Wednesday, August 12, 2015

2016: Age of Discernment

Pope Francis’ Prayer:

“On the President and people of this beloved land of the Philippines, I ask Almighty God abundant blessings of wisdom, discernment, prosperity and peace,”


Discernment has been defined as ”little more than the ability to decide between truth and error... the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. It is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think biblically.”

There are no ambiguities. If it is wrong for your Uncle Jojo, it is also wrong for Tiangko. If it was wrong yesterday, it is also wrong today.

The 2016 Presidential election requires enlightened discernment on the part of the country’s movers, shakers and sovereign people. This is why Pope Francis’ prayer for abundant blessings of discernment on the “President and people of this beloved land of the Philippines” was both timely and fortunate.

PNoy went through a process of discernment on this one as he has done on other significant issues during his entire tenure. But it carries greater weight because of its historical importance and its effect on current and future generations.

PNoy’s Endorsement of Mar Roxas:

“I trust that you are aware that a lot is at stake, and you can't just leave anything to chance – maybe they would continue what we started, maybe they would hold accountable those who are corrupt, maybe they would improve on the economic gains and delivery of services. Maybe they would remain on the straight path.

But for me, why would we be enticed by a 'maybe' when we have the sure thing? Number one, someone who's certainly competent, certainly with no other boss but the people, is not indebted to anyone, and certainly has no other interest but the nation's.”

Aquino also addressed Roxas' low popularity ratings, which he said would go up once he is "introduced well" to the people.

“If his current numbers are low, this only means we have to work harder on making him more well-known," the President said.

While a not so well known Mar Roxas has been generating a not so great a demand, a truly better described and promoted Mar Roxas as a “supply” would definitely create its own higher demand.

I wrote it before, and I am writing it again, “The next President of the Philippines is the one endorsed by PNoy.” This is, of course, based on the assumption that the necessary factors are in place – meaning, that Roxas does not take things for granted and that the LP Machinery, its supporters, its resources, and its Message are efficiently and effectively managed.

Many political pundits and analysts are of the view that historically, the endorsements of incumbent Presidents did not help their chosen candidates. Joe de Venecia who was endorsed by President Ramos lost. Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ) who was endorsed by President Estrada lost and President Arroyo’s candidate Gilbert Teodoro also lost.

Discerning certain facts belie such a historical analysis. First, President Cory Aquino helped Fidel Ramos win. PNoy would actually be repeating history. Second, when Presidents Ramos and Arroyo endorsed their candidates, each had a low net satisfaction rating of +19 and -17 respectively. Third, when Estrada endorsed FPJ, the former was detained and no longer in government. Furthermore, FPJ was cheated out of the presidency. Most importantly, PNoy has a net satisfaction rating of +30 and climbing. He has a successful record to boot, achievements attained, and reforms to be continued. He is an Aquino who is in full control of the government machinery and has the loyalty of the Yellow Army.

In an earlier column, (Read, I suggested for all its worth, that Mar Roxas be put at the helm of DILG. I wrote, As I mentioned above, if PNoy wants continuity and stability, he should put Roxas at the helm of DILG immediately. The latter has PNoy and Robredo as role models and standards. He would have about three years to meet, show, or if necessary be trained and molded to fulfill the required role. Macho he must be.

‘Since Robredo is a “tough act to follow”, it would be cowardice to avoid it. Roxas must accept the challenge. He must ask, in fact, demand that PNoy appoint him as DILG Chief. He must assert his leadership at the LP and get the party to endorse him precisely for the party’s and the country’s future.

‘I am convinced that it is in DILG that we can find a new generation of young leaders who would emulate PNoy, Robredo and possibly Roxas in preparing and instituting social, political and economic reforms for the sake of the current and the next generations.”

Roxas became the DILG Secretary. If he did what I expected he would do during his tenure, Roxas should be more than ready for the presidential battle. He can count on Pope Francis’ prayer and PNoy’s endorsement as additional blessings!

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