12 “People’s Criteria” to Help Filipino Voters Choose Next President

Pagbabago! and Ibon Foundation dare the Filipino people to be more critical in choosing their candidates. High on their “people’s criteria” are concrete steps by the presidential candidate to stamp out corruption and to promote human rights and stop abuses.


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MANILA — Independent think tank Ibon Foundation and Pagbabago! People’s Movement for Change gauged the presidential aspirants in a recently held forum at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City.

Using the following 12 specific issues as criteria, the two groups called on voters to be wise in choosing candidates:

1) On corruption. Will they seek the truth behind the “Hello, Garci”, NBN-ZTE and fertilizer scam to name a few of the anomalies that involved the president?

2) Human rights. Will they end the policies giving rise to human rights violations?

3) National patrimony. Will they protect the national patrimony and environment by opposing large-scale, export-oriented, and foreign-led extractive industries such as mining and oil exploration?

4) Agrarian Reform and agricultural development. Will they work for genuine agrarian reform anchored on the distribution of land to the tillers?

5) Nationalist Economic Policies. Will they work for national industrialization?

6) Jobs and wages. Will they promote job creation and uphold job security by protecting domestic industry?

7) Social Services. Will they stop the commercialization and privatization of education and health services?

Prof. Roland Tolentino and Judy Taguiwalo of Pagbabago! and Rosario Bella Guzman of Ibon Foundation (Photo by Anne Marxze D. Umil / bulatlat.com)

8 ) Taxes. Are they in favor of scrapping the reformed value added tax (RVAT) and other regressive taxes?

9) Foreign Policy. Will they work for an independent foreign policy?

10) Peace process. Will they pursue the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines?

11) Gender. Will they uphold gender equality?

12) National culture. Will they promote national culture?

“It is during election period that people’s issues are brought up and used by politicians to win votes, but there is a need to determine the genuinely pro-people, patriotic and democratic candidate,” said Roland Tolentino, dean of the UP College of Mass Communications and spokesman of Pagbabago!.

Rosario Bella Guzman, executive editor of Ibon Foundation, said that while presidential candidates Manny Villar, Gilbert Teodoro, Joseph Estrada and Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino all capture the people’s imagination using their symbols through media and new media, their stand on issues should also be reviewed.

Guzman said that Ibon’s No. 1 criteria is the candidates’ stand on corruption and prosecuting President Arroyo for her alleged crimes. Teodoro had said that he will not get involved in the prosecution of the president and will let the justice system work. Instead, he said he would focus on moving the country forward. Aquino, on the other hand, has vowed to prosecute the president but that he voted against playing the Garci tapes in Congress and even lauded Arroyo for her “I am sorry” speech.

Estrada has no clear stand on the issue and distanced himself from the opposition when they called for the resignation of the president since he was granted presidential pardon in 2007. Villar, who also faces allegations of corruption on the C-5 road extension project, has no clear answer regarding the prosecution of the president.

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  1. I wonder why this article did not include my presidential bet Nicanor Perlas. He has been topping green surveys in a row. He has a radical, comprehensive platform and a pristine track record. I would never choose any of the more popular traditional politicians over him. NICK PERLAS FOR PRESIDENT!

  2. on the part of noynoy Aquino.. please go to Noypipol…andun yung sagot niya tungkol dito….

  3. Based on your 12 "People's Criteria" to help Filipino voters choose their next president, there is only one presidential candidate who has the guts to commit to lead a government of "anim na taon na walang korapsyon" that meets your qualifications to a T. Am referring to Bro Eddie C. Villanueva.

    To know more about him and the Bangon Pilipinas Party Platform of Government that comprehensively covers your 12-point agenda and more, visit http://www.broeddie.ph.

    Kudos! Bangon bagong Pilipinas!

  4. · Edit

    not a word about the state of public education in your criteria

  5. I agree on Teodoro that the office of the President should not be used as a support base for any plan to prosecute an erring ex-president for his/her alleged anomalies.

    All the presidentiables have their own anomalies….but should also include a qualification that should also prosecute a militant group who abuse and circumvent the law and the constitution and the use the law to destroy democracy and promote their personal and Godless "communistic" means???

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