Isko: Years in public service, not college degree, must be required of president

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 28 2022 02:19 AM

Aksyon Demokratiko presidential aspirant  Handout
Aksyon Demokratiko presidential aspirant Isko Moreno Domagoso and vice presidential bet Willie Ong submit urine samples as they undergo voluntary drug testing at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency office in Quezon City. Handout

MANILA—Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Thursday said he was open to amending the constitution to raise the qualifications of those seeking the presidency.

Domagoso said he agreed that a person who hopes to run for president should have rendered a specific number of years in government or in public service.

"Bago ka maging judge, may X number of years kang nagtrabaho," he said. (Before you can become a judge, you need to work for an X number of years.)

Domagoso, however, said he did not favor requiring presidential aspirants to obtain a college degree before seeking the highest-elected post in the country.

"Bago natin i-claim na pataasin ang standard ng educational attainment ng tao, we have to make sure na education is available to every John Does and Marys, Pedros and Petras," he said. 

(Before bringing up raising the standard of educational attainment of a person, we have to make sure na education is available to every John Does and Marys, Pedros and Petras.)

"Kasalanan din ng state. We did not make education available to everyone . . . Para makapag-kolehiyo ka, kailangan mo lumuwas sa Maynila," he said.

(The state is also at fault. We did not make education available to everyone . . . One needs to travel to Manila to get into a college.)

Under the current constitution, those who wish for run for president must attain the following:

  • at least 40 years old
  • a registered voter
  • able to read and write
  • a Filipino citizen by birth
  • resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years immediately preceding election

Domagoso, a former garbage collector and actor, started his political career as a Manila councilor with a high-school diploma. 

He eventually earned a college diploma from the International Academy of Management and Economics. He also enrolled in several institutions, including the University of the Philippines' Strategic Leadership Program, and executive courses in Harvard and Oxford universities.

Educational attainment became an issue among presidential bets in these elections, as several camps continued to question the legitimacy of former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s college degree from Oxford University.

The educational attainment of boxer-turned-senator Manny Pacquiao, who is also vying for the presidency this year, has also been questioned over the years.