I thoroughly enjoyed the second ANC Leadership Forum. It was informative and it really helped me trim down my list of possible presidential candidates upon which I will pick my ultimate choice come May 2010. And, yes, like every other person I know who watched it, I also had a good laugh thanks to the four participants Former President Josep Estrada, MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay and Senator Loren Legarda.
The second forum was a marked improvement over the first one. Much to my relief, no one asked the participants about the book they last read or the movie they last saw. The producers and hosts did us a big favor by doing away with those nonsensical, pa-cute questions.
I was especially pleased Ms. Che-Che Lazaro asked the guests about their assets. For me, this is the kind of question we should all be asking our candidates if we want to be able to gauge their honesty and commitment to good governance. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the guests’ micro-expressions and body language as they tried to be as vague as possible with their answers to Ms. Lazaro’s query about their wealth. I’m sure many people noticed how the voice of one of the guests quivered and the facial muscles of another became a bit tense while trying to answer the question. It was beautiful TV in a twisted kind of way.
We should all do as Ms. Lazaro did. We should ask our candidates really tough questions even if we already know they will just beat around the bush and ultimately give us answers not even remotely in tune with the question.
How much are you worth? How did you get to be so wealthy? Have you ever stolen public money? Three simple yet powerful questions that can uncover a politician’s real intentions for seeking public office.
I’ll be looking forward to hearing these three questions asked in the succeeding episodes. And, if I may suggest, the forum hosts should also consider asking this question: Would you push for a law that would have the spouse, partner or closest relative of a government official facing charges of graft and corruption treated as an accomplice and charged equally?
Let’s see how they’ll answer that.