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Miriam is My Role Model but Duterte is My Leader

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As of this moment I am torn among the Philippine presidential candidates for the May 9 election. I have heard their sides on various issues during the presidential debates on national television that narrowed my choices to two most qualified candidates for the presidential post. These are Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Rodrigo Duterte.

I have both respects for these candidates as I admire their accomplishments in their respective fields.

Miriam is the most academically successful among the candidates with her astonishing resume that no one would dare to question. She has the fitting educational background and her fierceness was tested in the three branches of the Philippine government. One would say she is indeed over qualified for the position.

On the other hand, we have Rodrigo Duterte known for his eccentric leadership in Davao City. He is best known for his harsh campaign against criminals and combating drugs and whoever dare to go beyond the law of his city will deal with such punishments in accordance to the law and some would even speculate his methods go beyond the ordinary way.  He is the iron hand that the law delinquents wouldn’t dare to cross with.

But as a Filipino, I am responsible to be part of the election process that would put a person in front of this nation to lead its citizen. If I am to judge this election season, the real battle is only between Miriam Defensor Santiago and Rodrigo Duterte.

But there can only be one. To guide me in this process, I recalled my business management course in the graduate school with Professor Teehankee. I remembered reporting on the points of being a top leader of an organization. A leader should possess most likely the Level 5 Leadership to make our ship sail and overcome the raging waves of the future.

In that context, to be a great leader one must demonstrate a compelling modesty, shunning public adulation and never boastful and also has a professional will to aim a superb result.

He or she has also an ambition not for himself but for the whole organization. His way of thinking is to see the organization to become more successful in the next generation passing the responsibility to an even more qualified leader after him.

And what struck me most was when the author Jim Collins emphasized  that this leader must be shy but must have a fierce personality that would earn him or her the respect of the people surrounding him thus making the organization move as one.

If I am going to base my choosing on the criteria above, I would choose a leader that is more than just academically superb. He or she must be a total package. Miriam is a real intelligent public servant but I feel a little intimidated by her accomplishments that I could have only dreamed of. I am not saying she is not an effective leader. She is simply an idealistic one to become the head of the state and I am having a second thought on whether she can really deliver beyond the pages of the books she have had memorized by heart. I feel I am just a shadow of her greatness and success. She is indeed the person that I wish I could be, educationally and morally. She is the person that everybody can adore, untainted and one could say a real role model among the youth.

But this nation is a complicated one and the problems on corruption, poverty and other social issues have grown exponentially and are already beyond control. I feel that we need a leader that has a universal capacity to return that order but still able to relate to the issues and problems of this society. 

I want a leader that have built his/her credentials on the very foundation of the principle that he have fought and believed in for the longest time and made it work. I want a leader that can actually share the same sentiments and that would make me feel free and welcome because of his simplicity, aiming to push me to be a better contributor of this nation.

I am not seeking for a saint or a know-it-all person to lead me and  solve the problem of the world. I want a leader that uses his or her common sense and listens to the voices and cry of the people. And that leader would be that man or woman that will represent the people of this nation. A leader that is undeceiving and can work well and willfully gain his/her strength from the people. After all, that leader can’t do it alone without the support and legwork of the people to run his/her government. He/she needs the people that will believe in his capacity and in the end the people will religiously follow the mandate of his/her government for the betterment of everyone without any personal interest.

And so, between Miriam Defensor Santiago and Rodrigo Duterte, I am choosing the latter, because he is not perfect just like me, he is simple just like me and most of all, he act just like any HUMAN to which can relate to the real problems of the people of this nation.  Good luck to whoever will win the May 9 election. God help us all.


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