1. Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay
2. Quezon City Mayor Sonny Belmonte
3. Vice President Noli de Castro
4. Senator Chiz Escudero
5. Former President Joseph Estrada
6. MMDA Chair Bayani Fernando
7. Senator Dick Gordon
8. Senator Loren Legarda
9. Senator Ping Lacson
10. Senator Kiko Pangilinan
11. PLDT Chair Manny Pangilinan
12. SC Chief Justice Renato Puno
13. Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio
14. Senator Mar Roxas
15. DND Secretary Gilberto Teodoro
16. Senator Manny Villar
17. El Shaddai Head Mike Velarde
18. Jesus is Lord Movement Bro. Eddie Villanueva
Six months from now the list will become shorter - sagging survey ratings, decreasing campaign contributions, lack of machinery support from established political groups, internal power struggles within their campaign HQs, etc. are just some of the usual reasons for the collapse of many a campaign. Judging from previous elections, the presidential race will eventually boil down to just six or seven contenders. It is impossible at this point to predict who among the 18 will be the winner in 2010. But I am certain that the next president will not be able to garner more than 50% of the vote and we are again looking at a minority-elected president in 2010.
In the belief that giving our people more choices is better than just limiting it to just two or three, the framers of the 1987 Constitution instituted the multi-party system which encourages the participation of as many political parties and candidates as possible in elections. This logic is well and good if you're shopping for an anti-dandruff shampoo but, if applied to politics, is problematic and this multi-party system has in fact turned our elections into a circus. Nowadays, presidential elections in the
In an election with six equally-strong candidates, one can win even with only 25% of the vote, as Ramos did in 1992. Hell, Erap got only 40% of the vote in 1998 and most people considered it a "landslide" already. In today's political equation, Chiz Escudero could very well win the 2010 election by just winning in Bicol and Metro Manila or Mar Roxas by just carrying the three Visayas regions (Regions 6, 7 and 8). We may very well see in the near future a president elected by a mere 15% of the voters in a hotly-contested election with 10 or more serious candidates.
Unless we can find a way to whittle down their number to just two or three candidates, I am afraid that the
This is why I support the bill filed by Iloilo City Congressman Raul Gonzalez, Jr. that would require a run-off election in case no candidate for president and vice president garners more than 50% of the total votes cast in the election. House Bill No. 6183 primarily seeks to prevent the election of a minority president and I will cite its Explanatory Note here because it pretty much explains the reasons why we need a majority president:
Even before his term of office begins, a minority-elected president is already at a great disadvantage. Instead of “hitting the ground running” so to speak, a chief executive who is elected by a mere plurality or less than 50% of the total votes cast, first, would have to strike alliances with various political groups in order to solidify his hold on power and govern more effectively. Lacking the confidence of a decisive mandate, the newly-elected minority president understandably would be averse to introduce necessary but unpopular reform programs and would be more susceptible to the influence of vested interests.
All of our post-EDSA presidents were minority presidents. Fidel Ramos in the 1992 elections got only 24% of the vote. Despite being reputed to be very popular among the masses, Joseph Estrada, only managed to get 40% of the votes in 1998 while our incumbent president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, got about 39% of the votes in the last 2004 elections. By contrast, all except one of our pre-EDSA presidents were elected by majority vote. Manuel Quezon got 68% of total votes cast in the 1935 elections and a resounding 82% in 1941. In the 1946 elections, Manuel Roxas received 54% of the vote while in 1949, Elpidio Quirino got 51%. Ramon Magsaysay won in the 1953 elections with a decisive 69% of the vote while Carlos Garcia prevailed in 1957 by a mere plurality of 41% of the total votes cast. In 1961, Diosdado Macapagal defeated Garcia garnering 55% of the vote while in 1965, Ferdinand Marcos in turn routed him cornering likewise 55% of the total votes cast. Marcos would go on to win in the 1969 elections getting 61% and in the 1981 special elections with an unbelievable 91% of the vote.
This bill proposes to modify the way we choose our presidents and vice presidents by requiring that to be declared winners, candidates for the two highest positions in the land must garner at least 50% of the total votes cast in the election. In the event that no candidate has garnered more than 50% of the vote, the bill provides for a mechanism wherein another election may be held between the top two presidential and/or vice presidential candidates not later than three (3) weeks after the first election. Necessarily, this proposal for a “run-off election” entails that a “surgical” amendment to the Constitution be made, specifically in Article VII, Section 4.
What our country needs today is a strong national executive who possesses a clear and indubitable mandate from the people so that he can have the necessary political capital to deal with vested interest groups, implement difficult reforms as well as unite our nation especially during crucial times. If allowed to continue, the current plurality system will eventually lead to a situation wherein a candidate could get himself elected president with a mere 20% or even less of the vote in an election wherein there are eight or more solid contenders.
I think what the Explanatory Note leaves out is that a majority president will also discourage future military adventurism and coup 'd etats in the
I believe that Filipinos in general are already sick and tired of so many self-appointed "presidentiables" promising reforms and peddling themselves as messiahs that will lead this country out of its poverty. It used to be that to be considered "presidential timber," a politician first has to show exceptional leadership qualities and a good track record of public service, and even that is not enough to be elected president. Today, it seems that any Tom, Dick and Harry can aspire for the presidency. During the period of the two-party system in the