‘Weird’ bets offer to solve PH woes
SOME of them have outlandish monickers, while others might eventually be weeded out as nuisance candidates. No matter.
The ordinary folk who trooped to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Wednesday to file their certificates of candidacy (COCs) all profess to have the country’s best interest at heart, as they proffer varying solutions to its daunting problems.
A few even think out of the box in addressing perennial ills, such as repeat offenders.
If elected, retired customs officer Joseph Urquia, 66, of Surigao del Sur province, said he wanted tougher and longer sentences for these felons, who should be given less food and have their visitation rights suspended for increasing periods.
Rodrigo Lapitan of Quezon City would be as hard on those convicted of corruption who, he added, should have longer prison terms.
Not surprisingly, a retired police general said he had a 13-point program that would push, among other goals, for increased pension for retired policemen, soldiers, public teachers and civilian employees.
Not that he needs the pension raise to run a national campaign, he said. “Of course I will not run for senator if I don’t have the budget. I have my own money and I have lots of friends in the business sector,” he added.
Such show of diversity and, at times, absurdity, isn’t a reflection of an electoral system gone out of control, according to Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.
“The system is robust and democratic,” he said.
Eight keys to progress
As if to prove that, presidential contender Pascual Faustino, 77, of Zambales province, laid down “eight keys to progress,” which included strengthening the country’s once-vibrant textile and manufacturing industries.
Marianito Mendoza, who is also gunning for the presidency, promised a series of reforms that would stop corruption in the country once and for all, and unite the republic.
Fellow presidential candidate, Arturo Pacheco of Balic-balic, Manila, said he would push for free burial services for all Filipinos and a free supply of clean water to all communities.
He also wants the country to become the 51st state of the United States, but he said he would first make sure that the Philippine Navy becomes “second to none” so that the country can defend its territory against external and internal threats.
Wendell Lope of Talisay City, Cebu province, said he would push for a constitutional amendment abolishing the age requirement for the presidency, and would push as well for the conversion of the present republican system into a monarchy should he become President.
Nolbert Gil, 53, of Iloilo province, who also filed his COC for the presidency, said he would prioritize the welfare of senior citizens. They should be given “free health services by the State so they will no longer be a burden to their families,” he said.
Senatorial candidate and movie star
Alma Moreno, who is running under the United Nationalist Alliance, said her priorities would be women’s welfare, workers and poverty alleviation.
Maria Aurora Marcos of Tarlac City said she would curb joblessness and help the poor should she win the presidency, while senatorial candidate Severino “King David” Portugal of Pasay City and Camarines Sur province, said he would prioritize agriculture to make the country prosperous.
Health, housing, livelihood
Lawyer and constitutional law professor Harry Roque, who is running for the Senate under the Kabayan party-list group, said he would push for greater government funding for health, housing and livelihood projects, while Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo, said he would focus on improving the quality of education, lower taxes and bolster agriculture and the economy if he gets elected to the Senate.
Another presidential candidate, Victor Lawag, said all adult Filipinos should be given the chance and right to run for President.
“We owe it to our country to run for office and serve the people,” he said.
Lawrence del Puerto of Cagayan de Oro City couldn’t have said it better: He wanted a Philippines that “all of us can be truly proud of,” said the senatorial candidate.
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