After joining the presidential race in 2004 and 2010, religious leader Bro. Eddie Villanueva may seem too desperate to get elected to a public post.
But the perks and privileges did not attract the founder of the Jesus Is Lord (JIL) Movement to run for a lower position in the Senate this time.
“I’m not a traditional politician. I accepted the challenge to run in 2004 and 2010 as a rescue operation for our people because I used to be a political economist, social activist, and educator,” Villanueva said.
“It does not matter to me if I run whether as a senator or as a president. Even a senatorial position does not have an ‘it’ to me,” he told Yahoo! Southeast Asia.
But Villanueva, who opposed former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, said he is running for the third time because he thinks this is the only way he can contribute to the country’s nation building.
“I always say that the young people are the franchise holders of the future. Never sell that franchise. You are entitled to the brightest future in the Philippines,” Villanueva said.
“I just want the young generation to remember that Bro. Eddie Villanueva and his generation from Bangon Pilipinas Party did not run for vested interest but to craft the future of the nation,” he added.
He said that he has always been creative, competent, and resourceful – which are traits perfect to make visionary leaders for the task of state-crafting.
“Whether I run for president or for Senate, it makes no difference. What is important for me is to have an opportunity to introduce and sponsor urgent landmark legislation that can really make a difference in the transformation of economic, social, and political system,” he noted.
As an economist, Villanueva vowed to legislate bills that would ensure that developments achieved by the government will trickle down to the poor.
He said the country needs the principle of “ekononomiyang sagigilid,” which would provide more exemptions for farmers, fisherfolk, transport operators, small-scale businessmen, side-walk vendors, and seafarers.
He promised to pass his landmark legislation prioritizing micro, small and medium enterprises based on the economic models adopted by Thai, Malaysian, and South Korean governments.
He also committed to pass a legislation that would create more jobs.
Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers on Monday will kick off expanded wargames, showcasing a deepening defence alliance as alarm bells ring over China. The 10-day exercises in the Philippines are an annual affair between the longtime allies, but this time they will involve double the number of soldiers as last year in a sign of their expanding military partnership. The Philippines is seeking more US military and diplomatic support to fend off China's increasing forcefulness in its bid …