Last night, as I was thinking of what to write about Jose Rizal to commemorate his 119th death anniversary an idea dawned on me, well it’s more of a question really:
“If Jose Rizal ran for President, would you vote for him? Why or why not?” And instead of answering the question my self through this post, I had another crazy idea and went on to Twitter and asked a few netizens the very same question. And the responses were just awesome:
First to reply was fellow blogger Arbet Bernardo:
He was referring to an interview by Philippines Graphic with historian and popular authority on Jose Rizal, Ambeth Ocampo on this very same idea – would Rizal even be elected as President?
I’ll get back to that later on, the second response was by veteran journalist and former lawmaker Teddy Locsin Jr who pointed out why the National Hero couldn’t even run for President:
— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) December 29, 2015
Which brought up a rather interesting point given that Grace Poe’s Presidential candidacy is in serious jeopardy for the exact same reason.
In Rizal’s defense, @tagasalog gave a rejoinder pointing out a technicality:
— tagasalog (@tagasalog) December 29, 2015
So by the looks of it, Jose Rizal, if he ever does pursue being a candidate for the Presidency would have to join Grace Poe in the Supreme Court to sort this out. We’re hoping that the High Court does sort this out clearly and with finality.
From an issue about Rizal’s qualifications as a candidate, @Cocoy started a thread about an insight into why Rizal might not even consider running for President at all:
@jhayrocas As far as I remember… Rizal didn't think Pinoys were ready. That to me, imho is a signal he wouldn't have wanted to lead.
— Jedi Cocoy (@cocoy) December 29, 2015
It all brings to mind other countries whose heroes that led a revolution eventually ended up being elected as President like George Washington who became the first President of the United States, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, and Jose Mujica of Uruguay.
So far though, the only one to gave a categorical answer was my good friend and colleague Albert John Puchero, an educator from DLSU-D:
I’m sure there are other more insightful and interesting answers out there and this quick poll on Twitter has been fun and something I’m eager to continue at another form later on as we get closer to the 2016 Presidential elections.
While waiting for COMELEC’s own James Jimenez‘ article on the Jose Rizal,
— James Jimenez (@jabjimenez) December 29, 2015
I return to that interview by Philippines Graphic of Ambeth Ocampo on Rizal running as President:
Philippines Graphic: Do you think Rizal would make a good president?
Ambeth Ocampo: Rizal will NEVER be elected president of thePhilippines. With his temperament he wouldnt even be elected Barangay Captain because he will not campaign the way polticians do today and will not bend on matters of principle. if Rizal were alvive today, he would not be president, they would shoot him in Luneta all over again!
With this, I turn to you my dear reader, would you vote for the Jose Rizal as President? What if were Jose Rizal running against Heneral Antonio Luna for the Presidency? Now that’s another discussion for another time.