Presidential platform, anyone?

Last 25 November 2009, I had occasion to attend a program held at the Ambion Room of the UP College of Law that invited Nicanor Perlas and Bayani Fernando as their distinguished guests and speakers. BF failed to come and presidentiable Nick Perlas had all the opportunity to exploit the activity to his whole advantage. Or so I thought.

On reflection, I clearly remember one Manuel Buencamino, blogger of FV, having said that of all the presidentiables, it was only Nick Perlas who has a platform. That gave me more compulsion to dutifully listen to his speech and the interaction between him and the students of UP in the open forum that followed during that scheduled activity at UP.

A more balance assessment on whether or not Nick Perlas did have a platform must necessarily take into account the answers he gave on the questions raised during last Sunday’s Isang Tanong sequel for the presidentiables. In other words, the gist of what Perlas delivered at the UP as well as the gist of all the stuff he must have said in that Channel 7 program must be fairly taken into account.

In the UP College of Law, Nick Perlas started off to enumerate what he calls as societal problems, namely:
1. Maguindanao massacre
2. Ondoy and Pepeng typhoons
3. Poverty
4. ZTE broadban
5. Drugs with families of OFWs as principal victims
6. Corruption with RP as number 1 in Asia – with 30 to 40% siphoned off every year
7. Sell out of Philippine lands to foreigners
8. ConAss and ChaCha
10. Oligopoly in 60 to 70% of industries
11. Crony capitalism
12. Political patronage

Perlas made reference to his 6 pillars as his platform of government and these are as follows:
1. Iwaksi ang kahirapan at pataasin ang kalidad ng pamumuhay
2. Isulong ang marangal at epektibong pamamahala
3. Ipagtanggol ang integridad ng lahat ng nilikha
4. Itatag ang mga samahang magtutulungan para sa katarungang panlipunan
5. Itaguyod ang holistic na edukasyon, na nagsasaalang-alang ng lahat ng aspeto ng pagkatuto at ang tunay na pagbabago na mula sa kalooban
6. Ipalaganap ang mga visionary initiatives, o mga inisyatibang maglulunsad ng mga makabagong ideya at gawain.

Certainly the 6-tiered platform, if one can call it a platform, suffers from the same mistake of being presented as mere motherhood statements that are too abstract to be translated in understandable details. Nothing in both that TV one-on-one interview with Nick Perlas as well as that presentation at UP shuttle clear and neat statements by way of the stuff that a well-meaning presidentiable should communicate to his target audience.

It pains me to think that Nick Perlas cannot even stand at attention the proper way when the national anthem is being sung – his feet set far apart. He also appears just purely glib and indicatively just aims to impress a listening audience of whatever might constitute his worldview. In short, he is just trying to bluff that he fully understands every kind of issue that crops up such as climate change, patronage politics, crony capitalism, et cetera.

I did notice too that one old man from the audience did ask a question and when Nick Perlas has apparently answered this to his satisfaction, the old man even clapped his hands patronizingly in an obvious effort to influence the UP students to likewise show appreciation. To my mind, there is a skit being pulled out wherever Nick Perlas has a scheduled speaking engagement.

It is just unfortunate that BF missed the opportunity to interact with the students of UP in a free-wheeling discussion of issues. Nevertheless, if the second sequel of Channel 7’s “Isang Tanong” were any indication, there are at least only two presidentiables in the pack whose answers to the questions propounded made a real lot of sense: Erap and BF, in that order. Ironically, Gibo and Villar did not prove equal to the task. Now, voters should know who they should choose for the presidency.