Monday, April 27, 2009

Mar and Korina, why can't I be happy for them?

I am so happy I can't stop laughing.

But my Facebook buddy and long time friend Louis the King from Upsilon had a different take. He said that the masa was so kilig by the Mar and Korina engagement announcement, it may just as well swing votes for Senator Roxas and this might win him the Presidency.

And, did you see the 50-ish bachelor cry because, like my candidate, the emotions were running a bit too high.


In a land where people voted for Erap as President, this is very plausible. Then again, if surveys really count for anything, Mar seems to be lagging behind. Let's see if the wedding drama on noon time TV can work some magic for Mar.

I have nothing against Mar. I worked for him ages ago and I know he is a decent guy. If you want a relatively clean candidate, one who hasn't been accused of corruption, then he is your guy.

As congressman, he successfully got an education law enacted and as Trade Secretary, one of his pet projects was to give away computers under the Japanese funded PCs for Public Schools program.

Cheaper Medicines through parallel importation is a brainchild of his and we now have the Cheaper Medicines law -- where the cheaper medicines actually are, is another matter.

Whatelse did he do?

Well, he hurled choice gutter language at President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for choosing to push for Charter Change.

He's giving away lawyer services for those affected by the sinking of some pre-need plan companies.

He also rode a padyak or pedicab in a TV commercial -- one I really hate.

What more? Honestly, I don't know. That is what bothers me.

You can ask the same thing about Senator Manny Villar, Vice President Noli De Castro, Senator Loren Legarda and even Senator Chiz Escudero.

What more?

I am one with Better Philippines in his call to demand more from our candidates.

My suggestion is this, why don't we look at the 2010 Presidential elections as a job interview.

The job itself is very difficult and crucial. It is to lead the country out of the cess pool it is sinking in.

We need someone who knows what to do and where to go.

We need someone who not only claims to know what to do and where to go, but also has experience in saving people from tough situations.

We need someone who, beyond all of this, already has a long standing record of saving people from tough situations.

Does Mar have the backbone to really crack the whip on corruption? What if some of the people he has to battle are as rich and as powerful as he is or maybe even more powerful?

To get an inkling of Mar's political DNA and therefore find out what kind of leader he'll be, you have to do some research and find out what his grand father, Manuel Roxas I did during the Japanese Occupation.

After Quezon's departure, Roxas went to Mindanao to direct the local resistance.

In 1942 Roxas was captured by Japanese forces and was imprisoned as a prisoner-of-war at Bukidnon, Mindanao.

For fifteen weeks he was interrogated and threatened with death, rescued only by members of the Japanese puppet government under José Laurel's sponsorship.

He was returned to Manila and joined Laurel.

His records under the puppet regime was unclear.

A resistance group's offer in 1943 to extricate him was declined, "he either thought the plan unsafe or was feeling friendlier toward the enemy; it is impossible to tell", said William Manchester.

Dr. Emigidio Cruz, an army major and also Quezon's personal physician, infiltrated Manila and made contact with Roxas in fall of 1943, Roxas made known to Cruz that he had no interest to go to the United States, while at the same time did not report Cruz to Japanese authorities.

The next year another mission was planned to infiltrate another operative to speak to Roxas, but it was tipped off and everyone involved in that plot was beheaded, except for Roxas.

Records were not clear whether Laurel granted amnesty for Roxas, if the Japanese valued Roxas' presence in the puppet regime, or perhaps if Roxas was actually the source of the tip.

In Oct 1943, he helped to write the constitution of Laurel's government and signed the final draft. He later became the head of the Economic Planning Board and the Biba, the powerful branch of government that regulated rice distribution.

When Philippines was liberated by MacArthur's forces, Roxas was originally arrested under the charge of collaborating with the enemy, but MacArthur cleared him. His rank in the US Army was also reinstated.

Many Filipinos forgave his apparent collaboration for that he was rumored to had been a valuable inside agent for resistance fighters and guerrilla groups during Japanese occupation.

He assumed his elected position as the president of the Senate in 1945. In 1946 Roxas ran for presidency under the Nacionalista Party ticket, and defeated Sergio Osmeña; he won the election of 23 Apr and became the first president of the new independent Filipino republic.

Elpidio Quirino was his running mate who became the vice president.

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