RP Presidential Candidates — What Do They Stand For?

by Kobakila News

MANILA — “The profiles of the leading presidential candidates underscore how Philippine elections continue to be basically elite-dominated and money-driven,” said Pagbabago! Co-chair Judy Taguiwalo. To help voters “gauge their candidates” the Pagbabago! People’s Movement for Change [2] has designed the “People’s Criteria [3].”

The “People’s Criteria [4]” seeks to assess the candidates’ declarations and practice vis-a-vis the “demand for meaningful change and from a patriotic, pro-people and democratic standpoint.” Using the “People’s Criteria” on key issues such as (1) truth, accountability and justice; (2) economic progress and the environment; (3) people’s welfare; (4) sovereignty, peace and equality; and (5) love of country, the group “measured” the candidates based on their track record, positions taken on government policies and explicit declarations.

Pagbabago! presented their study last Tuesday, May 4. The following are the Philippine presidential bets’ stand on key issues:

(Photo courtesy of noynoy.ph)

Benigno “Noynoy” Cojuangco-Aquino III

1. On truth, accountability and justice
— Will make Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo account for her scandals (not including extra-judicial killings) through a commission;
— Has voted against the Human Security Act (Anti-Terrorism Law), spoken out against extra-judicial killings, but consistently downplays the Hacienda Luisita massacre.

2. On economic progress and the environment
— Continues to defend his landlord family’s stake in Hacienda Luisita although he abstained from voting for CARPER (extension of failed agrarian reform program or CARP);
— Aggressive in opening up the domestic economy to foreign investors (but silent regarding large-scale mining).

3. On people’s welfare
— In lieu of a legislated wage hike, Aquino has been pushing for a law vs non-compliance with the minimum wage. But his bill on proposed productivity hikes was slammed by labor groups as undercutting their demand for legislated wage hike;
— Voted for RVAT, a regressive tax burden, and is still open to imposing new taxes.

4. On sovereignty, peace and equality
— Vocal in supporting US military presence in the country;
— Has no clear stand in resuming peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF and the MILF. Instead, he has declared a likely imposition of rights curtailment or Martial Law against forces who ‘exploit the weaknesses of the system.”

5. On love of country
— No clear stand on patriotism and nationalism.

(Photo courtesy of www.angkapatiranparty.com)

John Carlos ‘JC’ Gordon-Delos Reyes

1. On truth, accountability and justice
— Says Arroyo should be held accountable for possible crimes committed;
— Has openly opposed extra-judicial killings; has been pushing for implementation of law on Barangay Human Rights Action Centers.

2. On economic progress and the environment
— Appears to approach land reform more from the point of view of agricultural productivity rather than social justice;
— Critical of globalization and calls for a review of policies promoting such.

3. On people’s welfare
— Opposes contractualization of labor;
— Appears open to at least a moratorium on debt servicing;
— Says he will lower the VAT on food, water and electricity.

4. On sovereignty, peace and equality
— Will seek a review of the US-RP Visiting Forces Agreement and other unequal military treaties;
— Has no clear stand on resuming peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF and MILF;
— Opposed to women asserting their rights.

5. On love of country
— Supports nationalist filmmaking in particular.

(Photo courtesy of www.erap.ph)

Joseph ‘Erap’ Ejercito-Estrada

1. On truth, accountability and justice
— Avoids taking a strong stand vs Arroyo on corruption scandals;
— The only candidate convicted of plunder;
— Directly implicated in human rights violations committed by government forces as per state policy, while still president.

2. On economic progress and the environment
— During his brief presidency, land reform was subverted via widespread cancellation of farmer beneficiaries’ CLOA’s and EPs and support to corporative agrarian reform;
— Aggressive in opening up the domestic economy to foreign investors.

3. On people’s welfare
— Resisted wage hikes during his term;
— Faithfully paid debt although he at least gave relatively greater priority to education;
— Among crimes he was convicted of was pocketing hundreds of millions of pesos in tobacco taxes.

4. On sovereignty, peace and equality
— The controversial VFA was ratified under his presidency;
— Waged all-out war vs the MILF, and during his inauguration as president had promised to crush, “not love,” the rebels;
— Silent on gender issues, but openly flaunts his mistresses and children by them.

5. On love of country
— No clear stand.

(Photo courtesy of www.dickgordon2010.com)

Richard ‘Dick’ Juico-Gordon

1. On truth, accountability and justice
— Says Arroyo should be held accountable for possible crimes committed;
— Voted for Human Security Act (Anti-terrorism Law).

2. On economic progress and the environment
— Appears to approach land reform more from the point of view of agricultural productivity rather than social justice;
— Aggressive in opening up the domestic economy to foreign investors, even in large-scale mining.

3. On people’s welfare
— Silent on wage hike;
— Appears open to at least a moratorium on debt servicing;
— Voted for RVAT, authored the sin taxes law and now pushing for tax on texting.

4. On sovereignty, peace and equality
— Vocal in supporting US military presence in the country;
— Has no clear stand on resuming peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF or MILF.

5. On love of country
— No clear stand.

(Photo courtesy of www.jambymadrigal.com)

Maria Ana Consuelo ‘Jamby’ Madrigal-Valade

1. On truth, accountability and justice
— Says Gloria Arroyo should be held accountable for crimes she and her family have committed;
— Opposes extra-judicial killings, saying “people who love the Philippines” ought not to be killed;
— Voted against the Human Security Act (Anti-Terrorism Law).

2. On economic progress and the environment
— Spells out and filed some related laws for a nationalist economic program of genuine agrarian reform, industrialization and protection of the national patrimony;
— Voted against the free trade deal with Japan, but voted for CARPER (or extension of the failed agrarian reform called CARP).

3. On people’s welfare
— Takes on all of workers’ major demands including P125 legislated nationwide wage hike, a ban on contractualization, and defense of migrants’ rights;
— Has the most defined advocacy for canceling onerous debts, imposing a cap (on debt servicing), and even demanding reparations for payments already made on onerous debts;
— Voted against the RVAT and other regressive tax measures.

4. On sovereignty, peace and equality
— Clearly opposes foreign military presence in the country and stands for the repeal of military treaties with the US;
— Supports resumption of peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF and the MILF and addressing the socio-economic and political roots of the conflicts;
— Most specific in identifying and opposing various forms of gender inequality such as unequal pay, discriminatory access to work, sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse, and sexist culture and biases.

5. On love of country
— Only Madrigal and Villanueva actively promote nationalism and patriotism, including but not restricted to prioritizing the national language as medium of instruction.

(Photo courtesy of www.nickperlas.com)

Nicanor Jesus ‘Nicky’ Pineda-Perlas

1. On truth, accountability and justice
— Says Arroyo should be held accountable for possible crimes committed;
— Has no strong stand vs extra-judicial killings.

2. On economic progress and the environment
— Appears to approach land reform more from the point of view of agricultural productivity rather than social justice;
— Expresses being critical of so-called globalization and calls for a review of policies for such, also acknowledges importance of developing local manufacturing.

3. On people’s welfare
— Silent on increasing wages;
— Amenable to changing the law on automatic appropriation for debt servicing;
— Vows to lessen the tax burden on the poor.

4. On sovereignty, peace and equality
— Seeks a review of the US-RP Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and other unequal military treaties;
— Supports peace talks and addressing the socioeconomic and political roots of the conflicts;
— No clear stand on gender biases.

5. On love of country
— No clear stand.

(Photo courtesy of www.gibo.ph)

Gilberto Eduardo Gerardo ‘Gibo’ Cojuangco-Teodoro Jr.

1. On truth, accountability and justice
— As an administration bet, evades the issue of making Arroyo accountable to scandals by saying it is a matter for the courts;
— Voted against the controversial Human Security Act (Anti-terrorism Law), but, as Arroyo’s defense secretary, is directly implicated in human rights violations committed by government forces based on state policy.

2. On economic progress and the environment
— Would rather shift focus from land distribution to improving productivity;
— Aggressive in opening up the domestic economy to foreign investors, even in large-scale mining.

3. On people’s welfare
— Silent on wage hikes;
— Promises to faithfully pay debt service and give relatively greater priority to education;
— Proposes raising the VAT, a regressive tax, from 12 to 15 percent.

4. On sovereignty, peace and equality
— Vocal in supporting US military presence in the country;
— Advocates greater militarism and criticizes the “hearts and minds” approach to insurgency as too soft;
— Has no clear stand on gender biases.

5. On love of country
— Has no clear stand.

(Photo courtesy of www.broeddie.ph)

Eduardo ‘Eddie’ Cruz-Villanueva

1. On truth, accountability and justice
— Says that Arroyo should be held accountable for possible crimes committed;
— Opposes extra-judicial killings.

2. On economic progress and the environment
— >Appears to approach land reform from the point of view of agricultural productivity rather than social justice;
— Acknowledges to some degree the importance of developing local manufacturing, also critical of so-called globalization.

3. On people’s welfare
— Supports higher wages;>
— Appears open to at least a moratorium on debt servicing;
— Says he wants progressive taxation.

4. On sovereignty, peace and equality
— No clear stand on resuming peace talks, but acknowledges the underpinnings of conflict. His “long-term peace agenda” includes socioeconomic measures;
— No clear stand on gender biases.

5. On love of country
— Only Villanueva and Madrigal actively promote nationalism and patriotism, including but not restricted to prioritizing the national language as the medium of instruction.

(Photo courtesy of www.mannyvillar.com.ph)

Manuel ‘Manny’ Bamba-Villar

1. On truth, accountability and justice
— Says that Gloria Arroyo should be held accountable for possible crimes committed while in office;
— Affirms seeking justice for the human rights victims from the Marcos dictatorship to the present.

2. On economic progress and the environment
— Did not vote for CARPER (the law extending the failed agrarian reform or CARP). Promises to review agrarian reform, but is a real estate developer facing allegations of land-grabbing;
— Acknowledges importance of developing local manufacturing, and also expresses being critical of so-called globalization while calling for a review of policies related to it.

3. On people’s welfare
— Supports higher wages, open to legislated wage hike;
— Amenable to pursuing debt relief;
— Voted for RVAT and so-called sin taxes, and still open to imposing new taxes.

4. On sovereignty, peace and equality
— Seeks a review of the US-RP Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and other unequal military treaties;
— Supports peace talks and addressing the socioeconomic and political roots of the conflicts;
— Has no clear stand on gender biases.

5. On love of country
— Has no clear stand on nationalism and patriotism. (Bulatlat.com) [1]

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