Friday, May 7, 2010

A Choice Between Gibo and Noynoy

I came across a note in Facebook showing support to Gibo and I would like to share how he articulated his choice.  I strongly feel that his thoughts are exactly how others think.


A Battle of Heart and MindShare.

Ever since the campaign for President took off, many people have reached the conclusion that it will be a showdown between Noynoy Aquino and Manny Villar. Survey after survey has shown this pair to be the consistent topnotchers. It is myopic to not even consider other choices; unfortunately, the human mind being what it is, it resorts to easy choices rather than difficult grappling.

I am an EDSA 1 baby. My parents took me and my sister right to EDSA and also Roxas Boulevard when we were all protesting Marcos, and especially the senseless and brutal death of Ninoy. My sister and I may have been too young to "know it all", but we sensed, even at that age, that it was a monumental and pivotal period in our nation's history. (Plus, if we behaved and went along with the march, my parents took us to Max's, certainly the highlight of a youngster "required" to march on a Sunday).

I say this piece of history not only as a nostalgic part of my past, but so it is clear that how I arrived at my choice for President was not an easy one. The pull and magic of EDSA is especially potent to someone who was ACTUALLY there, seen all the selfless acts of patriotism, and it is still this romantic notion of EDSA, that "we can change the world", that I had initially leaned towards Noynoy. I thought to myself, Noynoy is a link to that proud piece of Philippine history. Especially since we are coming from a 9 year coma called the GMA Presidency, one that is (to understate it largely) riddled with corruption charges and questionable (again, understating) actions. We have to elect someone so opposite of GMA, someone who will ensure that the scandals perpetrated by GMA's adminstration will not happen again.

But seeing the news overseas as well as what's happening in our country, you cannot help but ask the question (it is practically begging to be asked) "Once the President is sworn in, what happens next?"

A financial crisis so deep, not even the most powerful countries are spared.
Terrorists running around as if to taunt the security protocols of all nations.
A world so enamored in uncertainty and fear, they cling to bigoted religious leaders.
A population with half living a hand to mouth existence, who are told to "have more babies".
Massive evacuation of capable workers to other countries because no jobs await them here.
Entertainers, movie stars, "reality show" contestants have become the highest aspirations of our youth.

Once those realities set in, I am finding it increasingly harder and harder to picture Noynoy having a masterful grasp of the situation. This is a senator, who, despite being given the massive political lineage and the leeway that ensues with this privilege, contributed almost nothing to his legislative agenda. This is a brother who is openly rebuked by his youngest sister - the one with massive star power - for having his hair parted wrong or hoping he gets married soon. A senator who continually stammers whenever he is interviewed, as if he is looking around for a cue that the interview is up. These are not qualities that I admire, and they are certainly not the qualities in a President who I expect to tackle the almost insurmountable problems his office faces head on.

I have always placed a premium on intelligence and competence (hence, my frequent arguments with people who are incompetent, as many of my colleagues will attest to that). If you can't do the job, get out, don't waste time, mine especially. I want a President who is intelligent but not naive, one who can clearly articulate his positions and his concrete plans without having to resort to gimmicky one liners that try to play to the "masa" as their champion. A President who will not talk down to others but will, with his intelligence, ask this country to be his partner in getting us out of the massive mess we are in.

I found these qualities in Gibo. Despite the fact that he was chosen by GMA, it became quite clear to me that he is eminently qualified for the job. I need a President that I can be proud to call my own. Someone who has worked inside the bureaucracy (as an executive and a legislator) to know well enough what needs to be done in order for great ideas to come into fruition.

My heart has been tugging for the Noynoy vote, but I realize that this will not bring us out of the quagmire, into a hopeful future. Gibo is not the panacea for everything, but with him, we have a fighting chance. More than ever, we need someone smart enough - and compassionate enough - to lead us through.

I choose Gibo for President.

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