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UST Holds Harapan: The ANC and ABS-CBN Presidential Forum

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December 2, 2009 – the University of Santo Tomas Medicine Auditorium housed Harapan: the ANC and ABS-CBN Presidential Forum. Hosted byTed Failon, seven presidentiables for the 2010 election answered some of Philippines’ biggest questions. The seven runners that were in attendance were Olongapo City Counselor JC de los Reyes from Ang Kapatiran party, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III from the Liberal Party, Sen. Richard “Dick” Gordon of Bagumbayan party list, Fr. Eddie Villanueva from Bangon Pilipinas party, the Independent Nicanor Perlas, former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada from Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, and the Secretary of National Defense of the Philippines, Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD. The eight spot was for Sen. Manny Villar but did not make it due to an important business meeting.


What is their advantage over other candidates?

Every candidate surely has an upper hand from the others. JC de los Reyes said that his being idealistic is a plus for him, and the reason that he accepted the challenge to run as president is to bring religion into politics. “Hindi hinangad tumakbo bilang pangulo” was the said advantage by Sen. Noynoy Aquino, that he runs for the people’s sake. Sen. Gordon retold some of his legacy as the youngest delegate when he was still a law student at the University of the Philippines and he has done major improvements in Olongapo as a mayor and in Subic. Bro. Eddie believes in hope, loves liberation and says that he will bring our fallen country back to the top. The environmentalist Nicanor Perlas wants to bring a new vision to the government with the use of his agricultural background. Former President Joseph Estrada says that he has the biggest experience with almost thirty years of political experiences including two and a half year as president, which, according to him, he won without any vote buying and no “Hello Garci”. Sec. Gibo told everyone that he is planning on investing education and health care program if he won as president.

Gibo remains loyal to PGMA, other wants her out of the way

It is known to all that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will run for Pampanga 2nd district’s congresswoman this 2010 and it is most likely that she’ll win and become the speaker of the house. But the hopefuls have other plans, disregarding Sec. Gibo Teodoro, who said that he will make it possible for PGMA to become the speaker of the house. Erap, Perlas, Bro. Eddie and Noynoy said that they won’t even allow PGMA to have any government power because, according to them, it is a disgrace to the office of the president and that our country had enough of her senselessness. Sen. Dick Gordon on the other hand questions PGMA’s plan to run on 2010. Is it for self defense? Or is it to influence the office of the president and to change the form of our government into a parliamentary government?


Nothing new; Erap humiliates himself

Like every forum that former president Erap attends to, he always gives laughter to everybody. A UP student asked him “What vices or luxury can you live without?” It is known that gambling is one of the reasons why he was thrown out of the presidency on the year 2000. He gladly answered the question with something not everyone is expecting, helping the poor. That answer brings the whole auditorium to laugh their lungs out. Does he intend to make things lively by throwing a joke or he just doesn’t have the vocabulary to answer some questions?


No dynasty threat for the candidates

Political dynasties don’t concern the candidates. Dynasty isn’t bad for the Filipino community if they are equitable politicians. Most of the candidates also said that it’s up to the people if they want the dynasty to end and to do that, the dynasty must be defeated fair and square.


Article by: Franz de Jesus

Photos by: JC Sioson and Faye Tandog

Captions by: Marco Contiga


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