Weeks ago I received an email about Gibo Teodoro who is running for presidency in the Philippines. I thought it’s worth sharing. The statements have something to say after all. Until this time I haven’t decided yet on whom to vote. I feel sorry about this because election day is just a month away. Please read the actual email below:
Gibo Teodoro: So Much to Answer For
by Peachy Paderna
Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 12:04am
My frustration with Gibo supporters lies in the fact that most of them are educated university students, academics, and professionals. We’re talking about individuals who should have the ability to form insightful opinions, especially on matters of great national and political relevance.
What I notice, though, is that people who are inclined to vote for Gibo are people who are hypereducated . I’m coining this word to strike a contrast between them and Manny Villar’s (mostly) uneducated followers. Do a quick survey of Gibo fans, and you’ll find that an overwhelming number of them aren’t merely intelligent. They’re aware that they’re intelligent, and their intellectual capacity is actually a great source of pride for them.
They support Gibo because at the very core of it, they see him as a peer . As intelligent people, it’s only right that they vote for the intelligent candidate, correct? His professional achievements are enviable: bar topnotcher, Harvard Law graduate, political golden boy. The man even has a pretty wife. And no one will dispute that Gibo has been the most eloquent speaker so far, and in various debates, his wit and rhetoric trump everybody else’s.
Gibo supporters place an inordinately high premium on academic achievement and — I am getting tired of this word — intelligence. There’s nothing wrong with that: I would never vote for an inept candidate, someone whose intelligence I would seriously question.
However, people who believe in Gibo are forgetting one thing: eloquence, wit, and polished rhetoric does not a good President make . There is a huge crevasse of logic that stands between a man’s intelligence and his ability to effect change in a country that needs it badly; in other words, the former doesn’t necessarily give rise to the latter, despite all appearances.
I know it’s been done countless times before, but I’m going to invoke history again: our most intelligent leaders — Marcos and Arroyo — were also the most reviled, because they did everything they could during their terms to plunder from us and keep themselves above the law. And why did they manage to get away with their thievery for so long? Remember that both Marcos and Arroyo served multiple terms. They were in power longer than they should have been. The reason? They were cunning and brilliant, and they knew how to stay safely ensconced in Malacanang Palace.
Look, I’m not saying that we should conveniently vote for an idiot so we can easily boot him out when the situation calls for it. I’m also not saying that every intelligent candidate is a potential autocrat or a big-time crook. Instead, what I’m saying is that intelligence alone is a poor barometer for determining which presidential aspirant is most deserving of your vote.
So what about Gibo Teodoro? I think he’s a tragic example, actually, because I do admire his purported intellect. In fact, let’s throw in efficiency as well, since people have claimed that this man works well and has a great track record backing his candidacy. But you know what? None of these makes a difference to me. What completely ruins Gibo in my view is his utter inability to show us that he is a principled man.
Let’s face it. Public office demands principled individuals, because it’s a service-oriented job. You don’t want McDonald’s staff spitting on your burgers before they bundle it up in paper and serve it to you. And when you pay a hundred pesos for that burger, it’s only fair for you to receive your change before the receipt rolls out. We trust people in service jobs to go beyond the bare fulfillment of their tasks; we also want them to be transparent and honest about what they’re giving us, and we want to know what goes on in every transaction that we enter with them.
Now let’s say that Gibo is a service crew member in your nearest McDonald’s, where he mops the floor and is in charge of tidying up the place. Nonetheless, this McDonald’s is a crappy one, where spitting on customers’ burgers is par for the course and you find yourself always shortchanged. Despite all these, however, our dear Gibo doesn’t decry the filthy practices of his colleagues. He doesn’t stand up and say, “WAIT A MINUTE, GUYS. YOUR BURGERS HAVE MY MANAGER’S PHLEGM ALL OVER IT. OH, AND PLEASE COUNT YOUR CHANGE, BECAUSE YOU WON’T GET ALL OF IT IF YOU DO BUSINESS HERE.” He just mops away at the floor and does good work of it. That’s all he does.
Let’s imagine that this crappy McDonald’s is the administration, and that the manager is GMA. In other words, Gibo is turning a blind eye to everything that the administration is guilty of. And what’s his response when asked about what he’ll do with Arroyo once her term is over? “I won’t intervene.”
He won’t intervene? That’s it ?? It’s a move that reeks of cowardice. It’s inaction that betrays a lack of principle. He knows that Arroyo did something that she has to account for, but he won’t even spearhead an investigation. The best he can do is “not intervene.” Nice try, Gibo.
People have asked me why it’s important for GMA to pay for her transgressions. Why waste time on such an endeavor? Why not focus on other matters? I’ll tell you why: it’s because we cannot keep on communicating to public officials that it’s okay to steal. If we let Arroyo get away with offenses of astounding magnitude, what will our lesser public officials think? They’ll think stealing from us again and again is fine, because hey , we won’t do anything about it, anyway, and we allowed bigger crimes to pass through the net before. By letting Arroyo off the hook, we further encourage an already flourishing culture of corruption that should have long been nipped in the bud.
I’d like to go back to that analogy I drew about a crappy McDonald’s. Funny how, if you found out that the nearest branch habitually served phlegm-burgers, you would never go back to it again. If they always cheated you out of your change, you would protest and want your money, and you would never go back to that place again. But when it comes to our government, we’re masochists and we’re suckers: oh, you’re stealing from me? That’s okay, I’ll vote for you again. Oh, you trampled upon my human rights? That’s okay, I’m used to it.
If you vote for Gibo, you’re essentially the McDonald’s customer who’s happy to chew on burgers laced with other folks’ saliva. You’re okay with getting less change than you should, because the guy who’s mopping the floor is doing a good job of it, and you think that a clean floor equals clean service. If this crew member were really doing a good job, he’d tell you to get out of there. He would hand in his resignation and find a better place where his principles don’t have to be compromised.
In other words, it’s not enough that a man be intelligent. It’s not enough that his rhetoric can sweep you off your feet. It’s not enough that he works efficiently. He must have principles, unyielding and certain. Principle is the scaffolding in successful leadership, without which the whole structure cannot sustain itself.
So think about that, Gibo supporters. I’m sure you can. You’re intelligent, after all.
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If I may add, his policy of not intervening makes him guilty of the sin of OMISSION when he did not do anything when the Ampatuans became a powerful monster dynasty during the Arroyo reign, with a private army more powerful than our military, lording it over in Maguindanao. He merely cautioned the Maguindadatus of the threat to their lives. AS SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, AND HEAD OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL, HE DID NOT DISARM, DISBAND, AND PROSECUTE THE AMPATUAN WARLORD, SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY WERE HIS BOSS’ PROTEGEE. HE DID NOT PREVENT NOR STOPPED THE BLOODSHED.
supplied by Danny Olivares