How I Made My Choice for President

The decision of who to vote for the presidency did not come in a snap to me. I had thought long and hard about my choice of who will lead the Philippines in the next six years. Previously, in a more public and shorter post in Facebook, I said that the coming elections for the presidency is becoming a process of elimination. That is, who remains after removing the candidates I didn't want to vote for? Looking at the candidates then, I filtered my choices, removing the ones who I think had spectacular failures as leaders in times of crisis and those who, time and again, have shown that they are above the law.

Fast forward to a few months later, I have realized a few things along the way. I am almost at the end of a leadership program sponsored by the company I work with. One of the many things I learned, which I realize I can apply in choosing who to vote for, is that leaders can be categorized into four: Action, Process, Idea, and People

There are leaders who are more action-oriented. They are good with strategies, setting goals and objects. They like to cut through the bullshit and get to the bottom of things. They dislike meetings and prefer reports and presentations to be in bullet points. They hit the ground running. Leaders like these tend to overlook the details.

Details are the strength of the process-oriented leaders. They work on the nitty-gritty; they analyze and dissect every little thing. They like working through the bullshit. But working through the bullshit gets them stuck in a quandary. Analysis by paralysis sets in. Leaders like these sometimes fail to see the big picture. 

Big pictures, long-term plans, and out-of-the box thinking are the strength of idea-oriented leaders. They can talk about one idea and then jump off another. They like thinking about other options. They make plans, maybe promises, without thinking about how they will happen or how they will affect people. They do not think about the execution, they just like to think and have an idea about things.

People are the strength of people-oriented leaders. They consider the public, their constituents, their staffs a lot. They are gregarious, outgoing, more extroverted. They can work their way around a party or a big gathering. They tend to be more emotional.

This does not mean that a leader can be boxed into just one category. Leaders can be strong in idea and action, process and people, or any other combinations. Their leadership styles can be flexible depending on what's needed. But at their core, there are one or two leadership styles that define them.

I thought about this and the state of affairs of the Philippines. What kind of leader does our country need? An idea-oriented leader? No. Why? Because an idea-oriented leader can have a million ideas and not know how to execute them. To translate: an idea-oriented leader can make a million promises, but when shit hits the fan, this kind of leader will not know what to do.

A people-oriented leader cannot bring this country to shape. This kind of leader will appeal to emotions, to be one of the masa. But is actually a wolf in sheep's clothing.

A process-oriented leader may work. But not in this country. This country does not need a process-oriented leader when the process--the system--is broken. If a process-oriented leader is elected to the presidency, in times of crisis, this leader will be paralyzed before making a decision. Meanwhile, everyone is already dying or dead. We cannot be stuck in a long discussion about the technicalities when a storm is raging on or a war is happening down south.

What this country needs, for me, is an action-oriented leader. One who can hit the ground running, put this country in shape, and know what to do in times of crisis. This country needs to be disciplined. This country needs a leader who cuts through the bullshit and gets things done.

And this is how I came to choose Duterte as my president. Poe is idea, Binay is people, Mar is process. This country needs action and he's the candidate who acts. This country does not need a president who has an idea about the traffic in EDSA. This country does not need a president who feels with the people stuck in traffic. Nor does this country need a president who is stuck like the traffic and calls it progress. This country needs a president who can move everyone along in the traffic.


The purpose of this entry is not to convince you to vote for my choice, but to show you how I arrived at my choice. You may have a different candidate because your reasons are different but nonetheless valid, and I respect that. The important thing is, voting for the country's top post must be thought through. There must be a good, solid reason why we choose to vote for a certain candidate.


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