Aquino: No to ‘ampaw’ candidates in 2016

President Benigno Aquino III warns against presidential candidates who are like 'ampaw' or rice puffs, in that they appear appealing but have no substance

NO TO AMPAW. President Benigno Aquino III warned voters against presidential candidates who like the ampaw, are appealing but have no substance. Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III has one advice for voters come 2016: Make sure they have substance.

Asked about the qualifications of a good presidential candidate at a forum with high school students on Wednesday, March 12, Aquino warned against shallow presidential hopefuls whom he likened to ampaw (rice puffs).

“Their competence has to be demonstrated….The ampaw for example, is delicious but inside, it’s all air. How do I say this without being insulting?,” he said, laughing.

“Is there a point in what they’re saying? Are the things coming out of his mouth truth or just good to hear? When you watch their speech or their campaign, is there substance in what they are saying or are they just dancing, singing and playing cute? Do their words match their actions?”

Aquino said substance to him is of utmost importance, as well as being true to themselves, because “if you don’t trust your leader, how will you follow him?” he pointed out. He also said the continuity between the actions and words of the candidate “has to be demonstrated consistently before he can start or you should start imparting your trust on him or her.”

The President said voting for an ampaw-like candidate will only be a disappointment.

“In essence, who has substance and who is just an ampaw? The ampaw may be satisfying for a little bit, but after 10 minutes, we’re hungry again because there isn’t any filling,” he said.

Research the candidates

Aquino also added two other qualities he believed was necessary: selflessness and humility.

He said the next President must demonstrate that he is in the position to serve the people, and not himself. He also said a leader must not be overconfident in their own abilities, but practice humility.

Aquino encouraged voters to use the internet to research the pros and cons of candidates, and to use the information available to make their decision.

The ruling Liberal Party (LP) has yet to announce its presidential bet for 2016 although Interior Secretary Mar Roxas is widely believed to be its bet after he stepped down in 2010 to make way for Aquino’s presidential bid, and subsequently failed in his vice-presidential bid against Jejomar Binay.

Binay has announced his plans to run for President, as well as Senate Majority Leader Alan Cayetano who may be the Nacionalista Party (NP)’s bet, although sources say there is a possibility he could run as an independent candidate.

Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr, chairman of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), has also expressed his interest in running. –

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