One of 97

Published October 21, 2021, 12:05 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza


Jullie Y. Daza

At long last, I can say I’ve a friend (of 40 years) who’s in the presidential sweepstakes to lead this country for the next six years. Alas, he has to beat 96 other candidates dreaming the same dream.

Antonio “Butch” Valdes, CPA, businessman, commentator, pundit, beekeeper, chairman of Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino, was once a DepEd undersecretary who has dabbled in election campaigns working with different personalities. He should know a thing or two about how elections are won and lost in this country, or does he?

What were you thinking, Mr. Valdes? I expected quixotic replies to my questionnaire, including how does he expect to win? His opening salvo: “The most formidable problem is the use of mainstream media which are owned by seven or eight family corporations which have taken control of all our public utilities and have cornered all major infrastructure contracts of government and are historically the major contributors of practically all politicians.”

The business and professional groups supporting him are aware “that winning may be too much of a dream,” but like him they believe that the fight to be No. 1 “must be used as a bully pulpit to articulate our ideas on critical issues and solutions, (something) blatantly absent among the presidentiables.”

If we could guess how big a war chest a candidate must have at their disposal –! His hope is that the exercise leading to May 2022 “will influence and educate the electorate to choose not on the basis of personalities but on the programs and policies needed to improve the quality of life of all Filipinos and the coming generations.”

Are voters as idealistic as Mr. Valdes? “We will maximize our broadcast capability which we started over three years ago. We hope to be invited to interviews and national debates. Our KDP channel broadcasts through Facebook and YouTube seem to have generated a following appreciative of our proposals.

“The questions to ask ourselves now are: What will be the future of our country and the coming generations if any of the mainstream presidentiables were elected? Who among them will you trust to decide the future of our children and grandchildren? Who should elect and choose the nation’s leaders – the oligarchy or the Filipino people?”