Save 20% off! Join our newsletter and get 20% off right away!

Candidates for the poor and downtrodden

Whose advocacy for the poor will prevail?

 And suddenly, the Philippines is not short of “presidentiables” for the poor and the downtrodden : Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso . Senator Manny Pacquaio and Leni Robredo are all for the poor and downtrodden.

Domagoso is a proactive local government politician and inspiration to uban poor; Pacquiao, a world renown sportsman and wealthy philantrophist in his electorate in the province and Robredo, the resourceful Vice President with background as social activist for the fringe dwellers of society,

In contrast to the firebrand and sacrosanct incumbent president, the three aspirants are God fearing and have keen sympathy to the poor.

The legendary populism started by the late President Ramon Magsaysay is still longed by the Filipino population. Magsaysay who captured the imagination of the Filipinos for his responsive reign in the executive branch of the government remains the model that please and is  longed for by Filipinos every presidential election.

The common touch, the love of fringe dwellers, the landless and the under privileged remain the object of political standouts. Until after a big disappointment when the reckoning of one’s presidential rule.

Popularly elected chief executives in the country’s multi-party election showed a clink in the people-oriented presidents.  Resoundingly elected Joseph “Erap” Estrada continued his “Erap para sa Mahihirap” acting role in movies pandering to pro-poor stance but not to honest and workable leadership. He was convicted for plunder, imprisoned and rose again in local government politics. Although still popular, he was unable to raise above moral ascendancy and even accentuated dynastic politics in government.

The much beloved and humble President Noynoy Aquino in his term later after another president followed an advocacy of moral ascendancy called “ang daang matuwid” and presided admirable economic management. Part of his advocacy called “kayo ang boss” to lift the status of the poor such as the conditional cash transfer program for the poor as anti-poverty and education promotion measure seemed to have been forgotten by many. Many admit to the good financial and economic management but would deny that such good results really flowed unto the poor population.

The ultimate populist Rodrigo Duterte was elected for his “can do” attitude and the rise of the “probinsiyano” image, batting for the image of a  fighter for the poor. The downside however is that this president failed to apply his local government with his customary hubris and admitted one time TV that he is “inutile” on some poverty response issues in addition to the many sacrosanct pronouncements of a chief executive avoiding the hard issues and opting for shortcuts.

And now we have two declared candidates and another still another, all three having pro-poor advocacies they can carry with them to the presidency. The other declared presidential candidate Senator Panfilo Lacson is promoting himself on account of his vast experience in bureaucracy and in congress.

Ever active Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso is leading in public opinion commentaries both in traditional and social media outlets, The latter has highlighted the surge of support to the Manila Mayor who has adopted a “centrist” posture in the country’s political debates, for his proactive response to the COVID-19 problem.

Eight-division boxing champion Senator Manny Pacquiao continue to repeat his personal narrative of rag-to-riches  rise up to his ambition to be the President of the Philippines.  Until his recent defeat in a world boxing championship, many look forward Pacquaio legendary sporting achievement might tip the balance. However, the senator’s dismal performance in Philippine Congress could be another “hot air” from another “probinsiyano.”

The “Nanay” (mother) of the country Vice President Leni Gerona Robredo continue to excel in moral leadership among Filipino politicians.  Though not yet declared as presidential candidate, Leni has been the recipient of admiration even by other presidential aspirants. In discussions for a possible united opposition candidate, one praise her “busilak” (pure) heart while still another prised her suggestion to give way should two of endorsed candidate should tandem together to assure a win by the opposition side.

Before her election as a congresswoman and then as vice president, Robredo was an active “lawyer for the poor” in her home province, not to mention to being wife to a late Magsaysay awardee politician and city mayor in the province.

She survived close to five years of ostracism by the incumbent president and subject of unfair and insidious campaign by internet trolls favouring the president.

The Philippine presidential election in 2022 is turning out to be a rich year for the cause of poor Filipinos. Or at least the excuse for it.