Miriam: Any idiot can win votes from idiots

READ MORE: Macon Ramos-Araneta (March 22, 2014 at 12:01). Miriam: Any idiot can win votes from idiots. https://www.manilastandard.net/news/top-stories/143438/miriam-any-idiot-can-win-votes-from-idiots.html.

DAYS after suggesting that the next President should be a woman, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said Friday any idiot can run for the office and poll enough votes from his “fellow idiots.”

“We have seen all our senators and congressmen who are stupid,” said Santiago, speaking before the International Youth Leadership Conference in SM Aura in Taguig.

“When you report them, they are angry. Situational leadership. The President should go to them and challenge each of them to a fistfight. You can’t just plead with them,” said Santiago.

Given the kind of leaders that Filipinos have, she said, the question that confronts them is who should they vote for in 2016.

Santiago said there is no correct answer, however. “We should have a President who can turn out to be the best president if he knows how to adjust ourselves,” she said.

She also made fun of the country’s corrupt politicians, belting out classic corruption jokes and punch lines that drew laughter from the audience.

In greeting the international delegates, she said: “Welcome to Metro Manila, the seat of government, glamor, bling and the seat of the most atrocious corruption you’ve ever seen.”

“Let me ask you: do you know what is the result of the IQ exams of corrupt politicians? Answer: negative.”

READ MORE: Macon Ramos-Araneta (March 22, 2014 at 12:01). Miriam: Any idiot can win votes from idiots. https://www.manilastandard.net/news/top-stories/143438/miriam-any-idiot-can-win-votes-from-idiots.html.

“One of these corrupt politicians went for a job interview and the recruitment manager said we’re looking for someone who is responsible. The applicant said, ‘I’m the man for the job. In my last job, when everything went wrong with the PDAF [Priority Development Assistance Fund] given to non-existent NGOs or the Department of Agriculture, they always said I was responsible.’”

She even talked about the release of the bar exam results.

“I heard one of the questions was: should Santa Claus be considered a criminal? Guess! The answer is yes. Santa Claus is liable for crime such as illegal surveillance, unfair labor practices, and animal abuse,” she said.

“I have a pick-up line for aspiring leaders: Can I follow you home? Because my parents always told me to follow my dreams.”

Because of corrupt politicians, Santiago said, she might be inclined to support Charter changes.

If lawmakers insist on amending the Constitution, she said she would introduce amendments to prevent “idiots” from getting elected.

“Candidates for president, vice president, senator and representative should be at least college graduates,” said Santiago, chairperson of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments.

Under statute books, she said that even policemen are required to be college graduates under statute books while public officials follow a lower standard for election.

While she also talked about the Crimean crisis and touched on the history of Kosovo, which experienced ethnic cleansing in the nineties, she related this to local leaders.

Santiago said she also wants a cleansing in the Senate if only it were possible because they are really those who cannot be taught.

“I was a professor of UP but I’ve never seen such a group so resistant to education as the Philippine Senate,” she said.

Santiago said she is also dying to introduce an amendment in the Constitution so that the provision against dynasties should be self-enforcing instead of leaving it to Congress to pass a proper law.

“Notice they never passed a law, notwithstanding that there is a commandment in the Constitution for them to do so,” she said.

The anti-dynasty provisions of the Constitution have not been enforced because decades after the Charter was ratified, no enabling law has been passed.

Santiago also said Charter change cannot be limited to just one area, such as the move in the House to amend only the economic provisions.

She said any move to change the Constitution would open it up to other amendments.

“My only caveat is once you decide to change the Constitution, you cannot by law limit the change or amendment of the Constitution to just one particular point. There are opinions of the Supreme Court ruling that once Congress makes the decision to open the Charter to change, it cannot limit what a constitutional convention or constituent assembly can do.”

“You cannot say just limit it to economic provisions. That will go against the [rationale] for the decision] of these cases decided by the Supreme Court,” she added.

She reiterated her objection to the argument that Charter change is needed to improve economic growth.

READ MORE: Macon Ramos-Araneta (March 22, 2014 at 12:01). Miriam: Any idiot can win votes from idiots. https://www.manilastandard.net/news/top-stories/143438/miriam-any-idiot-can-win-votes-from-idiots.html.

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