A Presidentiable for New Politics and Green Principles

Perlas Tayong LahatA NUMBER OF PRESIDENTIAL ASPIrants with a mind-set on reforms and new politics are now backing Liberal Party standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III—but Nicanor Perlas is not one of them.

His campaign slogan, composed by his supporters, is a play on his surname: “Perlas Tayong Lahat (We are all pearls).”

“Perlas” is the Filipino word for “pearl,” which is formed when a shell gets irritated, the man observed. Thus, his slogan represents “the millions of Filipinos getting irritated” by current problems.

It also speaks of the Philippines’ ongoing “inner process of transformation” to be able to “rise up again amidst the challenges,” he said.

Speaking with Inquirer editors last week, the 59-year-old activist-environmentalist said that as he had declared in June, he would seek the highest elective post in the country and nothing else.

And no, Perlas said, he was not considering running for a lower post, such as senator. He pointed out that the Philippines already had good laws, and that the challenge was to implement them properly.

Malacañang is the problem

“The disease of our system is in the presidential level. The executive branch is the source of all our problems,” he said.

Perlas also said that while he was not as well-known or as moneyed as the other presidential aspirants, he was not quitting the race.

He said the “yellow fever” triggered by the death on Aug. 1 of former President Corazon Aquino and now centered on her only son was ignoring “the discernment process that is needed at this time.”

Perlas said that while he had worked closely with then President Aquino, he met her son only once, and recently: It was Noynoy who, in a ceremony in August, handed to him the Manuel L. Quezon award for Exemplary Governance for his environment work.


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