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The ABS-CBN Leaders Forum: 5 Wannabees At First Blush (UPDATED)

May 12, 2009


As first episodes go, I’d give it 3 stars out of 5.

The maiden serving of ABS-CBN’s Leaders’ Forum, staged in partnership with the Ateneo School of Government gave Filipinos a quick two-hour ‘patikim’ of five of the indicative presidential aspirants in next years elections.

Gilbert Teodoro, Ed Panlilio, Mar Roxas, Richard Gordon, and Chiz Escudero all looked rested, and primed, seeking to assure voters of both their fitness for office, and at least a hint of their vision for a post-Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Philippine society.

So it was that all five said there is no escaping the need for the charges of mis-governance heavily laced with perceived and apparent corruption at the highest levels of the government of the day to be investigated.

Teodoro, GMA’s defense secretary, was surely in the most uncomfortable seat as he mouthed standard lawyerly recitation of his president’s economic achievements, almost sounding like he was Press Secretary Cerge Remonde.

Roxas and Escudero carried that battle-cries of the political opposition.

The putative standard bearer of the Liberal party scoring clear points in this writer’s scorecard, with his exposition on government’s failure to protect pre-need planholders and how corruption in the public sector “amplified the negative impact of the global economic crisis.”

Escudero seemed to give rehearsed responses and tried more to distance himself from the how his own party, the Nationalist People’s Coalition is a mestizo opposition-cum-pro administration political conglomerate.

I couldn’t quite figure out whether Gordon is ready to take the side of most Filipinos in his on-and-off criticism of the Arroyo brand of “transactional politics.”

Panlilio was the least impressive alternately sounding like the man of the cloth that he still is, while grappling with the intricacies of vested-interest local politics in his native Pampanga.

But this essay is surely incomplete to give a full accounting of the two hour show which sadly had to entertain slumbook’ questions from the mixed crowd.

I’ll wait for the next episode and see if the producers are going to tweak the format wuth more head to head exchanges among the wannabees.

Absent were Manny Villar, Noli De Castro, Ping Lacson, and Loren Legarda.

By failing to come for whatever reason, they did their potential voters and themselves a disservice.


I’ve now confirmed that Sen. Ping Lacson was stricken wuth diarrhea apparently induced by scallops he ate at dinner of the eve of the ~Leaders Forum.

Lacson says now that he’ll attend next time an so will Sen Legarda.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. fluffysasha permalink
    June 1, 2009 8:25 pm

    i beg to disagree i just watched it last night….among the 5, the best were teodoro and gordon

    napaka hypocrite ni chiz, imposibleng walang nagawa si gma…

    sa mga nagbabasa po nito

    lalaki or babae
    mayaman o mahirap
    maliit man o malaki
    pango man o matangos ang ilong
    pipi ma o bingi

    ano nangyari sayo chiz….dati napaka objective mo……bat ka nagkaganyan

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