by Maria Althea Teves, abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak | 12/03/2009 1:58 AM
(Third in a series on the ANC Harapan presidential forum held December 2, 2009 at UST)
MANILA - Olongapo City Councilor John Carlos “JC” de los Reyes, 39, appealed to the youth not to abandon their idealism when they vote in the coming elections.
De los Reyes issued the appeal during the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) forum “Harapan” with 7 presidential candidates held Wednesday at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila.
The youngest presidential aspirant said that the first thing he would do if he wins is to go on a retreat and pray to God, and ask his guidance so he can face the problems of the country.
He emphasized that he is the youngest candidate from the Ang Kapatiran party. As part of the youth, he said that he will set a good example and try to change the old, corrupt government with the party’s programs that make moral leadership possible.
De los Reyes said the party's members chose him to run for president because they believe he can lead with the youth's idealism, which is what the country needs.
“I will not be sorry for my idealism,” he said. Idealism is needed because “this country should be infused with nationalism," which would make moral change in the country possible.
Filipinos should be humble
De los Reyes said that after asking for God’s guidance, he would ask the people to be humble and accept that the country's problems are the result of a moral crisis in society.
After asking people to be humble, he would implement the platform of the Ang Kapatiran party.
“I am only a conductor in an orchestra producing good music,” he said.
He said he is a leader who will lead people with “good music” in their hearts or good moral character. He said the change in the people's moral character would be inspired by his leadership.
In his first 100 days in Malacañang, he said he will instill in people's hearts faith in God. He will also strengthen family bonds and bring overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) back to the country.
‘GMA is not a good example to youth’
De los Reyes said President Arroyo’s congressional bid is “not a good example to the youth.”
“Naghahanap ng huwaran ang kabataan… Bagama’t legal, hindi maganda (The youth is looking for a role model. Although President Arroyo’s bid is legal, it would is not good),” said de los Reyes.
If he wins in the 2010 elections, de los Reyes said he would “use moral influence” and powers so that Arroyo will not become House Speaker.
Anti-political dynasty, patronage politics
De los Reyes said that he is against political dynasties and patronage politics.
He said the ongoing problem in Maguindanao which resulted in the November 23 massacre is due to the current administration's policy that tolerates or encourages political dynasties and patronage politics.
“Kung hindi na pinadrino yan ni President Arroyo, hindi iyan mangyayari (If President Arroyo did not embrace patronage politics, the massacre will not happen),” he said.
To prevent such an incident from happening, he proposed a gun ban. He said the fight for a gunless society was started by Ang Kapatiran's Nandy Pacheco. A bill was certified as urgent by then President Aquino, but has been archived in Congress for 23 years.
“Maraming balasubas na bumabaril dahil may basbas ng Malacañang (There are a lot of unruly people who gun down civilians because of the blessing of Malacañang),” de los Reyes said. He added the massacre would not have happened if people were not armed.
The government must also get leaders that are truly representative of the people in Mindanao. “Principle and what they fight for” are things a president should consider in appointing Cabinet members and other officials, not loyalty to the appointing power.
De los Reyes also disclosed that he only owns two houses: a brick house in Baguio City he built because of his brick manufacturing business, and a P2 million lease-to-own house in Olongapo City, Subic Bay. His lease payment amounts to P50,000 a month.
He also claimed to be in debt. “I am negative P5 million because I started my brick business,” he said.
De los Reyes also said that he and his wife would waive their right to bank secrecy in the spirit of transparency and accountability.
“Simpleng tao lamang ako (I am only a simple man),” he said.
Aside from de los Reyes, those who joined the forum were: Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III, Joseph Estrada, Richard Gordon, Nicanor Perlas, Gilbert Teodoro, and Eddie Villanueva.
Sen. Manny Villar cancelled at the last minute claiming he had to attend an emergency meeting.
as of 12/03/2009 1:58 AM