Hindi ko na lubos mabilang kung ilang tao na ang nagtanong sa akin kung sino ba ang iboboto ko bilang Presidente. Hindi ko na rin mabilang kung ilang tao ang nagbigay ng hindi mawaring tingin sa tuwing maririnig nila na ang Presidente na aking iboboto ay walang iba kun’di si Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

I’m not going to drop anything about the other candidates because I want to focus on Miriam. “Why Miriam? Why are you voting for Miriam? What makes you think she’s qualified for the Presidency?” Ilang beses nang naitanong sa’kin ‘yan. Let’s start from the latter question, shall we?

What makes you think she’s qualified for the Presidency? Uhm, hello? If it isn’t obvious, she’s THE Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Okay, let’s make a quick breakdown of (some of her) achievements. Miriam has been on top of her class from elementary until she graduated in the University of the Philippines Visayas for her undergraduate course, with a near perfect grade. She was also on top of her class in the University of the Philippines College of Law. Not only that, she earned her Masters of Law and her Doctor of Juridical Science degrees at the University of Michigan. Not only that, she has studied at several prestigious universities from both the US and the UK, including Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge and The Hague Academy of International Law. She also earned the degree Master of Religious Studies (without thesis) at the Maryhill School of Theology. Now I don’t even know how she did that, be she did, and she did it with flying colours. Aside from her very impressive academic records, she also have served in all three branches of our government–judicial, executive and legislative. She was also named as one of The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World in 1997 by The Australian magazine. In 1998, she was named laureate of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for government service. She’s deemed the Iron Lady of Asia. Need I say more?

Why are you voting for Miriam? Simple lang, gusto ko ng pagbabago. As clichĂ© as it may seem, it’s true. It’s not that I don’t think that the other candidates can bring change to our country, it’s just that the change that Miriam will bring is that change that we, Filipinos, need. Do you think that if Duterte would wipe up almost half of our population, we could have peace and orderliness? I don’t think so. Though that could help in stopping overpopulation in the Philippines. Do you think Roxas’ ‘Daang Matuwid’ could help us in the next 6 years? Oh, come on. We’ve been being lead by PNoy sa Daang Matuwid for the past 6 years and all it brought us were 44 killed soldiers and hindi matapos-tapos na mga kalsada sa buong Pilipinas. I don’t know much about Poe’s platforms so I can’t speak much about her. Oh, and who the hell is Binay? Joke. I’m voting for Miriam because I know na makakapagdala siya ng pagbabago sa ating bansa kasi simula noong senador pa lamang siya hindi na siya corrupt at hindi na siya nagpatinag sa mga buwaya sa gobyerno. We need a leader like her and mahiya naman tayo kung hindi pa tayo magiging responsableng mga mamamayan ng bansang ito. It’s about time that we elect someone who really knows what she’s doing hindi ‘yung namana lang sa kung sinong kamag-anak ang posisyon kaya’t tatakbo na. Remember, the seats in our government are not hereditary.

Why Miriam? You ask me, “Why Miriam?” It’s my turn to ask you, “Why not Miriam?”

As a first time voter and as a millennial, I’m looking for someone who can serve this nation with greatness. Don’t even think about giving me that ‘but-she-has-cancer-so-she’s-gonna-die-soon’ excuse because my Miriam is strong enough to stand even if people are asking her to withdraw and if other people are bringing her down. Also, I’m proud to say that I am part of the 2% that are standing with her because I know where I stand and I am happy to stand with her alongside most of the youth who believes in her.

So instead of asking about why certain people are voting for Miriam, maybe you should ponder and just ask yourself, “Why not Miriam?”

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV