MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Luxembourg may be the only country in the world where the prime minister and vice prime minister are both gay men, but that record could soon be eclipsed by the Philippines where two women may be elected president and vice president in the coming May 9 elections.
Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Vice Prime Minister Etienne Schneider, are both openly gay.
The Philippines has had women presidents in the past — Cory Aquino and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo — but this year’s electoral contest could put the country on the world map as the only one with the top leaders being both women.
The latest national polls shows Senator Grace Poe leading the pack of what Filipinos fondly call, “presidentiables” — those who COULD be president. Poe was recently cleared by the Supreme Court to run for president after it decided a disqualification case (DQ) in her favor. By a vote of 9-6, the high court ruled that Poe, a foundling, is a natural-born Filipino citizen and has fulfilled the 10-year residency required of all presidential candidates. Poe’s opponents include the incumbent Vice President, Jejomar Binay; former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas (President Aquino’s anointed one); Davao Cityi Mayor Rodrigo Duterte; and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Poe has consistently led in the polls.
For the vice presidential contest, the latest poll shows Leny Robredo closing in on top rivals Senators Chiz Escudero (Poe’s running mate) and Bongbong Marcos (Santiago’s running mate).
While Robredo is the VP running mate of Roxas, Philippine electoral rules allow for voters to elect a president and vice president who may be from different political parties, unlike in the U.S. where it is a party winner-take-all for the presidential and vice presidential contest.
The Philippines is known for its penchant for world records — in boxing, beauty contests, or the Guinness World Record.
Will the Philippines bag yet another honor come May 9?