My evaluation of the Presidential Candidates


My Overall Presidential Scorecard after the 3rd and final Presidential Debate 2016:

* ROXAS ................  21.15 %       (Margin of lead over Duterte = 0.30)

* DUTERTE .............. 20.85 %       (Margin of lead over Poe  = 0.55)

* POE ....................  20.30 %       (Margin of lead over Binay = 0.25)

* BINAY .................  20.05 %       (Margin of lead over Santiago = 2.40)

* SANTIAGO ...........  17.65 %

Remarks and explanations of [selected and significant] details not shown in the overall score:

In my assessment, this is a very close presidential race. Roxas' 0.30 % margin of lead over Duterte is overwhelmingly negligible. Statistically, they are tied. All four candidates have statistically negligible margins of lead, thus the four are virtually tied in my scorecard.

* All of the candidates are competitive in terms of Leadership Ability, although they differ in style, approach to problems, and attitude.

* In the area of Character and Mental Aptitude, Senator Poe scored just a little bit higher than Secretary Roxas. The rest are very close behind except for Mayor Duterte who lags but not far in the rear.

* In the category of Physical Fitness & Endurance. Senator Santiago managed to score good (although far not quite as excellent as the rest of the candidates) since she is showing observable very significant recovery from her stage four lung cancer. This is the only area that causes her overall score to lag behind the other candidates.

* Mayor Duterte scored very high in the sub-criteria of Anti-Crime and Anti-Corruption. But in the main criteria of Ability to Solve Current Pressing National Problems, Duterte's score ranked 3rd, with Roxas on the top followed by Binay. Poe and Santiago are statistically tied at the 4th rank very closely following Duterte.

* On the criteria of Platform of Government, all the candidates have almost no difference in terms of their plans for the economy, poverty alleviation, education, infrastructures, health, transportation, agriculture, housing, etc. But in the area of OFW Affairs, VP Binay scored higher. Binay exhibited a deeper knowledge of the OFW plight than the rest of the candidates. Meanwhile, in the area of Job Creation, this is where Secretary Roxas shines. His track record speaks well of his capability to really do the task of job creation well, but close behind him is VP Binay.

* I have not yet finished my final assessment and scoring for the candidates concerning their Plan of Action regarding the two very important national issues very seriously faced by our country, namely, the BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) and the WPSTD (West Philippine Sea Territorial Dispute).

* At the start of the election season, the one factor that attracted me to the Duterte candidacy is their ["strong"] advocacy for a change of government to "Federalism". Even long before the Duterte candidacy was officially announced, they have already floated the idea of Federalism to the Filipino public and caught the interest of many people including me. But as the campaign period is nearing its end, it now appears as if the floating of the idea was just an act of testing the waters because they are saying nothing concrete about the idea until now.
When they noticed that hyping their anti-crime line of messaging has drawn a large following, they dropped Federalism in the background and pursued a campaign with a messaging strategy of hyping anti-drug crime and anti-corruption coupled with "malasakit". People like me who got infatuated with their idea of change of government are now starting to strongly doubt the [in]sincerity of their Federalism advocacy.
* With all the factors in my preference for a president considered, except for the two important national issues, namely, the BBL and the WPSTD, there is yet one more big factor that is important in my consideration of who will I vote for for the office of the presidency. It is between Mayor Duterte's "Federalism" and Secretary Roxas' "Bottom-Up Budgeting" or BUB. The success of either of these two approaches to decentralization of government powers and resources will greatly depend on the kind and quality of either of the leaders and how really committed they are in carrying out their respective grand plans and how viable and doable their respective plans are.

Lord, we are at a crossroads. Guide us into the best way that we should go.