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GG for 2010?
      Of course!

(Article published in the Jan 2, 2008 issue of Manila Standard Today)  

In GG, we see all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications laid out in the Constitution.  We see the combination of brains and beauty; of effective speech and efficient action; of wisdom combined with energy; and of national prominence and local following.  You have in GG everything needed to lead the country.

By way of qualifications, the Constitution demands of candidates for President and Vice President that they be (a) natural born citizens of the Philippines; (b) registered voters; (c) able to read and write; (d) at least 40 years of age on the day of the election, and (e) a resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years immediately preceding such election.

Gerry Geronimo, or yours truly, was of course natural-born.  It was late afternoon in early part of July, 1944.  For weeks, I had been constantly kicking the inner walls of my mother’s womb wanting to see the beauty of Manila before the Americans reduced to ruins the churches of Ermita.  I had also been overhearing so much about the Japanese store owner  who was to my father’s barkada just the vendor at the neighborhood store at the corner.  One day, he turned himself into major or lieutenant in the occupation army overnight; he must have been the grandfather of Willie Nepomuceno.


On that early evening of the 10th, the sky was pouring.  This was before global warming was in fashion, too much water from the skies of Manila was simply called flood; not overflow from melted snow in the Artic or Antarctic. But it  was the same as now: Taft Avenue was thigh deep in water.  I had been eight months in my mother’s womb and that day, I wanted out. I frantically made a pest of myself; it was an inborn talent I carried to this day, so my clients say.

My mother, however, was a stubborn woman; she did not want me away from her. That is why I know she is Filipina.  Filipinas never let go of their sons.  Fortunately, the doctors of PGH all wanted to go home early that afternoon because the Pasig River was already overflowing its banks; that time, the banks of Manila were thus very liquid.

Some intern turned off the lights, and cursed Meralco; but my mother held on and wouldn’t let me go. But she relented when my father excused himself from the waiting room to see how his bets at the Jai-Alai Fronton were faring. That is why I know he is Filipino; to him, there are more important things than family. Amidst all these, naturally, I was born. 

That was, of course, more than 40 years ago.  And you do not have to have the computational prowess of the Bureau of Prisons to know that if you subtract 1944 from 2010, you will get a number more than 40. How much more than 40? It depends.  If you are working at the Department of Justice and your first name is Raul, it depends on the interpretation.

Reading and writing I can do anytime.  What I find hard to do though is understand. But not understanding is not a disqualification.  My president, for instance, though she is called “president” even if “president” is rooted in “preside” meaning to possess or exercise authority or control, does not understand why the police are all flat-footed.

“Bakit nangyayari ito?”  I ask as I read but do not understand how Trillanes can walk out the courtroom and occupy the Manila Peninsula Hotel and Sanchez fly home to his province undisturbed by his guards, if any.

I am a registered voter in my place of residence, which has always been, since birth, in Metro Manila.  If I were a resident of some place in the south, maybe you would have to ask in what list.  But not in Metro Manila.  We have only one list here; although we are never listed twice as a voter of the same precinct.  That is COMELEC’s device to avoid flying voters in Metro Manila; voters do not need to fly. It is their names that do, from precinct to precinct, every time there is an election. 

But more than paper qualifications of the Constitution, I have the necessary moral fibre and strength of character to lead the nation.  My morality is second to none of some of our present officials.

I am for instance pa urong-sulong; in English that means I am flexible.  At the start of day, I decide what the family activity is going to be.  I rev up the car, call the brood to file in, and careen the Subic-imported baby down the driveway. My wife wakes up and yells “no” from window.  Immediately, I step on the brakes, put my gears on reverse and back up the car into the garage. 

Thus, I am not married to any specific position in any issue and, better still, I may be in fact, like my president, to be married to someone who is always an issue. Like her, I have no convictions, I hate every one of them.  Recently, I saw one, the conviction of one who was responsible for my being where I am. Immediately, I sent out my emissary to him to talk to him about my pardon, even if he never said anything similar to “I beg your pardon.”

I am a good cheater and in fact one easily caught.  One time, I called a girl friend and said hello to Gracie. I asked if everything that had to be done had been done.  You know, “kung ayos na ang lahat.”  Unknown to me, my wife was listening in on the other room and told the country.  My ninongs went on TV telling me to quit; the hayop ten, once my tentacles, joined them.  Luckily, I had the fidelity of the men in arms who are now my sergeant-at-arms.  Of course, I have since then been a captive of Fidel, that is my pet name of fidelity.

I am so transparent.  Whenever I say “I am sorry”, you can see from my face, my diction, my blank eyes, and expression less voice that I do not mean it.  Why should I? To love is never having to say you are sorry.  And I love my present position.

With all these credentials, all I need is a party willing to have me as its standard bearer.  I know of one is called “Labí ang demokratikong Pilipino.”  Once called “Lapian etc.” because it had more than two members.  But when its leader deserted it, the members all went to Lakas; today, only one member is left, and, and even he is Nagpapalakas.  That is why that party is now called “Labí”.

           I am the winning GG, not the Gordon-Garcia tandem announced on Christmas eve.  They indeed were a whiff of fresh air amidst the stink of the political stable.  But I will surely beat them in this game of donkeys and asses.