Yes, believe or not, Jim Paredes once said that Filipinos need a strong leader who bends rules a little bit, and even has the guts to shoot corruption government officials. This happened when he was interviewed for the 20th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution in 2006 by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ).
“I don’t think they (Aquino officials) were as bold as the people wanted them to be…Masyadong nagpapogi, masyadong nagpa-pressure. If Cory had said, ‘Point out all the crooks,’ people would have done it.” Jim Paredes said, who composed the song ‘Handog Ng Pilipino Sa Mundo’ for the EDSA People Power when President Marcos was ousted.
In addition, the APO Hiking Society singer said that he is willing to forgive Corazon “Cory” Aquino because of her lack of political experience. However he noted that the officials of her administration were not as bold as they should be, and that all the post-Marcos leadership have failed to act strongly against corruption, and in other problems.
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“It was very clear na trapo yung pumalit (a traditional politician took over). And if the election of Estrada represented “the lowest point in my belief in being Filipino,” Paredes said further, but emphasized that the Arroyo administration was worst than that of Erap. The singer-composer noted that the “Hello Garci” scandal is the lowest of the low.
“The democracy that we experienced cannot deliver. I don’t think the people care very much what the form is. You could put a strong leader there, who bends rules a little bit. I think you could take that as long as the outcome is good. There is no such thing as absolute artistic freedom, any freedom. Freedom is relative.” Jim Paredes continued.
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In his frustration, Paredes said he thinks that Filipinos need a strong leader like Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who can “walk the talk” and can lead by example. When asked if agrees that the future president should have the guts to shoot crooks, he said, “Oh, that would be nice, too. You know what? I wouldn’t cry over it if it happened.”
Fast forward to 2016 elections, Jim Paredes is still with the Aquinos. In fact, he supported Liberal Party (LP) the Mar Roxas-Leni Robredo tandem. And as we all know, Roxas lost and Robredo won. We also know that President Rodrigo Duterte has been tough to criminals and corrupt government officials. And yet, Paredes is still complaining constantly.