The Vote 2010: Nicanor Jesus III Pineda Perlas

The Vote 2010: Nicanor Jesus III Pineda Perlas
The Philippine Star

Nicanor Jesus III Pineda Perlas


Slogan: Perlas Tayong Lahat

Born Jan. 10, 1950 in Manila

Legally married to Kathryn Carpenter but separated ‘by mutual, respectful and friendly agreement’

Children: Christopher Michael, 20, management student, DLSU

Elementary: Ateneo de Manila, 1964

High school: Ateneo de Manila, 1968

College: Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro City, 1972

Graduate School: University of the Philippines-Los Baños, 1978

Degrees: BS Agriculture, major in Agronomy, minor in Agri Economics, 1972; Master of Science (candidate) in Botany (Environmental Sciences), 1978

Father: Jesus C. Perlas Sr., NAWASA general manager †                 

Mother: Anunciacion M. Pineda, businesswoman/housewife †

Other families/children with other women: none

Major surgeries – appendix removal (age 18).

BP – I take it myself; last time, a month ago, 135/90

Smoker? No

Medications/vitamins – Vitamin C.

Ever consulted a psychiatrist? – No.

Who are your advisers in economics/business/finance,foreign affairs, security/peace and order, politics/legal matters, media/public relations, health education?

None, I’m basically knowledgeable in those areas since I’ve been writing documents, policy papers for over 25 years, consulting with the UN and so on.

Who’s running your campaign? I have a decentralized campaign team, my campaign manager is Tammy Dinopol.

Campaign budget?

P4 million, have used up about half.

How will you repay campaign donors, or recoup personal investments in your campaign?

I don’t intend to recoup my personal investment (about P2 million). Campaign donors, especially if they gave substantial amounts, I tell them that you’re not giving money to a person, you’re giving money to a vision of the Philippines and so when I win, there’s no utang na loob to anyone, except to country and God.

Who will be your first lady and what role will she play?

My first lady is the Philippines, Inang Bayan.

Role of the vice president?

I will engage any of the existing VPs and give them a cabinet position as long as they support my vision. But if it’s clear that he’s not going to cooperate, then they will be on their own.

Among the existing VPs now, I don’t think anyone among them has a vision.

Cabinet appointments?

I’m looking for people who have zero tolerance for corruption, experts in their field, proven track record, courageous to run after the big fish. For DENR, for example, Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Tony Oposa, the authority on environmental law; for Health, maybe Jimmy (Jaime Galvez) Tan, if he will accept.

Will any of your relatives serve as your confidential staff?

No. I don’t believe in political dynasties. There are so many talents in the country we don’t have to keep relying on our relatives.

Who is your fashion stylist/barber?

None, no special barber. I believe in total transparency, and that includes the way I look.

Do you watch pirated DVDs?

Yes, if it’s foreign.


How will you increase FDI and local investments?

Business can take care of itself as long as the rules are fair.

What country is your model for economic development?

No specific country, but wants a paradigm of economic cooperation in RP, in which all institutions of society must be functional.

How to lower power costs, improve energy security.

Remove oligopoly in energy sector. Establish smart grid, in which homes and businesses generate their own electricity, and even dell excess energy to the grid. Restructure IPPs.

Alternative energy policy.

Put in place the smart grid.

Infrastructure priorities.

Agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation.

New taxes.

Stay with existing taxes, but ensure that tax collection and spending are corruption-free.

Economic sectors for priority development.

Agriculture, since focus on agriculture linked to poverty reduction. Eco-cultural tourism, showcase living culture and reconceptualize fiestas.

Are we ready for free trade?

No, rather engage in importation for sustainable development.

Sectors to be protected/subsidized.

Priority given to new industries; not in favor of blanket industry-wide protection.

Should foreigners be allowed to own land?


OFW deployment – problem or benefit?

Mixed. Social costs too high.

Lack of skilled workers here due to brain drain.

Decentralize economy, spread to rural areas. Eradicate corruption.

How will you expand the middle class?

Focus not only on the rich; equitable development for sustainable middle class development.

How to ensure the benefits of growth will trickle down to the grassroots.

Doesn’t believe in trickle down effect. There must be direct assistance to the poor. Restructure taxes, employment innovation or entrepreneurship.

Mining and exploitation of natural resources.

Can we be self-sufficient in rice?

Yes, through sufficient agricultural support.

Agrarian reform.

Provide beneficiaries with sufficient integrated support, such as agri infrastructure, access to markets, etc.

How will you improve corporate regulation?

Ensure transparency of corporate regulation; cut down on double accounting.

How will you stop smuggling?

Smugglers connected to the military will be eliminated; deal with corruption, because no corruption will mean no smuggling.

Support for R&D in key industries.

Create incubators for R&D because they are not commercial.

Bank secrecy laws and money laundering.

It’s a balancing act between privacy and disclosure. In favor of some access for investigation purposes, but not to be used to gain competitive advantage over other firms.

National Security

Peace in Mindanao?

I have several approaches. One is to realign the budget to give the proper allocation that ARMM and other Muslim areas deserve. ARMM has twice the poverty rate in the Philippines and they have been systematically disenfranchised over the years, which is the reason for rebellion.

Policy on communist rebels?

Top communist rebels have been asking for systematic structural changes and that is what I’ll bring about.

AFP modernization: Plans and funding?

Yes, especially bringing back the culture of excellence in the AFP. If you remove corruption in the AFP, you’ll have a 50-percent surplus that you can use for the upgrade.

Fixed term for AFP chief.

Yes. No favoritism but promotions based on actual track record and performance and a demonstrated anti-corruption stance.

Can private armies be dismantled?

Yes, I’ll dismantle them in the first 100 days.

Adopted member of a PMA class?


Will you retain the CVOs?

Re-examine their role and those that do not have important roles will be disbanded.

Importance of US military aid.

First we have to make a very clear stance on our foreign policy. Our relationship to the US has to be reframed on the basis of equality of nations and not the Philippines as a vassal state of the US Empire.

When the political leadership betrays the public trust, should the military intervene?

Yes. For example, if I become a semi dictator, they should remove me from power.

Corruption in the PNP/AFP.

The kind of leadership that you are going to install there is very important because of the command structure of the military. If you have sterling generals that are not corrupt, it is going to filter down.

With which other countries should RP have closer military alliances?

My own framework in terms of foreign policy is that after we define our own vision of a dignified nation, let’s move forward to sustainable development, then we have to find other nations that are moving in the same direction.

Foreign Affairs

Most important ally?

No specific country.

Closer ally:

The Philippines should engage with all countries.


The Philippines should deal with China in a strategic way because it is a complex country.

First foreign trip:

Southeast Asian countries.

RP ties with a region:

Europe, Southeast Asia, Latin America.

RP-US relations:

Balanced relationship, based on mutual respect between the two countries, not vassal state.

Sabah and Spratlys.

Pursue the claim but find a way for mutual understanding with other claimants. But let’s fix our own house first.


Priorities in improving education?

Reframe the paradigm of education, – away from the IQ but towards multiple intelligence approach. To improve quality of education, we should tap other intelligences – emotional, moral, existential, naturalistic, spiritual.

Additional years in grade school and high school.


Free universal kindergarten?

Yes. But there should be no computer, no TV.

Importance of English proficiency in national competitiveness?

Educate first the children according to their mother tongue. At a certain age, we bring in English in a creative way. This way, we engage the full faculties of the children.

How to improve national competitiveness?

By developing other intelligences.

Role of arts and culture?

Categorically, I’m the only presidential candidate who understands arts and culture, the soul and spirit of a nation. From arts and culture emanate the refinement of a country.


Priorities in improving public healthcare?

Revise framework of medicine that is geared towards environmental sanitation and prevention. Universal health coverage for the poor with a premium of P250-P400 a year. Free surgery and unlimited consultation with doctors.

Family planning/reproductive health.

Natural family planning but will not oppose use of condoms. Open to vasectomy and ligation. Against all forms of abortion. Educate people on their options.

Keeping doctors, nurses and other health professionals home.

Instill values education in medical students. Modernize public hospitals, give doctors better pay enough for them to stay.

Costs of medicine.

Promote and use generic, alternative medicine.


Should SC powers be limited?

It is actually weak at the moment. It should be given more independence.

Should GMA appoint the next chief justice, and will you respect the appointment?

No, that’s crossing the line.

Independence of the judiciary.

May require a constitutional amendment. JBC should be independent as possible. SC should not be under influence of the president.

Will you invoke executive privilege, and under what circumstances?

No, on the contrary. I’m for total transparency.

Human Rights

Murder of journalists and militants.

Ensure that the rogue military is removed from the service. We have a government that wants to stay in power that’s why we have this kind of problem.

AFP/PNP respect for human rights.

Do not promote generals who have human rights issues.

Too much freedom/democracy.

We have an illusory democracy. Media should report what is really happening in the country.

Is the Philippine press irresponsible?

In a way, but we can’t do anything about it except litigate, which is what we are planning to do. I’m also shocked at actual cases of “envelopmental journalism.”

Have you been treated fairly by the mass media?

No, there is an obvious bias for certain candidates, and some media agencies are clearly showing their biases.

Economic rights over civil liberties.

You can harmonize civil and economic rights; they are not contradictory.


How to deal with extreme flooding.

Institute emergency phone system that will be able to receive all distress calls. Build proper evacuation centers on higher ground. More rubberized boats/amphibious vehicles for rescue missions.

Policies on climate change.

Climate change is already happening in the country. Sea levels have risen, they experience it in Panglao Island in Bohol, Talisay in Cebu and in the coastal villages of Dumaguete. A long-term policy would be to redesign coastal towns and cities.

Logging/agroforestry/water management.

Total logging ban in primary forests, practice sustainable forestry in areas that have been cut. Proper water conservation, watersheds have to be re-installed. Learn to recycle water for different uses, although maybe not for drinking.


Priority of sports development.

Sports, especially the physical, mental and physiological aspect of it, is important to young people. Was a varsity athlete (track and field), soccer player.

First-ever Olympic gold under your watch?

By 2016, yes.

What’s your stand on the following:

Charter change/parliamentary system.

Not in the first three years. We are not ready for parliamentary system.

RH bill/family planning/contraception.

Natural family planning, but want to give people the option and freedom to choose. No to all forms of abortion.

Freedom of Information Act/Right of Reply.

Full transparency, even without the law.

Divorce/marriage expiration.

Yes, although I believe in the sanctity of marriage. Expiration, no.

Gay rights/gay marriage.

Yes, on both questions.

Death penalty.


Prosecution of GMA and Marcos wealth cases.

All who wantonly violated the law should be prosecuted, including Mrs. Arroyo, but based on evidence. Change composition of PCGG; based on documents we should have been able to get back the Marcos ill-gotten wealth; was a PCGG volunteer in the past.

What can we expect in your first 100 days.

Show the people that a new government has really come into power, with political will. Disband private armies; clean BIR and BOC of corruption; remove smoke belching vehicles.

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.