Jess Sison, who worked for Magsaysay, writes,
I am observing the speeches and statements of Fernando Poe Jr. because I think there is an attempt to project him as another Ramon Magsaysay. Note what he said in his speech last Feb. 10 at the Cuneta Astrodome: “Mayroon pong isang dayuhang nagtanong sa akin, kung ano raw ang mabigat na problema ng nakakaraming kababayan natin sa bansa sa araw-araw. Ang sagot ko po ay almusal, tanghalian at hapunan.”
In 1955, President Ramon Magsaysay said in a speech in Cabanatuan City: “Ang demokrasya po ay kumakain tayo ng umaga, kumakain tayo ng tanghali, kumakain tayo ng gabi, malinis ang tubig na iniinom natin at mahimbing ang ating tulog sa gabi. Hindi po ba ‘yan ang demokrasya?” Notice the similarity?
FPJ represents a living link to an authentic tradition of leadership in our country which to the uninformed, might surprise them as it includes Quezon, Roxas, and Magsaysay. FPJ represents the yearnings not just of the poor, but for many Filipinos across the board, for a leader who leads and to lead, you must have charisma, which FPJ has in spades. FPJ also taps into the different kind of yearnings that make some people miss Marcos, but that’s another topic.
The biggest thing that bothers me about FPJ is not the man himself, but the people around him, and I suspect FPJ’s dilemma is he knows he’s surrounded by some malodorous types that are the equal, if not worse, than the skunks that have so harmed GMA.
So my misgiving is, a leader is also measured by those who follow him. Magsaysay was surrounded by people of talent and integrity who gravitated to him for the same reasons the masses adored The Guy: where are FPJ’s equivalents of Raul Manglapus, Manuel Manahan, Arsenio Lacson, Jose P. Laurel, and so on?