Allow me if you will to say a little prayer this week, which also happens to be my birthday week.
No, it’s not a milestone birthday for yours truly, but the cause that I pray for may well be the most important that I can plead to the heavens for as it is a matter of life or death. Not for myself, not for my loved ones, but for the entire Republic of the Philippines and all its 110-odd million citizens.
I can easily say that I pray for free and honest elections next year. That should be enough. Were this prayer granted, the country will at least elect a president who has the qualifications needed to bring the country out of the deep rut it finds itself in.
In truth, I am really praying that the Lord clear the path for a landslide victory for Leni Robredo.
It must be so overwhelming as to be beyond question. This is because I see the 2022 polls as a battle between good and evil, and the dark side will throw everything including the kitchen sink at the woman upon whose shoulders our hopes for a brighter future for our next generations lie.
I pray this because like a good number of our enlightened countrymen, I am aware of the consequences of her losing to any of the other candidates, but most especially to the least competent one who seems to be ahead in the surveys, if surveys are to be believed.
That candidate has billions of dollars stashed away, and his camp is using those funds now.
Everyone knows who I refer to. He is the one presidential candidate who does not have a college degree, a real one. Not one honorary diploma granted because his family made a huge donation to the university where he struggled but still failed to earn an honest-to-goodness degree.
That huge donation, quite incidentally, was courtesy of the Filipinos’ taxes, mine included.
I am truly afraid for our beloved motherland should this son of a dictator win. It does not take a genius to see what will happen should this grim scenario occur.
For one, the Philippines will be the world’s laughing stock. No civilized country in the world will have any respect for the son and namesake of the man that the Guinness Book of Records calls the greatest thief of all time.
He himself will be a pariah, even worse than the incumbent who was never welcomed by other world leaders as an equal because of his crass ways, and reputation for being a bloodthirsty killer.
The worst part is that this pretender to the throne is known to have a low IQ. He may not be an idiot or a moron, but even his own father had a low regard for his poor excuse of a mind and brain.
As head of a developing country who has no idea what economics is all about, he will be totally dependent on his cabinet, which will almost certainly be made up of crooks and highwaymen whose sole reason for being in government service is to bleed the country dry.
If his father’s cronies became billionaires at the expense of the Filipino taxpayer, his new set of cronies will surely try to surpass the “accomplishments” of father’s favored few.
As this is a certainty, what happens next is also predictable. There will be another people power revolution, but I fear that it will be a brutal and bloody one.
It is for this reason that the Philippines must by the grace of God reject that candidate and elect Robredo.
I am fully aware that there are other candidates for president, each of whom carries his share of political baggage, but who can also conceivably contribute to the country’s growth.
If by some miracle, Manny Pacquiao, or Isko Moreno, or Ping Lacson emerge as the winner, the short-term future of the Philippines will not be so bad. Each can point the country to the right direction.
But because Robredo is both lawyer and economist, she stands out in the 2022 field of presidential candidates. She is best equipped to solve the massive problems left behind by Rodrigo Duterte.
The trio could help President Robredo in many ways, including accepting government posts in 2023. In the meantime, they can ask their supporters to give their backing to the new administration.
If I may be so bold, I also pray that Robredo’s running mate likewise win. The worst thing that can happen is for the elected vice president to have his/her own agenda, separate from what the president wants to achieve for the country.
Imagine if Robredo were elected president, and the daughter of the current chief executive also wins. The latter will never work with the former, as she will most certainly have an eye on the presidency six years after being elected vice president.
Luckily, it appears that incumbent Senate president Tito Sotto is ahead in the early surveys, and will likely seek to have a productive role in the Robredo administration. Good thing he is too old to aim for the presidency in 2028.
Finally, I also pray that most if not all of Robredo’s senatorial bets also emerge victorious. Some of them are not too well known, but they are completely qualified nonetheless.
I would like to single out candidate Chel Diokno and re-electionist Leila de Lima, who has spent almost five years behind bars on clearly trumped up charges. Both are outstanding lawyers and should bring back some of the lost glory of the Philippine Senate.
I agree that the 2022 polls will determine the short and mid-term direction of the Philippines. Electing an ageing and incompetent man-child to lead the country is the biggest recipe for disaster imaginable.