Benigno Aquino III, President

(Optional Title: Post Election Rambings)

The Man of the YearAS I WRITE this, it appears that Benigno Aquino III (aka Noynoy) will be the fifteenth president of the Republic of the Philippines. My heartiest congratulations to Mr. Aquino! I encourage my friends (especially those who, like me, didn’t vote for him) to give our support to the new president, as conduct becoming of people of dual citizenship–as a chosen people, a holy nation, we pray and support the government because that is God’s command to us; as citizens of the Republic, it is our duty as part of democracy (Romans 13:1-5). I guess this means I can’t call him Mama’s Boy anymore. As for his sister…

HST, I have a few post election thoughts I’d like to share:

  • The semi-automated (we still had to input our choices manually) elections, a first in the Philippines, has been successful. Oh yes, I’m sure there are people out there who will complain about the long lines, the confusion upon learning some names were “lost” from the voting list, among other things. But for the most part, the last elections have proven the naysayers wrong. I congratulate Mssrs. Teddy Locsin, Richard Gordon, et. al. for pushing legislation that gave birth to the new election process.
  • Apropos above, I congratulate Mr. Melo and his people at the COMELEC for doing a job well done.
  • My favorite columist, Conrado de Quiros, is eating humble pie and enjoying it too. That’s why he’s my favorite columnist. It takes a good man to admit when he’s proven wrong.
  • I think my good friend Nollie mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating. All the followers of Eddie V are probably taking their fellow Christians to task for not being “united” behind their presidential bet.  He lost? Again? Of all the times to forget your running mate.
  • I’m not sure if this were intentional, but Joseph Estrada will always be Joseph Estrada (read: an apparent imbecile). As the photo to the right shows, he’s forgotten to vote for his own running mate! (The second row of names on the ballot don’t have any shade whatsoever.) Of course, forgetting to vote for a particular senator from a list of several dozens is understandable. Forgetting your precinct number is understandable. But forgetting your own running mate? Maybe that’s why he has so many wives, because he forgot he already had the first one?
  • My right forefinger still has the ink stain from Monday’s election, though it’s beginning to rub off. I better hurry or I won’t get my free Subway® sandwich.
  • I find it ironic that Manny Villar, who has maintained his position as second favorite among the presidential aspirants during the surveys, has conceded to Mr. Aquino, while “the Pearl” who was never really a contender anyway (he only has several ten thousand votes to his name, last I checked) is refusing to concede because he wants to know how many voters were disenfranchised. He made mention of up to fifteen million voters who were not given the chance to vote.  Are we supposed to believe that the fifteen million voters would have voted for him?
  • I can understand Joseph Estrada not willing to concede (yet). After all, he lives in a make believe world–he believes he’s an action star awaiting vindication. (Also, it doesn’t hurt that he’s actually second to Mr. Aquino in actual votes.)
  • Talking about Richard Gordon: He lost this election, but I believe he’s still a force to be reckoned with. I once shared an elevator ride with the late Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan, who (sadly) lost the vice-presidency to Joseph Estrada in 1992.  For fifteen floors we talked about politics and his plans. I mentioned that it’s too bad he didn’t win the vice presidency and he said, “God didn’t put me there, so I’ll do my best in the position where he does put me.”  Great men die early.  Erap won’t.
  • While I earlier mentioned that the elections were successful, in particular the new semi-automated system, I won’t hesitate to say that lots of things still need to be improved. We need to avoid problems like long lines at the precincts, malfunctioning memory cards, and disenfranchised voters.  I’m thinking the COMELEC would be more than willing to “hit the ground running” to solve these issues. It’s a good feeling to continue and improve upon what is already good, rather than working with a failed system.



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