Thursday, May 21, 2015

On Mar Roxas and why we haven't elected a Technocrat as President

From 1986, the Filipino electorate has elected a former housewife, a former general, a former actor-mayor and a former college professor as Chief Executives. What we haven't tried to elecThe housewife, Cory Aquino won in an election reportedly against a strongman. Her choice was more of the need of the moment thing instead of a rational and collective decision.

That former general's election came at a time of great destabilisation caused by the militant and armed component of the revolution which brought a former housewife to the palace. There was general agreement that the country needed someone who has the experience not just in war, but in peace.

When peace has been restored, we elected a former mayor-actor, the very first "democratic elections" since 1986. Estrada won due to his large network and his great appeal to the masa. Estrada's administration would have been great had it been stopped in its tracks at mid-stream. Self-moralising segments of the elite and middle forces converged and ganged up on Erap who left the palace, like his former precious idol, with his tail between his legs.    

He was replaced by a more favourable personality, whose bloodline came from the hacienda class. She nearly resigned yet was prevailed upon by several of her allies who were caught in their respective scams as well.

After her, we elected the son of the former housewife. The son will cap the 30 years since this country expunged dictatorship from its memory.

Thirty years and look at the persons we elected into the Office of the President. We elected an inexperienced housewife and the four critical years under her rule were met by deafening shouts for change. Many of us regretted electing her as a counterpose against a strongman.

The six years under Ramos was also met with controversies, as the country reeled from a very debilitating power crisis only to find itself missing several millions of pesos due to graft and corruption.

The Estrada administration was billed as the "most chaotic" yet if you look closely, the administration fared far better than Arroyo's and even of Ramos' despite the 2-year administration.

The secret is simple--during Estrada's time he recruited the best people in government and put them to manage bureaucratic posts. Mar Roxas was one.

It is time for us, ordinary folks, to take a very serious look at the Office of the President. This office is not for jokers, although we may have erred in a major way before, electing who we think fits into it but turned out to be jokers eventually, now is the time to change all that.

In an interview, Mar Roxas said he might be the best there is in a pool of Presidential aspirants, and in a way, I agree (in a belated way anyway).

Roxas is a highly educated man, an Ivy leaguer. He is experienced and I think his heart is in the right place.

The problem is Roxas is more of an analyser rather than a do-er. He ponders about the problem longer than others because his mind is wired to think that way.

In our criterion of who fits into this post, we always say that it must be a guy who thinks in a strategic manner yet has the heart to consider the welfare of the poor.

Roxas could be our perfect president but he simply cannot and will not be precisely because his brain was not wired to accept the job and show the skills necessary for a person to do things we consider presidential.

We must treat 2016 differently as we cannot afford to elect another lemon into office.