Most Reverend Oscar V. Cruz, D.D. is the Archbishop-Emeritus of Lingayen-Dagupan. He is currently the Judicial Vicar of the National Tribunal of Appeals. He is a prolific writer, having published several dozen books mostly on judicial and moral matters. His most recent book is about the Social Doctrines of the Church. He also has a blog where he posts regularly. He is an avid coin collector and dabbles in woodworking art.
Thus categorically speaks the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines specifically as a democratic and republican State. It even categorically affirms that all government authority emanates from the people themselves. All these and more are even considered as Principles and State Policies. (Article II). In other words, the Filipinos are a free people. Theirs is a secular State. They choose and hire them as their public officials through elections. They pay them through their taxes in order to govern them as their public servants by rendering them public service and thus promote their public welfare.
But it is anything but a secret that the people usually do not even really know whom to vote for – except through the generous self-praises of the candidates for election, generous promises they make to the people plus generous give-away they hand out one way or another specially so during every election. But the truth is that the people do not really even know if their votes are duly counted plus the standing reality that they do not really know the honest who and what about individual candidates they vote for – such as their able or disabled personality constitutions, their real individual attributions or liabilities, their capacity or incapacity to govern, to mention a few of their many unknown.
Yes. As some kind of key constitutional requirements or qualifying features, everyone of those aspiring for the highest Offices in the government should be a “natural born citizen” and should at least be “forty” or “thirty-five” years old plus should know how to “read and write”. It is understandable that the occupants of the said Offices should have such a citizenship requirement plus the stipulated physical age. But that they should at least know how to “read and write” – this is not only insulting but also rather ridiculous. No wonder then that there is not really a few number of high-ranking elected public officials in the Republic of the Philippines who definitely have all the above-said qualifications and that’s it. This is precisely one fundamental reason why the Philippines is what it is now – still a very “Third World Country”, why the Filipinos are still afflicted with grossly disabled and/or blatantly corrupt governance, are still victimized by unchecked criminality from sun up to sun down and furthermore, still wallowing in poverty or misery even. Hence:
Is it too much to require that the candidates for such high public government Offices should be at least a Bachelor in one academic course or another – instead of but simply knowing how to read and write?
Is it too much to ask that the same candidates should manifest and certify how much they are worth, how much they can afford to finance their candidacy through their own pockets, by their own money?
Is it too much to demand that the said candidates should undergo their respective psychological tests through much capable and well-known clinical psychologists for the knowledge and appreciation of voters?
Are such proposed agenda not simply relevant but also reasonable so that the People of the Philippines – a sovereign people, etc., etc. – could have better political Candidates, a better government, a better Country?