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Next leader must have ‘balls’

Michelle R. Guillang

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A woman can be President Rodrigo Duterte’s successor but she must have the “balls” to lead, an ex-top House leader said.

In a recent phone interview with Daily Tribune, former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said anyone can be the next country’s Chief Executive regardless of gender.

Aside from being mentally strong and sensitive, Alvarez asserted that the next president “should be courageous enough to face national problems and can stand up against anything or anyone for the sake of the people”.

The 17th president can be a woman, a man, or even a member of the LGBT community as long as one would qualify to the criteria his advocacy group had set, he pointed out.

“We Need A Leader 2022”, a voter’s education advocacy led by the Davao del Norte lawmaker, has been promoting a list of qualities that the next president must bear.

Alvarez’s group is pushing for a “pure voter’s education campaign” at this point. By the time that one has qualified to its criteria, he said: “We should be one in supporting that candidate”.

As part of this campaign, his group had started visiting different places in Mindanao to inform the voters of its advocacy. Over the weekend, the group visited Cagayan de Oro for a town hall meeting with farmers, fisherfolks and other stakeholders.

Former Commission on Elections Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal also joined Alvarez to talk about the importance of voting and voting registration processes.

“Our advocacy group is here to weigh every candidate, who is just the right weight and still inadequate. We will help the public to evaluate (every presidential candidate),” Alvarez stressed.

In a nationwide survey conducted by Pulse Asia in December 2020, a woman emerged as the top presidential bet for the 2022 national elections. It was the presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

Different groups have been convincing her to run for the highest office while tarpaulins bearing the words “Sara, Run, Sara” have sprouted in various parts of Metro Manila and Davao City.

She denied having plans to run as president in 2022.

The Philippines had two female presidents in Cory Aquino and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

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