By Alissa Lacson
and Christian Renz Torres
Remember back in October when presidential hopefuls filed for candidacy? Most of us were probably losing hope for the country as a series of videos and news articles kept headlining ‘nuisance candidate files for presidency’ and their platforms were just straight-up outrageous.
Romeo John Reyes, better known as “Archangel Lucifer,” believed he was called by Jesus to be president of the nation. Alfredo Tindugan aimed to establish a “divine government.” Arturo Reyes wanted to “legalize the four seasons” to get rid of the dry and rainy tropical climate. Allan Carreon, who claims to have communicated with aliens through the Internet, vowed to prioritize “free wi-fi for all.” And tricycle driver Eddie Llamas promised to close all the beerhouses in the country.Remember back in October when presidential hopefuls filed for candidacy? Most of us were probably losing hope for the country as a series of videos and news articles kept headlining ‘nuisance candidate files for presidency’ and their platforms were just straight-up outrageous.
And the outrageousness does not stop with the lesser-known candidates. Even the major candidates are fraught with ridiculous controversies.
Despite his many corruption and plunder charges, Jejomar Binay seeks to eradicate poverty during his six-year term which is backed by his multiple TV ads with the tagline “Only Binay.” He also intends to create an official government department for Information Technology and to re-evaluate the tax system.
With Davao City to boast as one of the safest cities in the world, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is most known for successfully suppressing criminality. Thus, he aims to continue his platform on a national scale. The pro-federalism candidate advocates peace and order rather fiercely that he has already vowed to resign — if elected — if he cannot solve the country’s problems on crime and corruption within six months.
On the contrary, Sen. Grace Poe is all about “Gobyernong may Puso.” Although she suffered a few setbacks when her citizenship was questioned, she aims to solve traffic congestion, to improve public infrastructures, to reduce income tax, to provide adequately staffed and equipped hospitals in every city, and to pass the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill.
As the Liberal party standard bearer, Mar Roxas’ basic aim is to continue and expand the reforms of Daang Matuwid. Despite the hard-hitting criticisms he got when Leyte was ravaged by Typhoon Yolanda, he plans to make improvements on disaster risk reduction and management, to continue the anti-poverty program initiated by the Aquino administration, to further implement the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, and to fight corruption.
A candidate not a stranger to presidential elections is Sen. Miriam Santiago who has battled for the national seat twice in the past, in 1992 and 1998. While her ‘Stupid is Forever’ books remain on the shelves of bookstores, her platform has always remained the same: to fight against corruption and to promote public accountability. Despite her health problems, she intends to continue the government’s cash transfer program, to sign the FOI bill, and to invest in public infrastructure, agriculture sector, and government institutions.
Philippine politics has always been filled with candidates who have unique—and, most of the time, absurd—backgrounds; no matter if they’re regarded as “nuisance candidates” or as a major frontrunner for the position. Unpopular claims and causes trail every candidate and still they find mass followings—each with their own tempers and advocacies.
Each has different backgrounds, platforms, strengths and weaknesses. But all of them have one thing in common: a ballot. And every vote counts.~