Mar Roxas’s campaign promises NOTHING to the Filipino people

Generations of Filipino politicians have paid lip service to the idea that Filipinos deserve an egalitarian society and that the it is unjust that vast wealth be in the hands of so few. It has become a template campaign promise during election season for politicians to issue promises to “eliminate poverty” and dismantle the monopoly on the nation’s wealth held by a handful of entrenched oligarchs.

The question remains, however:

Where are the results?

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As such, it is quite amusing that a meme portraying Liberal Party presidential candidate Mar Roxas reciting this tired old promise is being spread all over social media and happily eaten up by Filipino voters. The meme, posted on Mar Roxas’s Facebook page is accompanied by the following text…

Tinanong si Mar Roxas sa isang interview, “Bakit gusto n’yo pang maging presidente? You have everything, di ba?” At kanyang sinabi, “While I have everything, my countrymen do not. Hindi naman pwede na iilan lang ang maginhawa at ang higit na nakararami ay talagang hirap na hirap.”

FB_IMG_1454367834518

Here it is again, this time in straight proper English:

Mar Roxas was asked in an interview, “Why do you want to be president? You have everything, right?” Roxas responded by saying, “While I have everything, my countrymen do not. We really can’t allow persistence of a situation where a small number of people live comfortably while the huge majority are really struggling.”

To the credit of Roxas’s public relations machine, the meme and the text is quite clever. It obviously has all the emotional hooks to tickle the fancy of a vacuous electorate. However it has none of the important ingedients of a real campaign promise:

(1) What exactly Roxas plans to do about the situation he cites; and,

(2) How exactly Roxas plans to execute what he says he will do to rectify said situation.

There is no promise in Roxas’s statements because there is neither a What nor a How in his proposition. In short, Roxas promises nothing.

Indeed, it is hard enough to hold politicians to their stated promises. Roxas, is smarter, however. He does the Filipino Voter one better by altogether not promising anything. Why then should Filipinos continue to even consider Mar Roxas as an option? All he does is mouth mere platitudes. Beyond that he commits to nothing.

Roxas’s fans will be quick to counter that by saying that he will continue his boss’s Daang Matuwid (“straight path”) platform. The question we need to ask ourselves then is this:

Is “Daang Matuwid” a platform?

What exactly does “Daang Matuwid” promise? For that matter, if it is a straight path Roxas promises, where exactly does said path lead to ultimately? What does Roxas envision the Philippines of 2022 to be like after he finishes his six year term as its supreme leader?

Filipinos need to get better at scrutinising their presidential candidates intelligently. It starts with asking the right questions. The old habit of simply dancing when a politician beats on a drum needs to be stopped. This is not appropriate collective behaviour for a country that would like to consider itself a modern 21st Century society.

It therefore comes as no surprise that despite decades of Filipino politicians promising a more equitable distribution of wealth across the Filipino public, wealth has actually flowed in a path opposite to those promises. The report The Grim Reality Behind the Philippines’ Economic Growth published on the The Atlantic in mid-2013 quoted economist Cielito Habito who estimated the wealth held by the 40 richest families in the Philippines at $47.4 billion. According to Habito, $13 billion of this wealth was amassed in just one financial year (from 2010 to 2011) and accounted for a “staggering” 76.5 percent of the total growth of the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) in that year.

According to that report, the Philippines easily suffers the biggest wealth gap in Asia. The trend does not seem to be reversing. While the Philippine economy is supposedly performing well from a purely statistical perspective, there is no sign that any of this progress is trickling down to the broader Philippine public.

What then does Mar Roxas propose to do differently? After all, historical record will show that many politicians that came before him have promised and (we’d like to think) tried to reverse this persistent trend. After all, it is only when things are done differently that one can reasonably expect different outcomes.

[Photo courtesy Philippine Star.]

12 Replies to “Mar Roxas’s campaign promises NOTHING to the Filipino people”

  1. As long as the corruption in the media is alive and well, the majority of the filipino people will be voting for the wrong leaders.

    The rich will become richer because they hold the Philippine Economy by the neck and the poor will become poorer because their minds are now too dumbed and numbed by the media.

  2. Mar offers at least some change:
    1. president with a full crown of hair
    2. a pretty Chinita First Lady
    3. Fewer PI expletives than DU30

    That’s about the only change I see in the next 6 years. You can disregard any promises he makes – even if he says “mapapa sagasa pa ako sa pedicab kung hindi matupad”.

    The best gauge of a future leader is his past performance. Anyway at least Pinas will survive like my friendly neighborhood cockroach.

    Yes Mr. Henry Sy, do you have anything to add?
    yeah keep em OFW remittances pouring in guys. Hohoho!

  3. Rich people like Mar (Oligarchy) need poor people to exploit in order to remain rich. And even if Mar by claiming he created BPO (Outsourcing = Slavery) provided employment and poor people started working, yes they may not be poor, but actually they are creating more wealth for those who would be considered rich.  Furthermore, the poorer they are, the richer the owners become.

    http://fathercatfish.com/RANTSHTP/Outsourcing.html

    But what is the use of being rich in Philippines if everything else in our surroundings are all f___up, dysfunctional, deteriorating, and maybe close to anarchy.

    -Incompetent/corrupt
    -Government
    -Chaotic Traffic
    -Poor transportation system
    -Perineal Flood/Disaster
    -Pollution problem
    -High population
    -Rise in Crimes & Violence
    -Volatile Peace/security

  4. Question, who do Filipino’s think this country is different from the rest of the world? The entire wealth of the world is controlled by one percent of the population. 5 percent of the rich in the USA own more than 50 percent of the USA. The Philippines is actually currently right now doing better than America.

    1. Incremental numbers posted in Business Week do not reflect the real standards most Filipinos experience.The average American still earns more and lives a higher standard of living than the average Filipino living in the PH. Let me know of a US city that has a constant stream of child beggars and I will capitulate.

  5. Mar Roxas is incompetent, a liar and a Thief.

    He is from the ruling Oligarchy. And, he handled various offices in the government. All have no improvements. All were mismanaged by him.

    Just look at the LRT. Did he contribute improvements?

    Look at the Typhoon Yolanda Relief Program. Did he do something good? All he did was pose for some pictures: carrying bags of onions, directing traffic, sitting on a pile of lumber, etc.. He even lied to foreign media…The Typhoon Relief Fund is now missing, under his responsibility.

    Now, He promises us, he can do something about the wide gap of inequality , between the rich and the poor…Talk is cheap, Mr. Roxas…I can claim also what you are claiming.

    Mr. Mar Roxas has no platform. He has no programs to present to us, what he would do, if he get elected, as President.

    Voters, beware of this peddler of lies…

  6. I am not too sure about the author of this story; but, it just seems so applicable and appropriate in today’s confused and misguided mindset. We all have a lot more to learn.. and a long way to go.. to bail ourselves out of this state of selfishness and ignorance.

    “There was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year he won the award for the best grown corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. “How could you share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.
    “Why sir,” said the farmer, “Didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grew inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I were to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn as well.”
    So is it with our lives… Those who want to live well and meaningfully, must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness too, for the welfare of each is bundled up with the welfare of all.
    Call it power of collectivity.. or the principle of success.. or the law of life.
    The fact is, none of us truly wins, until we all win!!”

    I dedicate this to our politicians; particularly, those aiming to be President.

  7. Vagonete Rieles,

    You hit the nail right on the head with your comment and quoted story, and what we aristocratic and self-serving Failipinos and Chinese-Failipinos need to realize and do for one another and the Failippines–if we expect to survive as a nation—not as individuals or exclusive groups:

    “We all have a lot more to learn.. and a long way to go.. to bail ourselves out of this state of selfishness and ignorance.”

    “‘If my neighbors grew inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I were to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn as well.’”

    “‘Those who want to live well and meaningfully, must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness too, for the welfare of each is bundled up with the welfare of all.’”

    “‘Call it power of collectivity.. or the principle of success.. or the law of life.
    The fact is, none of us truly wins, until we all win!!’”

    Thanks for sharing,

    Aeta

  8. An unbelieved truth can hurt a man much more than a lie. It takes great courage to back truth unacceptable to our times. There’s a punishment for it, and it’s usually crucifixion.

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