So you think the US presidential elections are wild and crazy: try the Philippines!
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium
So you think that American politics, especially the 2016 presidential race, in nuts? I’ve recently acquired a curiosity about the politics of other nations, especially the Philippines, because my fiancé is from there; and their presidential race going on right now is just as colorful and crazy as ours.
It turns out that the presidential race of the Philippines corresponds with ours a little, and it’s just as contentious and dramatic as ours. Their election is in May, and there are five major candidates vying for the chief executive slot. And, they all have very interesting profiles and platforms.
It turns out four of the five candidates debated on Sunday. I’ve included the partial YouTube Video here. I hope you can speak Tagalog (Filipino), because there are no English subtitles.
There were plenty of fireworks and accusations tossed back and forth during the debate, such as lack of patriotism, corruption charges, and a claim of ineligibility due to citizenship from another country.
Grace Poe launched the opening salvo at her political rival, current Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay, over corruption charges stemming from his time as mayor of the large Philippine city of Makati.
Binay fired back, claiming that Poe’s citizenship as an American made her ineligible to become President of the Philippines, questioning her allegiance and patriotism to the country. Poe had left the country and lived as a citizen in the United States for many years before returning. The Philippine Supreme Court recently ruled that Poe was indeed eligible to run.
Said Binay, “You always say you’re a true Filipino, but how can you be one when you took an oath to become an American and you abjured, you were ashamed of where you came from?”
Binay found himself under attack again, this time from the popular mayor of Davau City Rodrigo Duerte, who called for Biney to resign from office and quit the political race over his current corruption scandal.
Said Duerte, “”I’d like to be very, very brutally frank to the vice president. Sir, you have so many cases … that’s public knowledge.”
Duerte had plenty of criticism to go around. He attacked his opponent former secretary of interior Mar Roxas over his lackluster response to the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan of 2013. Duerte claimed that Roxas was a weak leader who acted “zombie like” in the midst of the crisis.
Roxas responded with attacks of his own against Duerte, calling him a dangerous leader who responds only on allegations. Duerte has been tough on crime in his city where it is rumored he has utilized death squads to kill drug pushers and addicts in what has been called, “extra-judicial killings”. I will not speculate on whether the rumors are true or not.
A fifth presidential candidate, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, did not participate in the forum. She is said to be battling cancer.
A final debate is scheduled for April. The election is scheduled for May 9th.
Want to know where the candidates stand? Check out this article from CNN here.
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