“No person may be elected as president unless he is a natural born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.” (1987 Constitution of the Philippines: Art. VIII, Sec. 2)
While it is definitely neither necessary that someone should be an extraordinary scholar nor should it be a requirement that somebody should be an aristocrat, and while it is not only reasonable that the individual concerned should be a resident Filipino citizen, a voter who is at least forty years old; truth to say, it is not only incongruous but also ridiculous that a candidate for the Presidency – and essentially the same for Hon. Senators and Hon. Congressmen – should know only how to read and write.
No wonder then that as a People with incompetent and dishonorable if not also insensitive and disabled elected Public Officials, they become by and large not simply angry and disgusted but also eventually stagnant in their socio-economic condition and thus become more poor even and miserable as well in the course of time. On one hand, they are victimized by greedy politicians, they are confused by their confusing Government Public Officials. On the other hand, they are furthermore victimized by able and dedicated criminals who dupe, steal and even kill people – and yet remain happy and free because of government incompetence and indolence.
It is then an understandable and laudable requirement that “A Member of the Judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.” (Ibid, Sec. 7, no. 3) But no less than the Chief Executive plus the Legislators of the Philippines – never mind if they are disabled and dependent, deceitful and corrupt on proviso only that they are “able to read and write.” This is a shame but this is the truth. Such is a disaster but it is the reality. No wonder then that the abundance of temporal resources and/or the phenomenon of popularity - not to mention the matter of partisan politics – are what really and actually count for the election to public offices from the local to the national levels.
It does not matter that even but elementary school teachers, mechanics, Call Center agents, etc. etc., should know much more being “able to read and write” in addition to their trustworthiness and dependability. But the president, the Chief Executive, the Commander-in-Chief – plus Legislators in this country – should only be “able to read and write”. This is not to belittle individuals who were not able to go to school, who are unable to read and write, who are not graduates of any course, for one reason or another – on condition only that they are law-abiding citizens as an overall basic credential. So is it that it bears asking: Should not a candidate for the Presidency – as well as those for the Legislative Department – first pass the pertinent Psychological Test, IQ Test and the like? Just asking.