Minority president


FAIR COMMENT | Alito L. Malinao

Although some 50 individuals have filed their certificates of candidacy for president, there are only five serious contenders from whom the Filipino electorate would choose as to who will lead them in the next six years.

True to her promise, Vice President Leni Robredo filed her COC on the eve of the deadline of filing set by the Commission on Elections. The other contenders for the highest post of the land are Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, Manila Mayor Isko Domagoso and former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.

Barring any last-minute twist in her political career, it seems that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is now out of the presidential race having insisted that she is no longer interested in a national position and would finish her last term as Davao City mayor. Never mind the last-minute candidacy of Senator Ronald dela Rosa for president. It is nothing but a ploy for Sara’s entry thru substitution. But the President himself had put a stop to this speculation. In his recent interview with Pastor Quiboloy, Duterte said that his daughter is definitely not running.

Since there are six candidates, whoever wins in next May’s election will be a minority president, a repeat of what happened in the election of May 11, l992, the first election under the 1987 Constitution where Fidel V. Ramos won as a minority president.

Despite his being a hero of the l986 EDSA revolution along with Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramos, who ran under his newly formed Lakas-NUCD party won by a small margin, narrowly defeating populist candidate Miriam Defensor-Santiago of the People’s Reform Party. Ramos got the lo-west plurality in Philippine electoral history.

Santiago, who was then the agrarian reform secretary, led the canvassing of votes for the first five days, but was overtaken by Ramos afterwards. Santiago accused Ramos of fraud and filed an electoral protest citing power outages as evidence, but her protest was eventually dismissed.

In that election, Ramos got only 23 percent of the total votes cast followed by Defensor with 19 percent; Eduardo Cojuangco, 18 percent; Ramon Mitra, 14 percent; Imelda Marcos, 10 percent; and Jovito Salonga, 10 percent.
What happened in l992 could happen in next year’s election.

Family club

While we are a democracy it is terribly disgusting that some families, thinking that they are God’s gift to the nation, would now want to control the Senate.

If they win in the next election (and they will because of their political clout), the composition of the incoming Senate can be likened to a family club. Because former Vice President Jejomar Binay will join his daughter Senator Nancy Binay; former senator Alan Peter Cayetano will join his sister, Senator Pia Cayetano; former DPWH secretary Mark Villar will join his mother, Senator Cynthia Villar. The term of the three senators will end in 2025. And if the Estrada siblings, JV and Jinggoy, win, the two will complete the Senate family club.

I have always said that the Senate should be abolished because it has not done anything except conducting useless and oftentimes open-ended hearings supposedly in aid of legislation but in truth are in aid of the senators’ political ambitions.

Indeed, it is time to do away with the Senate and adopt a unicameral legislature just like what our progressive neighbors in Asia have.

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