29 aspirants running for vice president

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

While there are 97 Filipinos who are competing for the presidency, there are 29 other hopefuls aiming to become number two. The vice presidency is just a heartbeat away from the presidency. Death, permanent incapacity, resignation, impeachment, or removal from office may cause the vice president to ascend to the presidency.

Vice President Sergio Osmeña became the president upon the death of President Manuel Quezon in 1944. Death by heart attack of President Manuel Roxas in 1948 caused the ascension to Malacañang of Vice President Elpidio Quirino in 1948. The death of President Ramon Magsaysay in 1953 in that Mount Manunggal, Cebu, crash led to the presidency of Vice President Carlos P. Garcia. When President Marcos was ousted by the EDSA revolution in 1986, his vice president, Arturo Tolentino, did not take over. A revolutionary government abolished the Marcos Constitution of 1973. And the defeated candidate for president, Cory Aquino, took over. In 2001, Erap was ousted by EDSA 2 and GMA, the eager beaver, was installed by the Supreme Court. He was deemed constructively resigned.

The period of COC filing found the following tandems formed: Lacson-Sotto or Lacsott, Leni-Kiko or LeKi, Isko-Willy Ong or Iswil, Manny Pacquiao-Lito Atienza or Pac-At. And if Bongbong Marcos finally teams up with Bong Go, it will be Bong-Bong or with Inday Sara Duterte, it will be Marcos-Duterte or MarDut. It can also be Dut-Mar. But unknown to many, there was also a tandem filing of Cadion-Magdangal or CaMa, Magondato-Serapio or Magserap, Valdez-Lorque or ValLor, and Yulaga-Lague or Yulag. These are unknown people who insist to run because they know how to read and write and they are natural-born Filipinos with 10 years residence.

And so, we have such characters as: Rochelle David, independent and Alexander Lague, Philippine Green Republican Party. Also Carlos Serapio of Katipunan ng Kamalayang Kayumanggi, Princess Sunshine Amirah Magdangal of the Philippine Green Republican Party, a certain Melodino Villanueva, independent, and Leandro Verceles Jr., independent (I think Cebuanos know this guy), Lourdes Tolentino and Ferdinand Laguidino, both independents. Bienvenido Lorque, Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino, Wilson Amad, Aeric Bernardino, and Nathaniel Jayoma, all independents.

More vice presidential bets are Abdulateef Paumbaya, independent; Elpidio Rosales Jr., Maharlika Peoples' Party; Joel Sison, KBL; Lyle Fernando Uy, Lakas CMD; Nerissa Navarro, KBL; Diego Palomares Jr., independent; Emmanuel Lopez, Labor Party Philippines; Benedicto Jose, Federalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan; Rizalito David, Democratic Party of the Philippines; Raquel Castillo, Partido Lakas ng Masa; Arlene Josephine Butay, and Rey Anthony Bereber, both independents.

What made these people run, we cannot speculate. Their reasons range from the most funny to the most sublime. We cannot disallow them from filing because the Constitution only requires that they must know how to read and write. The Commission on Elections may ultimately delist their names for being what they call nuisance candidates. But it is not for us to judge. If Erap can be president and Lito Lapid can be senator, why not all these guys? My driver is even running for president of the Philippines. This is a free country. Everyone has the absolute freedom to make a fool of himself.


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