And we come down to this? Does De La Salle University (DLSU) professor and Manila Times columnist Antonio Contreras even have a realistic point of view of how politicians come into power? Doesn’t look like it when one considers this post of his on Facebook where he practically endorses boxer-turned-senator Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao’s bid for the Philippine presidency…
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For one, there has to be an element of gravitas in a politician who aspires for the country’s top job. Not too many male politicians possess this trait. Among the female of the species, only former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) measures up to the standard. Does President Rodrigo Duterte have gravitas? He wouldn’t have run for the Presidency if he didn’t. Most people thought he was dilly-dallying back in the lead up to 2016. Behind the dumbass exterior he projects to the public he isn’t as stupid as most of the opposition think.
Please allow me to go further. Does former Senator Bongbong Marcos have gravitas? Sorry to say but, in my opinion, he doesn’t even come close to his father former President Ferdinand “Apo Lakay” Marcos. Marcos Jr. is the sentimental favorite, but if you saw that picture of him sobbing uncontrollably during his father’s funeral at Makiki Heights, you will get the impression that that was the moment the boy became a man. I hated GMA with a compunction until the 2008 financial crisis. After that, I appreciated her because she had the balls to ram down our collective throats the, at the time, hugely-unpopular Value-Added Tax (VAT). It was only after that when I learned a valuable lesson in practical economics.
Let’s go into the mindset now. Are we naive enough to believe that GMA was really more corrupt than her predecessors? What exactly is our benchmark? Is it the Yellow benchmark as defined by Mon Jimenez for former President Noynoy Aquino? According to Aquino, kung walang kurap, walang mahirap (“where there is no corruption, there is no poverty”). Has any concrete proof of this idea emerged after six years of Aquino Part 2?
I was a devoted Yellowtard from 1983-1986. Because of the nature of my employment in 1990, I started doing business with with the Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. (ECJ) Group. It was then that my eyes were opened to the realities. It was also at this time that Larry Henares was writing about the Cojuangco family history in his Inquirer column. “Le Tableaux de Doña Ysidra”, if my memory serves me right, was the title of the series. Boss Danding was never a rent-seeking oligarch. He had the benefit of money but not in the same manner as the Cojuangco branch of Cory Aquino.
Pre-1986, the rich were mostly the working rich. In the same mold as Boss Danding was Enrique Zobel. His cousin Jaime Zobel De Ayala (JAZA) never went through what he did in World War II. But look at Ayala now under the sons of JAZA. Why do you think Enzo sold his San Miguel shares when there was a family dispute? San Miguel was a good company until Ramon S. Ang (RSA) came into the picture. San Miguel is now a house of cards. Does RSA have the gravitas to follow in ECJs footsteps? No. Back in the day, it wasn’t media hype and popularity which drove men with gravitas to seek the Presidency. It was about the vision. Danding was never the consummate politician Apo Lakay was. But he shared Marcos’ vision along with a few other Marcos cronies who weren’t in it just for the money and the power.
So does Pac-Man have the gravitas? Sus ginoo!!! Daghang pa gyud ang kan-on na gi-kaon ni Pac-Man bag-o man siya naa nay gravitas. Leni Robredo has gravitas? Trillanes? Please not even as a joke. Men who have gravitas do not seek the Presidency just because of popularity or the perception of it. Men who have gravitas are innately endowed to wield power without looking at the money that comes with it as their goal.
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