A look at the presidential campaign in the Philippines with the broadcaster and economics professor at the University of the Philippines Winnie Monsod, as she talks to Joseph Planta about the issues and the candidates running to succeed the unpopular Gloria Arroyo.
Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:
I am Planta: On the Line. This is THECOMMENTARY.CA.
In January, I was in the Philippines for a couple of weeks. It was hard not to notice the politicking that was going on, and I found reading about the forthcoming elections in local papers fascinating. I’ve only been there twice in my life, but it’s the country of my parents birth, and one not unknown for its unique and colourful political history.
On May 10th, general elections will be held for president and vice president, the Congress, and half of the Senate. The current president Gloria Arroyo is unpopular. She was installed as president following an uprising by the people in 2001 against then president Joseph Estrada. Rumours abound as to her legitimacy as president, and ongoing allegations about corruption and gratuitous appointments made in the twilight of her term are regular fodder in the press. She is prevented by term limits to run for re-election. There are a number of candidates running for the presidency. The two leading contenders are Senator Noynoy Aquino, the son of the former president Corazon Aquino, and Senator Manny Villar, a businessman who’s one of the country’s wealthiest. They’re running neck and neck, with Estrada usually placing third in most polls.
To look at the elections there, in a way to broaden the view of this program, I’m joined now by Solita Collas-Monsod, known popularly as Winnie Monsod. She is a popular broadcaster, columnist, and a professor of economics at the University of the Philippines. Her CV includes many appointments to various NGOs, as well she was secretary of socio-economic planning in the administration of Mrs. Aquino. She appears regularly in the Philippine Daily Inquirer broadsheet, and is seen on the GMA Network and its subsidiary Q, where she appears as an analyst on their internationally acclaimed, award-winning program, News on Q. Professor Monsod joins me from Manila. Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, Winnie Monsod; Good morning, Professor Monsod.