Convenors of opposition coalition 1Sambayan believe that the traits exhibited by the late former President Benigno Aquino III are what the country needs amid a raging pandemic and the collapse of the country’s moral and democratic institutions.
Former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, former Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Teresita “Ging” Deles, and Fr. Albert Alejo, SJ want the next President to have the same traits they saw in the former president, who died peacefully in his sleep on June 24 due to renal failure secondary to diabetes.
In particular, they spoke highly of Aquino’s integrity, character, decency, commitment to transparency, and respect for the country’s institutions.
“There are traits of Pnoy that we want to adopt for purposes of determining who will be endorsed by the 1Sambayan. For example, integrity, character. Those are very important traits. Competence. That’s also very important,” Carpio-Morales said during an online media forum Wednesday, August 4.
Aquino’s family, friends, and former Cabinet officials commemorated the 40th day since he died last August 2.
But the former Ombudsman, an Aquino appointee, knows the coalition has to balance the qualities they seek for in the next president.
“Pero (But) competence without integrity is more dangerous than integrity without competence. So kailangan natin i-balance ang mga traits na yan (So, we need to balance those traits),” she added.
1Sambayan has already come out with its list of nominees, among them were: Vice President Leni Robredo, former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Senator Grace Poe, Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, and House deputy speaker and CIBAC party-list Rep. Bro. Eddie Villanueva.
Only Robredo and Trillanes did not reject the nomination as Poe, Santos-Recto, Diokno, and Villanueva, through his son Senator Joel Villanueva, said they have no interest to run as either president or vice president.
Deles said everyone in 1Sambayan expects the next president to build on the legacy of Aquino.
“I think iyon yung kampanya talaga na maibalik ang tapat na pamamahala (I think that’s really the campaign, which is to bring back honest governance),” she stressed.
She also emphasized the importance of transparency.
“Hindi dapat malabo. Dapat pwede kang magtanong. Dapat pwede mong singilin iyong mga nakaupo dun sa ginagawa nila (It shouldn’t be unclear. You should be allowed to ask questions. You should exact from those in power for what they are doing),” Deles said, adding that the “accountability about public funds” should be central to any government.
Without mentioning names, she questioned the transparency on how the COVID-19 funds are spent, as well as what happened to the loans incurred by the government during the pandemic.
As for Alejo, he wants “decency” back in government, as well as the freedom to criticize and fight back without being disrespected.
“Hindi natin kailangan ang lider na pambansa na hindi tugma sa mga Filipino values ang mga kinikilos at iyong pananalita (We don’t need a leader whose actions and words do not reflect Filipino values),” he said.