Japan think-tank sees Robredo better for business than Marcos

Japan think-tank sees Robredo better for business than Marcos By Daniel Llanto

The Japan-based economics-oriented think tank Nomura Global Research said in its monthly report that Vice-president Leni Robredo is likely to be good for business than former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. who is less “market-friendly.”

In an article entitled “Philippines: No holiday cheer,” Nomura Global said that Robredo is “likely seen” more qualified to oversee the post-pandemic recovery of the country, citing the presidential candidate’s strategic roadmap that focuses on vital sectors, such as health and education.

“Marcos Jr., in our view, will likely be regarded as less market-friendly than Robredo, particularly when it comes to experience at the national level and in articulating a strategy for the country to recover from the pandemic,” said the report written by ASEAN economist Euben Paracuelles and analysts Rangga Cipta, Craig Chan, and Wee Choon Teo.

Nomura Global also believed that Marcos’ possible victory might cast doubt on the 2022 elections, alluding to the 2016 vice-presidential election when Marcos refused to concede to Robredo’s just like when Donald Trump refused to concede to Joe Biden in the US 2020 presidential polls.

“A Marcos victory will likely be viewed negatively owing to perceptions against him, in part because his candidacy is facing some petitions for disqualification on grounds of making false statements and a previous conviction of failing to file income tax returns,” the report said.

Marcos is facing multiple disqualification cases in connection with a 1995 Quezon City Regional Trial Court’s conviction for his failure to file income tax returns for four years in the 1980s.

Nomura also gave the presidential and vice-presidential tandems scores based on five categories: continuity/good governance, Infrastructure progress, fiscal discipline, national experience, and business friendliness.

Robredo and Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan got a score of five in national experience and business friendliness categories. In terms of continuity/good governance, infrastructure progress, and fiscal discipline, the duo tallied four out of five points.

On the other hand, Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio scored four in infrastructure progress and a poor three in fiscal discipline and continuity/good governance. The two were also rated between one to zero on national experience and zero in business friendliness.
“Political uncertainty will also likely grow, considering Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s large poll lead over VP Leni Robredo. This will likely weigh on local market sentiment and presents a challenging environment for the Philippines’ net portfolio investment flows,” the report added.
In the latest Pulse Asia survey conducted from December 6 to 11, Marcos led the presidential poll with 53 percent saying they would vote for him if elections were held during the survey period.  Robredo placed second with 20 percent. Duterte topped the vice-presidential survey with 45 percent, followed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

On the human rights front, groups and advocates on January 10 laid out their human rights agenda for the 2022 elections and endorsed candidates led by Robredo who they believe will help push this agenda forward if elected.

Including human rights in the campaign for the 2022 elections is essential, Rose Trajano of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates said because “from the moment you open your eyes in the morning until you close them at night, everything is connected to human rights.”

“There is no place for the central policy of killing in the political and legal landscape,” Cagayan de Oro-based rights worker Brylle Chavez said at the launch of the human rights agenda, which was held at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City and online.

Human Rights Vote 2022 said that Robredo, who has been critical of the “war on drugs” and other policies of the Duterte administration, has “demonstrated a proven record of effective Covid-19 response, clean and accountable governance and a respect for human rights.”