The 2010 Mindanao Presidential Forum
Davao City — Six Presidential Candidates were present on the Presidential Forum held at the Ateneo de Davao University College Gym – Gilberto Teodoro, Bro. Edi Villanueva, Jamby Madrigal, Dick Gordon, JC delos Reyes, and Nick Perlas. It was so sad to say that even if Villar and Aquino were both in Davao City, they put first the forum organize by Quiboloy than the Forum wherein the majority of the sectors will hear them. Vice-Presidential candidates Fernando and Yasay was also present during the event. The event was hosted by Atty. Marie Dinah Tolentino-Fuentes from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Davao City Chapter.
The Forum was brought so that students as well as different sectors of the Mindanao Island will know which candidate has better plans for Mindanao. The candidates were given set of questions both from the academy and from the different sectors.
Power Sector: Power Shortage Solutions
One major problem brought during the forum was the power shortage problem. Most of the candidates look at the problem as a phenomenal event that could only be solved by building and supporting alternative and renewable energy sources.
Nick Perlas, an environmentalist, said that one solution to this problem is creating smart grids. A smart grid delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using two-way digital technology to control appliances at consumers’ homes to save energy, reduce cost and increase reliability and transparency. Such a modernized electricity network is being promoted by many governments as a way of addressing energy independence, global warming and emergency resilience issues (see more about smart grid). He also raised the term negawatts. His long-term solution is the geothermal power plants that could generate 25000 MW, that could already supply the greater parts of Mindanao.
Warlordism: Private Armies
“It’s the fault of the Secretary of Defence and the President, why this private armies existed” Jamby blamed. Former defense secretary Gilberto Teodoro was silenced when Jamby Madrigal delivered that phrase. It was like a hot heated iron striked to Gilberto’s face.
Gordon, Madrigal, Delos Reyes and Perlas arrayed that the problems with warlordism in the Philippines, specially the case of the Ampatuans, as such fault of the present administration. “Two million votes, ni isa walang napunta kay FPJ” Delos Reyes said. Villanueva however said that when he and Yasay will be appointed in office, the very first thing their administration will do is to eliminate all private armies.
“Let’s talk reality here” Gibo said. He explained that if ever he will be elected president he will not immediately disband private armies. There were many conflicted areas in the Philippines, he will only disband those armies that were used not of duty but of personal greed. Private armies were beneficial to some places in the Philippines specially in some conflicted areas according to him.
Woman Sector: Magna Carta for Women
Jamby Madrigal, who she claims to be the original author of the magna carta of women, offended the host when she said that she is better and taller than Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. “I was really offended, because like Arroyo, I am part of the Bonsai group” Atty. Fuentes told Madrigal before the presidents were to answer the question from the representative of the women’s sector. Most candidates said that they will protect the magna carta and they will create more opportunities for women to be heard in the society. Opportunities, jobs, and equal treatment in society for women was the aim of Bagong Pilipinas presidential candidate Villanueva. Jamby was last to answer but she didn’t ask apology to Atty. Tolentino. Jamby, the author of the magna carta as she claimed, said that if ever elected as president she will protect the rights of the women and will pass laws regarding the rights of women.
Environment: Mining in Mindanao
Perlas said that the Mining Act of 1995 was unconstitutional. Dick Gordon said that mining is not a problem at all, the problem only takes place when we don’t gain from it. We keep on exporting our natural resources and yet we gain less from it. So he urges to put more value added tax on the exportation of this goods. And if possible we can create jobs when we ourselves in the Philippines will be the one who will process the goods ourselves.
Gibo raised three points for which he will favor mining: (1) Mining should be non-destructive to the environment; (2) the companies should restore the same condition of the place after they have mined the mineral, it means to say that what they saw at first when they first arrive to that place should be restored when they leave that place; (3) the local community should benefit from it.
During the whole Forum, Jamby Madrigal keeps on mentioning the wrongs of the present administration and uses it to campaign her self. She didn’t notice that because of her actions many students were murmuring and labeled her as TRAPO (TRAditional POlitician) some did also call her not ideal to the position because if she can do it while she is not a president how much more if she will be. She did also warned the audience to never believe in advertisements because advertisements were all lies. Dick Gordon did also his own version when he mentioned some phrases from the ads of other running candidates. He did acted to be swimming and said the a line from Villar’s popular ad “nakaligo ka na ba sa dagat ng basura?”. We can really see how dirty politics in the Philippines is. They need to destroy someone in favor for them to win.
The most tricky part was, there were some military men involved in doing dirty things in the politics. Just like what happened last 2007 elections where the military had a school-to-school seminars where they educated people about some candidates running for the communist group. The AFP should be a non-partisan party and they should not involve themselves in the political problems of the government. Their duty is not to destroy one candidate, like what some are doing right now to Villar. My teacher in received some CDs, he told us that this CDs contains presentations and videos that hold as evidences that the communist is working inside different sectors. He said that the CDs were given by a particular, he did not mention the name, colonel. Freedom of Speech is supposed, he campaigned during our class that we should vote for Gibo than that of Villar whom he tagged as communist. He also mentioned that Gibo isn’t supported by GMA anymore that made him cleaner than that of Villar. He also added the GMA is now supporting Villar. If it registered to me correctly he said that Villar is supported by the Communist and is also secretly supported by GMA. Can I now say the GMA is also a communist? If the case is so, therefore I see in my own perspective that there is a small ku de ta happening inside the military as they accused the present chief executive as a supporter of an accused communist. The Villar and Arroyo issue was already been answered. No, the text messages that had been passed were not true. Those were just black propaganda by some candidates/parties that could not outspend the popularity level of one candidate.