Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Can Alternative Reform Candidates for President win in 2010?

An Open Letter to Harvey S. Keh and other friends of reform
Joel Rocamora, Institute for Popular Democracy, March 21, 2009

I understand why you and other friends of reform want "a God-fearing, morally-upright, effective and ethical leader for our country in 2010". The sins of the ruling Arroyo clique are so all-encompassing, so pervasive that our only possible response is moral outrage. But the distance between taking a stance for morality and electing a president cannot be shortened by choosing moral leaders as candidates.

If we float candidates we must make sure they want to run and not feel like people are running after them. If we then launch a candidacy, we must make sure we have the capability to run a serious campaign, not coast on wings of hope and moral fervor. US$5 contributions from overseas Filipinos sounds nice, but to get your US$30 million target you have to get 6 million people to contribute! If you set unrealistic targets, you set yourself up for failure, and the people you inspire, for a hard fall.

We all want a reform president in 2010. Repairing the damage from nine years of corrupt misgovernment by GMA will require leadership from a president who can use the powers of the presidency for reform. To elect such a president, all reformers have to work hard. To begin with, we have to come to an understanding about the nature of the electoral terrain in 2010. Even if the Comelec succeeds in modernizing ballot counting, election contests will remain substantially the same. The Philippine electoral terrain has been shaped by trapos for over a century.

Results of national contests are determined by what some call "trench warfare", the struggle for support among local politicians, and the "air war" of competing TV and radio advertizing. Because we do not have political parties with real programs, there are no issues in national elections. Our task as reformers will be to assert the importance of issues of reform in the 2010 elections. This can best be done by supporting a candidate who is competitive in both "trench warfare" and the "air war", who gets an edge over his rivals by building a new source of votes, people who want reform.

The 2010 election will not be anything like February 1986 when the one-on-one fight between Marcos and Cory Aquino was as close to a fight between "good and evil" as we will ever get. In 2010, there will be at least three and possibly four serious candidates and a bunch of also runs. There will be temptation to take the politically debilitating "lesser evil" stance. As reformers, we should instead look for the candidate who is more likely than the others to organize reform if he wins. We should come in now and help to shape his campaign.

Picking a reform candidate is not enough. We need to build a reform constituency which can do the following interrelated things: (1) Shape our candidate's campaign around the importance of reform, (2) Transform our reform constituency into a factor in the election by forcing other candidates to compete on the issue of reform, and by mobilizing serious numbers of voters. Ten million might be unrealistic, but five million added votes can win the election. (3) Sustain our reform constituency to support struggles for reform after the election. Even if our candidate wins, he will continue to need our support in pushing reform.

I have several problems with your position, Harvey. (1) I agree with Gov. Panlilio “that we should have one reform candidate; otherwise, we will get a president that we do not like.” If you are serious about supporting Among Ed, you should not float other possible candidates. (2) You should make sure the people you float are interested. Governor Padaca and Mayor Robredo are both Liberal Party members who support Mar Roxas for president. Chief Justice Puno has said he is not interested; he is needed where he is.

Among Ed's position is the wisest. “I will go for whoever will represent a genuine reform constituency,” he said. “It does not necessarily have to be me. If there is a more appropriate candidate, why will I present myself? I look at my role now as more of one of the convenors of a genuine reform coalition.” The candidate is less important than the reform constituency. But to get our reforms close to reality, we need to elect a president. The sooner we decide on that candidate, the better. Floating many candidates will not get us closer to that decision.#

6 comments:

DOK NAN said...

Marc Guerrero the Journalist says: "I wonder why, and how come, since Macapagal or Marcos, we or you have been calling ourselves/yourselves "reformers" or "reformists" even as - for all intents and purposes - our/your views and feelings and actions bound to the "revolutionary" (or "revolutionist"), if not "evolutionary" (or "evolutionist")? You see, with all due respect to all honorable writers and commentarists and movers and shakers and changemakers here in your august forum, Ka Enteng (Romano) et al, to reform means to "re-form" or change the form. We also want to change the substance - not just the form, right? Just thinking aloud po." - Marc Guerrero, Journalist

DOK NAN said...

Walang Pinasasaringan sa adhikaing Politika ng Pagpapakatotoo

Sabi ni Marc Guerrero noong 01 January 2009 at 22:48 sa Facebook:
"Kung pinararatangang nagsisinungaling, nagnanakaw at nandadaya ang gobyerno ni Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, o kaya'y pinararatangang nandambong ang gobyerno ni Joseph Ejercito Estrada, o kaya'y pinararatangang "malinis magtrabaho" ang gobyerno ni Fidel Valdez Ramos at hindi gaanong garapalan kumpara sa panahon nina Erap at Gloria, o kaya'y pinararatangang umabuso ang mga kamag-anakan at ka-NGO habang nasa poder si Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, o kaya'y pinararatangang hindi naisakatuparan ni Ferdinand Edralin Marcos na maibalik sa pagiging "great again" ng bansa natin at hindi lubos na nadisiplina ang mga Filipino at hindi lubos na napaunlad ang mga bayan-bayan natin gawa ng mga pagmamalabis (hindi ng mga angkan ni Marcos, o sang-ayon sa iba'y hindi lamang ng mga angkan ni Marcos, kundi) ng mga kadugo ni Imelda Romualdez Marcos, mga anak at mga kaibigan ng mga Marcoses, sampu ng mga kapanalig o tinatawag na cronies ng mga Marcoses at mga tagapagtaguyod nito sa mahabang 20 taon (US man at ibang bloke), sa gusto man nila o sa hindi, sa alam man nila o sa hindi, sino sa atin ang ngayo'y maglalakas ng loob, may karapatan at mangangahas na magsabing "ni minsan," ni minsan sa ating sariling buhay, nakaraan o kasalukuyang buhay-buhay:

(1) Hindi tayo nagsinungaling sa ating sarili? Hindi tayo nagsinungaling sa ating mga magulang, mga kapatid at mga kaanak? Hindi tayo nagsinungaling sa ating mga ka-ibigan, asawa, mga anak? Hindi tayo nagsinungaling sa ating mga kaibigan, kapitbahay, kamag-aaral, kasama sa hanapbuhay, kasosyo sa negosyo, empleyado at ibang mga kasama sa buhay, pag-ibig, pagsasapalaran at pakikibaka?

(2) Hindi tayo kumupit, nagsubi, nangulimbat at nagnakaw sa sarili natin, sa mga mahal natin sa buhay o sa iba - ni isang kusing? Ni isang kusing.

(3) Hindi natin dinaya ang ating mga sarili, ang ating mga mahal sa buhay, ang ibang tao - sa pera man, pagtatangi at ibang batayan ng pagmamahal at pag-ibig - kailanman, ni isang saglit o isang iglap o ni isang sandali ng ating buhay, kailanman?

Manalamin tayo.

Tignan natin sa salamin kung tayo'y nakapagsuklay, nakapaghilamos, may muta, may uhog at kulangot, walang tutuli, walang bahid, walang dumi, walang amos at tuyong laway sa ating bibig, at hindi malangis o maligasgas ang ating mukha.

Baka magisnan nating masahol pa tayo sa mga pinararatangan natin.

Baka magising tayo sa katotohanang - mahirap tanggapin at hindi kailanman katanggap-tanggap sa ating - malamang sa hindi, mas masahol pa ang baho at lansa natin kaysa mganais nating isuka at kasuklaman sa ating mga iniluklok na pamahalaan.

Baka magisnan nating higit pa ang pagkabugok natin, higit pa ang pagkabulok natin at higit pa ang pagkabagok natin kaysa mga kauri ng pinagsamasamang Gloria, Erap, Eddie, Cory, Makoy, Dadong at iba pang panguluhan mula pa kina Andres Bonifacio, Jose Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonzo Realonda, Emilio Famy Aguinaldo, Manuel Luis Quezon at Manuel Roxas, sampu ng mga aninong gumagalaw at nagpapagalaw ng ating mga pamahalaan, ngayon at noon.

Naaalala ko tuloy ang kuwento ng ama ko na aniya'y palagiang ikinukuwento sa kanila ng ama nilang siya namang lolo ko, isa sa kaunaunahang Pilipinong principal at superintendent sa panahon ng mga American Thomasite soldier-teachers, na anila'y kaeskwela ni Quezon sa UST.

Ibinibida raw ng aguelo kong si Senor Don Guillermo Santos na sa tuwinang may mababalitaang pagmamalabis sa pamahalaan, tatawag ang lolo ko sa telepono sa Malakanyang o tatawagin niya ang pansin ng kaklaseng temperamental: "Nonong, nagnakaw na naman daw ang mga tao mo (sa ganito at ganyang sangay ng gobyerno)? Aba'y huwag mong papayagang masira ka sa mga kaugukan ng mga hijo de cabrong iyan. Tiyak sa 'yo babalandra ang sisi niyan sa huli! Imbestigahan mo yan. Papanagutin mo at parusahan ang maysala."

Naging parang "press na priest" ang papel ng lolo ko kay Presidente Quezon, naiisip ko manakanaka sa kasalukuyan.

Hindi ko pa naitatanong upang maisaliksik ang katotohanan sa likod ng mga anekdota. Pero maaari nating pagtulungang i-research, Manuel Quezon III at Ambeth Ocampo.

Kung sino ang walang kasalanan, dumampot ng unang bato... ipukpok sa sarili mong ulo.

Walang bago sa inihahain kong Politika ng Pagpapakatotoo.

Ang tanging mithiin niyan ay maisaayos natin ang bansa natin tungo sa mahalaga, makahulugan, makabuluhan at makatuturang pagbabago.

Paris ng adhikain, mithiin at layunin mo, niya, nila at tayong lahat.

And so, therefore, I enjoin you:

Samasama at nagkakaisa nating ilunsad sa ating isip, puso, katauhan at kalooban ang Politika ng Pagpapakatotoo para sa panghabampanahong pagbabago ng lahat ng Filipino - nasa Filipinas man kayo o nasa ibang panig ng mundo. Ok...

Bakas-sakali, malay natin? Di ba..."

marck said...

sana ma-realize na ng buong reform constituency yung last paragraph nung open letter mo... problema, palagay ko alam naman nila yun, nabubulag lang sila nang kani-kanilang mga agenda at ambisyon. pero matanong na rin kita, sino ba sa palagay mo ang totoong may hawak ng tiwala ng reform constituency?

Bruce in Iloilo said...

First, one should not underestimate the difference that having a printed ballot will have. The adoption by the Philippines of a printed ballot brought about by the "computerization" of the elections will make it easier to lesser known candidates to win. From now on, voters will only have to know a name well enough to recognize it on a ballot, not well enough to write it.

Second, the biggest obstacle to reform is the centralization of power first in the national government and then in the executive. Reform mayors and even governors can and have been elected. However, winning thousands or even millions of votes is very different from winning tens of millions. The history of other countries teach us that reforms start locally and expand until they become national. We must work to reduce the size and power of the national government and particularly the Presidency if we want reform.

Finally, I hope that the reform governors stay where they are and work on reforming their provinces. Then once they have fully succeeded there -- or as much as they can -- and helped build solid provincial movements for reform, they can run for national office with a real grassroots movement behind them and a solid record.

cesar umali said...

1. What makes a good president for the Philippines
2. Integrity of the heart – he must have a high accountability and at the foremost to be a righteous leader, with high track record of excellence without blemish or reproach, and with reverend fear of God. Preferably a Christian with high moral principles in obedience to the word of God, seeking divine guidance in his decisions and actions. As no leader is immune to mistakes, he must be willing to accept his mistakes and say the buck stops here, but be flexible to learn from his mistake and bounce back the nation to normalcy. He must nor prevaricate or deceive people to believing lies and must be straightforward, honest and compassionate.He must not be above the Law and be able to execute the law without fear or favor. Example Abraham Lincoln or George Washington
3. Good example with exemplary traits for leadership – he must be able to guide, influence and motivate those under his command, with a high trait of humility, gentleness, and selfless love for his fellowmen without seeking for self aggrandizement, self enrichment and self praise. Must not be too young or too old to lead the nation, without need for on the job training because of his experience in governance and management, he will be able to bank from his long experience in governance to guide and lead the nation successfully. He must be physically fit without sickness or ill health, with a high grade of wisdom not necessarily the kind of intelligence which can deceive, but godly wisdom that spells the right way for the country in all his actions, speech and deed. Example Lee kuan yew
4. High motivation to succeed and achieve his goals – with a high sense for attainment and achievement, he must have the vision and mission to lead the country from poverty to abundance, from illiteracy to high fulfillment in education, from want to prosperity from crime to peace and order from lackadaisical performance to prominence in the world of defense, politics, finance and food abundance. Example Ronald Reagan

5. Father image for the nation – As the Philippines has no monarchy like Thailand or England to unite the nation, as it is regionally diverse in language, politics, religion, traditions and culture, we need a head of the nation with the image of a Father who can unite the nation to follow and obey the president in cases of emergency so that we lessen the squabble, politics, crime, disunity and disorder which have long been the prime reason that has delayed and deteriorated the quality of life in the country. Preferably he must be male, because the female gender not discriminating against, but the male is more stable in his ways, as the female always changes her mind, this causes confusion and dissent and disunity Example Mahatma Gandhi
6. Divine anointing – lastly he must be anointed by the Creator and Divine providence who guides and directs everything on earth. Without His consent, no sparrow falls and dies. In order for our nation to succeed, we need the guidance and wisdom from above and this is what the quality of our leadership needs
7. Cesar Santos Umali,MNSA class 32

ramon said...

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-pia-