BANGSAMORO SPEAKS: Six criteria for choosing candidates to support in the May 2022 elections

MARAWI CITY (MindaNews / 23 November) – In the upcoming May 2022 elections, I will choose candidates with significant strengths in the following six criteria of effective political leadership:

1.0 Character
1.1 Integrity or incorruptibility (based largely on faith, aside from rule of law);
1.2 Moral stature;
1.3 Credibility; and
1.4 Capacity to inspire, influence and transform.

2.0 Competence
2.1 Educational attainment and leadership experience;
2.2 Capacity to grasp the domestic and international intricacies of public governance in the contemporary world;
2.3 Analytical ability and practical wisdom; and
2.4 Capacity or potential to provide democratic, technocratic, long-term-oriented, synergistic and strategic leadership.

3.0 Capacity to provide Healing, Unifying, All-Inclusive, and Caring Leadership
3.1 Capacity to provide good governance for all sectors, groups and communities;
3.2 Concern for the poor and marginalized sectors;
3.3 Emphasis on peaceful approaches to conflicts and crucial national issues;
3.4 Capacity to engage constructively the business and civil society sectors as partners; and
3.5 Capacity to provide centripetal leadership to rein in and transform extremist elements.

4.0 Political Decisiveness
4.1 Capacity for autonomous or independent decision-making vis-a-vis particularistic interest groups;
4.2 Capacity to assert general welfare imperatives vis-a-vis the interests of prebendalist political allies and supporters;
4.3 Capacity for leadership in times of crisis and emergency;
4.4 Capacity to confront, manage and transform conflicts and challenges; and
4.5 Capacity to enforce discipline and compliance, ensure rule of law (not rule by law) and democratic accountability, and protect human rights.

5.0 Reformist Orientation
5.1 Involvement in reform advocacy, planning and implementation;
5.2 Affiliation with genuinely progressive reform or cause-oriented groups, organizations or political parties;
5.3 Capacity to grasp the systemic and multidimensional nature of public governance and its ecosystem; and
5.4 Support for urgently needed political structural or institutional reforms to correct some fundamental foundational flaws of the Philippine political system, particularly the need to shift from presidential to parliamentary and from unitary to federal systems, and the strengthening of our electoral and political party systems.

6.0 Multiculturalist Leadership
6.1 Recognition and respect for cultural diversity;
6.2 Capacity for effective interfaith leadership;
6.3 Emphasis on consociational leadership; and
6.4 Capacity to address the demands and requirements of both national unity and cultural diversity.

Although designed primarily for the top positions of President and Vice President, this scheme is also applicable to senatorial candidates, and to top leadership positions at the regional and local levels. Moreover, it can be used as a framework or guide for leadership capacity building and political career path planning and enhancement for incumbent and aspiring national, regional and local leaders.

[MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Dr. Macapado Abaton Muslim obtained his Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from the University of Hawaii (as an East-West Center scholar), MPA (Management) from University of the Philippines – National College of Public Administration and Governance, and BSPA from Mindanao State University. He had served as President of the 11-campus MSU System, and retired recently as University Professor. Currently serving as Professorial Lecturer in the Doctor of Public Administration program of MSU. Comments may be sent to:]