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Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS

and that’s the truth


A headline on tv news caught my attention: “Accusations of lying fly high in the US presidential race.”  Whether it’s Clinton, Sanders, Cruz, Trump, Kasich or Rubio, one has at one time or another  accused another presidential hopeful of lying.  It rings a bell in the current campaign season in the country when—particularly at debates—one candidate’s claim contradicts another.  So who’s lying and who’s not?

The presidential candidates’ mudslinging and hard-hitting jabs have gotten so that, surveys notwithstanding, it has become quite difficult to decide who’s worthy of one’s vote.  Not that they all seem to be liars—far from it—to me it just seems like in their desire to run down their rivals in the public eye they have become destructive and divisive, too ready to call the others “liars.”  Which creates a rather negative energy about the campaign.  Thing is—in my eternal hope in man’s innate goodness—I’m willing to give all these presidentiables the benefit of the doubt.  Are you for Binay, Duterte, Poe, Roxas, Santiago—alphabetically arranged, take note!—doesn’t matter to me.  I do believe that none of them is deliberately telling lies—but they could be sincerely propagating their illusions as truth.  Pathetic, but what could you do?

So what makes a good president?   One who believes in doing what is right, is a fearless and independent thinker, has a heart for the people, cares for the poor and the helpless old people, is amiable but firm, has a pleasant personality, has knowledge of issues and can articulate it, is dedicated to eliminating crimes and corruption in the country, sincerely enjoys living a simple life, will go to lengths to fight for his/her country, a good leader, is God-fearing, truly loves the Philippines more than the presidency, sees the importance of unifying our people, is down to earth, can command the respect of the international community.

Obviously that description doesn’t fit any one of our presidentiables.  That’s because I refused to be dragged into negativity by the candidates’ brutal accusations of dishonesty and sometimes tasteless, below-the-belt challenges they hurl at one another.  Instead I scanned the horizon for the good points of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates—then came up with those combined qualities.

It’s not enough that we voters look for the quote-unquote—cleanest, toughest, brightest, cleverest candidate—regardless of their claims or the picture presented by media and image makers, or where we sit in the political spectrum.  We should also do our own probing until we get to see the candidates at their most human selves.  It’s not enough that we use our heart, or head, or both, because our vote is such a sacred thing.  Truth to tell, it needs—prayer.  And that’s the truth.

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