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Sep 12

Comparative records

The present Constitution imposes only three requirements to be elected President of the Philippines:

1. One must be 40 years of age on the day of election;

2. One must be a natural-born Filipino citizen;

3. One must be able to read and write.

Presidential Bio Data

I’ve put together a comparative chart of presidents elected to office, so that readers can take a look at past presidential biodatas, for the purpose of evaluating those seeking the presidency in 2010. Lists like these, however, can’t reflect the changing attitudes and preferences of voters as to what they consider essential requirements for the presidency.

For example, there are basically two eras: 1935 to 1969 (the last pre-martial law presidential election) and post-1986 to the present. In the first era, Ramon Magsaysay, the lone non-lawyer prior to 1969, would be in many ways the major exception to the expectation of a long, sustained, record of public service beginning in local, then provincial, and legislative and executive positions. But in many ways he was the harbinger of our modern, post-party machine politics, and so ties in to the post-1986 trend Marcos helped launch by means of institutionalizing mistrust of lawyer-presidents.

Of the twelve presidents elected in national elections, the following observations can be made.

Education: seven were lawyers (all of whom were top ten in the Bar exams); two had degrees in economics; two had doctorates; only one didn’t finish college.

Pre-profession: Aside from their main professions, six had other professions/occupations, including two poets.

Military: Five achieved officer rank in the military.

Judicial: none served in the judiciary.

Legislative: three served as municipal councilors; eight have served in the lower house, with four serving as committee chairmen, and two of them as Speaker of the House; eight have been senators, and three have been Senate President, and two, Senate President Pro Tempore.

Executive: One has served as mayor; five have been provincial governors (including Magsaysay’s serving as Military Governor of Zambales); nine have held presidential or executive appointments in the bureaucracy or civil service; in addition, seven have held cabinet portfolios, with two each holding the National Defense and Foreign Affairs portfolios. Six have been elected Vice-President, four have succeeded to the presidency from that position (three by virtue of the death of the president, one by authority of the Supreme Court).

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  1. cvj

    J_ag, good luck convincing us chickens to vote for your fox. Maybe if you disguise your contempt a little at least until after the elections, you’ll do better.

  2. Carl

    On the topic of greed and wickedness, how does one capitalize on a probable Noynoy Presidency?

    1. Buy Philippine stocks on dips between now and May. Stay focused on utilities, property and, possibly, banks. Since we’re a shallow economy, most of the money to be made is in monopolies and real estate.

    2. Those with deep pockets can buy real property in Metro Manila’s more upscale areas: Trinoma, Libis, Ortigas, The Fort, Makati, Alabang. Investing in real property outside the NCR has a longer incubation period because it depends on the trickle-down effect.

    3. Wait for the euphoria rally to erupt. When everyone starts thinking that everything is just great, and that the good times are here to stay, start unloading everything. If you have connections with the new government, mortgage property or hock your business to state financial institutions for multiple times their real worth.

    4. Dump the Philippine peso and switch to FX. The Euro, Hong Kong dollar, Renminbi, Aussie dollar or Swiss Franc are preferable to USD in these times of massive U.S. deficit spending.

    5. Wait for the euphoria to wear off and reality to set in. This should start kicking in approximately 18 months to 2 years after the 2010 elections.

    6. When infighting and fingerpointing arise, wait for instability to follow. After a while, the stock market will crash, real estate will falter, and the Philippine peso will destabilize.

    7. When everything is down in the dumps, and everyone thinks that the bad times are here to stay, repeat the entire process.

    That’s the way true pirates profit from our boom and bust political cycle. There have been quite a number of success stories in this regard.

  3. Z

    Nais ko lang sana na kasama na sa pagkilatis sa kwalipikasyon ng bawa’t kandidato ay tignan din ang kanilang posisyon sa mga isyu, hal. sa reproductive health at patakarang pampopulasyon, sa pag-amyenda sa saligang batas, sa mga kinakailangang repormang pang-ekonomya, atbp. Higit sa lahat ano ang binabalak nilang gawin patungkol sa katiwalian sa pamahalaan, hindi lang ng kasalukuyang administrasyon ngunit pati ang nakaraan. Pakiwari ko wala dapat isasanto. Kahit na mahulog ang langit, hayaang mangibabaw ang katarungan.

  4. taxj

    Elections are very expensive. Surveys? Very cheap. So why not use one in lieu of the other? So, there’s no need to coalesce knowing that Glorias chicken (manok) is nowhere in the surveys? Think again.

    Gloria’s kiss of death will drive away 90% if the voters. That leaves some 10% doing her bid. Gibo’s own credentials plus his exposure as DND chief can easily yield another 10%. However creaky the frankenstein coalition is it could be good for another 10%. Can any of the frontliners beat 30% of the votes?

    Okay, so I jacked it up a bit to make it look scary enough. But we have yet to reckon with a machine generated dagdag-bawas. Surely juggling a million or more votes wouldn’t be enough to cause an engine malfunction or a failure of elections!

  5. SoP

    Re: Carl and profiting from boom and bust cycles.

    I think that the insider knowledge of a coup d’état is where traders can make the big gains. Nothing spooks the market more than tanks rolling in Makati.

    Speaking of which, is there a market for short positions in our market, ie, is short selling a common practice?

  6. benign0

    Do we vote for a candidate on the basis of a past event he is associated with or do we vote for a candidate on the basis of what he envisions the future holds for our sad nation?

    That all depends on what we fancy ourselves to be as a people — something I explore in Fixated on the past, or looking to the future?:

    De Quiros’s and his ilk’s approach to thinking is the worst kind of deductive thinking — one based on incomplete data or information that is deliberately framed along narrow lines. It is the kind that routinely adds to the ballooning miseries of this world — from the assumptions made based on historic “trends” that resulted in horrific financial crashes to the it-can’t-happen-again attitude that characterises the safety strategy of the Philippines’ passenger shipping industry.

    Why be content with deducing the future from a candidate’s background and past performance when we, as voters, can DEMAND that they clearly articulate their vision for us in unambiguous terms?

  7. SoP

    “benign0 on Mon, 14th Sep 2009 7:31 pm
    Do we vote for a candidate on the basis of a past event he is associated with or do we vote for a candidate on the basis of what he envisions the future holds for our sad nation?”

    Of all the presidentiables past and present, I feel that Panfilo Lacson was the one who made most sense and had the most gall to show his stance on national issues. Whenever I read about or see on TV his positions, I tend to agree with him 80% of the time. Not unlike others who are vague and ambiguous, either because they don’t want to alienate voters and deal makers on either side of the spectrum or they really don’t have any idea on how to solve national problems.

    Problem is, he is Panfilo Lacson, as untrustworthy as fuck, so there’s no way I’m voting for the guy.

    All I’m saying is, in gauging the possible future performance of a candidate, I’ll always choose character over platform.

  8. king del rosario

    ….to say “not voting for noynoy” is a disservice to ninoy’s legacy is kinda partial. ninoy’s biggest legacy to filipinos is democracy, but it doesn’t stop there. i believe “democracy” is a means to the end, which is “progress”.

    as a person given the democratic right to vote, i believe the best manifestation of this right and ninoy’s legacy is to ensure the philippines will move past this “martial law era mentality” and embrace the future with realism and a concrete plan.

    i believe a vote for noynoy will make us stuck in the past. i want a president that has a believable plans to propel us forward, not dwell in the past.

  9. KAIR

    SoP on Sat, 12th Sep 2009 5:40 pm
    “Erap is a joke. He’s a troll. And the media will keep feeding the troll because he attracts eyeballs.”

    Erap is not a joke. You know his deposition was unconstitutional and unjust. I’m not saying the guy has no flaws, but he had already been held accountable for misgovernance with his 6years of imprisonment in Tanay.

    Of course Erap attracts eyeballs, it’s not his fault he remains to be popular with the masses. He was the ONLY sincere leader who cared for the poor. Erap never changed his stand on issues. He had a fierce political will, and did what he and his cabinet think what was right, even though many despise his decisions.

    Realize that no one in his cabinet betrayed him even after his ouster. Also, his cabinet members were never involved in any anomaly. The elite alone hates Erap because of his stubborn take on their personal requests.

    At least Erap has a clean slate when it comes to elections. He was never accused of cheating. His landslide victory in the 1998 elections was due to his own popularity as an actor and a politician.

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