Friday, January 25, 2013

Psychological Tests

Without delving into its scientific and technical nature and implications, a “Psychological Test” – if not a downright evaluation by one or more competent psychiatrist – has one over-all finality: To know the personality constitution of an individual usually in terms of his or her interior attributions and liabilities. Even the 1988 Family Code of the Philippines has a provision on marriage nullity when a party thereof was “psychologically incapacitated” at the time of the wedding (Art. 36). And such requirement is required by such a common or ordinary state of life as marriage.

It is both necessary and practical that every individual should be psychologically fit for the state of life he or she chooses, for the purpose of the venture he or she undertakes, for the nature of office he or she holds. The truth of the matter is that even candidates for the Priesthood undergo one or two psychological tests to gauge their aptitude or fitness for the priestly office. And there are also psychological tests taken by candidates for leadership in the Supreme Court.

The thesis of this simple, candid, and short article is plain and simple: All candidates for the Office of the President must undergo psychological test for the electorate to know and decide his or her fitness for the highest demanding and critical government positions in the country. While it may be enough for everybody else to be Filipino of legal age, with knowledge of how to read and write in order to elect and be elected into any public office, it is ridiculous and even outrageous that the President of the Republic of the Philippines may have but the same elementary qualifications. This is not fair for anybody – neither for the public official nor for the general public.

If a sitting President or his/her equivalent of whatever country at whatever time were psychologically unfit for the office, then the ultimate victims of such incapacity would be infallibly the people themselves. The president could have the best advisers, the best subordinate executives, etc., etc., but such advantages still does not make him an able public official, still does not make him really lead but is instead led by those closely maneuvering him or her. The person is then used and/or even abused precisely by the subjects of his trust and/or friendship closely surrounding him – in favor or their own interests and concerns. So sad but true.

As a matter of fact, unless one indulges in prohibited drugs, hallucinatory pills or the like, his or her psychological incapacity is usually inborn or inherited. He or she did not seek it, much less wanted it. But just the same, such ingrained personality liability remains existent in the person concerned – and does not make the latter capable of a really demanding, critical, and delicate public office.