Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dr. Manny Pacquiao for VEEP?

My barber called to tell me about the recent discussions at the barbershop. He was wondering what my views were on the following:

First, on the latest news that “some members of the United Nationalists Alliance (UNA) are pushing for the Jejomar Binay-Manny Pacquiao tandem for the presidential elections in 2016;”

Second, on the rumor that Binay and UNA are now supporting an amendment to the Constitution; and

Third, that Pacquiao’s qualifications for the second highest office of the land include a doctorate degree.

On the first - I heard the same news. There are UNA members who are really pushing for it. These are smart and knowledgeable people who know the law.

Vice President Binay also indicated that he is “open to the idea 
noting how Pacquiao has shown his willingness to help and leadership as representative of Sarangani. “

"At ang importante sa lahat maka-Diyos at makabayan," added Binay of Pacquiao. (The most important of all is his being Pro-GOD and Pro-Country).

Binay, as we know, is a lawyer who is also presumed to know the law.

The Philippine Constitution provides under Article VII:

“Section 2. No person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.
Section 3. There shall be a Vice-President who shall have the same qualifications and term of office and be elected with, and in the same manner, as the President. He may be removed from office in the same manner as the President.”
I told my barber that under the current Constitution, Manny Pacquiao is not qualified to run for Vice President in 2016. He must be at least 40 years old on the day of the election. He was born on December 17, 1978, meaning is currently 35 years old and will only be 37 by the May 2016 elections.

But why are Binay and some UNA members even seriously considering it? They should have known that he is not qualified.

This brings us to the next issue.

“Is this why they are now open to amending the Constitution?” my barber asked. “Changing the age qualification for President and Vice President would allow Pacquiao to run as Binay’s running mate,” answering his own question.

They would make an interesting team in the 2016 Presidential elections. It would be a combination of Human Rights Lawyer (Binay) and a Doctor of Humanities (Pacquiao).

My barber reacted with passion, “Pacquiao only completed an elementary education and obtained a high school diploma from the Department of Education for passing a high school equivalency exam. Yes, he enrolled for college, but never obtained a college degree. How can he have a doctorate?”

My barber who earned his college degree while cutting hair and making hairline distinctions did not know this - that Pacquiao was conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humanities (Honoris Causa) by Southwestern University (SWU) in Lahug, Cebu City “in recognition of his boxing achievements and humanitarian work.” That’s why he can be called Dr. Manny Pacquiao.

Why the sudden interest in Pacquiao as a running mate for Binay? The barbers are unanimous in their view – UNA and Binay would like to ride on the popularity of Pacquiao as a champion boxer, not for anything else.

According to the recent survey conducted by Pulse Asia those who prefer Binay as presidential candidate in 2016 is now down to only 31% - a 10% decline from the last survey. His approval ratings also went down by 15% also according to another Pulse Asia survey. The trend is for it to decline further as investigations on alleged overpricing and corrupt activities in Makati during his term and those of his family continue.

Could Dr. Pacquiao help arrest or cure this decline?

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