(Note: This post reflects my personal process in shortlisting my candidates and assessing them. I am sharing it since so many have been asking me what my own stand is. This is where I am as of today. My assessments can still change depending on circumstances or events up to May 9. This does not necessarily reflect the sentiment of my other colleagues in Blog Watch.)
SPIRIT: The GabayKristo Guide
The 2016 elections is the first time that faith-based groups, called the People’s Choice Movement, have come together to evaluate candidates based on an agreed criteria numbering 20. These criteria are known as the GabayKristo Guide.
You can download the GabayKristo Guide from Scribd and use it to evaluate candidates.
I believe in servant leadership – that rare quality in a leader that puts country above self. It’s about time that citizens start expecting (and demanding) this of candidates for all positions and stop being fearful of new faces who could exemplify this trait.
The GabayKristo Guide covered 4 general areas (character and integrity, leadership abilities, sincerity to God and country, and leadership integrity). Candidates were evaluated and shortlisted by People’s Choice and eventually, list for President was narrowed down to Roxas and Poe. At this point, I dropped Santiago. I am not sure if she was considered in the shortlisting of the People’s Choice Movement but my reason for dropping her was her choice of VP. Much as I admired her spunk and wit, I had reason to question her choice of partner to run with. I have not forgotten Martial Law so this was a big deal for me.
I printed out this guide and created 2 columns beside each criteria, one for Roxas and the other for Poe. I penciled in my score for them under each criteria and totaled it up. The results:
For those wondering why Roxas rated lower than Poe, here are the criteria where I rated Roxas lower than Poe:
- Genuinely empathetic towards the poor and underprivileged sectors of society – The PNoy administration was not exactly popular for being empathetic. This feeling of exasperation unfortunately extends to Roxas.
- He has courage to fight for what is right – This may be a controversial one but I felt that Roxas had many opportunities to exert his leadership even if it went contrary to PNoy. Take Mamasapano. He already had the upper hand getting people’s sympathy because he was excluded from the SAF 44 plans. He could have made a strong statement. Instead, he chose to back down and stay with the administration line. This has cost him in terms of people’s sympathy.
- He uses the country’s financial resources judiciously and does not use any government fund for personal gain, such as improper use of DAP and Pork Barrel – While true that Roxas personally has had no corruption issues against him (and I truly believe in his integrity as a person), he has stayed silent in the face of issues such as Aquino’s DAP. The LP party is also currently being questioned about government funds funding his campaign, e.g., DOH TV ads mentioning Daang Matuwid. He is also affected by the charge against Comelec’s allowing of “Daang Matuwid” as a nickname when it is clearly a slogan. While all are still just issues for now, they have affected how my ratings went.
To be fair, there were areas where I ranked Roxas higher than Poe:
• Has not been involved in graft and corruption and does not possess unexplained wealth
• Has adequate knowledge and education to prepare him/her for the desired position
• He/she has adequate experience in what is necessary for the desired position and has a tangible record of accomplishments from his/her previous posts
HEART: Listening to that inner voice
That intuitive sense inside all of us has been ignored for the longest time but in my personal experience, I have always been proven wrong whenever I listened to my mind over my gut feel. So while it is still quite difficult sometimes to listen more carefully to that inner voice, I am trying to.
Some of the questions I am asking now are:
• Who can I trust more to bring progressive change to the country?
• If I choose Roxas, will it be the same people around Pres. Aquino now who will continue on for another 6 years? I want real change, not continuity of the past 6 years which sorely disappointed me. Is Roxas up to the task?
• If I choose Poe, will she be strong enough not to be influenced by those who have more years of experience and who may try to use that experience edge to take advantage of her?
• Can the President I choose work well with my choice of VP, even if they are not a tandem?
• Do I want an old system with a lot of flaws? Or take my chance with an untested administration?
• Which administration will finally recognize the importance of citizen engagement and the role of citizens in participative governance?
The decision matrix (mind) gives me a good feel of where each candidate stands. The GabayKristo guide injects the spiritual and values-based side of my decision (spirit). And, taking those two into consideration, plus other factors, I believe I will vote based on what my gut feel (heart) will tell me as I sit in that precinct, ballot in hand.
Down to Two
At this point, my choices are down to Roxas or Poe.
Honestly, I have issues with both of them so it will not be an easy choice. It may boil down eventually to which administration I can live with and who will bring stability to a country that needs a long break from infighting and controversy so that it can move forward in terms of economic progress.
Between now and May 9, I will continue to revisit my matrices and stay updated on current events that may influence the ratings I gave. I will also be praying hard for our country as well as for all voters. In the end, whoever becomes President should be supported by us to the extent possible and within the law. It should also be a time of continuing vigilance to ensure that the next President stays the course of transparency and good governance.
Are you undecided as well? You may want to give the Decision Matrix and the GabayKristo Guide a try. Take a deep breath, say a little prayer, and give some time this weekend to go through each of the candidates. Don’t forget…listen to your inner voice too.