Our Presidents and their purpose

By Randell Tiongson on March 4th, 2010

In a few months we will finally say goodbye (hopefully) to the 2nd longest serving President of the Republic. Just how good or bad did GMA perform? Let’s try to look at this on a more objective manner…

The Bad

Corruption has really gone berserk in this administration. While corruption has been ingrained in our society, GMA’s mark for her administration’s record in the area of corruption is, well let me borrow the youth’s language here — ‘Epic Fail’. Her ability to rally the country has always been smeared by allegations of incredible graft and corruption.

The Good

Improvements in the economy. I’m not a GMA fan but we need to give where credit is due.

When GMA took office in 2001, here’s the situation:

Inflation at 7.5 percent; the balance of payments (BOP) was at $2.02billion;the ratio of external debt to gross domestic product (GDP) or how much of the country’s total goods and services annually go into servicing the debt, 72 percent;  unemployment at 20 percent.

As GMA ends her term, here are the marcroeconomic stats:

Inflation at about 3.0% percent; the Balance of Payment stands at $5 billion; external debt to GDP ratio is down to 34 percent; and unemployment level is about 7%.

There are many areas that she still failed in the economics arena such as substantial and sustainable GDP growth; too much dependence on OFW remittances; a fiscal policy that needs to usher real country-side growth, the trickling of economic growth to the masses, etc. But, GMA inherited the country in a really bad shape and the improvement in the economic forefront is definitely a blessing.

GMA would probably come down history as one of the most unpopular Presidents we ever had… but history should be fair to her and us Pinoys should really give credit where credit is due. I am not saying we should forget all the ‘corruption’ attributed to GMA’s administration but we should also remember the good she has done.

I know many people will really disagree with me but I believe that all leaders are anointed and God allowed them to lead to serve His purpose, regardless if they cheated or not or whether they deserve to be in power or not . The Bible is full of stories on how God uses leaders, the good and the bad ones, for His purpose. We just need to see the bigger picture of things, I suppose. Let’s look at Philippine Presidents in this case:

1) Marcos – the country was in chaos, the nation needed to be disciplined. We needed an iron-fist at that time, like a child needed a spanking. Marcos was the perfect guy to do that.

2) Cory – it was time to bring back civil authority to the country and putting an inexperienced widow to thwart a well-entrenched dictator was a strong lesson on humility; further, God honored our being peace-lovers by giving us an unprecedented bloodless revolution.

3) Ramos – the country was already ready to experience growth; we were like a young nation once more and we were ready to spread our wings and try flying again; God put a non-catholic leader in a predominantly catholic nation to tell us that He was God of all and that faith is what is needed, not religion.

4) Erap – with the economic growth came arrogance; the masses were being neglected – people were more concerned about travelling outside the country, condominium units and golf courses. Erap was a big insult to the moneyed elite and the intelligent middle-class; he won by one of history’s biggest margins.

5) GMA – The previous administration left the country in turmoil in a very short period of time; the country needed a hard-working leader who was able to do the tough things that needed to be done and things that men are not willing to do.  With all her faults and criticisms, GMA was probably one of the country’s hardest working leader – her work ethics are unbelievable and her dedication to productivity is something to be admired.

What will the next President’s role be? Not sure, but I know God will use him as He uses all to serve His purpose and according to His will which is good, pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2).


13 thoughts on “Our Presidents and their purpose”

  • “I believe that all leaders are anointed and God allowed them to lead to serve His purpose, regardless if they cheated or not or whether they deserve to be in power or not.” Love this line.
    Good post Randell, worthy of a bookmark. It’s very encouraging to look at our presidents from a positive perspective. Its healthy and good for Filipinos to view them through God’s eyes.
    Thank you.

  • I agree with you that a leader is being called to serve the country according to what the situation demands not only in the Philippines but throughout the world and in the span of history.
    Look at Adolf Hitler, many people knew before he ascended the Chancellorship of Germany that he will bring it to the ground but the people’s beliefs, rationale and sentiments needed a leader of his mold, and Hitler knew it, capitalize on it and used it to his advantage.
    Churchill, FDR, Mao Tse Tung, Lee Kuan Yew, Muhammad Mahathir, even George Bush and Barack Obama, they all come into power because they answer the fundamental demands of the their people at the time of their ascendancy to power.
    The next president of the Philippines will be the same, what do Filipinoes uniquely need now is the key ingredient and who ever candidate recognizes it and answer it appropriately will win the seat of power.
    Remember the adage, Vox Populi Vox Deus, the voice of the people will determine who their leaders are because that is what they need and that is what God intends it to be.
    Now ruling wisely or otherwise…is another story all together.

  • Very well said. We need to be fair in rating these presidents. They all brought good and bad things to our country.

  • If Noynoy wins, which I hope not, his focus should be on the economy, infrastructure development, peace and order and education.

    There is no time for political revenge if that is his agenda because that is nonsense and a waste of time.

    This country needs to double time in order to catch up. The Philippines does not need another hero. We don’t need to create another monument or statue in Liwasang Bonifacio, Rizal Park or in Ayala, Makati. We don’t need a Superstar.

    What we always need is nothing but a leader who could deliver, popular or not.

    It is very cheap for Filipinos to choose a leader because he or she is of the same blood of former heroes regardless of his ability to govern. (A situation was an exception during Marcos dictatorship where unity is impossible without Cory’s participation.).

    The people should be guided to use the proper venue when they have grievances against the government. The institutions like the courts are created to serve this purpose. If you place the law into your own hands every time you doubt your President, then what are the systems are for ?

    Let us hope a deserving leader will come out. I see it in Gibo’s. But just the same, I prepare for a Noynoy presidency. I do not believe that whoever is elected, is anointed by God for a purpose. God has given men the freewill to choose his own leader. Man, not God makes his own destiny. In the coming elections. the Filipinos willl face the consequences of their acts.


  • Interesting article. And we need more positive-minded writers like you. GMA has done a great job on an aggregate economic level. Whether that economic gain trickled down to most Filipinos is a different story.

    I completely agree with you that God can use both good and bad leaders. I also agree with you that we have to look at the bigger picture – God’s purpose.

    Having said that I believe that we, by we I mean us as a people, have free will to choose who our leader is. And I don’t believe that the voice of the people is automatically the voice of God. The Bible has many times described how grieved God was when a people and its leaders CHOSE ways that didn’t please Him. We can make a decision that is totally against God’s will. I have done it many times in small and big ways, I still do at times, and I have suffered the consequences.

    Let me share a famous quote by Edmund Burke, “All that’s necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.” When good men don’t do anything, and I don’t just mean in an elected capacity, if we don’t serve others, or educate our children, or tangibly help the poor, or in our own little way improve the lives of others there will always be someone, most probably a brilliant person even, who will manipulate the social issues of the time for their ascendancy.

    Can God use a leader like this? Absolutely. But that “use” could very well be God using him or her, as He has in the past, to bring about the consequences of our own wrong decisions.

  • @David, agree with you. I wanted to expound further on how God uses leaders like how he used Pharaoh or Nebuchadnezzar but felt on keeping the blog in a more positive note. This blog has been getting a lot of attention, wonder why. 🙂

  • I think I need your advise about my financial things.and please try to contact me to my e-mail and I want you to be my friend..and giving advise for where can I invest my money..We peoples like you.I love how to describes about those president in the past..thanks and God bles!

  • Thank you for sharing this blog. Made me realized that God is still in control over the situation in the Philippines. One of the reasons I left the country was because of the overwhelming corruption. Realized it happens even here in Europe. You´re right, we should keep on praying for our coutry and for the next leader that we will elect. Very well said bro! =)

  • Food for thought: During Sunday service, our Pastor asked this question.. “When was the last time you prayed for our President and Leaders”… the church became silent.

  • Thank you for this. No matter what the situation is we must always look not only at the bad, but also the good side of things and to always know that God is in control.

  • You seem to be a good person and I like that, good Christian background another plus in my book. I left a comment on your guestbook about my work here. I do Cebu Tours in Air Conditioned Jeepneys. I may need your help to do one in Manila since I do not know this area. I wanted to know if you can join my website at http://retiringphilippines.org become a member then I will upgade you to editor so you can repost this presidents info there. Make sure you put your photo on you ID so it shows up on your posts. The theme of my website is to get people to come and retire in the Philippines, and is also the theme of my soon to happen tours. Post about anything Philippines, Jeepneys, Cities you’ve been to, Places you think are good for Americans to tour…

    Charles Harman

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Our Presidents and their purpose