The Vote 2010: Jose 'Jay' Yumang Sonza

() - May 1, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - In between interviewing presidential aspirants, The Philippine STAR is also helping readers get to know the candidates for vice president. Called the spare tire, the vice president is the constitutional successor in case the president is incapacitated or, as in 2001, ousted from office. Again in no particular order, The STAR is running this series on the men (and woman) who want to be vice president.

Jose ‘Jay’ Yumang Sonza

Kilusang Bagong Lipunan

Malalapitan, Makikinig at Maglilingkod

Born Sept. 20, 1955 in Macabebe, Pampanga

Civil Status: Annulled

Children: Chelin Joan Sonza-Alug, Ma. Theresa Sonza, Ma. Krishna Jennifer Sonza, Christian Jay Sonza, Jose Constantino Sonza

Elementary: Mabuhay Elementary School

Secondary: Nazareth College, Holy Cross College

College: BA Political Science, University of Mindanao; BS Economics, University of the Philippines; Special Studies: Satellite Broadcasting, University of Nebraska

Father: Dalmacio Isip Sonza

Mother: Segundina Viray Yumang

Blood pressure: 130/90.

State of health: So far I don’t feel anything abnormal. My blood pressure is normal, my heartbeat is normal. I play golf once a week, or I exercise two or three times a week.

Have you had any surgery?


Medications/or vitamins?


Are you a smoker?

Yes, when I was still active in media work, I used to smoke a lot. But out of media work, usually less than a pack a day.

Have you consulted a psychiatrist?

I don’t remember having consulted one, but if the need arises I would. More often than not I do counseling.

State of wealth?

I’m rich but not liquid. Over the years, in media work, everybody knows that I’ve been there once. I was able to save and buy some properties for me and my kids and maybe even my grandchildren. But I am rich only in fixed assets.  

How do you see the role of the vice president?

President-in-waiting. The VP should be as competent as the president. The VP should be the number one counselor of the president and he should study the programs of the government so that there will be a continuance of service delivery to the constituents.

Will you be a high-profile VP or will you stay in the shadows?

If you are doing your job well, you don’t have to be high-profile because people will learn about your good work although it is also the duty of all government officials to let the people know about the government’s projects.

Will you ask for a Cabinet post? Which one?

It would come from the president po siguro.  I will submit my resume to the president-elect so that in the event that there will be a need for me in the management of government affairs, then the offer would come from him.

Will you be a traveling vice president? Which country or countries will be your priority destinations?

We’ll see how my working relationship with the president-elect will go. But should I need to travel to attend to our migrant workers’ concerns, then I would because I need to serve those who contribute 32 percent of our national economy.

If you were the VP in January 2001, would you have taken over from President Estrada?

No, I’m a man of law. Laws are there to be respected. Let the people decide. Erap did not resign. Gloria was only sworn in as acting President.

If you were the VP in 2005 and the Hyatt 10 had asked you to take over from President Arroyo, would you have agreed?

I will not be dictated upon by a few people who claim to be representing the entire Philippine social strata to do something unconstitutional.

Since you and the elected president would come from different parties, what will your role be?

My role will be vice president of the Republic of the Philippines. I don’t think I will ever have a problem working with anyone of the presidential candidates.

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