Saturday, May 25, 2019

Sunio: Of honesty, shaming, and elections


I UNDERSTAND that you have to pull out every decent-looking strategies you have on your sleeves to top on the during election campaign perios—no matter how sinister or dirty your methods may really be.

So someone finally spilled the beans. Imee Marcos lied about her degree, and then one politician and electoral candidate after another tried to comment on these to make an impression: That lying is bad, immoral, and should not be tolerated.

One even tried to cleverly attach the “lying issue” with his campaign slogan on public markets. Candidates may resort to riding on some issues and release statements that may start conversations in hopes that their names would be brought to the spotlight.

Later on, educational degree requirements to run for public office were raised once more.

Are educational degrees really that much of an issue to run for office?

I understand that one’s educational background may tell something about a person’s capability to hold office and deliver their responsibilities: in designing laws and, in total, governing a country. Furthermore, one’s background may also influence a voter to choose a certain candidate.

However, the Philippine Constitution may have been right when it did not require candidates to possess certain educational attainments to run for office and be elected. It is because one’s education “may” only tell capabilities and is not the only factor for success in governance.

Throughout history, we already had leaders who had tall lists of achievements and had studied in the most renowned schools in the Philippines and abroad, but had still committed a blunder or two.

I do agree that despite the possible lack of degree a candidate may have, one’s abilities in governance and leadership should be considered in choosing a candidate—not just one’s prior reputation.

Imee Marcos and other candidate’s educational background is not the real issue. It may have been her lying, but I do not agree with how a candidate should be shamed because of the lack of diplomas he or she may have.

Her issue should not become a springboard or basis to requiring educational requirements to exercise one’s right to run for office.


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