President Aquino’s Achilles Heel: Loyalty

mar roxas rappler

Where in this photo is the President’s top loyalty?
[Photo source: Rappler]

Perhaps the one criticism of President Aquino that arises again and again is the point that he defends people who are flawed or have created gross mistakes, out of loyalty. Mayor Lim who botched the Hong Kong bus massacre. His shooting buddy, DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno, who was accused of “anomalies”. Secretary Gazmin after he mis-identified old cement blocks in the ocean as new Chinese construction projects. And about every other appointment he has made. Yet, he can be very tough with those who were appointed by Gloria Arroyo (Chief Justice Corona, DENR officials, corrupt generals).

He is circumspect about an unreliable, trouble-making Vice President because Binay is a friend of the family. He does not condemn the Catholic Church even as they condemn him. It’s odd, now that I think about it, that he learned the lessons of the New Testament better than the CBCP political bishops.

And now, coming directly toward us, is the candidacy of Mar Roxas for President of the Philippines.

If ever there were a man loyal to the President, it is Mar Roxas. He stepped aside so that Mr Aquino had a straight path to the presidency. And he has toiled in the most troublesome of areas on the President’s behalf, first at DOTC to get public/private partnerships formulated as a strategy and important infrastructure projects scoped and bid out, and now in DILG where he is first on the scene of massacres, terrorist uprisings and natural disasters. Tough work. Real work.

Done earnestly and with integrity.

How can the President NOT back Mar Roxas for a presidential run.

And yet . . .

And yet . . .

I do fear there is another loyalty the President ought to factor into his thinking.

His loyalty to the Philippines. And to the overwhelming majority of good people who threw their backing and votes behind him to put him in office and support him against all the partisan critics, crooks, and blood-seeking media mongrels.

The test of tests, which loyalty to back, ought to be based on a very clear understanding of what the presidential campaign will be like, and no underestimation of the machine and tactics that Jejomar Binay will put into his lifelong ambition to be president.

It ought to be based on a very clear understanding of the penalties the Philippines is likely to pay if Mr. Aquino’s chosen candidate loses.

Should Mr. Binay get elected, one wonders if he will know how to stop being president at the end of his six- year term. His greed for the position is so single-minded and intense. His methods so patently play the masa for fools. Senator Pacquiao indeed . . . For sure, Mr. Binay does not believe in giving the Philippines quality leadership. He believes in giving his daughter, ostensibly a secretary, a direct, power-and favor paved path into the Senate.

I personally admire President Aquino for his willingness to sacrifice his personal standing for those who have supported him. He supports them back, public reaction be damned. There is great strength in that style.

I would only encourage the President to consider BOTH loyalties when he makes his decision.

Mar Roxas and the Philippines.

Although he is not running for office himself (I presume), I’d suggest that Mr. Aquino’s LP party commission legitimate surveys of voters to determine – without slant or bias – whether or not Mar Roxas is electable. Or if – the chief criticisms we hear – he is perceived as an elitist of poor interpersonal dealings. And, not electable, bad for the whole of the Philippines.

Mr. Aquino would be making a huge, nation-shaking decision if he chose, out of loyalty, to back a candidate who cannot win.

If polls show Mr. Roxas competes well, and could be presumed to do even better with the President’s active, working endorsement, then let’s get it on . . .

Roxas for President!

If the polls show otherwise . . .

Put an arm around Mr. Roxas, thank him sincerely, and move on. Endorse a WINNABLE, honorable, hardworking person of executive skill and integrity.

Onward with the straight path!

Six more years! Six more years!

It’s the straightest principle there is:

The well-being of the nation over personal debts.

65 Responses to “President Aquino’s Achilles Heel: Loyalty”
  1. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Loyalty is NOT benignO Aquino’s Achilles heel, IT IS THE COUNTRY’s ACHILLES HEEL.

    Lunod-Patay LOYALTY is cultural in the Philippines. “Lunod-Patay” is Visayan for sink or swim. Mix LOYALTY with DEBT OF GRATITUDE and measure of BLOOD LINES you have a recipe of cover-ups in corruption.

    That is why Delfin Lee was never found for two years while he was sipping single-malt whiskeys in the lobby of 5-star hotel frequented by dignitaries and Senators. And that is the reason Capa was exiled to Cebu because he did not ask “Permission to Arrest, Sir!”.

    That is also the reason why the U.P.-run Philippine Media points their finger at former Major graduate from Philippine Marine Academy Janet Napoles as the mastermind of PDAF despite my suspicion that Janet is not brilliant enough to conjure sham corporations on top of sham NGO to cover her tracks. She doesn’t have Corporate Law 101. Gotta be some brilliant boys over at the House. And Janet was made a escape goat.


    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      This is wonderful entertaining thing about Philippines. The entertaining election doesn’t stop at declaration of winners but the aftermath. Each declared president will always investigate the past President.

      Cory Investigated Marcos
      Ramos investigated Cory hiding under the bed
      Estrada investigated Ramos
      Gloria protected Estrada despite prima facie evidence
      Benigno investigated Gloria on so many things
      The next President will investigate Benigno on DAP

      Each President wanted their own Designer Constitution and Designer Form of Government.

      • Joe America says:

        If there is loyalty, there is its opposite, vengeance.

      • parengtony says:

        “Cory Investigated Marcos”

        Pardon me, but I am simply unable to comprehend why the investigation (by a government installed directly by the people via people power – a means admired and emulated all over the world – of an ousted dictator, thief, liar, and human rights abuser is being questioned.

    • Joe America says:

      I’m developing a list of people I’m rooting for. The police chief relieved in Leyte for estimating the number of deaths higher than politically correct, even though he was fairly accurate. Capa, a guy reassigned to the hinterlands of Cebu for doing his job well. Cudia, the student lynched by a bunch of children whose egos were allowed to prevail by the adults who are evidently teaching them to obey, but not think.

      Yes, loyalty is the grease that allows the culture of favor and power and theft to prevail. It is indeed the nation’s Achilles heel.

  2. andrew lim says:

    Kudos, Joe. Well-written and well-argued. It’s a truism here that the sense of nationhood, of patriotism is trumped by the individual and personal.

    I think Mar Roxas is also hampered since he grew up, studied and spent his early working years in the US, so his sense of Philippine politics is out of focus. Why hire that Bograd guy- a US political consultant to craft his political agenda?

    Considering he comes from a poltical clan and married a veteran journalist one just shakes his head on how they manage to bungle one opportunity to shine after another. They are not corrupt; but they are also incredibly incompetent, or at least perceived to be so.

    • Joe America says:

      “out of focus” That rather sums it all up nicely, for me at least. The credentials are there, in terms of the jobs Mr. Aquino has given him, but achievement does not seem to be ground-breaking, and the Philippines needs a ground-breaking president to keep the nation on track against the grain of the individualism and all the criticism and odd acts that face a president.

  3. manuel buencamino says:

    He fails to excite voters. That’s his big negative.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, exactly. And one senses with all the marketing energy in the world, that may not be rectifiable.

      • manuel buencamino says:

        And so at the end of the day, we choose our leaders based not on their qualifications but on their sexiness. Sad for the Philippines but I guess that’s true in all societies were leaders are chosen through popular elections. It’s one flaw of representative demicracy that has not been adequately addressed.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, it’s true. Democracy relies upon an educated public, voters who can sift through the issues wisely. Unfortunately, we typically get shallow. And I am referring to the US as well as here, where people can’t discern extremist views and are susceptible to advertising more than anything. People are ATTRACTED by the angers. We can only hope for a balancing of the extremes, perhaps. That may mean the next cycle for the Philippines is bad, and 2022 there is hope the straight path will rebound off of six years of corrupt favoritism. I hope not, but there ya go . . .

          • manuel buencamino says:

            I don’t know if education will do it. American and European voters seem educated enough but somehow political propagandists always remain a step ahead. I’m not sure voters can catch up through internal change. We may have to look at the externals as well although that may involve tinkering with free speech.

            • Joe America says:

              It is fascinating, this modern world of ours that operates on short sound bites as substantive dialogue. It’s like everyone is floating on a shallow draft of impressions as some kind of deep truth.

              • manuel buencamino says:

                Yup the evolution of political communication from column inches in print to 15 second soundbites on TV to 140 character tweets

            • parengtony says:

              In politics, whether here, in the US of A, or elsewhere, propaganda is still the name of the game. Of all RP administrations I am familiar with, I find FVR, West Point class 1950 and psy-war specialist, the best and most avid practitioner. During his time was the heyday of propaganda and the business of big time PR operatives really flourished. To this day we can see and feel its very palpable presence.

    • Dee says:

      What excites Filipino voters? He has two years to make that happen. What would you suggest?

    • Mark A.B. Andrade says:

      He failed to excite voters because MAR not BINAY. If he were to excite voters, he should have done his job way different than how he did it. He was criticized in DOTC for slow implementation of PPP and also in DILG for a lot of things. Well, that’s life, he just perform and does his job to the best of his abilities and to what he thinks is the right way to do it. If the people / voters does not appreciate it then that is not MAR’s problem. If ever MAR’s poll chances is low then he can accept it. Afterall he is intelligent and broadminded to understand WHY his chances are low. It was his choice to get low popularity but does his job credibly and with integrity.

      MAR has a lot of life out politics with his ARANETA & ROXAS family wealth soon to be his. His family is spending a lot to bankroll LP because he don’t want to steal from government’s coffers.

      I still hope he can pull-up his poll numbers and be the LP’s standard bearer because I believe MAR is still the best guy to replace PNOY.

      Ultimately, it’s the voters who will decide.

  4. Joseph-Ivo says:

    The objects of loyalty can be principles, causes, ideas, religions, ideologies, nations, governments, parties, leaders, families, friends, regions, racial groups… Few loyalties here are strong, but Philippine politics are marked by a total lack of loyalty. They change parties faster than underwear, political friends are dropped overnight for more promising ones. Ideologies? Politics main interest is predatory.

    In this environment Aquino’s political loyalty is so refreshing, even if sometimes it is foolish in political terms. No more prerogatives or wang wang was understood welcomed by the public. No more political pragmatism if sold in the right way will welcomed too.

    People (more urban, more educated) want to move away from the old clan politics. “I stand by my friend Roxas as I stand by my principles. Take it or leave it. If you want to go back to the old politics, fine, your choice, but don’t complain to me afterwards”

    • Joe America says:

      That’s an interesting observation, worth more discussion for sure. I get the idea that loyalties everywhere are strong as long as one’s SELF is not attacked. So while President Aquino’s staff may be attacked from time to time, President Aquino does not feel this is a personal attack, so he remains loyal. He believes the press are disloyal and attacks them instead. Or the loyalties can break down if self-interest is at stake, which is the political process, I think.

      Local mayors and governors appear to be very loyal to Jejomar Binay, and he to them. And OFW’s are loyal to their families.

      The problem with political parties is that none has an IDEAL upon which people can hang their entire future. The parties are simply collections of personalities. If there were a concept to hang one’s future on . . . say federalism or becoming a state of China . . . then one would stay loyal to whomever joined the party and subscribed to that ideal. So the problem is that there are no platforms that capture the imagination, and earn the sacrifice of commitment through thick and thin.

      President Aquino is indeed unique, I think. He is not angling for a second term, and appears to care not too much about making a legacy for himself. Otherwise he’d accelerate FOI. He appreciates the whole of the effort his staff make and does not run hot and cold from incident to incident, or to win popularity points.

      • Joseph-Ivo says:

        Predatory, join the pack that will make the kill. Always has been on the local level, the Americans added the national level for the Filipinos (previously occupied by friars and peninsulars). Politians are the alpha male predators, not servants. Loyalty as long as the catch prey, not a minute longer.

        Why was Marcos dumped? Ask Ver, Ramos and Enrile. How does Enrile survive so long? He still can make a kill. Why Binay? He has access to many honey pots. The elections of the Aquino’s were “mistakes” by compassion.

    • I think this case of “loyalty and principles” was just a product of chance; luckily, Pnoy is an idealistic and honest man but favors loyal friends for better or worse. In fact, there are many instances in which loyalties came in conflict with the president’s progressive platform.

      (e.g., LTO chief, the cabinet member caught with an AK-47 in his vehicle, people responsible for delayed PPP)

      The rest of politicos reward loyalties only if the social ties are self-serving. Sure, urban and educated people want to move away from the old clan politics. Add the OFWs to the reform-wanting mix. But more certainly, these enlightened voters are FAR OUTNUMBERED by those who are caught by the patronage-loyalty trap.

      Moreover, one has to factor in the great number of poor voters in heavily agricultural provinces, towns and barangays ….

      • Joe America says:

        Very sharp observation. I only view loyalty as a weakness if it undermines accountability. And the subject of this blog actually calls for MORE loyalty, or dedication of loyalty, to the Philippine nation.

  5. Dee says:

    I agree that when it comes down to it, the President should endorse someone who could win in 2016 to continue the “housecleaning” and “remodeling” of the nation. There are still a lot to be done and we can not afford for the nation to backslide to being the “sick man of Asia.”

    I am curious about Filipino voters’ behavior as the nation had its share of corrupt and self-serving Presidents. The excerpt below is from a voting primer I culled from my internet research:

    “How do Filipino voters vote?

    A 2003 update study on voting behavior looks at how Filipino voters choose their candidates:

    Public servant image or the candidate’s characteristics such as madaling lapitan (approachable), malinis na pagkatao (clean reputation), matulungin sa nangangailangan (helpful with the needy), nagtataguyod ng programang pangkaunlaran (proponent of progressive programs).

    Political machinery which includes the political party, being in the opposition, and good campaign strategies.

    Popularity or being a celebrity or endorsed by a celebrity.

    Endorsement of network and organizations such as the family, the church, the groups and group leaders.”

    Click to access iper%20primer.pdf

    Thought these factors will add some flavor to our 2016 presidentiables’ intellectual calisthenics.

    • Joe America says:

      That is great information, Dee. I am amused (in a grim way) that Jejomar Binay has strengths in all four areas you cite. His image is as a doer from what Makati became and he’s given a lot of charity goods out, he has superb campaign machinery, he recruited Pacquiao to be on his team, and he has the endorsement of all kinds of people and groups . . . like mayors and businessmen and even the Church, I suspect.

      • Assuming the persona of Mar’s campaign manager.

        However, Mar is at DILG. He could establish his network with the provinces, municipalities and barangays through his work at that department. I heard he’s usually on the field, and DILG employees HAVEN’T SEEN him in the new DILG central office along Quezon Ave.

        So, I’m still undecided on the “strong local government network of Binay” claim. Add the fact that the UNA coalition might crumble because of Enrile and Jinggoy’s alleged participation in the Napoles Scam.

  6. ricelander says:

    Six more years! Six more years!

    An interesting proposition, Joeam. Then he should move early to change the Constitution to allow for his own re-election. I would be very interested to know how people would react.

    • Joe America says:

      I’d object stridently. I wouldn’t mind him being VP to Poe.

      • ricelander says:

        Hmmm. Okay.

        See, I was against the SC decision allowing GMA to run for lower office. I thought it made a mockery of the law’s intent, but hey, for PNoy, why not?

        • Joe America says:

          But that is being political the way Filipinos are political, adjusting one’s principles to fit the people, rather than adhering to one’s principles. I would support a constitutional term revision if done in a way to preclude the incumbent from taking advantage of the revision. That is, if it were clearly being done for the Philippines and not political power or gain.

          • ricelander says:

            Well, PNoy can so declare he is doing it for the good of the country, to prevent the return of corruption and continue his Tuwid na Daan program, not for political gain. I guess many would still believe him.

            • Joe America says:

              He would be open to attack on a number of issues, but I agree, people are inclined to go by people, not principle.

              • ricelander says:

                My position really is a President should be entitled to a re-election: five years plus five years, ideally. Continuity. Long-term. There is this theory about SixYearPhenomenon in the Philippines, meaning everything is really programmed only for six years because you never know what happens afterwards. So there is no long-term planning.

                It doesn’t change that I do not like the President. This is democracy; people should decide.

              • Joe America says:

                Five plus five is reasonable, although I must admit I tire of most American Presidents at the end of about year six. Funny, that.

                I think perhaps the whole party system in the Philippines needs to be re-thought. The party-list people seem to hold narrow views that don’t serve the Philippines as a whole, and the major parties are personality based and hard to distinguish from one another. I think parties need to propose a platform that projects certain beliefs and goals and one ought to be distinct from another. That is, pro-people or pro-business or federalist or nationalist or defense-oriented or socialist-oriented. Then there would be continuity from term to term and the people can select the platform that works best for them.

                Right now, I think there are two main parties: leftist and pablum. UNA and LP and all the rest are pablum, personality based citing the same goals.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      There will be many more years for benignO the way they are ramping up and provking Chinese to attack …

  7. Tony Meloto

    Social Entrepreneur of the World – World Entrepreneurship Forum, 2012
    Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, 2012
    Japan’s Nikkei Asia Prize for Regional Growth, 2011
    Social Entrepreneur of the Year – Ernst and Young Philippines, 2010
    Top 4 Most Trusted Filipino – Reader’s Digest Asia, 2010
    Filipino of the Year, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2006
    People of the Year, Philippine Star, 2006
    The Outstanding Filipino Award (TOFIL) Awardee for Community Service, 2006
    Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Community Leadership, 2006

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, of Gawad Kalinga fame. I don’t think he has the name and depth of experience to qualify as president. I don’t know about charisma. I am always leery of those who dedicate their lives to Christ. We need a secular executive, I think. That’s just my quick my personal reaction.

      • parengtony says:

        Imho, my tocayo has, by a long way, more depth (and breadth) of experience than anyone of the current presidentiables particularly in terms of substance, management, leadership, and communication.

  8. Geng says:

    Mar Roxas has some personal baggage to contend with alright but what makes me wary about Binay is the company he kept/ attain his goal.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I recall vividly the prayer session with an ousted Governor Garcia in Cebu, the old guys of Enrile, Estrada and Binay hand in hand. Some company . . .

  9. I love the pragmatic and patriotic tone at the end of your article which was capped by “The well-being of the nation over personal debts.” That part was screaming “Grace Poe!”

    Back to loyalty. I read a Rappler article that said Pnoy’s loyalty stemmed from the misfortunes he and his family, particularly Ninoy, suffered:

    1.Ninoy was sent to jail by a president who was the former’s fratmate.

    2. Danding Cojuangco was rumored to be the mastermind behind Ninoy’s killing.

    3. Assassination attempt on Benigno III’s life ” Aquino was two blocks from the palace when he came under fire. Three of his four security escorts were killed, and the last was wounded protecting him. Aquino himself was hit by five bullets, one of which is still embedded in his neck”


    From his point of view, there’s a strong basis for rewarding and recognizing loyalty.

    • Joe America says:

      You would be a good mind reader.

      The background of Noynoy certainly explains a lot. He appreciates those who work to defend his effort to lead, in the face of a lot of sniping. Thank you for that very poignant view.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      What is mysterious is after Cory sat in Malacanang there never was an investigation by the senate on who killed Noynoy.

      Well, why would she. Rambo, Gringo and Ramos are already in the government. Maybe she did not want to rock the boat.

      Eventually Rambo, Gringo and Ramos was heftily rewarded. Sins forgiven. Stolen money is theirs forever … it is like State Witness Program under deLima.

    • parengtony says:

      It is widely known in Central Luzon that the Hacienda Luisita branch of the Cojuangco family is a firm believer of the “utang na loob” principle.

  10. chit navarro says:

    Below is a post from FB of an ardent supporter of Pnoy & Mar Roxas.
    Some of the many reasons why the President is loyal to Mar Roxas… Perhaps, it’s a matter of selling his image/accomplishments to the masa to make him more winnable…

    But if there is a better alternative for the Liberal Party to stay in power, he may do a part 2 of giving way…

    And Joe, the last paragraph would show that you and him speak the same language…!


    Mar Roxas has been appointed as the 12th DILG Secretary on 31 August 2012.

    Roxas is backed by an 18 year-stint in public service as a Congressman, Senator, Secretary of Trade and Industry, and Secretary of Department of Transportation and Communications.

    Serving as DOTC secretary for over a year, Roxas was an enabler in rolling out transportation infrastructure projects in line with the President’s commitment of providing the public safe, reliable and efficient land, air and sea transport system.

    He spearheaded DOTCs 20 attached agencies in launching and developing big-ticket CAPEX programs including the :
    * P60B Cavite LRT extension project,
    * rehabilitation of NAIA T1 and T3 – the country’s premier gateway –
    * construction and rehabilitation of various airports in key cities nationwide, and
    * development of several ports and seaports in the archipelago.

    As DOTC chief, he also issued policies to DOTCs regulatory agencies to ensure safe travel in all modes of transport; enhanced the search and rescue capability of the Philippine Coast Guard through the programming of the requisition of necessary equipment and facilities; and, addressed
    the pressing concerns of passengers of the air sector by coming up with the Air Passenger Bill of Rights.

    As Trade Secretary from 2000 to 2004, he established and nurtured the Call Center & Business Process Outsourcing Industry, which today provides 500,000 direct jobs, generates billions in revenues, and puts the Philippines on the map as the top BPO investment destination in Asia.

    As Senator, Roxas chaired the Senate Committees on Trade and Industry, on Economic Affairs, and on Education, as well as the Congressional Oversight Committees on the Electronic Commerce Law and on Quality Affordable Medicines.

    He shepherded the passage of the Universally Accessible, Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008, resulting in lower prices of key medicines for hypertension, diabetes and cancer.

    He also filed the Pre-Need Act to improve and strengthen industry regulation and safeguard consumer interests, and authored the Omnibus Education Reform Bill to strengthen the Philippine education system.

    As a Congressman, he worked for the Fair and Equitable Access to Education Act that has enabled the fair distribution of the education budget. He also pushed the institutionalization of the Public Employment Service Offices that multiplied job opportunities across sectors.

    An investment banker in New York (1979-1986), Roxas graduated from Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania), and earned his basic education at the Ateneo de Manila University.

    • Joe America says:

      Ha, we don’t speak the same language because he was a high flying big money roller and I was a lowly consumer marketing guy or off doing odd jobs.

      Thank’s for the profile of the Roxas background. There is no question he has the steak, but questionable is the sizzle. He has the best background of any candidate but people have to LIKE him.

      • parengtony says:

        My main beef with Mar Roxas is his support of GMA even after the Gloria-Mike agenda had already become too obvious for comfort..

        • Joe America says:

          Ahhh, that is a decent beef. I’d offset that one bad decision with the experience he has gained at DOTC and DILG trying to figure out complex issues. In terms of depth of executive experience, it is hard to match his portfolio.

    • Mark A.B. Andrade says:

      And that is our loss as Filipino Citizen if MAR can’t be winnable come 2016. His background in the senate and congress and in DTI-DOTC just shows his deep understanding of what should be done in order to lift our tiny nation to prosperity. NOT POPULAR but he is the right one to replace PNOY. He is an ECONOMIST by profession. He became POLITICIAN by necessity when his brother died in 1993. His brother Dinggoy Roxas was the heir of his family’s political future. It’s unfortunate not to have Roxas as nest President. However, if his numbers can’t be winnable the CAYETANO is still there. What I am hoping is, if Roxas will not run, that LP will coalesce again with NP, Cayetano as President, Grace Poe as VP and include Leni Robredo in their Senatorial Line-up, and persuade Loren Legarda & Chiz Escudero to support the LP-NP Alliance, – BINAY will end up with estrada, enrile & revilla. That coalition may
      defeat BINAY in 2016

  11. Dee says:

    Take a look at this jpg from 2010. Notice the groups that were behind the Aquino and the Villar teams. If Mar could get them to endorse him, he might have a shot at the presidency. Other major voting blocs are the religious, mainly Catholics and Iglesia ni Cristos. Priests and ministers have no qualms realpolitiking.

    Another factor will be the endorsement of the Aquino sisters. They have the star power and name recognition attributes. We know Korina will be in it but has to take a leave of absence from her official duties to do campaigns. Who are the Filipino celebrities we can predict to join the Mar Roxas campaign?

    For the image, the only problem Mar has is the “unapproachable” perception. How do we make Mar and Korina be seen as “approachable” by Filipino voters?

    • Joe America says:

      Show them together having fun and a sense of humor and relaxed. Not posturing. Regular people. Has he ever picked up a baby and kissed it, you think?

    • Joe America says:

      That’s a very interesting chart. I’m wondering what respectable groups will be crazy enough to endorse a Binay/Plunderer presidential/vice presidential ticket. I for sure would not want my name, or my organization, to show up having given money to an Estrada or Marcos . . . or Binay . . . to lead the Philippines.

  12. J says:

    I think the President is extremely loyal to his friends because, when everyone ostracized him and his family in the dark days of Martial Law, he found solace in his friends.

    But, your right. Loyalty to the country first. Six more years!

    Mr. Roxas could make a good president. He seems to have integrity, and an impeccable record. He won more votes than any other senators, so who knows? Perhaps he has a chance, although I doubt it.

    You’re right. The LP should comission a survey now. Let’s see if he has a chance. If not, the party should look elsewhere. It should be a unifying figure, someone who excites, has integrity and is incorruptible, and smart.

    Grace Poe for President!

    • Joe America says:

      Ahahaha, when she attracts the young and the . . . not so young . . . we know she’s got magnetism . . .

    • edgar lores says:

      1. My two cents: assuming that PNoy made a personal commitment to Mar to support him in his future candidacy in exchange for making way in the last presidential election, PNoy should make good his promise.

      2. We should make a distinction between an “official” commitment and a “personal” commitment. The persistence of loyalty in an official commitment, where underperforming appointees are maintained in office, is unskilful. The persistence of loyalty in a personal commitment is skilful.

      3. In an ideal world, this is what should happen.
      3.1. Mar should review his candidacy by survey and other means. Note that a survey taken now is inconclusive. If he thinks he has a chance, he should let his hat remain in the ring.
      3.2. The Liberal Party should view and review its 2016 line-up. If they think Mar is a viable candidate, he should be supported. It the party thinks another candidate is more likely to win – and, more importantly, to better advance the fortunes of the country – it should make that decision.

      3.3. PNoy should keep his word to Mar. He must stay true to his character, if that is his character. His dis/endorsement may or may not have the intended and expected effect.
      3.4. It is up to the people to decide whether Mar is worthy or not to be PNoy’s successor. If PNoy has proved to be a good presidential model, then they should vote for someone in his mold. They made the right decision once. They might even make it twice.

      • Joe America says:

        Very thoughtful, this distinction between personal and political or “official” loyalty. I found Dee’s chart very interesting. I think if Mar Roxas got the right endorsements, he’d be fine. Maybe that is where both Secretary Roxas and Mr. President should focus their efforts. Their loyalty efforts.

  13. David Murphy says:

    I think corruption is still a huge issue, maybe the dominant issue for informed voters. If Mar Roxas can be wrapped in the mantle of anti-corruption that President Aquino should be building, he could become the voters’ choice for the office. One key element in his election would be the education of the masses on how corruption is theft from them, in the form of crippled education for their children, inadequate or non-existent health services, etc., and that the continuing battle against corruption will bring them more benefits and that Mar Roxas is the man who will carry on the battle against corruption.. But will the political record of Mar Roxas sitand as evidence of his incorruptibility? Do I remember something about the course of C-5 being altered to bring it closer to Roxas’ properties? Like every other news item, that one has settled into the murk of issues forgotten by the media after 5 days, but you can be sure that it would be exhumed if Roxas is running for the office of President. Of course, it doesn’t matter what the truth is, if Roxas appears to be winning the position of the incorruptible candidate charges of all kind will be made against him, real or fabricated. But it helps to have the truth on your side.

    • Joe America says:

      You make good sense. It was Manny Villar, not Roxas, who is accused of having moved the expressway. I don’t recall any such shenanigans by Roxas, but his stints at DOTC and DILG mean that every deal delayed or gone troublesome becomes his “fault”. So critics will have a heyday throwing that mud at him. One thing Filipinos excel at is ridicule, and he will get a LOT of it. The challenge is more likely to be “incompetent” than “corrupt”. So his camp will have to figure out how to respond to that without looking like excuse-mongers or blame-mongers. Estrada is a blame-monger. 🙂

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