The next President of the Philippines should respect the Rule of Law for the country to progress

The Philippines’ current list of “potential” candidates is very disappointing. Most of them are from the same crop of bozos from the country’s current ruling class. Their membership to this “elite” club means they are first loyal to their families and friends before they are loyal to the country and its people in general. Therefore, it is almost a guarantee that candidates from this group will more than likely continue the world-renowned Filipino tradition of patronage politics or padrino system, which is a system that makes a mockery of the country’s institutions and undermines the democratic principle of rule of law.

It’s not just the list of candidates some people are worried about. The country’s automated election system or precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines have zero credibility with some sectors of Philippine society. There are people who believe that the machines can be rigged the same way they have been saying it was rigged during the 2010 Presidential elections. They believe that a lot of those who won the last two elections may have been products of vote rigging. This includes President Benigno Simeon Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay. Calls to investigate their claims and scrap the use of the PCOS machines are unfortunately, falling on deaf ears. That is not surprising considering the alternative, which is manual counting of the ballots that takes weeks to conduct and potentially deadly for those manning the ballot boxes.

These potential presidential candidates have shown they are willing to disrespect the country's institutions just to get the votes.

These potential presidential candidates have shown they are willing to disrespect the country’s institutions just to get the votes.

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The Presidency is big business in the Philippines. Whoever wins will have access to bottomless funds from taxpayers and various revenue generating entities. He or she can divert the use of said funds to his “priority” projects. These projects can include bribing Congress into approving his self-serving policies using pork barrel funds. He or she will also have a say albeit indirectly, in the approval of contractors for various infrastructure projects. In other words, whoever wins the Presidency can act like a king and treat the Philippines like his or her personal fiefdom similar to what BS Aquino has been doing since Day One of his Presidential term.

A President acting like a monarch in the Philippines is partly the fault of the Filipino people for allowing it to happen in the first place. In other decent societies, the people would have rioted or stormed the Presidential gates years ago once news got out that the President used public funds to bribe Congress just to impeach his political enemy in the Supreme Court. Not in the Philippines. Filipinos are too “patient” and “forgiving”. To be precise, Filipinos are too beholden to their public servants especially when the public servant has a popular name and is related to a celebrity. Most astounding of all, those who criticize these public servants tend to get labeled as “negative”.

Some of BS Aquino’s critics for example, say that the President cannot solve everything. What they are saying is true. The President of the Philippines cannot solve all the problems in the country. However, he or she can make things worse. And this is true in the case of BS Aquino. Because he prioritized the wrong things – like the persecution of his political enemies instead of spurring infrastructure upgrade and fostering unity and love of country – the situation in the Philippines became even worse. One just needs to look at the traffic situation in Manila, which has been ranked as the 5th worst in the world, and the appalling condition of the public train system. The government’s slow response to natural disasters and degrading treatment of victims of tragedies are also proof that not much has changed since BS Aquino took over. Victims of super typhoon Yolanda can attest to this. They still live in shabby conditions years later and have yet to see the donations from around the world in goods and in cash. The funds are reportedly unaccounted for and the goods have since rotted away in the warehouses of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

President Noynoy Aquino: He did not allow the Rule of Law to prevail.

President Noynoy Aquino: He did not allow the Rule of Law to prevail.

The fact of the matter is, if the country’s systems were enforced and institutions respected, the President’s job would not be so complicated. It would still be hard due to the number of problems he has to deal with but it wouldn’t be as convoluted as it is now. A classic example is BS Aquino’s proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law. Because BS Aquino and his peace panel came up with an agreement that is against the law starting with negotiating with known terrorist group Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the peace process in Mindanao has been stalled. BS Aquino’s deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front also resulted in the massacre of 44 Special Action Forces by members of the rebel forces during a legitimate police operation in the terrorist’s haven.

The bottom line is, in the Philippines, leaders lead the way in breaking the law. No wonder even regular folks refuse to follow the law or do not recognize the law. The biggest irony of all is that BS Aquino himself, in a lot of instances, refuses to uphold the country’s Constitution, which is often referred to as the Cory Constitution.

So far, the possible contenders for the next Presidential Elections is a good indication of what the future holds for the Philippines. This early we are seeing potential candidates like Senator Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay and DILG Secretary Mar Roxas pandering to the irrational and disruptive actions of a powerful religious sect, the Iglesia ni Cristo, just to gain their block votes. Their statements defending the sect’s actions shows the lengths with which they will go to just to win the coveted Presidential post. This includes disrespecting the country’s institutions and disregarding the systems in place. They are not going to be good for the country at all. Filipinos need to find someone who can uphold the country’s institutions and unite the nation.

47 Replies to “The next President of the Philippines should respect the Rule of Law for the country to progress”

  1. When the Rule of Law disappears, we are ruled by the whims of men. Failipinos had that problem since time immemorial when the same people who make the law get to decide whether or not they themselves have broken the law.

    Lack of rule of law is the main reason the Failippines could not and will never join the ranks of progressive nations.

    1. Hi d_forsaken

      Unfortunately, you are correct. A lot of Filipinos do not even understand the concept behind following the rule of law, which is why they do not see a problem with PNoy disregarding the law.

      1. Hi Ilda…

        Sometimes Failipino inefficiency is the price they pay for Failippines democracy. If they don’t speak up, they are cowards and accomplices. Unless they change direction, they are likely to end up where they are headed. The best way to protect your own freedom is to watch everybody else’s back. That’s the essence of a country/community.

        In the past, all Failipino politicians offered Failipinos dreams of a better country. Now they promise to protect Failipinos from nightmares. Failipinos are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds. When one hundred million Failipino people don’t vote, the Failippines is not bitterly divided. The Failippines mostly doesn’t give a shit.

        Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. Only in the Failippines and Malaysia, perhaps, is honesty considered a major gaffe. The exercise of true leadership is inversely proportional to the exercise of power. If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for the law. In previous eras, this was known as thievery. Now it’s just the way things are done. The heresy of one age becomes the orthodoxy of the next.

        We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.

        Patriotism does not oblige us to acquiesce in the destruction of liberty. Patriotism obliges us to question it, at least. There are two questions a Failipino must ask himself/herself: The first is ‘Where am I going?’ and the second is ‘Who will go with me?’ If Failipinos in the Failippines ever get these questions in the wrong order they are in deep shit trouble.

        1. Rule of law is misinterpreted by the current administration as selective Justice asked by the public in the time of GMA, btw, has she been convicted of one plunder or criminal case? Secondly, matuwid na daan has failed miserably, just look at the lagay an system back in almost all sectors… Thirdly, the lack of common sense, trying to project a strong economy preferred by investors but not coming cuz we lack everything, water power, security, drivers license car plates passports, transport disaster reinsert and so on and so forth… Yet pnoy turn his cheek not acknowledging
          It… Even in the case of the SC conviction of unconstitutionality done no other than the president and his co hurts headed by abad, the saf44, the China debacle, a war we can never win hard to swallow but true…. The bbl height of stupidity, surrendering funds to strengthen the milf who fought the government and killed so many people, and Aquino said it was peace a war we can not win, so give in, you think we stand a war against China? iPad thank you for keeping your feet and presence among the silent majority… Oh even the snubbing of Nora, it was not the snub but yeah way it was handled… First claiming conviction and serving sentence, not true, drug user since drugs are found in her luggage and she admitted a guilty plea, yes she did to ensure a plea bargain giving her a year to prove innocence by submitting to 40+ random test… Even her guilty plea was thrown withdrawn by the honorable judge after a year, it shows their judgemental, arrogant and holier than thou… 3 things I hate most in a person… It leads to prejudice. No one is perfect… Even Jesus said it on the bible… Don,t tell me pnoy is holier than Jesus…? What a crap… Now the traffic mess… Common sense, no new roads or infrastructure means less roads for more cars ergo no solution… It shows how much vision they have zit…

  2. Great article again, Ilda. What can I say?

    Let me just add this. Not only is “the Presidency big business in the Philippines”, but being able to have the gall to participate in the election PROCESS ITSELF AS A CANDIDATE is already big business. It puzzles many people why individuals who don’t seem to have a fighting chance, based on surveys, would still opt to run. The reason is that being a candidate is already good business, win or loss.

    Once a candidate gets to be among the top 3 or 4 in the running for presidency especially as the election gets closer, you are looking at Billions of Pesos pouring in from political donations. Of course, the leading candidates get more. It is like a horse race; only this time, the bettors are smugglers, gambling lords, regular government vendors, corporations that need to protect something from govt interference, etc.

    I am very aware, for example, of a presidentiable who had a good chance of winning, but who knew he was going to lose. Well, his net take after expenses amounted to 400 million Pesos. He was a happy man for losing. And this is not limited to the Presidential elections. Senatorial may not be in the billions, but they are still big money. Know very well of a senatoriable who expected only 300 million in donation. To her surprise, donation went up to 700 m because she really had a fighting chance. She spent the balance of the campaign period trying to lose — why bother with the hardship of the job, when she could comfortably retire with what she already got. Her take home after election: Php 350 million.

    Recall the time Erap at the start of his term put all his cabinet and other guys into an expensive stay-in seminar for one week, or was it two weeks, in Tagaytay, and journalists were asking where he was getting his money for the expensive gig. He shot back and asked why they were asking such things. He asked why they didn’t know he had an excess of 200m from political donations. Well, I think he was lying; he got much, much more than 200m in excess.

    This makes it really difficult to determine the motives of the candidates. Of course, they want the job because it brings more money. But, you wonder what the motives are of some of the candidates; whether they want the job, or the money they will get by just participating as mere candidates. Malinaw naman na matatalo, sumasali pa.

    Election period is really the season when influence peddlers and kingmakers make big money because they get a commission for every donation they are able to solicit. One donor is out of commission this season, pahinga muna si Napoles. But, there are still many out there, both foreign and local.

    No wonder Philippine election process is called one of the dirtiest. They put to shame the mafias, the syndicates and the yakuzas of the world.

    I just wonder, however, with the present line-up if the traditional donors are excited. Maybe, they are also thinking now of what is good for the country and not just themselves. What with the havoc PNoy brought on institutions with KKK the only ones benefitting.

    1. Hi Add

      Your revelation is really sad. Obviously, the donors will get a return on their investments once their candidate wins the election. That makes whoever wins merely a puppet.

      It’s a shame Filipinos cannot even rally against shenenigans the way the Malaysians are doing right now. The majority doesn’t seem to care and are content for PNoy to just finish his remaining months in office. PNoy seems to be nowhere nowadays. It’s as if the country is running without a President.

  3. It’s very hard to respect, follow, and obey the laws of the land if the value system of the culture is screwed up. It’s all about me, me, and more of me when it comes to the way Filipinos think.

      1. That’s what I write about all the time. It’s in-bred into our culture to be self-serving (makasarili) and arrogant/aristocratic (hambog). This is why our country is screwed up. “it’s every man for himself.”

  4. A leader who can uphold the constitution? hmmm. It smells like he is from the south. I read a news that he had pinoy tourist swallowed cigarette butt for arrogantly defying the famed “no smoking in public places” ordinance of the city.

    “Si Mar good, si Poe good. ngayon kapag wala na kayong mapili dito, lumingon kayo sa south, sa mindanao. Dahil nandoon yung very good.”

    Hahaha 😀

    1. How sure can we be that Duterte will respect the rule of law when he has demonstrated time and again that he resorts to extra-judicial means? How sure can we be that Duterte will not become another Ferdinand Marcos?

      1. Ha, Dueterte is a criminal too. The extra-judicial killings are his way of eliminating the competition. Think there are NO drugs in Davao ? REALLY? Who controls the ‘jue-teng’,and anything else illicit ,eh?
        Filipino’s elect Deuterte and they will get another Ferdinand Marcos. A lying thieving scumbag……..
        …..JUST LIKE ALL THE REST OF THE POLITICIANS. It is a certainty.

      2. @ Diaz ,the ‘extra-judicial’ murders are AGAINST THE LAW!!! Dueterte openly defies the rule of law, and yet you ask: ‘How can we be sure he will respect the rule of law?’, R U SERIOUS ? It is a FACT that Dueterte will NOT respect the rule of law.He never has and never will. Holy Shit, WAKE UP DUDE !!!

      3. Is there any possibility at all of another Marcos-like take over? Does this FUD you argue about still have any validity? In this day and age?

        The weakest argument against a Duterte presidency would probably be the fear of another dictator take over.

        Ditto with a Bongbong Marcos presidency.

        It is more probable to expect that should the yellow ribbon party lose, they’ll be the ones spreading FUD and chaos just to be able to grab back power.

        1. @justine. The only way the Philippines will experience another “Marcos like takeover” is ifthe country gets another whole-hearted support of the United States; which, in this era of compromises among super-power nations, is very hard to do.

      1. NOTE: let me first say that i’m not here to campaign for the mayor(IF he runs) and that the article is promoting a person or someone else.

        agreed. however, technically, extra-judicial killings are done by “governmental authorities” and the mayor and his policemen are not the one doing the same. hence, the govt. is not involved. it’s also his “political will” that changed Davao City from the killing fields of Asia to the most competitive city in the country garnering awards here and there with it’s own Central 911.

        to me, that extra-judicial killing has it’s history during Davao City’s dark days. and it’s not relevant in this article.

        Why I root for The Punisher:

      2. @ Ilda, my point EXACTLY. but the respondents to the statement I made do not seem to understand this salient point. Dueterte will be just as big a lying thieving scumbag as every other politician in the Philippines is,maybe even bigger……. it is a certainty.
        Ha, his daughter assaulted a Man (I know how that sounds …but she did !) in front of hundreds of witness’s and it was even captured on camera…BUT SHE WAS NOT CHARGED.
        Dueterte will no doubt start fool the fools once again.
        IT IS EZ !

  5. A contribution to the reflection, one would think!
    The problem of the Philippines is one is to live in the assumption in a democracy. But – the “Aquinocracy” is an authoritarian regime. Performed as was recognized quite rightly, of corrupt criminal subjects. Aquino and his minions is not about the common good. The personal enrichment at the expense of the country is at the center of action. This point was also correctly recognized that the presidency is a very profitable business with maximum personal profit.
    In principle, Aquino is a fool, but to the chagrin of the Filipinos he has (as we say in Europe) shrewdness. Its surrounding vassals are loyal to him faithful and steal, plunder and corrupt the country in unprecedented proportions.
    The people are denied the most elementary rights as a modern health care system, a contemporary education, and above all the international standard corresponding vocational training. Not to mention decent lodging and food.
    As one of the main subjects at school is religion.
    Missing a person sufficient training, he will not be able to analyze problems. He sees no solution, he takes refuge in religion.
    The church, like Aquino have only one interest – power and wealth.
    That sounds like blasphemy, but is a bitter fact, considering alone the fact that the Catholic Church is the largest landowners in the world, has its own bank and in countless companies own shares or the owner is. (This information comes from research and publications in Europe.)
    Here the result of consciously controlled deficient education of the general public reflects. The great mass of the people mentally incapable of understanding and thus the load carrying without a murmur. Perhaps without even speculate that the system is inimical to your interests.
    And the few who understand the system, will be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on the favor of the system that from whose ranks never an opposition will emerge.
    It is obvious that these same people, which form the so-called “government” out of their way to do what gets their power.
    Politically motivated killings of journalists, murders of political opposition or their incarceration. Plundering the country, robbery, perjury, lying, forgery, perversion of justice, abuse of office and much more.
    It is obvious – the Philippines are further away from democracy as the earth from the sun.
    Incomprehensible therefore remain the statements of Filipinos like, “God bless President Aquino” or; “President Aquino is called by God”.
    Oh my God – dumber goes Nimmer’s!
    But where there are supposed to know the unfortunate people even better?
    The only thing that helps the Philippines from this mental, political and economic eclipse of the Aquino – to lead era, is a rigorous exchange. The Philippines do not need another Aquino, no new Banana Republic designers.
    What is missing here is a patriot, a Filipino whose heart beats for his people and not for his wallet. A patriot who cleans the dirt of the past with an iron broom and the people as the country is a future.
    Until this man found, we will do everything to ensure that investors, business people and tourists from Europe, the Philippines be avoided.
    Rody Duterte would such a man. The many small Aquino in the government have already trousers sense if they just remember that this man could possibly be President.

    1. Patriots are hard to come by in the Philippines because there is no justice. When there is no justice, the moral is low and therefore the people have no drive to do anything about the situation.

      Indeed, democracy is not working in the Philippines because the majority are not well informed and educated.

      1. The only true patriots in the Philippines are dead, like Andres Bonifacio, because they didn’t understand nor played into the game of power. Bonifacio was assasinated because he refused to compromised his love for his country and people to self-interest groups. Today, the ones we call patriots are alive, and have compromised morality and justice to get to where they are.

    1. I got bellyache reading at your comment. Don’t you see the face staring at us by the name of BS Aquino who spent years noynoying as congressman and senator, and what accomplishments does he have to show for: ZILCH, ZERO, NADA!!! Unless and until Filipino bobotante developed capacity to critically evaluate our so called “honorables” whom they vote for office, then our country will continue to spiral to point of no return into oblivion. Ours is a basket case…end of story!!!! Peace.

  6. The fact that an essay can even be titled as this one is provides the proof that the ‘Republica De Pilipinas’ is sooo far fucked it is incredible.
    The one and only question is: Is the country soooo far fucked that it is beyond repair ? Well, it certainly seems so.

  7. Ida’s next article might be titled as follows:
    The next President of the Philippines should have Common Sense for the country to progress
    September #, 2015 by Ilda

    When that happens, it’s a sign for all you guys to jump ship and find better lives abroad.

    1. It’s happening now. More and more Filipinos are being forced to work overseas as OFWs, immigrate to other countries, or, worse, stay in the country and be driven deeper into poverty. I blame the Chinese-Filipino businesses and their bribed Filipino politicians for making this the way of life throughout the entire country.

  8. Those three Clowns, wanting to become President in this God forsaken country? I have not seen any good come out from those people.

    I hope that other people, who are more qualified will come out; and run for President.

    The HOCUS PCOS machine is in place. The INC Block Vote machinery, has a Show of Force. The INC Block Vote “Bidding” may have started now. How much is Roxas, Binay, or Grace Poe is bidding?

    It will be more of the same. More incompetence. More Political Zarzuelas. More corruption. More Political patronage.

    The “basket case” situation of our country will continue; if not becomes worse.

    Unless, new people will come out; who are Patriotic enough to remedy our situation. We will become worse; as the sickest country in Asia… Same old Dogs, only new colllars…

  9. This article states ‘……since day one of his presidency’, as if all of the guy’s predecessor’s have not done the same exact thing ?
    Really, there is nothing unique about Aquino and the thieving taking place. Corruption is institutionalized in the country and has been since the days the Spanish settled.

    1. You must be referring to another article; what you have quoted does not appear on this piece.

      But to your point about institutionalized corruption: are we then just going to accept the status qou just because this is the way it has been since time immemorial? This is exactly what’s wrong with Pinoy mindset and culture–doing the same thing over and over again and expect different outcome. No progression, just regression! Peace.

      1. @Bytander. ‘The Philipines is corrupt because the Filipinos are corrupt; the Filipinos are corrupt because the culture is corrupt.’

        The only solution is revamp the culture.

      2. @ Bystander, NO I am not, it is in there, just go read the article again if you must. and YES, that is the point, keep electing these scumbags and you will just get more scumbaggery. It is a certainty, and that is exactly what is going to happen, unless…….

    2. UK RAY. “Corruption is institutionalized in the country and has been since the days the Spanish settled.”

      I’ve always said, ‘The Philipines is corrupt because the Filipinos are corrupt; the Filipinos are corrupt because the culture is corrupt.’

      It’s such a vicious cycle.

      1. @ Aeta, YES, but to a point. In the West, the lower the event taking place , the less likely to see corruption. Like bribing your way out of a traffic ticket, in the Fail-ippines it costs less than $5, that doesn’t happen in the West, or very rarely anyway. Try it and your likely to get arrested just as likely for it to get accepted. In the Fail-ippines, the bribe is taken every time, never fails !!!
        BUT, the Governments in the West are just as corrupt as any 3rd world country, just the stakes are higher.

  10. @UK RAY,

    “Like bribing your way out of a traffic ticket, in the Fail-ippines it costs less than $5, that doesn’t happen in the West, or very rarely anyway….BUT, the Governments in the West are just as corrupt as any 3rd world country, just the stakes are higher.”

    That is exactly what I meant by “the intensity of these corruptions is magnified ten-folds in Third World Countries like the Philippines.”

    Common people in more developed countries can afford to stay out of every day, petty corruptions (like bribing their way out of less than $5 traffic ticket) because their basic needs are being met; and that more sophisticated corruption do exist but at a much higher stake and well-hidden from the crowd.

    Unfortunately for the Philippines, though, the people’s desire to reach a Second or Third World country status–or the majority of the population’s seeing themselves as being “world class” material because they have relatives living in the United states or other parts of the world.

    This overwhelming attitude of how Filipinos see themselves is not parallel to the way they live their day-to-day lives as a Third World nation—complete with the oligarchies fleecing the country and oppressing the people; and, the general population trusting no one,and having an “every man for himself” outlook in life, that prevents them from working together to rebuild their nation.

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