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An Open Letter To Mr. Gilbert Teodoro (2nd Update)

January 24, 2010

Dear Mr. former Defense Secretary,

Press reports these past several days are quoting you as saying:

•    I may not yet be the winning candidate but certainly a “winnable” one.
•    What the Philippines needs right now is a little bit of political understanding.
And we can’t have that if some people are stonewalled against others. I think that’s the most important thing that I can do. [Provide] some basis for an achievable working arrangement even between disparate political forces.
•    I can give a lot of balance to things. I can look at things in perspective. I know the long-term structural and institutional requirements of the country. And perhaps because of my experience being in both the opposition and the administration, I have the quality of making people work together. I have credibility with a lot of people of diverse political persuasions.
There is no danger whatsoever of the threat groups winning against the government. But to contain them, the military has to be adequately staffed and funded.
•    I am her candidate. I don’t have any reason to doubt that, and if, assuming for the sake of argument, I am not, still I am the standard-bearer [of the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD] and if I lose I will only have myself to blame. I am here, I am the standard-bearer, I should make the most of it. If I don’t win, that is my problem.
•    My relationship with the President is professional.
Whether there is distance, whether there is closeness, at the end of the day, it’s my decision that counts. .
•    (On  reports that the President’s husband was supporting rival Sen. Manuel Villar of the Nacionalista Party) I don’t care. That’s beyond me.

Given both your academic credentials and your experience in the legislative and legislative branches of government, I feel, almost, that you are the best pick for the presidency.

Never mind your cellar level ratings.

But one major fact erodes  if not destroys your credibility, and many think, your fitness to be President:

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Your support for her and inability to see her sins destroy any whit of credibility you aspire for. Sure you’ve uttered the line that you wo’t stand in the way of charge that will hopund her after she steps down from poffice, if she does at all.

Where were you when YOUR government was arming the Ampatuans?

Where were yuou when the 57 innocents were murdered in Maguindanao?
Where was your voice when your President brazenly attempted the Mindanao sell-of via the MoA-AD?

Where were you when the mother of all scams, the NBN-ZTE deal was attempted?

Where were you when the Abu Sayyaf was on its kidnapping and killing sprees and while the MILF continues to hold our country at gunpoint?

Your solution, like your patron, is to simply throw more public money at the insurgency problem  (all the while failing to say how a peaceful political settlement will be achieved) .
There quite other issues.

But just let me add a final point:

You say your relationship with Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is just “professional”.

So pera-pera lang. Di bale na ang Bayan.

Thanks but no thanks po. 2010 is not simply about Filipinos looking for competent leadership,


Consider this scenario:

You win and your boss, Gloria, takes the post of House Speaker. Hell she even wants to appoint her own Chief-Justice-In-Waiting.

What will you have Filipinos do?


The Philippine Dasily Inquirer now quotes Mr. Teodoro as telling a Davao Del Norte gathering:

What’s important is I will win the elections.
The speculations that many administration legislators are forsaking the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD for other parties whose candidates are seen to have a better chance of winning in the May elections are just rumors.
I will be included in the top 3 in the surveys (once the campaign period kicks off next month).

Of course winning the election is what’s important.

I hope you’re not saying Sir ‘Gibo’ that your operators will do that at all costs.

Pray tell Filipinos, only 5% of whom give you a thumbs up, how that’ll happen cleanly.

Sige nga po?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 24, 2010 9:17 am

    Great read, sir. I think the issues you pointed out will haunt this candidate all the way till May.

    On his professional relationship with the Malacanang madame, will his popularity suddenly spike if he severs ties or will it appear that he’s just an ingrate badmouthing an old boss out of political convenience?

    In my humble opinion, right now a lot of people (and don’t mind his surveys/ online presence) still think this candidate is as exciting as a bar of laundry soap. He’s got to take a major stand at something. Anyway, campaign season has not officially started yet, things can change.

    • January 24, 2010 10:29 am

      Gibo can begin by foreswearing Gloria. Then lay out truthful responses to the questions.

      • January 24, 2010 10:58 am

        Rightly said, sir. Kinda like tiptoeing his way around a minefield but he should do it. If he’s for change, then there should be some form of renouncement of the old ways.

  2. johnlewissr permalink
    January 24, 2010 11:04 am

    Ding, all of the points you raise are valid, however, they seem to be a variation on a very old theme. Since the late 70s I’ve been watching Philippine politics and all the candidates (okay, that’s a generalization) seem to say the same thing … I’m my own man (woman), I’m for change, give me a chance … and then once in office its back to the old ways. Not, mind you, that this is some unique to the Philippines, but you would think over time the voters would wise up just a bit. Having said that, however, I’m reminded of the old saying about glass houses and stones … living in Hawaii we witness the same political theater.

    • January 24, 2010 11:10 am

      Political theater of the surreal kind is what is regularly on shows hereabout, you’ll agree John.

      Consider the scenario: Gibo wins then GM becomes Spear of the House. Who’ll be the true power holder?

  3. January 24, 2010 1:45 pm

    All this talk about Gibo’s “galing at talino” is bull.

    You don’t have to possess a super intellect to become a good President. You don’t even have to demonstrate a track record as an executive. Leadership is in the character. There are no diplomas and plaques to attest to an individual’s character. People can detect it without seeing it.

    Gibo had a golden opportunity to demonstrate his character when typhoons “Ondoy” and “Pepeng” hit the nation. Never mind that he’s done nothing to stop the Ampatuan from building a super armory. It was during the crisis of the typhoons that Gibo displayed an inability to quickly assess the situation and get the machinery of government to move swiftly for rescue and relief operations. Somebody must have pressed the “pause” button, because Gibo literally froze in the face of disaster.

    Had Gibo acted with swift dispatch, and showed sound judgment, then I would have turned my back on the Liberal Party and supported him. But as the whole nation has shown through the surveys, Gibo proved himself a failure on that singular moment of truth.

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