The Reluctant Candidates: The Winners for President and Vice President

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There is a saying which says “They also serve those who stand by and wait.”  In the Filipino culture those who do not seem to be over eager are the ones considered to be sincere and deserving.  It is opposite to the American culture in which the go getter and aggressive are considered to deserve the selection.

This can be discerned from the difference in the pattern of our languages.  The Sugboánon Bisayà.  Tagalog, and other Philippines language prefers the passive form of a sentence while the English language prefer the active form of a sentence.

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Reluctant Candidates

Long before the filing of the certificate of candidacy, the Presidential candidates, except Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, already announced their intention to run as candidates.

Mayor Duterte also traveled around the Philippines in the guise of promoting the federal form of government and always indicated that he was not interested in running for President.  When the deadline for the filing of the certificates of candidacy came, Duterte still did not file.  It was only when the deadline for the substitution of candidates came when he filed his candidacy.

His constant denial made him a hot topic for comments in newspapers, radio, and television.  It also conveyed the impression that he was a reluctant candidate.

Congresswoman Leni Robredo was also a reluctant candidate. She became a candidate for Vice President because Sec. Mar Roxas of the ruling Liberal Party could not find a running mate.  In the beginning she was really a tail-ender in the Poll Surveys for Vice Presidents.  Her survey rating kept on rising until at election day she was already at the top.

These two reluctant candidates became winners because they became the beneficiaries of the protest votes of the majority of the people.

Protest Votes

The Aquino administration has been trumpeting that the economic growth of the Philippines is very high.  It is among the highest growing economy in all Asia.  It is a laudable achievement.  However there is a downside to the economic growth.  The number of poor people increased.  The question is who enjoyed the benefits of the economic growth?  In all indication it went to the rich people. Many of the rich Filipinos are now among the Fortune Magazine’s 500 richest people in the world.

Meanwhile many of the people are suffering from the deficiencies of government services.  The traffic problem in Metro Manila is already horrendous.  Criminality and the drug problem are already very prevalent.  The agriculture sector in which 30 percent of the population is engaged is neglected.  The “daang matuwid – straight path”, due to its constant reference or use has become rutted and the wheels of government could no longer get out of the rut.

A few days ago it was announced that the Philippines economy grew by 6.9% for the first quarter of year 2016 even if the Agriculture sector has decreased by 4.4%.

The economy of the Philippines is really performing well for the very rich but the majority of the people did not benefit.  No wonder that the majority voted for a radical change in administration. The Aquino administration was caught with their pants down.

Filipino Culture

Even with the apparent radical change in administration, the Filipino culture is still evident.  In a traditional Filipino family it is expected that the father will be strict and the mother will be compassionate.

During the election campaign, Mayor Duterte was cultivating the image of a strict and no nonsense leader.  This positioning had endeared him to the electorate.

The people have two options.  If you want a completely strict leadership, you can vote for Duterte as President and Bongbong Marcos as Vice President.  If you want the strict father and compassionate mother, you can voter for Duterte as President and Leni Robredo as Vice President.

The Vice Presidential race was a close contest.  Apparently majority of the voters opted for a compassionate mother to pair with a strict father.

Robredo up; Poe down

I have interviewed many voters and only very few will vote for a female President and female Vice President.

When the campaign period was starting, Sen. Grace Poe led the poll surveys for President.  When the survey ratings of Mayor Duterte rose, the survey rating of Leni Robredo also rose.  When the survey rating of Leni Robredo kept on rising I predicted that Sen. Grace Poe’s rating will go down and will be overtaken by Mayor Duterte.

Due to our strict father and compassionate mother culture, the ratings of Mayor Duterte and Rep. Robredo will feed upon each other.  When one will rise the other will also rise.

Eventually the two reluctant candidates in the beginning won the Presidential and Vice Presidential election.  In our culture the reluctant candidates are perceived to be sincere.  If they have similar qualifications with the other candidates, the people will vote for the sincere candidates. (By Jes B. Tirol)



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