(First of a series)

I HAVE predicted a landslide victory for Noynoy. That was my intuition. People keep on asking me: Why Noynoy? Who is Noynoy Aquino? What are his achievements? What makes him deserve the presidency? I have done some research on Noynoy because I feel I have to back up my intuition.

In the first place, my question is: What kind of leader is needed by our people at this point in our nation*s history? What is the present Philippine condition and what problems will the next President of the Philippines face?

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The number one problem in the Philippines is poverty. According to the Asian Development Bank, the Philippines has the highest poverty incidence in East Asia. The consequences of massive poverty are: malnutrition, disease and substandard education. Our poor children are the primary victims of massive poverty. The DSWD reports that anywhere between 60,000 to 600,000 street children are victims of child prostitution, and the Philippines ranks fourth among countries with the most number of prostituted children.

Life is cheap in the Philippines. We have the highest incidence of annual maritime disasters. Road traffic accidents in our country are the worst in Asia. We have the highest number of loose firearms, and crimes committed with loose firearms are murder, homicide, physical injury and robbery. That is the sad situation in our country today: Human life have become very cheap.

The transgressions that we see everyday are mostly due to corruption in law enforcement and the consequent impunity enjoyed by wrongdoers.

Corruption is the number two problem in our country. Half of our national budget’s allocations are lost to bribery, the standing operating procedure or S.O.P. in the Philippines. Because of corruption targets for tax collection are not met and our national debt payments keep on rising. Behind unmitigated poverty, civil unrest and insurgency in the countryside is poor governance and the reason is corruption. Foreign investors avoid our country because of the high cost of business rooted in corruption. Because there are not enough jobs, millions leave for overseas employment. Even the great damage inflicted by natural disasters have been aggravated by corrupt mismanagement.

The Philippines is a country with so much potential and natural resources and yet its people suffer under extreme poverty and social inequality. The reason again is, because corruption is totally beyond its control. According to Transparency International, the Philippines is ranked far behind other Asian countries as far as corruption is concerned. Out of 180 countries surveyed the Philippines is ranked 139th.

So it is as plain as the nose on your face that we need an incorruptible leader who is determined and has the guts to combat corruption. That leader is, in my expectation, Noynoy Aquino when he is elected our next President in May. Just read my next column.

(For your comments email: arnvv@yahoo.com or call: 0926-3123366)