By their fruits, ye shall know them

AS A MATTER OF FACT - Sara Soliven De Guzman - The Philippine Star

Social media has allowed fake news to stream so fast to the detriment of the country’s future. Vulnerable groups have been easily swayed and influenced by distorted facts. I don’t understand how the presidential candidates (who aspire to lead this nation) can stomach such nuisance. Shouldn’t they be responsible enough to correct twisted facts created by their camps?

For the educated Filipinos, this is very disturbing. For the illiterate Filipinos, this is disrespectful. Why would candidates take advantage of them, lie to them, make them believe something that is not true?

Don’t forget what Matthew 7:16-20 (in the Bible) said: “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.”

Candidate #1 – Panfilo “Ping” Morena Lacson was born in Imus, Cavite. His late mother Maxima was a market vendor. She was a disciplinarian who instilled distinctions between right and wrong in her children. This grew to be part of Lacson’s motto, “What is right must be kept right; what is wrong must be set right.”

Lacson finished grade school at the Bayang Luma Elementary School in 1960 and high school at the Imus Institute in 1964. After his graduation from the PMA in 1971, Lacson was commissioned in the Philippine Constabulary and worked at the Metropolitan Command Intelligence and Security Group (MISG).

Candidate #2 – Bong Go comes from a Chinese-Filipino family. He is the son of Davao-based businessman Desiderio Go and Batangas-native Marichu Tesoro-Go. He is the grandson of August Tesoro, who founded one of the largest printing companies in Davao.

Go went to La Salle Greenhills in high school. He initially took up a BS Management course at De La Salle University and later transferred to and graduated from Ateneo de Davao University with a degree in BS Marketing.

Candidate # 3 – Leodigario “Ka Leody” Quitain de Guzman was born in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro. He finished his Bachelor of Science in Customs Administration degree at the Philippine Maritime Institute. He worked at the leather gloves factory of Aris Philippines Inc. to support his family. He is a Filipino unionist and labor rights activist. He was the former president and currently the chairperson of the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, a socialist federation of militant trade unions.

Candidate #4 – Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., nicknamed Bongbong, was born to Ferdinand E. Marcos and Imelda Remedios Visitacion Romualdez. He obtained his kindergarten and elementary education at the Institucion Teresiana and La Salle Greenhills in Manila, respectively.

In 1970, he was sent to England where he lived and studied at the Worth School, an all-boys Benedictine institution. He then enrolled at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. However, despite his false claims that he graduated with a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, he did not obtain a degree.

Marcos enrolled in Masters in Business Administration program at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA, which he failed to complete.

His father Ferdinand Marcos was the president of the Philippines for 20 years; who invoked martial law in 1972 and was ousted during the People Power Revolution in 1986. Marcos’ family fled to Hawaii where they lived in exile. Ferdinand Marcos was accused of plundering the economy and amassing ill-gotten wealth, placing our foreign debt from $1billion in 1965 to $28 billion in 1986.

Candidate # 5 – Maria Leonor Santo Tomas Gerona was born in Naga, Camarines Sur, Philippines. She was the first of three children born to Naga City Regional Trial Court Judge Antonio Gerona (c. 1933–2013) and Salvacion Santo Tomas (1936–2020).

Leni Gerona completed her elementary and high school education at Universidad de Sta. Isabel in Naga, graduating in 1978 and in 1982, respectively. She earned her degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines, Diliman in 1986. She studied law at the University of Nueva Caceres, and graduated in 1992. She passed the Bar exams in 1997.

Three universities have conferred Robredo with honorary doctorate degrees: Polytechnic University of the Philippines (2015, Doctor in Public Administration), University of Saint Anthony in Iriga, Camarines Sur, her home province (2017, Doctor of Humanities) and University of the Cordilleras (2017, Doctor of Laws).

Candidate # 6 – Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso is the only child of Joaquin Copias Domagoso (1930-1995), a stevedore from Antique province at Manila’s North Harbor, and Rosario Moreno (1946–2020) from Allen, Northern Samar. At age 10, he would push a cart and go house-to-house to gather old newspapers and used bottles, then resell them to a local junk dealer in the slums of Tondo, Manila. He also rummaged through restaurant garbage bins for leftover food, which his mother would recook for dinner.

In 1993, Moreno entered the entertainment business via the teen variety show, That’s Entertainment. In 2003, Moreno obtained his business administration degree from the International Academy of Management and Economics in Makati. He took a crash course in Local Legislation and Local Finance at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. He then studied public administration at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (University of the City of Manila). He also attended short courses in leadership and governance at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and at the Said Business School, University of Oxford.

Candidate # 7 – Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao Sr., was born in Kibawe, Bukidnon and raised in General Santos, Philippines. He is the son of Rosalio Pacquiao and Dionisia Dapidran Pacquiao.

Manny completed his elementary education at Saavedra Saway Elementary School in General Santos City, but dropped out of high school due to extreme poverty. At the age of 14, he moved to Manila and worked as a construction worker.

In February 2007, Pacquiao passed the high school equivalency exam and was awarded a high school diploma by the Department of Education. On Feb. 28, 2009, he received a Doctorate of Humanities (Honoris Causa) from Southwestern University for his contribution to sports and humanitarian efforts. On Dec. 11, 2019, he graduated from the University of Makati with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

Manny, as we all know, is the “people’s champ” who has an amateur record of 60-4 and a record of 62-8-2 as a professional, with 39 wins by knockout. Boxing historian Bert Sugar ranked Pacquiao as the greatest southpaw fighter of all time.

I think politics has ruined the values and principles of men who lust for office. The different movements and grand coalitions have just shown the people who the very greedy political dynasties are in the country. Why must they cling to power? After all, haven’t they already served the country (to our dismay)? What’s with wanting to be so powerful?

So, let’s continue to find out who our candidates are, what their true colors are and what their intentions are. “By their fruits, we shall know them!”

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