[PRINTS & TRACES] A Champ for the Presidency?

Aug. 01, 2013

Davao Today

Nakadungog na ba mo sa pinakabag-ong balita?
Mahitungod kang Manny Pacquiao nga usa ka kongresista?
Gusto konong modagan pagka Presidente sa Republika sa Pilipinas?
[Have you heard the latest prattle in the political scene?
It’s about Manny Pacquiao, a member of the House of Representatives.
He has signified his intention to run for President of the Republic of the Philippines!]

To some, this may be earth-shaking news. But it isn’t at all a seat-jarring piece of information. Many had at some time in the zenith of his popularity as a boxing champ, predicted that Mr. Manny Pacquiao could be good material for the highest elective position of the land. And this is seen as a not-so-remote a possibility after his feat in the contest for the congressional seat in Sarangani in the legislative body.

There is also his manifest enthusiasm in getting into the political arena that reflects his latent ambitions for the Presidency. Add to this is his association with political bigwigs as Chavit Singson and former Manila mayor Lito Atienza. Certainly, he must have gotten some political tips from them or outright endorsements! We can only surmise from the mouth of Atienza himself, in bringing out the tidings, some hidden avowals of support.

If ever these speculations come true, one can just utter with awesome remark: Wow! Taasag swerte tawhana, no! Gikan sa pagka kalsadista mikatkat ngadto sa pagka Presidente? [Wow! What extraordinary feat for someone from the street rings to have climbed to the Office of the Presidency!]

We cannot question his motives any more than we can question the motives of anybody else, or the motives of his endorsers! Did we question the motives of all past candidates for this post, whether they won or lost? Motives are always given the benefit of the doubt. And no one is utterly stupid to openly disclose his ulterior motives.

Motives can only be seen and known in the effect — that is, in the outcome of one’s rule — in the fundamental policies bannered by his administration. We cannot claim someone presiding over the affairs of State as being motivated by self-aggrandizing interests until we found the effects of his graft and corrupt practices. One may not know the thief until he is caught!

Now, granting Mr. Manny Pacquiao harbors in his heart the noblest of motives, the crucial question is: What gives him the enviable confidence that he has a chance of winning in an electoral contest to become President of our Republic? Is it his fighting guts as a champion pugilist? Is it his educational attainment? Is it his performance as a congressman or brilliance as a lawmaker? Is it the avowals of his top-gun endorsers?

Your guess is as good as mine. Nothing gives as much confidence for this kind of endeavor than MONEY! Yes. This is a money-driven adventure. That is a heavenly truth. Anybody who has money will have no qualms joining the contest. As evidenced in our experience since the birth of this Republic, anybody who has the money has a big chance to win in any elections.

One can even dare say — a moneyed DOG can win in an election in our society. Because a ‘Dog’ with much money can soon be described with its name spelled backward. Oh, mind you, there are dogs of all breeds in our government posts. I soon recall a political jingle sung by an activist way back in the 1980s to the tune of the folk song Bahay Kubo:

Bahay kubo, malaking palasyo
naninirahan doon ay puro aso:
asong Presidente, asong First Lady
at marami pang iba– mga tuta nila…!

Who can challenge the fact of Manny Pacquiao’s super capacity for campaign spending?

He has not stopped earning millions by continuing to fight in the ring! Do you suppose this is not preparation for his political ambitions or more precisely, for the eventuality of his candidacy for the presidency? Let’s not be naïve, man. He knows his recipe and the ingredients for victory.

Such is the very questionable — nay detestable — fact and essence of our political reality. Ours is a kind of political leadership that is nothing but a product of a merchandising activity.

Why is it impossible for someone the likes of a Satur Ocampo, or a Teddy Casiño, who have the ablest qualities of intellectual, moral and political leadership, to run for a top post in our government? Or perhaps someone from the academe who has the most incisive and lucid analysis of our social realities like Randy David? Or perhaps, one of our street parliamentarians who are clear-headed about the problems of our society?

Simple. They have no money. But Manny Pacquiao, who is far from being on a level with any of the above-mentioned personalities, has all the money under the sky to buy the Presidency!

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