Aquino is the candidate to beat in 2010

My stand here is pretty simple. Aquino may not be the best candidate around in terms of capability, but let's face it, he is the best bet among all those that have proclaimed their intent to run.

Throughout his career in public service, he has always kept a low profile and people are starting to dig into what he has done over the last few years. While that area may come up lacking, there is comfort in knowing that he has also stayed out of scandals and misdeeds in his time. More importantly, he has the sympathy and the belief of several sectors in the country. He also has a family legacy to protect which just might make him think twice before succumbing to graft and corruption. At a time when people have lost all confidence in their leaders and have come to accept that widespread corruption and even political killings is a norm, Aquino has provided a flicker of hope. One that can mend the lost trust of our people so that one day soon, we may all think again that this country is indeed worth dying for.

At this point, we can choose to wait for that moment when Aquino makes a fatal mistake that will trample the hope that is starting to build up because of his candidacy, or we can choose to support a dream that can make the Filipino people rally arm-in-arm, all with a common goal of rebuilding a nation that has been marred by decades of maltreatment and abuse from politicians who would go through lengths just to have their fingers dipped in the coffers of the national treasury.

Yesterday, for the first time in my adult life, I went to the Comelec office in Mandaluyong to register to vote for the national elections. I always thought, "Wala naman magbabago sa gobyerno, bakit pa ako boboto." But this time, I felt that the Philippines really has a fighting chance for change. With Aquino at the helm, we may soon see a country that we can again be proud of.

ABS-CBN reports:

MANILA - Sixty percent of Filipinos believe Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III would be the best leader to succeed President Arroyo when she steps down in 2010, according to a new survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS), which allowed respondents to give up to 3 names.

The survey, conducted last September 18-21 and disclosed Wednesday, showed Aquino taking the top spot in the people’s three best successors to President Arroyo. He is followed by Sen. Manny Villar who got 37%, and former President Joseph Estrada at 18%. Sen. Francis Escudero placed fourth in the survey with 15% followed by Sen. Mar Roxas (12%), Vice-President Noli de Castro (8%), Sen Loren Legarda (5%), and Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro (4%). Sen. Panfilo Lacson placed ninth in the survey with 2% followed by Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay (2%). At 1% each were Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando and Jesus is Lord founder Eddie Villanueva. A total of 1,800 adults participated in the nationwide survey, which has an error margin of ±2.3%.

Each respondent was asked the question: “Sa ilalim ng kasalukuyang Konstitusyon, ang termino ni Pang. Arroyo ay hanggang sa taong 2010 lamang at magkakaroon ng halalan para sa pagka-pangulo sa Mayo 2010. Sinu-sino sa palagay ninyo ang mga magagaling na lider na dapat pumalit kay Pang. Arroyo bilang Presidente? Maaari po kayong magbanggit ng hanggang tatlong sagot.”

[Under the present Constitution, the term of Pres. Arroyo is up to 2010 only, and there will be an election for a new President in May 2010. Who do you think are good leaders who should succeed Pres. Arroyo as President? You may give up to three names].

Since the survey respondents could give up to 3 names, adding and totalling the votes for each person could exceed 100%. Six percent could not give an answer, and 4% had no one to recommend. No list of names was provided to prompt the respondents.
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