for a while and would really be sincere in what they want to accomplish for the country. I believe it would serve the voters more if we would be able to wisely decide who to vote for, not on the merits of the candidates personality, but on the merits of the reform his party advocates.

Another thing, it is easier to vote or select when one only has two options than when one is given a multitude of choices, right?