Ed Escultura PHILIPPINE CORNER –
FOR THE FIRST TIME, Filipinos have a clear choice in the coming Presidential elections. We begin with the innovations introduced by presidential candidate Leni Robredo. Without spending a single Philippine peso she brought down a major political dynasty in Camarines Sur – the Villafuertes. This innovation defines her current campaign: reliance on the initiative, creativity and support of ordinary Filipinos who want good governance to improve their daily life.
The same innovation has repercussion on Philippine sovereignty: she neither sought nor did the US overtly support her candidacy beyond what present agreements allow. Significance: If elected President, she can truly represent the interest of the Filipinos who put her in office and avoid what happened in the past:
In 1952, the presidential campaign of Ramon Magsaysay was managed and funded by the US Embassy in Manila through CIA operative, Col. Edward Landsdale. Naturally, as president, his domestic and foreign policy, including counter-insurgency, was dictated by Washington. When he began to articulate the “Filipino First Policy” in 1957, the US was immensely displeased.
That same year, he was killed in an Air Force plane crash.
The major challenge to Robredo comes from Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
While Robredo has a B.S. in Economics from the University of the Philippines, Law Degree from the University of Nueva Caceres and Master’s Degree in Law from San Beda College, Marcos Jr. does not even have a college education. Robredo has a long record of service to the poor both in public and private offices.
You can find her in the wake of every natural disaster distributing goodies for the victims. Marcos Jr. was never employed apart from being governor and senator with negligible track record.
Whom do you choose ?