Gringo Honasan's birthday wish: Wisdom for voters
Look beyond personality politics.
That's the birthday wish of vice presidential bet and senator Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan II as he turns 68 on Monday, March 14.
During the flag raising ceremony at the Senate grounds, Honasan prayed that Filipinos become enlightened as they prepare to vote in the May polls.
"Give our electorate the wisdom to choose their leaders wisely, based on proven performance, the capacity for sacrifice and hard work, and the ability to make difficult decisions for the long-term benefit of our nation," said Honasan, the running mate of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard-bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay.
"Help our people to see beyond mere personalities devoid of platforms for governance," added Honasan, who lags behind in election surveys.
His birthday prayer is consistent with his stump speech during UNA campaign sorties: that people vote based on candidates' track records and ability to lead.
Binay and Honasan are two of the most experienced candidates in the national elections.
The Vice President became Makati mayor, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chief, and housing and overseas Filipino workers affairs czar. (READ: 9 things to know about Jejomar Binay)
Honasan is a 4-term senator who graduated from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in 1971, a year before former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr declared martial law. (READ: 10 things to know about Gringo Honasan)
Along with his PMA classmates, Honasan later set up the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) that recruited soldiers to rebel against Marcos, whose son is now a strong opponent of Honasan for the vice presidency.
Honasan, however, also staged coup attempts against former President Corazon "Cory" Aquino after the 1986 People Power Revolution. (READ: Honasan: In first 6 years, Marcos a better president than Cory)
He was accused of plotting the December 1989 mutiny that brought down the Philippine economy and almost toppled Cory Aquino. Honasan was jailed following his involvement in these attempts, and was dismissed from service.
Past their contradictions
Honasan makes for an interesting choice in running mate for Binay, who became known as "Rambotito" during Cory Aquino's presidency for protecting her against the military rebellions.
They also face corruption allegations: Binay for the allegedly anomalous deals and projects he entered into as Makati mayor and Honasan for supposedly misusing his Priority Development Assistance Fund as senator.
"Allow the coming political exercise to revive and strengthen our weakened institutions through the restoration of the will of the majority and adherence to the rule of law and due process," prayed Honasan. – Mara Cepeda/Rappler.com
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