Virginia M. Moncrieff: In the Philippines, another Aquino stands for President.

September 9, 2009 by
Filed under: Sarahpalin 

The Philippines has not yet recovered from a period of mourning for former President Corazon Aquino, the “mother of democracy” who died last month. The monsoonal waves of love are still washing over her family and the pressure on her only son Senator Benigno ‘Noy Noy’ Aquino III to make a tilt for the presidency in the 2010 elections reached a near-hysteria point. “Yes Yes! Noy Noy!” screamed one local newspaper headline.

On Wednesday he announced he would “continue the legacy” of his mother and stand. He trotted out the usual candidate cliches at his announcement. “I want to make democracy work not only for the rich and the well connected but for everyone,” he said.

The family name will come in handy, because, despite ten years in national politics, there’s not much to indicate what Noy Noy stands for. Several young voters I spoke to said they hope he spends the time between now and the election showing what his values are, because quite frankly, they have no idea what he represents.

Although there is one thing. Noy Noy supports the controversial Human Reproductive Health Bill which allows Filipinos access to information on family planning. The Catholic Church – which could be considered an influential wing of the government in the Philippines – has been apoplectic about the bill and is using strong arm tactics on national politicians to elicit a ‘no’ vote.

Noy Noy’s support for the bill may deliver him the youth and progressive vote but next year’s polls are wide open. As well as the journeyman politicians, the usual array of novelty candidates will most likely stand. There is talk of local hero and world champion boxer Manny Pacquaio standing though his appeal is limited (“You have to be joking!” say my middle class friends). Also in the ring, Joseph “Erap” Estrada – the former President and film actor (a dreadful ham even by the Philippines movie industry’s low standards). Estrada is currently attracting strong popular support despite having being guilty of the rather quaint sounding charge of ‘plunder’.

(President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who is badly out of public favor, will step down from the premiership in June and is not eligible to stand for election again).

Can Noy Noy continue to ride on the genuine love felt for his mother (while at the same time recognizing her limitations) through to the May elections, or create a new and electable persona of his own?

The votes won’t be in for another eight months. He’s got a lot of work to do.



Comments

One Response to “Virginia M. Moncrieff: In the Philippines, another Aquino stands for President.”

  1. Marc Gatmaitan on September 11th, 2009 2:04 pm

    Noynoy has to present his economic platform as the Philippines has to generate jobs for its rapidly increasing population. Noynoy will probably use the same approach as Gloria Arroyo (who has been getting agreements from Japan, Hongkong, Australia, Middle east countries to accept Filipino workers).

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