2010 Elections: The Presidential Candidates – What Do They Stand For?


MANILA — “The profiles of the leading presidential candidates underscore how Philippine elections continue to be basically elite-dominated and money-driven,” said Pagbabago! Co-chair Judy Taguiwalo. To help voters “gauge their candidates” the Pagbabago! People’s Movement for Change has designed the “People’s Criteria.”

The “People’s Criteria” seeks to assess the candidates’ declarations and practice vis-a-vis the “demand for meaningful change and from a patriotic, pro-people and democratic standpoint.” Using the “People’s Criteria” on key issues such as (1) truth, accountability and justice; (2) economic progress and the environment; (3) people’s welfare; (4) sovereignty, peace and equality; and (5) love of country, the group “measured” the candidates based on their track record, positions taken on government policies and explicit declarations.

Pagbabago! presented their study last Tuesday, May 4. The following are the Philippine presidential bets’ stand on key issues:

(Photo courtesy of noynoy.ph)

Benigno “Noynoy” Cojuangco-Aquino III

1. On truth, accountability and justice
— Will make Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo account for her scandals (not including extra-judicial killings) through a commission;
— Has voted against the Human Security Act (Anti-Terrorism Law), spoken out against extra-judicial killings, but consistently downplays the Hacienda Luisita massacre.

2. On economic progress and the environment
— Continues to defend his landlord family’s stake in Hacienda Luisita although he abstained from voting for CARPER (extension of failed agrarian reform program or CARP);
— Aggressive in opening up the domestic economy to foreign investors (but silent regarding large-scale mining).

3. On people’s welfare
— In lieu of a legislated wage hike, Aquino has been pushing for a law vs non-compliance with the minimum wage. But his bill on proposed productivity hikes was slammed by labor groups as undercutting their demand for legislated wage hike;
— Voted for RVAT, a regressive tax burden, and is still open to imposing new taxes.

4. On sovereignty, peace and equality
— Vocal in supporting US military presence in the country;
— Has no clear stand in resuming peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF and the MILF. Instead, he has declared a likely imposition of rights curtailment or Martial Law against forces who ‘exploit the weaknesses of the system.”

5. On love of country
— No clear stand on patriotism and nationalism.

(Photo courtesy of www.angkapatiranparty.com)

John Carlos ‘JC’ Gordon-Delos Reyes

1. On truth, accountability and justice
— Says Arroyo should be held accountable for possible crimes committed;
— Has openly opposed extra-judicial killings; has been pushing for implementation of law on Barangay Human Rights Action Centers.

2. On economic progress and the environment
— Appears to approach land reform more from the point of view of agricultural productivity rather than social justice;
— Critical of globalization and calls for a review of policies promoting such.

3. On people’s welfare
— Opposes contractualization of labor;
— Appears open to at least a moratorium on debt servicing;
— Says he will lower the VAT on food, water and electricity.

4. On sovereignty, peace and equality
— Will seek a review of the US-RP Visiting Forces Agreement and other unequal military treaties;
— Has no clear stand on resuming peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF and MILF;
— Opposed to women asserting their rights.

5. On love of country
— Supports nationalist filmmaking in particular.

(Photo courtesy of www.erap.ph)

Joseph ‘Erap’ Ejercito-Estrada

1. On truth, accountability and justice
— Avoids taking a strong stand vs Arroyo on corruption scandals;
— The only candidate convicted of plunder;
— Directly implicated in human rights violations committed by government forces as per state policy, while still president.

2. On economic progress and the environment
— During his brief presidency, land reform was subverted via widespread cancellation of farmer beneficiaries’ CLOA’s and EPs and support to corporative agrarian reform;
— Aggressive in opening up the domestic economy to foreign investors.

3. On people’s welfare
— Resisted wage hikes during his term;
— Faithfully paid debt although he at least gave relatively greater priority to education;
— Among crimes he was convicted of was pocketing hundreds of millions of pesos in tobacco taxes.

4. On sovereignty, peace and equality
— The controversial VFA was ratified under his presidency;
— Waged all-out war vs the MILF, and during his inauguration as president had promised to crush, “not love,” the rebels;
— Silent on gender issues, but openly flaunts his mistresses and children by them.

5. On love of country
— No clear stand.

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  1. I'm a supporter of Bulatlat but ain't this so BIASED? Pictures tell a thousand words. Why did you use the picture of the former President arrested and booked?

    Conviction by itself means nothing if the political environment is unfair. Gloria Arroyo is perceived as the “Most Corrupt President in Philippine History” but even rules the land and has not been impeached all through nine years of illegitimate power.

    "On sovereignty, peace and equality" – you conveniently forgot to mention that Estrada fought against the ratification of the US Bases.

    Joseph "Erap" Ejercito Estrada, the 13th President of the Philippine Republic. So unceremoniously deposed by the conspiracy of political opportunists, unpatriotic businessmen, misenlightened Church prelates, seditious military elements and stupid gullible mob during the January 2001 EDSA 2 "People Power" coup.

    Why vote for him in his renewed bid for the presidency this coming May 10, 2010 elections? There are several very good historical, moral and practical reasons why I support him. In this evolving post in the countdown to election day, I explain my vote.

    1. Erap is a Nationalist.

    In September 2009 speech, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile took to the Senate floor in defense of the former President against the tirades of now-Senator-on-the-run-for-murder-raps Panfilo Lacson. In his characterization of Estrada as a matter of personal privilege, he recounted the struggle of the nationalists, Estrada well included, in moving to terminate the protracted RP-US Military Bases Agreement.

    Enrile describes Estrada as someone who has "proved to be a true nationalist," being part of the eleven other Senators who dared vote for the abrogation of the Bases Agreement. This came despite the strong lobbying done by the pro-Bases advocates, led by no less than President Corazon C. Aquino. The pro-Bases forces tried to push for the extension of United States military presence in the country, some 92 years after the Americans colonized the land and over four decades after the Bases Agreement was first forged. Estrada and the other anti-Bases senators were denounced as the "The Dirty Dozen" by those who had no sense to assert Filipino sovereignty; on the other, the progressive nationalist groups hailed them as "The Magnificent Twelve."

    On April 19, 1988 during his 51st birthday, then-Sen. Joseph Estrada delivered his privilege speech for the abrogation of the U.S. Bases Agreement. Erap's words can still remembered today for its stirring and clarion call for the nation to muster its will and courage to assert its independence and take on the path of self-sufficiency:

    "Let this be our finest hour as we face the judgment of history. We have become so dependent on the Americans that we have not learned to be self-sufficient. Our country has been seen as a nation of beggars, a nation of prostitutes, a nation of cheaters, a nation of domestic helpers. And if we do not assert ourselves today, we will also be known as a nation of cowards. This I cannot accept and this, we must not accept. "

    More @ http://philippinecommentary.blogspot.com/2010/04/

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