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The Presidency

January 16, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Presidency
Ronald Roy — Jan. 16, 2014

The country’s presidency is defined by the Philippine Constitution as an office occupied by a person in whom “executive power is vested” (Section 1, Article Vll), and who is elected thereto, provided he is “a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.” (Section 2)
The foregoing definition’s use of the pronoun “he” alludes to no gender in particular, and the definition is so liberally construed as to allow aspirants to come from the widest possible field of candidates. Hence, a pauper is eligible for the presidency, provided he meets all the cited requirements.
We can only therefore applaud the basic charter’s framers for their commendable choice of democratic principles that define the office’s occupant in terms of the barest possible minimum of eligibilities. Verily, the fundamental law disdains the notion that someone like Abraham Lincoln, who did not complete elementary school, cannot become president for his people.
To my mind, the constitution correctly portrays the president as a father-image for the entire citizenry — an eco-socio-political father, one might say, who is obligated by his office to even-handedly protect and advance the welfare of all his “children”, albeit blessed with a greater compassion for those in greater need.

An ideal president
Truly, a man who has himself known poverty in real-life terms is one who would have a sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others, and it is he who would be an ideal president.
It is sadly seldom seen that a man raised in poverty with “his heart in the right place” would be a more dependable chief executive, than one who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, graduated summa cum laude from the best school, and became a very visible top honcho in business and industry circles.
Well, I don’t know if Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, or graduated summa cum laude from Ateneo de Manila University, but allow me anyway to allude to the gentleman who is viewed by some quarters as the most ideal prospect for Malacañang’s occupancy after the 2016 elections.
With all due respect to those who hold otherwise, fund manager MVP’s heart cannot be in the right place because it pulsates for his foreign principals known as Indonesia’s Salim Group of Companies. In fine, MVP’s main concern seems not to alleviate the lives of Filipinos a vast majority of whom are impoverished, but to make richer his already wealthy non-Filipino masters.
Needless to state, the most worrisome danger is the growing influence of foreigners over such critical utilities and services as electricity, water, transportation, health, media, and communications.
In health, for instance, notice how much streamlining of top hospitals like Cardinal and St. Luke MVP has done to bring medical services virtually beyond the reach of the poor and the shrinking middle class. Isn’t it obvious that MVP cares only for rich customers who remit hefty profits to his foreign bosses? And he wants to succeed P-Noy?!

Yes, I believe Mr. Pangilinan plans to succeed P-Noy. With a staff of top-notch propagandists, he may have already commenced an elementary PR campaign for public good grooming. Already, note how his name has become an ubiquitous buzzword in sports, entertainment, beauty pageantry and philanthropy.
How lucky can a guy get, with the support of foreign-funded propaganda bristling with superlative look-good images! But then, how bad will it be under an MVP Administration? Answer: Disastrous. Prediction: MVP will launch a media blitz as 2016 nears.
It’s time netizens hunkered down to act as a counterbalance not only to biased and misleading information grooming candidates for president, but also to prospective government workers in general, elective, appointive or otherwise.

Media, traditional and social
Untrammeled radio, television, print and social media are of course the most eagle-eyed analysts in the scrutiny of government policies, programs and decisions. As such, the press is, in the words of Amando Doronila, the “watchdog of public interest that reports public affairs accurately without fear or favor”, and serves as “eyes and ears of the people to whom it owes primary loyalty.”
Well, so too are the netizenry, and the Radio and TV networks, and at no other time has there been such an imperative for an all-out counterbalancing media agenda.
It’s pathetic that despite P-Noy’s dogged crusade against corruption, graft’s contagion in government has worsened. Is the presidency, whose official words and acts impact most critically on our lives, ineffective? It’s even more pathetic that Pres. Noynoy labels the press (media in actuality) as a “cottage industry that makes a living out of nitpicking on (him)”, or words to that effect.
His Excellency has not changed since I told him three years ago, “View media as friends who want your office to succeed, and whose raison d’ être is to blow the whistle without fear or favor. They’re doing a job for democracy. If you view them as enemy, try winning them over under the friendly influence of the presidency.”

(https://musingsbyroy.wordpress.com | 09186449517 | @ronald8roy | #musingsbyroy)

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