Why Mar Roxas won’t win the election


Presidential candidate Mar Roxas interviewed by news presenter Mel Tiangco (credits: GMA News TV).

Honestly, Mar Roxas is one of the most qualified person to become the president of our country for the next six years. He has been in electoral politics for more than two decades since the death of his younger brother, Dinggoy and has been a national figure since former Joseph Estrada appointed him as secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry and stayed with the post even after Erap’s resignation during EDSA II. He has made several achievements that we are benefiting right now like the flourishing Business Process Outsourcing or BPO (though all credits should not go to him) and cheaper generic medicine. He became senator in 2004 and in fact, elected with highest number of votes during that time because of his posturing as “Mr. Palengke” to connect himself to the masses. He used his senatorial term as a springboard for his ultimate ambition, to become the president of the Republic of the Philippines and since then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo became unpopular due to electoral fraud and corruption allegations, he distanced himself from her and after 2007 midterm elections, he was already considered as one of the presidential contenders for 2010 along with then Senate president Manny Villar and then Makati mayor Jejomar Binay, his eventual opponent this election. The scenario had changed unfortunately to him when former president Cory Aquino died in August 2009 after suffering with colon cancer and her death immediately changed the landscape of the presidential race that time, 9 months away, by the way. The clamor to let then fellow senator Noynoy Aquino to run for president was increasing and thus, dooming the presidential ambition of Mar Roxas because Noynoy and Mar came from the same party, the Liberal Party, and it would be a destructive to the opposition that time to have both run as president under separate tickets and to prevent factionalism in LP, Mar Roxas eventually gave up his presidential ambition and slid down to as vice presidential candidate for Noynoy Aquino. The election went other ways to them; Noynoy won the presidency while Mar lost the vice presidency to Binay. His defeat didn’t stop him his aspiration to become president as a year later after the election, he was appointed as secretary of Department of Transportation and Communications and another year later due to unfortunate death of Jesse Robredo due to plane crash in Masbate, he was appointed as secretary of Department of Interior and Local Government and used the position as the vehicle to his recent presidential candidacy.

Despite of his experiences and qualifications, there are so many hurdles of Mar Roxas’ ambition to become president of our country. Those hurdles have been used repeatedly for many years, by the way. One of the hurdle of his candidacy is his upper-class origin, being a son of former senator Gerry Roxas and grandson of former president Manuel Roxas. Being a member of political upper-class echelon in our society makes him so aloof to the public who mainly come from lower-middle class and lower class echelons as he has a difficultly understanding the plight of those people because of the single fact that he grew up with silver spoon and the general public would obviously cringe his upbringing and this same people would rather rally for allegedly corrupt Jejomar Binay over unblemished Mar Roxas because the former grew up like them while the latter didn’t. Another hurdle to his ambition is his snobbish personality behind the scenes brought by his upbringing as he had inability to deal with several local officials like Tacloban mayor Alfred Romualdez during the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda as Mar said to Tacloban Mayor that “You’re a Romualdez and the president is Aquino” and those statements made Mar unlikable to become president as being president, you have to be a conciliator and seemed that he cannot do that because it would contradict his grown-up personality. The hurdles I have mentioned are the reasons on why Mar Roxas will not become our president to succeed Benigno Aquino III and I think his presidency would be as mediocre as the current one because of his lack of concrete vision for our country that the electorates have been searching for years. Mar, if you want to save your candidacy, it would be better to support ideas that would alleviate the poverty like removing the foreign equity ownership restrictions from our constitution as you had supported when you were the secretary of DTI during Erap’s presidency.

My personal critique of 2012 State of the Nation Address

President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III before the Congress, 23 July 2012.

On Monday, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III delivered his third State of the Nation Address (SONA), a yearly tradition in which the President reports about the status of the Philippines.

He delivered the lists of his economic and political achievements for the last two years, but what he said for me was not enough to impress not just for me but also for the millions of poor Filipinos who never tasted the fruits of relative economic and political stability that he maintained from the efforts of his predecessor, former President and not Pampanga Representative, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, on which he despised personally (for me).

During his one-and-a-half-hour speech, he lambasted his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the third time before the Congress while never he realized that the relative (although not enough) economic stability was formulated by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

He bragged in front of millions of Filipino people through the cameras facing on him that the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) brought more job opportunities for the skilled people on which I never disputed, however the credit of that accomplishment shall not be bragged by any single person not even President Noynoy nor his predecessor as for the last 12 years, American and European companies outsourced some of their low-paying service jobs to the developing countries like the Philippines. Also the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is not enough to keep the Philippine economy afloat nor to generate more employment opportunities for the millions of Filipinos as these kind of jobs needs enough English proficiency to be hired as a BPO worker on which majority of the Filipinos cannot achieve that kind of proficiency. Also, it is not a capital-intensive investment unlike mining, manufacturing, or tourism.

He trumpeted the latest 6.4% 2012 1st quarter GDP annual growth over the same quarter of last year as his achievements. Actually, our economic growth never really made a good economic multiplying effects to the majority people as significant of that economic growth was a result of our economy’s dependence to our millions of Filipino workers abroad and the money they remitted never funneled for future investment purposes but instead, that money went for consumption purposes which only created a short-term economic stimulus at the expense of long-term economic growth sustainability.

He used the recent outstanding performance of the Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) as a proof of the effectiveness of his economic and investment policies. He never realized that the recent inflation of the Philippine Stock Exchange was a result of massive “hot money” inflows flowing to our economy by massive monetary quantitative easing done by the Federal Reserve of the United States to stimulate the American economy and the excess dollars went to the developing country like the Philippines as foreign investors find economically stable countries to deposit their investment portfolios for short-term purposes and that “hot money” inflows never really converted into a real direct invest for our further economic upgrades as most foreign investors are reluctant to invent in our country in long-term basis due to our constitutional barriers on foreign equity ownership of businesses like the 60/40 equity restrictions against foreign investment.

Before I conclude my critique, I would like to appeal to our President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino to further reform our economic and political system through revising our flawed and outdated 1987 Constitution like scrapping the protectionist economic provisions once and for all and allow 100% foreign equity ownership of business at all economic sectors as much as possible; shifting from unitary to federal form of government where the grip of the national capital on economic, cultural, educational, and health affairs of provinces and instead let the provinces to decide their economic, political, and social development under the umbrella of our country; and finally adopt the real parliamentary system derived from Britain in order to give the best minds of our country to become leaders and never let undeserving people to become our leaders in order to achieve economic and political stability. Thank you.