Here are my quick, tentative, oversimplified thoughts on the four candidates to rate higher than 1% in the latest SWS survey:
- Noynoy Aquino. Currently perceived as the frontrunner, his most positive trait seems to be his clean image which can be a potential unifying force for the country. His famous name recalls the heroism of his father and the sincerity of his mother. Unfortunately his positive qualities seem to stop at his name. He has had a poor record as a Senator, a poor record as a Congressman, and an undistinguished private life before that. I have nothing particularly against him myself, but the empty zeal of his supporters is off-putting.
- Manny Villar. Previously perceived as the frontrunner until the death of Noynoy's mom. He has a distinguished record as Speaker of the House of Representatives, President of the Senate, and an extremely successful career in real estate. His rags-to-riches story of a self-made billionaire is something that I can appreciate. However his omnipresent self-funded campaign feels forced, and his very noticable absense from the recent forum of candidates due to a "business meeting" is disillusioning, as is his partnership with coup leaders and leftists.
- Gibo Teodoro. Perhaps the most qualified of the candidates. His policies and his record have so far been bulletproof, and his educational history is outstanding-- bachelor's degree from DLSU, law degree from UP, master's degree from Harvard Law, and topnotcher of the Philippine bar exam. That said, he is relatively unknown, has no compelling life narrative, and as a result he lags far behind the pack. His connection to our current unloved president means he can never be a unifying force, and his presidency would undoubtedly be subjected to the same barrage of nonsense the opposition constantly aimed at Gloria.
- Joseph Estrada. He is lazy, dishonest, incompetent, divisive, and found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of plunder. His candidacy makes no sense, is probably unconsitutional, and you'd have to be nuts to support him.