The Philippines and the Filipino people are at a crossroads of their political destiny. Their 2016 elections offer the Filipino people an opportunity to continue a program of rebuilding a political system patterned after the US government and purging it of corrupt family dynasties or – please forbid – to validate corruption and the propagation of political dynasties. The task of choosing between good and evil will be trying because for many Filipinos entitlement and favor are ways of life – many Filipinos consider it acceptable and just for a person to reap benefits from public office in spite of laws that prohibit and punish bribery, graft, and corruption.
The two paths at the crossroads are two political parties and their candidates for president. On one path is Mar Roxas who represents good government and who is the official candidate of the Liberal Party (LP). On the other path is Jejomar Binay, who represents family dynasties and epitomizes corruption, and who is the official candidate of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). Roxas is the country’s current Secretary of the Interior and Local Government while Binay is the country’s sitting vice president.
The Liberal Party’s platform carries incumbent president Benigno S. Aquino III’s “Straight Path” (Daang Tuwid) program that promises transparency, accountability and fairness in government. The United Nationalist Alliance believes in a totalitarian government where absolute power is used to feed the people palliatives while government officials rob them blind.
The Liberal Party is for continuing good relationships with the Western world, especially the US, while UNA – as Binay has often declared – will move closer toward its Asian neighbors and a dictatorship of the elite. (It will be noted that Vice President Binay and his son Makati City mayor JunJun Binay have been charged with the crime of plunder by the Philippine Office of the Ombudsman. The vice president’s wife Elenita was a Makati City mayor while his two daughters, Abigail and Nancy, are a congresswoman and a senator, respectively.)
By his own utterances, if Binay is elected president he will work toward entrenching his self in power just like Ferdinand Marcos tried to. More ominously, Binay will make sure his family members are in positions of power – a move that will protect and preserve his entrenchment (all three children – JunJun, Nancy and Abigail – currently hold powerful government positions). Under a Binay presidency graft and corruption will be rampant – and before one knows it the country will end up under a family dictatorship. Vice President Binay himself has said a dictatorship is what the country needs.
A Mar Roxas election will mean the government continues the current administration’s program – completing the move toward good government, the eradication of graft and corruption, and the elimination of family political dynasties. Additionally, a Roxas victory will see hundreds of plunderers placed behind bars as the country’s Office of the Ombudsman pursues its anti-graft campaign.
The crossroads may get complicated a bit with the addition of third-party candidates such as Senator Grace Poe and Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte. If any or both of them decide to put up a candidacy (the odds are slim that they will) and make a determined run for it, the people’s choice will still be one between Roxas and Binay – between good and evil.
And it should be an easy choice. For who is the Filipino that will allow his country to go down the drain and into a regime of dictatorship, graft and corruption?