THE Palace is not just for a king or a queen. The Palace is also a royal residence loaded with intrigues and prejudices. It is here where the keys jangle, the doors chunk, the owls toot, the bells ding, the engines grate, and the tires screech.

Presidential candidates are expected to go on foot following the “Matuwid na Daan” (just like Abraham in the Old Testament). I just don’t know if our candidates are aware that the right path is not always smooth. There are challenges along the way and temptation is always toothsome. Our candidates are just human beings. They have their horns to safeguard. Angels can even be tempted. (They have horns also.)

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the best men behind the media organizations are preparing a public debate for the presidential candidates. This could be our way of separating the thespian from the aspirant. We will know who is standing on a platform that would benefit the Filipinos and probably voters could identify who can keep his cool under fire. We are not voting for a saint president but we are not voting also for someone who wets his bed.

There were issues and concerns in the past that should not be taken for granted. I don’t believe that we have to forget the past, face what is ahead of us, and accept reality. Our future president should not have a passive mentality. PNoy, in his speeches, made mention of the past (especially immediate past) because what was not resolved in the past would be a burden for the present and the future.

Presidential candidates should hold the bull by the horn. There are questions that were not answered in PNoy’s administration. I am referring to the events of the immediate past. Where’s that internal probe on the ZTE bribes? Can you recall the ZTE deal conceived in hotel “sexcapades”? What happened to the lives of whistleblowers Joey de Venecia, Jun Lozada, and Dante Madriaga?

We still have the NAIA-3 controversy, the damage that Fraport wrought. Can we just forget Fraport’s drive to tarnish our country’s image abroad? It is like the pot calling the kettle black. In the recent past, I was asking myself (as-a-not-so-frequent-traveler), “Why is NAIA-3 defective?” It hurts because taxpayers are made to pay for NAIA-3 flaws. The only consolation we got was when the Philippines scored a double victory in international litigations.

In Diwalwal, Compostela Valley, do you remember the Diwalwal sudden bidding to cover up the ZTE mess? Many speculated that the Diwalwal bidding benefited only the crony of the past queen. Layers of wrongs plagued Diwalwal and the tribesmen were up in arms. That was politically funny and the political fun turned into nightmare.

Only very few knew that the Aquino administration cancelled the rushed privatization. I would like to believe that the Ombudsman has never investigated the earlier unconstitutional and illegal award of Diwalwal gold mining rights to ZTE International Corp. We need the “Truth Commission” here to find out not the truth but to discover lies and deception to the highest level.

Do we have military corruption? The next president should have big balls (eye balls) to see AFP generals’ hidden wealth (or this could just be a military myth). Are there generals involved in fake bidding? Are wives still carrying money luggage during their husbands’ military conference abroad? We love the military. We give them “Matuwid na Daan.” We don’t want another general to commit “show side.”

We want our presidential candidates to look into election reforms. We don’t want to believe that Comelec is involved in horse-trading. We don’t want to find virtue when proof of guilt came. Again, we don’t want retail cheating to give way to wholesale. In our country, election is not just a democratic process. It is entertainment. Let us make it pure entertainment without pollution.

Presidential candidates should not just zero in on personality issues. There were events in the past that still haunt us even at lunch time. If you want to be president, make a difference.