Happy New Year to our valued readers

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila - The Freeman

This is our last and final column for the Year 2015 and as we greet the New Year 2016 tomorrow, we can only hope for a better year and a better nation. But in the last quarter of this year we were already bombarded by the up and coming presidential and local elections and for sure as we ended the Year 2015, many people are still at a lost as to whom they should be voting for the next president of the Philippines.

While the Commission on Elections has on record some 130 presidential candidates that filed their respective Certificate of Candidacies, this presidential horse race has been narrowed down to a few names, notably, Vice Pres. Jejomar Binay, former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, Sen. Grace Poe, and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

As of the latest surveys, we saw VP Binay bounce back to the top slot in this presidential derby; this was due to the fact that two Comelec en banc decisions disqualified Sen. Grace Poe from the presidential race. But a couple of days ago, the Supreme Court  issued a Temporary Restraining Order against the Comelec, which gives Sen. Poe a brief respite. So the question begging for an answer is… how temporary is this TRO? Who knows, the SC might just allow the name of Sen. Poe in the list of presidentiables  and decide later if she wins the presidential race.

Meanwhile we also saw Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte rise all the way to the top of the surveys until he started shooting himself on his foot. First during his kick-off campaign, he badmouthed and cursed no less than the beloved Pope Francis. Then he began attacking the Catholic Church and admitted to his womanizing and killing people in the dangerous drugs industry. If at all, the only shining light for Mayor Duterte is that he is for Federalism, although he did not care to explain to the Filipino people how he intends to shift this nation into a Federal State.

While I am for Federalism, but I cannot in conscience support Mayor Duterte for the very reasons that we were fully against the Aquino Regime because Mayor Duterte espouses the Reproductive Health Law, which we fought bitterly. He is for same-sex marriage and divorce something we are still fighting against, and he is a believer of the unlamented Bangsamoro Basic Law and this means if he becomes president, he will revive the BBL and force it upon our nation.

This brings us to former DILG Sec. Manuel "Mar" Roxas whose campaign promise is to continue the programs of his pal, Pres. Aquino, and his unlamented Daang Matuwid. By now everyone knows that Daang Matuwid is nothing but an ill-fated propaganda which only protects their friends and disastrous to their political enemies. Hence, no matter what he does, Mar Roxas has not improved his ratings in all the surveys.

For us in Cebu, Mar Roxas represents the Liberal Party, a party that failed to give Cebuanos the infrastructure in the last five years of the Aquino Regime. Last August 24th during the "Gathering of Friends" with all the LP stalwarts, PNoy told us that his regime plunked P24 billion into road projects in Cebu. But we rechecked those figures and ended up with only P2.3 billion in rehabilitation projects… good roads were broken up and re-cemented. PNoy surveyed the supposed widening of the Mactan Circumferential Road…and what did we see? Nothing! Perhaps this was a ghost project by the DPWH!

So finally, there's Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, who is winning in all the surveys of Facebook or in social networking sites. Her only problem stems from the fact that she has cancer and cannot even go out of Metro Manila. So the current political situation leaves our people to pray to God for help in choosing the right people to run this nation after Pres. Aquino leaves Malacañang Palace by the end of June. That's six months from now.

So for this Presidential race for the Year 2016, perhaps we should choose more wisely our vice presidential candidates because who knows, if Mar Roxas loses and Sen. Grace Poe wins, she might still be disqualified or if VP Binay wins, he could still land in jail because of corruption charges.

But then again we have very limited choices for vice president and these are Sen. Bong Bong Marcos, Sen. Chiz Escudero, Sen. Alan Cayetano, Sen. Gringo Honasan, Sen. Antonio Trillanes, and Rep. Leni Robredo. As this political year ends, we hope and pray for some kind of miracle that God would give this God-fearing nation. Happy New Year everyone!

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For email responses to this article, write to [email protected] or [email protected] His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

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