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Election 2016 dark horse?

History is replete with dark horses unlikely to succeed in an election but winning as presidents and prime ministers.

Statistical surveys show Miriam Defensor Santiago as unlikely to win. Some no longer mention her, or give her a one-digit rating.

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What hamper her winning are her late announcement of her candidacy and her bout with cancer.

Many Iloilo folk bewail that their Miriam announced her candidacy later than that of Jejomar Binay. It was thought that Binay is the only opposition candidate, so people went for him. But on the ballot change can happen.

Cancer is curable. Sour sop (babana, Hiligaynon; guyabano, Tagalog) has anticancer properties. Nestlé Philippines has its dehydrated juice in its Nesfruta brand, Guyabano. It is possible that the pill Miriam says has reenergized her contains sour sop. She is on her way to recovery.

Miriam can provide a solution to our crime and drug problems through legal means, democratic and internationally acceptable.

This is a direly-needed alternative to Rodrigo Duterte’s inhuman summary killings. Our people, desperate with crime and drug problems, prefer him as he makes it appear that his way is the only way. But is Davao City really drug-free and without corruption? It is alleged that a son of his is involved in smuggling and that only drug pushers, and not drug lords, are caught in Davao City. Who will dare file cases against father and son?

Is there no other way? There is: Miriam’s way. The choice is ours.

Further, Duterte’s arrogance and his treatment of women offend people worldwide. International ostracism can have deleterious repercussions on our economy, politics, social relations, and international affairs.

Miriam’s legal method is that of the international conglomerate formed to go after criminals difficult to capture and sentence. Among the organizers are the United States’ FBI and England’s Scotland Yard. Such a method is available only to heads of state upon request with justification. Further, such head of state should know international law, as the undertaking needs integrated confidentiality .

Miriam is the only presidential candidate who knows international law. She is even more than a specialist in international law. Years ago she was appointed to be a judge in the International Criminal Court of the United Nations. She gave up the appointment when she was stricken with cancer.

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Another factor that can make Miriam the dark horse is her program for our economic development through the industrialization of agriculture. The rich countries do not want us to industrialize; they want us to remain a source of raw materials and cheap labor, as well as a ready market for their own industries.

We do not have the appropriate technology for the usage, processing and preservation of our rich and diverse agricultural products. Industrialization creates new products out of the old and hitherto nonexistent new products. A Japanese tourist was heard to have said that if only they had coconuts in Japan, they would manufacture no less than 100 products out of the crop, including lipstick.

Appropriate technology can be developed through tests and experiments by research centers and institutes all over the country where there are products that need technology for their usage, processing and preservation.

Miriam’s industrialization of agriculture can awaken the agricultural sector, business groups, professional organizations, and cooperatives to the need for it for their own interests and our wellbeing.

In independent surveys Miriam gets about 37 percent. The undecided might vote for her. An interesting factor is Mindanao. With Grace Poe in the running, Duterte may not get its solid vote. Poe will get her votes from FPJ’s Robin Hood appeal, if it is still working.

It is estimated that there are about three million Ilonggo in Mindanao, with Hiligaynon the lingua franca in several areas. There is also a large Ilocano population, with Iloko spoken in several areas. Regionalism may not be discounted.

ABS-CBN’s exposé of Duterte’s psychological issues can loosen his hold. Some defend his freedom of expression, but there is such a thing as civil liberty: Such freedom should not impinge on the freedom of others, especially of the greatest number and the greatest good.

There are those who enjoy Duterte’s saucy language and boasts of his free sex life as sublimation and wish fulfillment of their own unconscious desires of masculinity. We only hope that they leave such gutter fun at the rallies and, at the polls, think of their own lives and those of their families and our welfare as a people.

As the dark horse, Miriam is offering us choices that can lead us to a peaceful and progressive society and a life of self-sufficiency and possible prosperity. The choice is ours.

Lucila V. Hosillos ([email protected]) is a deputy director general of the International Biographical Center in Cambridge, England. Her books and other writings have been published here and abroad. A retired professor of English and comparative literature at the University of the Philippines Diliman, she now resides in Iloilo City, her birthplace, where she is engaged in the retrieval, preservation and development of literature in Hiligaynon.

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