At face value, Gilbert is an ideal president. He's handsome, looks intelligent and has a commanding voice. However, beneath that veneer, what lurks deep into that brain of his?
The question really is—is Gibo really thinking about the common welfare and not only the welfare of a particular class of people and did he serve the interests of the people, not those who nurtured his career as a public servant?
To answer this, let’s look at how Gilbert Gibo Teodoro views the world. His philosophical world-view can be found at http://www.gibo.ph.
Let’s discuss how he plans to manage our country.
First off, Gilbert Gibo Teodoro wants charter change. Gibo blames the 1987 Constitution for the lack of synergy between and among government agencies. He says that the Charter was crafted to lift the vestiges of dictatorship. Now that all the marks of the former regime are already gone, the Charter has already fulfilled its goal. It’s time, says Gibo, to change the Charter, from a hamstrung-ed Constitution, to a more flexible one.
Gibo toys with the idea of changing the political structure, from a presidential bicameral to a presidential unicameral. Gibo does not favor a parliamentary shift; rather he wants to change the Constitution to institute a presidential unicameral system, so that power is actually concentrated in just one entire Executive-Legislative system.
Doing so would mean the perpetuation of the tyranny of elite using a unicameral system and dominated by just one big political party. This model of governance has already been repudiated by other countries. For Gibo, this is the best solution to the current problem we face on our political system.
Obviously, a unicameral form of government would allow Congress to dominate the entire superstructure. If this is instituted, it would be easier for government to sell lands, particularly real estate, to foreigners. Gibo is in favor of allowing foreigners to own lands without cap.
And for a sustainable development, Gibo wants Congress to grant autonomy only to certain areas, where he defines as ready for autonomy. Gibo thinks the country is not yet ready for a Federal form of government.
On the Economy
Gibo provides two views about the economy: we lack innovation, therefore it is time to nurture human resources to be able to create newer and more responsive economic model and two, we need to pay our huge international and domestic debts. For Gibo, the solution to the growing disillusionment about the economy is simply introduce innovation and pay debts.
He avoided discussions on trade liberalization, on agrarian reform, on rural and urban growth and other things about the economy. In fact, his view about the economy can be summed into one paragraph only.
Gibo wants to push for the expansion of benefits under the Student Loan program. Tertiary level students will be allowed to loan their way to college. For Gibo, these loans are to be deemed “salaries”, therefore, students are given SSS membership cards, a sign that they are earning “salaries”. Meaning, if a student is given an SSS membership, government will be able to deduct a certain percentage in the loans of the student. Wow.
So, if you’re a student wanting a loan, you have to be an SSS member so that government will get a slice off your loan. That’s Gibo’s brilliant suggestion on how to help struggling students pay their college education.
On Disaster Management
Gibo claims to be an expert in disaster management. He proposes that government implements a more responsive disaster management program. There’s a slight problem though—his proposal was the same one he implemented when he was defense secretary and we all know what happened in the entire Metro Manila during the Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. He says, and I quote:
“…I support pending bills on National Disaster Act. Both versions state that local government units shall be authorized to use not less than 5% of their revenue for disaster risk management, which includes not merely response relief but also preparation and mitigation efforts.
The events [Ondoy, Pepeng] have really shown the fact that indeed local government units must take the lead in disaster risk management even in rescue and relief because the different topographies, the different conditions of the local governments cannot be managed and cannot be foreseen by the national government. So we have to rely on the different local government units to be our guide in case LGUs cannot handle the situation. And we have to rely on the state of LGU preparations. And take the risk also that these preparations maybe inadequate. And that’s the risk that we take when you make decisions everyday.
If at all, I am in full support that local government units take the lead. We can be guides by trying to build up [LGU's] capacities by placing some sort of a rational framework or technical framework for decision making. We have partner agencies that do that, too. With us are the United Nations, the OHA and the rest. However, the most important thing is to give LGUs the freedom and the leeway to use more funds for capacity building in so far as disaster risk management is concerned. And the proposed law which I support totally will give that. “
If elected, what would Gibo do in his first 100 days?Gibo wants all infrastructure projects finished. He is also thinking of strengthening issues regarding security. Why is Gibo interested on pursuing those unfinished infra road projects? Simple. That's the best way to compensate those local officials who worked hard for him to win.
He will then craft his legislative agenda that includes: the constitutional convention law, a new education road map and the enactment of a Universal health care law. He will also try to convince Congress to enact a revolving student loan program, which funds are to be sourced from the Bangko Sentral and parked at SSS.
Meaning, if you elect Gibo, you are defining electing what he represents, which is cha-cha. And who benefits from cha-cha? You guessed it right---Gloria Arroyo of course.
So, there's a basis for people saying that Gibo is simply Gloria's stooge.
The Mindanao problem
Like other traditional politicos, Gibo parrots the already oft-repeated line of enforcing the law in Mindanao. Gibo wants the implementation of a tough-as-nails kind of policy, which resorts to deployment of more soldiers in the conflict areas. He will then try to implement disarmament, then afterwards, promotion of civic works to spur development. We all know these tactics failed in the past already since no insurgency group would allow government to disarm them. Gibo’s perspective in this lacks a deeper appreciation of the real security situation in Mindanao. In fact, this is just a superficial assessment of the situation, which is a disappointment since Teodoro served as defense secretary for many years.
Political Dynasty bill
Teodoro included this issue as one of his “visions” since he is being accused of being one of the beneficiaries of the non-implementation of a anti-political dynasty bill. Instead of directly addressing the issue, Teodoro blamed the non-implementation of the election finance law. Teodoro says that dynasties can be beaten if there is an efficient implementation or strict adherence to the finance campaign contributions. By levelling financial capabilities, Teodoro sees the defeat of political dynasties. This is a very simple analysis of the prevailing situation. It may be true that the hold of political dynasties are stronger due to their more improved financial status; yet, the fact remains that it would still take a great deal of money before a minority party can defeat a dynastic family.
Net---Gibo's Galing at Talino not for the Common Tao but for his fellow Cono.
To summarize—Teodoro’s prescriptions are no different from the cut-and-paste solutions presented by the elites in the long history of the Republic. Teodoro’s philosophical world-view is simply not transformational enough. In fact, it is simply reactionary. Teodoro’s platform or “vision” you might say, is actually a palliative meant to perpetuate elite domination over all spheres of Filipino life. There is nothing new with what Teodoro is saying, nothing extraordinary for us to get excited and nothing remotely effective in addressing the root causes of our ills and miseries.
Like his cousin, Noynoy Aquino, Teodoro avoided having a concrete stand or solution to the agrarian problem, trade liberalization, issues about the environment and even social injustices.
For me, Gibo’s so-called “Galing at Talino” is nothing more than Genuine Traditionalism or Grossly Trapo. Disappointing since I expect him to honor what he said that service is to the people, not to the Self. Yep, his visions are surely not for him, but for the class which he represents—the elite class whose interests is merely the perpetuation of their domination over the rest of the Filipino People.
What a waste of “Galing” and “Talino”. By decentralizing efforts in disaster preparedness AND management, Gibo wants local government units to be responsible. The question really is–will this lead to more confusion since we all know what happens to ERAs devoted to LGUs?
-data from PatricioMangubat (12/30/09), journalist and History professor from UP and DLSU