Evaluating presidential candidates: “The office magnifies the man”

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“Character, Watson, character! It’s the clue to success!”

Or woman.

You have perhaps heard the expression “the office makes the man”. It means that the demands of the job shape the person doing the work. The Philippine office of the President transformed a quiet and unassuming senator who liked fast cars and . . . well . . . smart women into a firm, composed executive and statesman who still likes fast cars and smart women, but can’t have them because of the demands of his office.

Mr. Aquino grew into the job. He is no longer so mild-mannered. His self-composure became a strength on the job. He has proved to be calm during crises, firm under the heat of a tabloid press and self-dealing critics, and multi-dimensional because of his capable executive management style. He is internationally recognized and respected. He’s doing the hard work. He’s getting the needed results.

Well, it seems to me that the correct phrase ought to be:

The office magnifies the man

Because what the office does is amplifies the core strengths of the man . . . or woman . . . who enters there. If that person is of good character, that is what gets magnified. As with President Aquino. If that person is of bad character, that is what gets magnified. As with Presidents Marcos, Estrada and Arroyo. If that person is weak or indecisive, we get confusion and little clear progress.

So now, with elections coming down the pike in both the US and Philippines, we have to judge the core character of a lot of people. Well, you don’t have to worry much about American candidates, but I do. And maybe if I include them here, the evaluations will be instructive.

The entire number of candidates to consider is beyond the scope of this particular interested party. But there are some that are worth considering, and I’d like to do that on a comparative scale from 0 to 100 for each candidate. The perfect candidate would score 100. A score below 50 would be destructive to one degree or another.

The evaluation considers core character: intelligence, reason, experience (academic and job), knowledge/skill, management ability (ability to appoint good people, plan, organize and execute), leadership ability (the ability to inspire and get a following), and a negative quality called “susceptible to influences other than national well-being”.

However, contrary to the common method of scoring that builds a total score from a batch of subordinate scorings, I will simply provide a composite that considers that knowledge, management ability, leadership and all the other qualities have an interactive quotient that gets lost if they are scored separately. So I’ll mush the characteristics together and come up with a single score for each. It is a personal evaluation which you can take, leave, or adjust.

I will mix American and Filipinos prospects so you get an idea of the comparative quality of the two nations’ mainstream candidates.

  • 85 Mar Roxas
  • 75 Hillary Clinton
  • 70 Jeb Bush
  • 65 Grace Poe
  • 65 Alan Cayetano
  • 60 Chris Christie
  • 60 Lindsay Graham
  • 55 Panfilo Lacson
  • 40 Mike Huckabee
  • 40 Rodrigo Duterte
  • 35 Miriam Santiago
  • 30 Rand Paul
  • 20 Ted Cruz
  • 15 Bongbong Marcos
  • 10 Donald Trump
  • 05 Jejomar Binay

You are surprised?


  • Because I hold that Filipinos are as capable as Americans?
  • Because Mar Roxas is by far the top prospect?

The office magnifies the man.

Why does Mar Roxas dominate the list? Because I ask the simple question:

  • How patriotic – that is, how dedicated to the nation – is this candidate, versus other interests like personal ambition, trapo relationships, party, ego, or religion?

In other words, how important are WE to the candidate?

Only Mar Roxas, without question, is fully dedicated to his nation. He has worked earnestly for decades, sacrificed his own ambitions, learned, grown and been un-marked by corruption or favoritism to any benefactor. He is unique among all candidates on the list.

He has worked side by side with President Aquino. He’s worked the Zamboanga Siege, the Cayan de Oro bombing, Typhoon Yolanda, and crimes across the country.  There is a reason he ended up in the mud trying to cycle to the heart of where another typhoon had hit. There is a reason the Philippines is far better prepared today to deal with storms than before Secretary Roxas took over DILG.

If the office magnifies his character, he will definitely be a quality president and take the nation forward during six more years of honest, earnest, capable government.

The other candidates all have a core weakness, of allegiance or skill, that drops them down. Panfilo Lacson gets dinged for ego and lack of common sense (his spoiler row). Grace Poe, trapo and oh so inexperienced. Jeb Bush, fluid principles. Rodrigo Duterte, a nasty streak. Hillary Clinton, a conniving streak. Alan Cayetano, a headstrong, volatile streak.

And so forth.

So if the office magnifies the core character, we ought to be very clear on what traits are likely to get magnified under a President Roxas: Passion for the Philippines. Vision. Hard work. Honesty. Problem solving. Compassion. Respect for others. Candor. Maturity. Kindness. Leadership that is respected. Results.

There will be no corruption, no sneaky favors done, no crafty manipulations of the public, no cheating, lying or thieving, no death squads, no vengeance, no crab walking or arrogance of power.

There will be stability. Integrity. Honesty. Unity. And a great deal of progress.


100 Responses to “Evaluating presidential candidates: “The office magnifies the man””
  1. No love for Sanders? He is second in the New Hampshire polling

    • Joe America says:

      I’ve not read enough about him to have confidence in slotting him in. Where would you put him, and why?

      • I’d give him a 65-75 My primary issue would be his age and next would be his lack of Gubernatorial experience. We have similar views in a lot of things specially in social issues.

        • Joe America says:

          Very good. Put Bernie Sanders in at 70. I think the fact that he is very close to Clinton reflects Clinton’s polarizing style. That’s likely because she is a powerful woman (some men, and some women, have trouble with that) and has too many bones in the bag (Libya; e-mails).

          • clarisse6994 says:

            I like Mar, but can we please get rid of Korina? It may sound really shallow to some, but I don’t like that she peddles woo on her shows. Pseudoscience is not a victimless crime, and just imagine her power to spread some more of that if she becomes First Lady.

  2. People who read my posts know that on Mar Roxas we are in complete agreement! But I have to confess that he lacks one thing that is so very important for the presidency. An group of irrational supporters that would allow him to make mistakes. If he wins there is no question it would be war on day one. There is a reason that Tuwid na Daan is taking its sweet time in doing things.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, we are in agreement with that, as well. We can seek to expand the core of rational, confident, real-world thinkers who understand that no President can do it “my way” 100% of the time, and, indeed, he may make a mistake now and then. That is, the President has enormous responsibilities, makes thousands and thousands of decisions through subordinate, and may miss now and then. He is also, by all accounts . . . human.

  3. i7sharp says:

    @Joe America

    85 Mar Roxas
    75 Hillary Clinton
    70 Jeb Bush


    Mar Roxas – yes; agree.

    Clinton – why 75?

    Marco Rubio, Scott Walker – why not included?

    • Joe America says:

      I should have put Rubio in. He’d also be less than 50.

      How would you score Clinton, and why? If you want to add someone, just give them a score and explain why. Remember to magnify their good and bad traits.

      • i7sharp says:

        @Joe America

        1. Hillary Clinton – why 75?
        2, Scott Walker – why not included?

      • Jose Guevarra says:

        On the American side, you might want to think about Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as well. Maybe not as a really strong presidential contender but possibly a vice-presidential running mate to the Democratic candidate.

  4. I would rate Duterte much higher than Lacson, closer to Cayetano, and Poe tied with Hillary whom I would rate lower. Inspite of everything Bongbong higher than Miriam, at least he often makes sense and does have his father’s intelligence and follow-through.

    But for me Roxas is still on top, maybe a 75 while Poe would be 70. Trillanes also rates quite high on my list, I would already give him 70. Who knows Poe might run with Trillanes?

    • Joe America says:

      Duterte has some strengths, for sure, but it is the magnification of the volatility and autocratic style that has him breaking laws to enforce laws that drops him into the “dangerous” category. Marcos has the same qualities without the redeeming managerial strength.

      Trillanes would be above 50, I suspect. A strong sense of right and wrong. But also headstrong. His stance on K-12, to undo that, is mystifying and would cause me to question his ability to craft a long term vision. I might put him in at 60.

      I think Poe will run by herself, if she runs. Osmena hit it right in his advice yesterday for her to not run with Escudero. Anybody she ties up with will be a negative for her. Roxas would be the exception, but he won’t fall back to VP.

    • Jose Guevarra says:

      I’m always going to be afraid of Bongbong Marcos (or any other Marcos for that matter) being rated higher than 60. Competent or not, there is no evidence yet that this family will not do what Ferdinand did to us for more than 20 years.

  5. Would Pnoy’s sacking of Binay from his Cabinet make him a martyr in the eyes of his avid, blind and misinformed followers? I can’t understand the President’s hesitancy. He is straddling 2 loyalties, does he belong to the opposition, or is he still a team player? He just uses his position to as an excuse go around the country to do his early campaigning while he criticizes the present admin selling himself as a unifying president who will not engage in revenge, etc.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, Binay would become a martyr, I suspect. Or would play it that way. It would also harden the divide between classes. Plus, I think President Aquino is a “due process” kind of guy, and will let the Ombudsman act. It’s hard for me to figure the complexities of family loyalties that sees the Aquino sisters backing a crook. I think I would have kicked Binay off the cabinet long ago. He is disloyal and he is wasting a lot of taxpayer money for personal ambition.

      • I wish then that the Ombudsman will prioritize the Binay cases. If after the case is referred for prosecution, maybe, just maybe..Mar’s numbers in the surveys will pick up, unless Binay will elevate his own case to the SC on the ground that a VP is immune from suit while he is still in office.

      • chit navarro says:

        May I ask on what you based your presumption that the “Aquino sisters backing a crook – Binay”?

        Nowhere have I read that they are backing the Binays. There was that ambush interview made with them then but their answer was taken out of context and they have explained it.

        I sincerely believe that the Aquino siblings have one voice here – the voice of the President – in relation to the Binay issue; especially when Peping & Tingting Cojuangco led the call for the resignation of their brother, the President.

        • Joe America says:

          That may be, but in the silence, a lot of us are left with the impression that Aquino friendships with the Binays persist. It even is commonly applied to the President himself. His reluctance to bring the VP under control fuels the rumors. In a vacuum, we make up our own conclusions.

          • chit navarro says:

            You yourself mentioned that you look at the President (Aquino) as a man of due process. He already said it then that if the VP can resign from his Cabinet post but the man clings like a leech to his position.

            As to the silence of the sisters, even when their mother was the President, they have always been that way. Very seldom did we get any news bytes / comments from them, even if Ballsy Aquino was then her personal secretary.

            AS for Kris Aquino’s stand, I believe she said that a long time ago, not in the light of the present revelations on the Binay’s.

        • Jose Guevarra says:

          Kris Aquino herself has said that Jejomar Binay has done so much for her family and that her support for Binay is her personal choice.

  6. karl garcia says:

    I have no problems with the sequence and scores of the Pinoy candidates.

  7. Bert says:

    Just like in surveys, as in this thread by Joe, the resulting scores depend upon the kind of question being ask of respondents. For example, if Joe’s question will be “Who do you think will win the election?” instead of “How important are we to the candidate?’, the results would be that Grace Poe will score above 50 while Mar Roxas will score below that of Jejomar Binay, :).

    • Joe America says:

      Did you read that Western Visayan governors and LGU heads are organizing to make sure their region is behind Mar Roxas? When Roxas announces, with President Aquino’s backing, the endorsements for Roxas will flood the nation. The Election is NEXT year.

      • Jose Guevarra says:

        Metro Manila is going to be a mixed bag in 2016. Votes will most likely be split along economic lines, with classes ABC going against Binay and classes DE for. I am still of the opinion that the undereducated even in Manila (never mind Makati) are still not totally buying into the corruption allegations against Binay.

        • Joe America says:

          Even in Manila, huh? The reasoned have absolutely no reach into the working stiff population.

          But I understand. My wife got into an argument with the car driver from Tacloban who held that Aquino was a bum. Any attempt to change their minds only seals them tighter to their view. It’s a big problem, for sure.

          • Jose Guevarra says:

            Yes. My place in Manila is right next to the slums (then again, who isn’t over there?). So I do have friends among the poorest of the poor. I have almost broken my friendships with a couple of them because of all the allegations against Binay and his family. My friends and I eventually agreed not to sacrifice our otherwise harmonious relationship because of someone we don’t really know from Adam.

            • chit navarro says:

              hahahhaha…. so very familiar scenario!!!!

              but I believe we can start educating them in a way NOT offensive to them…
              meaning, do NOT contradict their views right away. that’s what I did.. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  8. josephivo says:

    I like your emphasis on “The office magnifies the man”. Indeed as president there is nobody left to hold you back but yourself. Except in many cases the partner: Clinton and Clinton, FG and GMA, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, Imelda….

    The scoring seems very solid for capacity, no arguments for the rating of the candidates as far as I know them. But it leaves the pragmatic question open: voting for the best candidate even if he can’t win or voting for the best winnable candidate even if is not the best overall.

    Before I would start campaigning, I would love to see 2 more columns: Potential influence of the partner and their war chest or ability to raise money.

    • Joe America says:

      Good topics. Not the easiest to get info on. Let me prowl around. . . . or if you want one of them, let me know . . .

      I think it is much too early to discern winnability. Binay legal woes. Poe legalistic woes. Roxas backing gathering steam. Duterte, in or out.

  9. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    ” “the office makes the man”. It means that the demands (Temptations) of the job shape the person doing the work.” – JOEAM

    The Office made The Binays, Gloria Arroyo, Erap Estrada, Tanda, Pogi Sexy and so many others. I HOPE NOT MAR AND GRACE.

    What Mar and Grace needs are filtration system that comes out of their mouths. They already have made several faux pas quotable quotes which are very unpresidential but totally Filipino in cultural responses.

    • Bert says:

      I don’t know of a Grace’s faux pas quotable quotes, but Roxas as DILG chief banned the sale of hammer inside malls after a band of robbers robbed a jewelry store inside a mall. I think that’s the kind of reaction we could expect from Mar as president which I think was not a bad decision.

      • Joe America says:

        Two reactions. (1) Grace Poe’s Mamasapano Report was a formalized, lengthy faux pas, and (2) Roxas is always looking for solutions, some of which are good, some of which may be bad, but the effort is admirable. Beats staring at the floor.

    • Joe America says:

      I’m aware of Korina Sanchez making a poor statement with regard to CNN in Tacloban, and Mar Roxas lost his temper on the golf course. Other than that, both seem well spoken to me. We come to the question of perfection and our own need for it, when we ourselves fall very short.

      • Jose Guevarra says:

        I am going to let you in on a secret. If Mar wins, Korina will certainly not be the problem, but a few others on her side of the family. Korina may seem stern, but she definitely works hard and generally means very well. That’s from personal knowledge.

  10. NHerrera says:


    I like the short crisp notes on your current topic, starting with changing that concept of “the office makes the man” to “the office magnifies the man” — the office magnifying the good-character man and its counterpart, magnifying the bad-character man.

    The putting together of our local Presidential wannabes with the US Presidential wannabes before ranking or scaling them is rather creative. It probably helped you in scaling both the local and the US candidate. Neat.

    I agree with the qualitative ranking (or sequencing) of the local wannabes from Roxas at the top to Binay at the bottom — meaning, without my quibbling with the numbers.

    Trillanes has already been mentioned in the comments and your reply. I understand that Gordon has some video promoting himself (haven’t seen it myself). I will put him in the neigborhood of Poe and Cayetano, in spite of his allying himself with Binay.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Philippine Political Offices uncover the person who they really are: Honest or Dishonest, power Hungry, vain, vengeful.

    • Joe America says:

      I did the cross-over ratings with US and Philippine candidates because I think Filipinos have extraordinarily high demands of others, including their leadership, and have no idea that ALL people have personalities and shortcomings. I’d take Aquino over about a half-dozen recent US presidents and Mar Roxas is certainly preferred to a lot of those whackos running. I wonder if (a lot of) Filipinos thought more generously of themselves, they might ease up on the criticisms a bit.

      • josephivo says:

        There are Spaniards and Indians, the divide is God given. Just imagine how it feels to be at the wrong side. We Indians can discuss, evaluate, blog, but the decisions are taken elsewhere. So election are more an emotional escape valve then a democratic exercise.

        Yes, the Spaniards are replaced by a small group of dynastic Filipinos, but for most the divide still feels equally divine.

        The American situation is similar, a few dynasties and a lot of big money, but the feeling is: “all are equal”, “everyone can become a president”.

  11. DAgimas says:

    i would lump Lacson,and Christie together. they get things done and are willing to brawl hahaha with all the problems of the Philippines, an unconventional way to govern might do the trick. the enemies of the state are “tuso” and we need “gulang” to defeat them. this is where the talents of Lacson is needed, in my opinion.

    i would not vote for Hillary and Bush even if they were the most qualified. there are 330m americans and could not believe that the choices since 1990s are coming only from these 2 families. its like 3rd world politics

  12. jameboy says:

    “The Office magnifies a man.”

    I somewhat agree with what the statement implies. The office of the President or any kind of office for that matter magnifies anyone who occupies it. It magnifies one in the sense that there is a built-in protocols or procedure that one has to abide with in order to emphasize what the office stands for or what relevance an office is in terms of responsibility, power and authority. In other words, your office project the position you occupy and the trappings that go with it.

    On the other hand, it also projects or magnifies the kind of person you are in relation to the kind of position you hold. The office do not change you nor you change the office. Well, it may change you in terms of learning something or a lot of things in the course of time occupying it but who you are or your character basically remains intact. You may have started green upon occupying an office and became wiser after relinquishing it. But the core of your person is still you.

    Erap was a movie actor who became a small town mayor and ended up in Malacanang. His popularity as such was further magnified by the Office of the President for it was a merger of power and the trust of the people in him to do good by the office that he’s about to hold. Unfortunately, when he exited the Palace during EDSA 2, he was the same person when he moved in: a movie actor with the mentality of a small town mayor. In the two years that he served he magnified, not the dignity and authority of his office, but the narrow mindedness, the intellectually-challenged style of administration in running the country. The country has been reduced as the mini-me or the little San Juan. Disastrous. He diminished the Office big time in spirit and substance.

    Same thing with Gloria Arroyo. She was supposed to be a distinguished senator whose forte was economics. It turned out it was indeed her expertise but it’s not the economy of the country she’s more interested in but of her own. Initially, the Office really magnified Gloria not only as a leader but also as a woman. The opposite of the man (Erap). Sadly, it was also the proof that corruption knows no gender. And worse than Erap, after all those scandals of cheating and corruption, she clung to Office even though the entire country was demanding for her resignation. She practically made the Office stinks in her effort to remain in power. Her infamous “I am sorry” apology practically harmed the Office in terms of people not granting respect nor trust to it anymore. She entered Malacanang victorious and riding on a strong popular support only to exit as a defeated woman leader who is seen as just like the rest of them. Power hungry and corrupt.

    Noynoy Aquino, in so far as the Office magnifying the one who occupies it, was no different from his two predecessors. Only thing was, while Erap and Gloria were in the crest of their popularity in entering the Office of the President, Noynoy was in the opposite situation. He was a senator that in the years as being one has been alleged to have not accomplished that much to be deserving of the highest office in the land. He was seen as just being in the right place at the right time. In fact, he had to convince another presidential aspirant in order to secure a fighting chance of getting the Office. In other words, the country was full of hope and inspiration when the popular Erap and equally pleasant Gloria were about to occupy the Office. In the case of Noynoy, no such euphoria happened. The hope and happiness at the time can be said to be mostly coming on the side of the yellow crowd or the followers of his mother, Cory.

    But in all fairness, unlike the two former presidents before him, he was able to sail and glide the stormy, treacherous and tricky sailings of the Office of the President. No need to enumerate the obvious but PNoy was able to bring back the image of decency and propriety to an office that has become the target of most corrupt people whose agenda is to “serve”. He brought back respect and trust in the Office that people have already given up to be the domain of the vicious and the cunning. In a way, he magnified again the importance and prestige of the Office which has been badly damaged under Erap and Gloria, respectively. After all is said and done, Noynoy will relinquish next year an office he inherited (in tatters, tarnish and soiled) and will pass along to the next leader an office with renewed vigor, improved image and an institution that got back the respect and trust it fully deserved.

    Not bad for an alleged former underachieving legislator. 😀

    The issue of evaluating the presidential candidates is next. 👳

    • Joe America says:

      Keep up the good work. 🙂

    • chit navarro says:

      “Noynoy will relinquish next year an office he inherited (in tatters, tarnish and soiled) and will pass along to the next leader an office with renewed vigor, improved image and an institution that got back the respect and trust it fully deserved.”

      And it is but right that the President passes the baton to another team player, a partymate, a man whose heart is for the country and whose life has never been tarnished with corruption – Mar Roxas.

      Mar Roxas is now a seasoned government worker – He worked with Pres. GMA as Secretary of Trade where his most significant contribution is the “Call Centre” economy.

      He also authored the PESO for each municipalities – “Public Employment Service Office” – which serves as information center in each municipality to help the unemployed.

      His stint at DOTC was short-lived and many are criticizing the work he did there. But then he inherited a department with potholes as plenty and as big as those found in the streets of Metro Manila. He works at DILG without any fanfare but following the footprints of Jesse Robredo.

      Yes, Mar Roxas will make a great President after Pres. Aquino and I am rooting, with many others, for Lenie Robredo as her running mate. Both are incorruptible and with hearts that beat for the country and its people.

    • chempo says:

      As a not that well-informed foreigner, that more or less sums up my sense of the situation. Enlightening.

  13. Steve says:

    Only thing wrong with Roxas is his inability to win an election… which kind of negates everything else.

    • Joe America says:

      That seems to be a common point here. It seems to me to be rather early to draw that as a conclusion for 2016, however.

    • chit navarro says:

      Which election did he not win? – I mean, Roxas?
      Are you referring to the vice presidency in the last presidential election? That would be the only election where he lost.
      If he pursued his electoral complaint, he would have won. But he did not pursue it.
      He lost to a very corrupt and dishonest person, Binay, with the help of Chiz Escudero and the Cojuangco’s. And at that time, Binay’s extent of corruption was never discussed in public – only in whispers.

      With the backing of the ruling party, LP, he is definitely our next President. Surveys at this time are all biased in favour of the financier, Binay.

      Wait until it is officially campaign season and see Roxas’s ratings soar.

  14. edgar lores says:


    1. President Aquino is the president the country did NOT deserve. He has great character.

    2. Binay, the Great Pretender, is the president the country will deserve… if he wins. He has… is a revolting character.

    3. Mar, the Great Wannabe, will deserve the presidency… if he can find his center. He has an aspiring character.

    4. Grace, the Great Foundling, may deserve the presidency and may win it… one day. She has a secretive character.

    5. Alan, the Great Talker, may deserve the presidency but he may not win it… ever. (Could it be his mestizoness?) He has an open character.

    6. Santiago, Lacson, Duterte and Marcos are undeserving. The first three are choleric in character; the last a shadow.

    • Joe America says:

      Perfect until Marcos. Marcos has emerged from the shadow and is now demonstrating the pontificating, autocratic, single-minded mien of his father, and I suspect Dear Imelda is driving him on. Someone on twitter characterized it perfectly. He is so single minded that he is willing to toss 17 years of dedicated work by hundreds, on both the advantaged and disadvantaged side of the divide, in favor of his own personal work.

    • Bert says:

      Your no. 3, Edgar, can’t make head or tail of it, a compliment to Mar, or what? We all know he indeed has an aspiring character and been doing that for quite a very long time already. Has not gone very far up to this time. Maybe something wrong with the traction, or the person? Needing a super typhoon Noynoy to push him up to where he is aspiring to be? Poor guy.

      • edgar lores says:


        Thank you for questioning my impression.

        I may have been unfair to Mar. I have expressed an opinion of him mostly from second-hand accounts and the little I have seen of him in news media.

        In fairness to him and in an effort to know the man, I have immersed myself in viewing several of his videos on YouTube. I have come away with a vastly better impression of his sincerity to serve and, more importantly, his knowledgeability to serve.

        Many have bought the lie that he has no chances of winning, a lie that has been repeated often enough to gain a semblance of truth.

        I still think Mar has a communication problem, although I cannot pinpoint what it is. His speech before the SAF fallen was heartfelt. And he does have a sense of humor.

        Does he pause too much? Are his thoughts concretely and persuasively expressed? Is it a lack of gravitas? You tell me.

        • edgar lores says:

          On further reflection, the missing aspect of Mar’s character may be “presence.”

          I will define the term is that quality in a man which, when he enters a room, makes people turn their heads and focus on him as the center of attention.

          Does Mar have this quality? Does he have IT?

          I would say, yes, Mar has this quality but it is not “magnified.” It may be because he, as I have suggested, is not centered, is not grounded.

          When being interviewed, his responses are “airy”, not necessarily in content, but in manner. His body language is stressed, not relaxed.

          View a video of Mar with Korina. Where are your eyes drawn? Mine are drawn to Korina, but that may be because I am a man. (Ahaha!)

          Perhaps Mar can take lessons from his wife.

        • Bert says:

          In my opinion, Mar’s ‘presence’ is just fine, just as long as he does not open his mouth to say something, or do something, or make a decision. He has lost much credibility to the voting public, the reasons for the plunge of his ratings, because of his past deeds, past statements, and past decisions. the hammer ban in malls and the tricycle riding just to mention a few examples. When the campaign period starts, I think his opponents will run circles around him in person to person debates. He will find himself and his ideas hard to sell if things does not change for the better in his character. If a simple man like me and the masa voters can discern the negatives in Mar Roxas, how much more the intelligent voters.

          • edgar lores says:

            Thanks, Bert.

            Your estimate of the man is harsher than mine… and truer.

            So his responses are not only “airy” in manner but in content as well.

            Hmm, given that the alternative is not acceptable, what does one do?

            Cayetano should probably drop his hat in the ring, in anticipation of Poe’s possible disqualification… now that Poe has overtaken Binay.

            • Bert says:

              I see trouble ahead, Edgar, if Poe is disqualified for technical or political reasons. Poe’s popularity will soar to sky high in the coming days and months it would be hard to control emotions in an upheaval. The government must prepare contingencies for such an event.

              All of this will depend on what will be the next move of the president and his Liberal Party in relation to Grace Poe’s political and citizenship dilemmas.

              Just an intuition. I hope I’m wrong.

  15. chempo says:

    Joe :
    (1) I really like your idea of assessing our candidates on “the office magnifies the man” basis. If only you have a bigger platform to teach more people on this approach.

    (2)You can segment the population any way you like – your ABC’s etc…. but to me, there are only 3 distinct classes — A- those with personal ulterior motives, B – those who are educated and can assess for themselves and C – the un-educated massa. A is not an issue because it’s a fraction of the population, B is where the battles for the minds will be, and C is where the big problem lies because it’s basically the massa. Marketeers will tell you the battle for C will be won by one single factor — LIKEABILITY. This will be Binay and Poe’s forte.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, but there may be ways to shape likability that are more than Mar Roxas making speeches. For example, governors in the Western Visayas have embarked on a program to make sure their region is firmly for Roxas. I would expect to see more efforts of middle men/women and opinion makers working broadly across the Philippines.

    • Dodong says:

      The Game changer will be Erap supporting Mar Roxas in this election, and with the proper propaganda im sure it will increase Roxas chances of winning and at the same time put Binay down.

  16. Jose Guevarra says:

    I honestly think it is unfortunate that in the Philippines we elect our VP separately from the President. I’m always of the mindset that the main role of the VP is to continue working along the President’s agenda if and when the time demands it. This is why the VP is always a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes. The current awkward situation is all the proof needed. The President can’t even restrain a guy on his cabinet because the accusation will be levied “political”.

      • There you are, it could be why, up to now, he is still in the cabinet… but still the guy and his spokespersons are crying political persecution

        • Joe America says:

          Right, because it is the only thing they have to counter the facts of guilt. They’ve “politicized” (read undermined) the independent functions of Ombudsman, COA and AMLC because their audience associates “government” with President Aquino. Scurrilous . . . rascals . . .

      • chit navarro says:

        This is another answer to your own statement above : “It even is commonly applied to the President himself. His reluctance to bring the VP under control fuels the rumors. In a vacuum, we make up our own conclusions”

        The President is a patient person and is known for his legalistic attitude.

  17. jameboy says:

    In my opinion, since there was no Erap-type of guy on the line up in terms of educational background I see all ‘candidates’ to be on equal footing. Practically all of them have degrees and titles in their chosen field of expertise.

    In terms of popularity, VP Binay tops the list with Poe running close in second and Roxas third. Right now, everyone knows that Binay is going to run. A great majority, including yours truly, are convinced that Mar Roxas is running. What remains to be a puzzle was Sen. Poe’s plan. It’s a puzzle because she’s being coy about it. Even PNoy appears to be in the dark as to what her plans are, if there’s any.

    With regard to executive experience, again Binay together with Duterte is on top of the list for being the chief executive for a number of years in Makati. The two mayors lord it over among the other candidates on this category.

    Not to be outdone though is Mar Roxas’ government experience, mostly cabinet positions. He was the only one in the list that served three administrations (Erap, Gloria and PNoy). That speaks volumes in terms of his administrative competence and managerial skills.

    Since I see it as a race or rematch between Binay and Roxas, pardon me if I disregard evaluating the others in the list. Based on what I discussed above it’s very clear Binay has the edge. No one among the rest in the list, aside from Poe and Roxas, comes close to the VP. However, it is an edge that is not insurmountable. In fact, with all the scandals involving the VP, it’s an edge that is eroding by the day.

    Finally, I’m going out on a limb to say here that Poe will run as VP to Roxas. There’s no other way the PNoy administration will be able to extend its programs and the reforms it initiated but to have somebody in Malacanang that shares the same vision and purpose.

    And that guy is Mat Roxas. 😎

    • jAG says:


      • Joe America says:

        I always wonder about those who take little typos and use them to make some kind of morality judgment. It’s really weird.

        • jameboy says:

          My bad and jAG, for lack of something to say about the issue, tried to make fun of it. 🙂

          Sorry for the typo, guys. We had our laughs. So, jAG, it’s your turn to lay your piece on the article. 😊

    • If we believe the surveys Grace and the VP is in a near statistical tie. Without campaigning from Poe.

      This is the reason Toby Tiangco was vocal about Grace, even with 5 years to campaign and all the money thrown at his allies they are in a near statistical tie.

      VP is Villar. Peaked too early and will lose because 50% of our population is younger than 24. I dont know the median age of our voting population but based I’d say is less than 40.

      The demographics favor the dynamic, anyone can win with the right marketing and thus what we must consider is no longer winnability but who we really want in that seat!

  18. David Masangkay says:

    I would rate Poe with 40, if she insists to run for president in 2016. She knows she is not ready to handle that position. She is educated, and well aware that Mar is the most qualified candidate – based on character and experience. If she has concern for our national well being, then she should support Mar’s presidency.

    If she insists to run for president in 2016 – in spite of her lack of readiness, I would give her a 40 because it reflects her being “susceptible to influences other than national well being”. This quality will negate whatever ability, experience/intelligence that she has.

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, yes, excellent point, David. “Self selecting” oneself as unqualified by running. I gave Lacson that penalty but not Poe. I should have scored Poe a 40, I agree. Thanks for that correction.

    • jameboy says:

      She is educated, and well aware that Mar is the most qualified candidate – based on character and experience. If she has concern for our national well being, then she should support Mar’s presidency.
      I agree on that. My fear is that people around her, those who stands to benefit if she runs, might convince her that she’s the best thing that ever happened to this country.

      I really think that the only person, aside from Mar Roxas, who is in a position to convince Sen. Poe to stick to the conviction of putting the country first before one’s self is PNoy. And I’m of the opinion that he’ll do it. 👲

      • Bert says:

        President Noynoy will not do it if Mar’s rating does not improve. But wait, I changed my mind. President Noynoy will do it even if Mar is at the bottom. Remember Binay is a family friend. The president has nothing to lose. Unless he incur the ire of Grace and Grace won. Then President Noynoy has a problem.

  19. manuelbuencamino says:

    Saw Jeb Bush throwing his hat in the race, spiced up his speech with a little Spanish. Man that boy is even dumber and more awkward than Dubya and his speech was punctiated by cheers of USA!USA! Reminded me of his father campaigning on the pledge of allegiance and willie horton. And then last night, the Donald announced he was joining the race. CNN carried it as breaking news. The Donald told America he will find his Patton to kick the shit out of ISIL, added that he was going to out-negotiate Iran and finished off by promising he would never join a bicycle race (referring to Kerry’s accident). Then there was Lindsay Graham. the bosom buddy of angry John McCain, who is campaigning as a war president because no one knows more about defense than he does except maybe Sarah Palin. And Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, and Rand Paul… I bet if Arnold was born in the USA he would be leading the pack…What blows me away is the American people take them seriously. And the ultimate showdown will be between Jeb and Hillary? Seems like America needs an anti-dynasty law more than we do

    • Jose Guevarra says:

      the big difference between dynasties in the Philippines and in the US is that for the most part, only ONE MEMBER AT A TIME in each family occupies high-profile elective positions among Americans. There may be exceptions but rarely will you find siblings, for example, being congressmen at the same time here in the US. One the other hand, Filipino dynasts have absolutely NO SHAME about having 25 of their family members occupying as many elective posts simultaneously.

      • “25 of their family members occupying as many elective posts simultaneously”

        Let me try to count…hehe…Erap, the mayor, his 2 sons in the Senate, his legal wife once in the Senate together with Jinggoy, his mistress now San Juan Mayor, his grandsons and grand daughters (legal and racognized) in the same town, in governorship of Laguna – that’s one- Ejercito/Estrada clan…the Revillas who control Cavite, the Cayetanos who control Taguig local and national posts…wait has the anti-dynasty law been passed before this adjournment?…

        • Jose Guevarra says:

          I was exaggerating of course. But you forget how the Ampatuans divided among themselves and ruled over almost all parts of Maguindanao and even the ARMM. And then you also missed out on children and grandchildren in various city and municipal councils among Erap’f clan. And it’s not just the high-profile ones who are doing this. Local families like the Bagatsings and the Lacunas in Manila.

      • manuelbuencamino says:

        When Dubya was president, Jeb was governor of Florida. When JFK was president, RFK was Justice Secretary. There are many more examples, the Cuomos of New York, again the Kennedy’s from RFK and Ted’s families, look at all the examples of members of families one or more in Capitol Hill and the others in state houses and other local offices.

        • Jose Guevarra says:

          Again, these are more the exceptions in the US rather than the rule. You’ve got to go by proportions to see how dynasts fare in the US compared to the Philippines. More than half of elective posts in the Philippines are occupied by dynasts. Not so true in the US.

  20. Apo Chumachil says:

    Hi, Mar Roxas fanboy!
    Do you receive another supply of slippers from Madame Korina?

    Oh, I forgot! How’a Hacienda Luisita, American Noytard? Do you have any symphathy to the plight of their workers? Or do you still support the sham land reform?

    The families of Fallen 44 sent a big middle finger to you because of the fact that you’re a Noytard.


    P.S.: Never understimate the power of Philippine media, and the so-called economic growth is still a farce as it only concentrated on the oligarchs of Imperial Manila.


    • Joe America says:

      You know, Apo, this is a community of adults of considerable maturity and intellect, and you are acting the clown. Your trolling style is not permitted by the terms of the blog. You are more than welcome to advocate for your preferred candidate, or criticize on an issues-basis Mar Roxas and Korina Sanchez, according to common standards of decency. Further confrontational missives of this style, however, will be kicked into the spam bucket.

      I’m always amazed that I have to counsel grown adults about courteous behavior. Most outgrow these urges to snicker and pull verbal pranks in their teens.

      • Jose Guevarra says:

        And this is what I have always said about the uneducated, or in this case the miseducated,especially in NCR, still going for Binay. There’s just far too many of them, Joe. I’m almost ready to admit defeat to these punks.

        • Joe America says:

          I’ve started to concoct a blog for next week that will try to address this matter. I think there are ways to get through, but it won’t be me and you doing it, and confrontation won’t work. I’m growing confident that Binay is finished.

  21. Jose Guevarra says:

    So the Inquirer is reporting that for the first time, Binay is now in second place according to most polls. Binay continues to rule economic class E and Mindanao. Poe, however, is on top in NCR, the rest of Luzon, Visayas, as well as classes A through D. Hmmm, there still might be hope.

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