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The Men (And Woman) Who Would Be President

November 12, 2008

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Though the authorship is disputed by some, the sage Euclides is most often credited with having said that “whom the gods wish to destroy they first make crazy.”

The quote has such a ring of truth when it applied to politicians who are said to “hear voices telling them to seek public office to not simply gain public adulation but to serve the greater masses of our people.”

It is a fact that serving in government is not the road to material plenty unless you steal public funds or parlay the influence of high office to amass ill-gotten wealth

So admit it or not, it is about getting power, of pulling the levers of power in a society with a population of 80 million-plus as we have here in the Philippines.

The question is whether power (once obtained in popular elections presumed to be honest and clean) will wield that power delegated to the real sovereigns will be used  to craft a legacy of visionary public policy and programs and good governance choose to raid the national coffers. subvert the democratic institutions, strip the people of their God-given dignity and constitutionally-guaranteed rights, and most equally, protect and conserve the national patrimony for the public good.

I am sharing this perspective against the backdrop of the growing list of wannabees. with ‘Rambotito’ Jejomar ‘Jojo’ Binay ( the mayor of Makati for the last 22 years) celebrating his 66th birthday by announcing that he want to bring change to the Philippines by becoming president in 2010.

Ahead of his announcement, the proudly kayumanngi (dark brown complexioned) local executive was even the butt of text jokes as aspiring to be the Philippines’ first black president.

Mr. Binay takes the teasing good naturedly with radio commentators this morning giving him a new nickname: Jojobama Binay.

But Binay is dead serious about seeking the presidency.

Even while graft charges remain pending against him over property in scenic Tagaytay, Binay wants to parlay his position of  UNO. the United Opposition, to become the Republic’s 14th president.

Binay thus joins his friend, former president and pardoned   plunder convict Joseph Estrada, Liberal Party president and Senator Mar Roxas. Senate President Manny Villar, Vice President Noli De Castro, Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson and Senator Loren Legarda in the list of personalities with known or declared presidential ambitions.

Several days ago, with coup d’etat stories floating, Malacanang listed 5 possible ‘anointees’.

Doing so, Malacanang is writing in capital letters its commitment not to scuttle the 2010 elections by declaring emergency rule or illegally extending the incumbent’s stay in the Palace by the Pasig.

Who among the 11 will emerge?

Or will the troubling and troubled times see the emergence  of a Filipino Napoleon?

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