Philippine Elections 2016: An If-Then-Else?
A day before the beginning of the “Ghost Month”, President Aquino endorsed DILG Secretary Mar Roxas as the “man of the hour” for the “daang matuwid” policy/way of life. Coincidentally, Binay is suffering from accusations of corruption from his past tenure in Makati, among them acquiring a lavish lifestyle and the overpricing of various objects ranging from parking lots to cake. Then, the administration party, the Liberal Party, is courting the other poll favorite, Grace Poe, to run alongside Mar Roxas as Veep.
So now, all of a sudden, people are saying they’ll vote for Mar. This isn’t a choice of conviction: it isn’t as if the average Filipino woke up one day and thought, “Oo nga, iboboto ko si Mar.” It sounds more like “Sige na nga, iboboto ko si Mar.” All because the other alternatives have been practically neutralized, from the “discovered corruption” of frontrunner Binay to the “untested, but good partner” Grace Poe. Meanwhile another candidate, Duterte, probably dug his own political grave with his “Judge Dredd-style reputation” in Davao. Mar ends being the best presidential candidate simply because he is the only good candidate.
I don’t like that kind of hard-sell, which salesmen are known to employ to force you to buy their products. “Good governance, take it or leave it,” this administration seems to say. I’m not going to discuss point-by-point Mar’s accomplishments or failings. That could certainly be discussed by other people. But I’ve become more and more convinced that Mar may not be in the best interests of the people.
Maybe it’s because since Day 1, the triumphant Aquino administration gave preference to Roxas in terms of praise and position for office. Or that in that same first day everyone was already gearing up for a Roxas 2016 campaign that only someone living under a rock would not detect. Or maybe because since Day 1 they’ve practically been force-feeding the idea that Mar Roxas makes for a good president. The whole thing is so artificial, so forced, and yet begrudgingly working with the populace. Because, Geez, Mar Roxas is the only candidate. “It’s not like you’d vote for the other guy, who’s corrupt, by the way”.
Mar Roxas=Daang matuwid. Not Mar Roxas=not daang matuwid. If-Then-Else. Like a local solon asked, “Is this the best we can come up with?” As a taxpayer and a registered voter, I like to feel like I am in control, and I get to help decide what is best for my country. And these six years, I’m being told I’ve no choice? There’s only “my way or the highway?” Daang matuwid or bust?
What about actual accomplishments? Actual performance? No generic “but he did good, so he’s good enough” logic. What he actually succeeded in doing. Honestly, I’m weighing Binay based on what he actually did in Makati. I mean, why did he win the VP position in the first place? For all his corruption, he actually made Makati a model city. To say that his corruption negates his accomplishments is a logical fallacy. But to say that he is the “foregone conclusion” is equally erroneous. That’s another If-Then-Else logic, that’s as old as Day 1 of the Aquino presidency.
Can we actually base winnability on credentials rather than hard-sell logic? Can we not be force-fed an “only-Roxas” or even an “only-Binay” logic? I hope other people actually run, so we can actually have a choice, and not have our intelligence insulted by having someone choose for us. Maybe Roxas is the viable candidate, or maybe Binay, but it gives the taxpayer self-worth to have the power to choose for himself.