Filipinos will be given another opportunity to change the course of their future in the 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections. The chance to remove power from the members of the oligarchy who have reigned with incompetence and mediocrity in the last 30 years is coming soon. One can only hope the voters will not waste this opportunity like they did in past elections.
Voting for Mar Roxas for example, who is a member of the oligarchy, will be a total waste of this opportunity. Since Mar promised to continue current President Benigno Simeon Aquino’s Daang Matuwid mantra, the voters should avoid Mar like the plague. Daang Matuwid is nothing but a public relations slogan concocted by people who do not have substance. It has gone way past its use-by date.Mar’s performance during his stint as Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is an indication that he cannot deliver the right results that would benefit the public. Like in his previous posts, his hands will be tied and will only end up catering to businessmen who are also his friends and relatives.
Mar said so himself during an interview “I did my best to solve MRT woes…” If he already gave his best but the public transport system still got worse under his leadership, then it would be catastrophic if he had to handle a bigger role like the Presidency. It would be too much for him just like it was too much for his buddy BS Aquino. Mar will most certainly be at his wits’ ends trying to do a president’s job. He cannot even control his temper during stressful situations and when provoked by his critics. This was evident when he challenged Davao Mayor and Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte to a slapping match after Duterte questioned his degree in Wharton.
In the past, we’ve seen how Mar proved that he doesn’t know how to delegate. This is evident in how he does jobs himself that were meant to be done by people under him, like directing traffic and fixing broken chairs. How on earth would he be able to function effectively as the President if he doesn’t know how to delegate? People like Mar cannot delegate because of their arrogance and lack of confidence in other people. He probably thinks he is the only one who can do the job right. That kind of mentality in a president would certainly spell disaster for the Philippines.
Mar’s undesirable character is quite apparent in the way he talks during interviews with the press. He has shifty eyes and his voice sounds arrogant – like someone who thinks he is above the person he is speaking with. He is not a people person. Despite being in politics for two decades, he still lacks charm and has not acquired the right diplomatic skills of a seasoned politician. Those traits are important when one is aspiring for the Presidency. Politics is about selling yourself, your party and the policies you want to implement. Seasoned politicians are skilled at making the people they deal with feel important. Mar lacks that skill.
If the Philippines were a dictatorship, Mar would not have a problem. Unfortunately, in a democracy, Mar has to persuade members of Congress – those who represent the Filipino people – to agree with his ideas. He will fail to convince people if he comes across as too full of himself.
Mar will simply suffer the same fate as BS Aquino who, in the twilight of his presidential term turned into a lame duck. The only difference is, Mar could be a lame duck at the beginning of his term already if he ever wins by some miracle or electoral hocus-pocus. The truth is, BS Aquino also lacks charm and diplomatic skills. The only reason he managed to convince members of Congress to support his priority projects like the RH Law and the removal of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona is because he allegedly used pork barrel funds to bribe members of Congress before all that was declared “illegal”. It’s no surprise that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law — the pièce de résistance of his administration — is dead in the water now that BS Aquino cannot give pork barrel funds to lawmakers anymore.
So with Mar lacking in charm and diplomacy and with no pork with which to bribe Congress, he will not be able to implement his “ideas” and he won’t be able to function effectively as President.
Filipino voters should realize that members of the oligarchy like Mar are the enemy. They keep the country from moving forward. They try to fool the public into thinking that they are concerned about the majority’s insterests. In reality, their priority is their own personal interests, which include the welfare of their respective inner circles. Mar will continue to hire people from the same group of friends and relatives the same way BS Aquino did. And when those people prove to be too incompetent for their jobs, Mar will not be able to fire them due to conflicts of interest. He will, for example, probably retain Jose Angel Honrado as Chief of Manila International Airport Authority. Expect the bullet planting scam at the airport to continue. He will also likely retain DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya since he is a friend and the Leader of the Liberal Party. Expect the public transport system to remain chaotic.
The only way for Filipinos to have a better future is to say no to candidates like Mar. He is part of the Philippines’ problem. He will not serve the people well as we have seen in his performance in the past.
In life, things are not always what they seem.