FVR on disqualification cases vs 2016 bets: Let people decide

Camille Elemia
FVR on disqualification cases vs 2016 bets: Let people decide
The former president says the country may end up with only one candidate if the 'process of elimination' goes on

MANILA, Philippines – Amid disqualification cases against some presidential bets, former president Fidel V. Ramos said the people should decide on their candidacy.

Asked for his comment on the cases against Senator Grace Poe and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Ramos said they should be given the “benefit of the doubt.”

“When there’s a little doubt, let’s give the benefit of the doubt to the person concerned, meaning let the people decide,” Ramos told the media at the Pandesal Forum on Wednesday, December 16.

In an apparent swipe at the administration, he said there might only be one candidate left if the “process of elimination” continues.

“My point is we may end up with only one candidate for the presidency if we follow this process of elimination which is of course not the way our people want it. So give them the benefit of the doubt,” he said.

The camp of Poe and Senator Francis Escudero earlier linked the disqualification cases against Poe to the camp of administration standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, which Roxas and his camp denied.

Ramos cited his own experience in 1992, when the people chose among 7 presidential bets.

“Look at my case in 1992. There were 7 of us and 6 of them are heavyweights plus one amateur in politics. Mabigat nga pero ‘di marunong sa pulitika (Heavyweight but with no experience in politics),” Ramos said.

In July, or almost two months before Poe and Escudero declared their bid, the tandem met with the former president in his office in Makati.

Asked what the meeting was about, Ramos said the two sought his advice on running a national campaign.

“They asked me, ‘How do you do it?’ So I gave them a copy of my old party platform, instructions to campaigners and managers, and I gave them my speech at the auditorium of Sto Domingo church,” Ramos said.

Aside from Poe and Escudero, Duterte had also asked for Ramos’ advice.  

Despite this, Ramos maintained he still has no clear presidential and vice presidential candidate to support in 2016.

“Ask me again a week before the elections,” he said. – Rappler.com

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com