Prof Clarita Carlos’ brutal zingers for presidentiables 2
Political scientist Prof. Clarita Carlos. Photo from Philippine News Agency

There’s a new Miriam Santiago in town and she’s got some brutal zingers for the presidentiables

Prof. Clarita Carlos is becoming a favorite guest on talk shows, and these sample zingers will tell you why
ANCX Staff | Jan 26 2022

Por dios por santo, 75 na ako. I want a better Philippines for my grandchildren. Don’t you wish the same?”

If you were an up-to-no-good student back in college, hers was most likely the class you often skipped. But if you’re a serious spectator of the current pre-elections circus, a guest appearance of the esteemed Dr. Clarita Carlos in one of the current affairs talk shows is not to be missed. 

The political science and international relations expert always tells it like it is, and seems to care little who gets smacked when she states the brutal truths. She talks like she’s just about had it—after all, she’s already in her 70s—but like a good prof she’s always still willing to explain. The lady’s always a good watch, no matter the state of her Internet connection—just like in her most recent guest stint in Teleradyo’s SRO program where the topic revolved around the recent interviews of the May 2022 presidentiables. 

With the professor’s strong-worded opinions and insightful remarks, viewers have suggested she should be in the panel that will grill—or probe, as Prof. Carlos prefers it—the presidential candidates in a public debate. “Kung gusto nyo pong mabawasan ang candidates, dapat po ksama sa panel si Prof. Carlos!” went a Tweet. “Cguradong the following day merong magwi-withdraw hahaha!!!” 

Because of her sharp opinion and no-holds-barred way of speaking, not a few have said she reminds them of the late Miriam Defensor Santiago. And just like MDS, the lady is equipped with the necessary smarts and experience to back up the bravado. She is an expert on Philippine politics and government, political psychology, political theory and methodology, among others. 

She was formerly a professor of Political Science at the University of the Philippines, and is the Executive Director of the Center for Political and Democratic Reform Inc, a non-government, non-profit, policy-oriented academic think tank that provides scientific expertise to policymakers, institutions, and organizations in both public and private sectors.

ICYMI, here are ten spicy, sizzling quotes from Prof. Carlos’ recent appearance on SRO. We’re sharing it here so you make sure you don’t miss any of her guestings ever again. 

Prof. Clarita Carlos
Prof. Clarita Carlos with Atty. Ona Caritos on Alvin Elchico and Doris Bigornia's nightly program SRO.

On why debate is an important part of the election process

“[In watching a debate], you don’t even need to be superior. You just need to be very intelligent to find out, ito bang taong ito nagme-memorize lang ng isang script, or following yung sinasabi ng consultants niya? Which is dangerous because ibig sabihin, in a crisis situation—every two days, there is a crisis—is this person going to just rely on her or his innate intelligence or the lack of it? This is what we’d like to see in a debate.”

Ang debate pagandahan ng arguments. Maski mag-memorize ka ng Oxford dictionary, if it is not there it is not there. Parang talino.” 

On her suggestion to include experts in the panel probing presidentiables

Kasi talagang ipupruweba mo: Do you really have what it takes [to be president] or dapat magtinda ka na lang ng maruya dyan sa tabi? I always say that to exaggerate and make a point. Lider ka nga e. Dapat nage-excel ka. You have to be exemplar of something, otherwise you have no place there whatsoever.”

On candidates choosing to present their plans directly to the voters instead of doing media interviews

“I will not buy that. Hello? Saang kuweba ka ba nanggaling na ayaw mong sakyan ang social media? Kung gusto mo doon ka na lang sa Plaza Miranda o sa Liwasang Bonifacio. Magdiskurso ka sa sarili mo doon, umulan, umaraw. Is that what you want to do? Anyone who says that, please kill yourself already.”

Tutal nag-present kang maging lider sa amin, please magbasa ka ng kaunti. Kung hindi, umatras ka na. Por dios por santo, 75 [years old] na ako. I want a better Philippines for my grandchildren. Don’t you wish the same?”

Her advice to presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos:

“If I were Bongbong [Marcos], tanggapin mo that there were military and police atrocities [during Martial Law] kasi documented yan e. It’s not anything contrived or imagined. Ang dami kong colleagues, classmates sa UP, they just disappeared. Their parents could not even grieve properly. So tanggapin mo ‘yan. Then make a categorical declaration [that] ‘these things will not happen in my administration.’ How difficult is it to say that?”

Her thoughts on historical revisionism:

“I don’t know what historical revisionism means. Every storyteller has a story to tell. There is no one Edsa [People Power] story. There are 100,000 Edsa stories. Yung nagtitinda ng peanuts diyan, syempre may istorya din siyaKanya-kanyang istorya. But when you have an array of stories like that, which story…are you going to accept?

“You as reader, you as the watcher, you will have to make a determination: which story am I going to lean to? You will lean on the story which is provided with data. Saan ka naman magli-lean? Sa tsismis?”

On the format of Jessica Soho’s presidential interview:

“With all due respect to Jessica Soho… Okey yung mga cute-cute na ganyan for entertainment purposes. Siguro sa 100 percent, [puwede mga] 20 percent yan. You’re going to war with a country tapos ‘In one word, could you describe how to deal with this crisis situation?’”

What she thinks of candidates not attending presidential debates and interviews:

“That depends. Kung hanggang May 9 hindi ka sumipot, talagang hindi kita iboboto. Ayaw mo bang ipakita ang kabobohan mo o natatamad ka lang? Two thousand days ka magiging presidente e yan lang interview natatamad ka. Hello?”

Her message to presidential candidates:

“We do not denigrate anyone. What we’re telling you guys is since you have applied to be the president of the Republic of the Philippines, better prepare to be one. If you have not read, please start reading. Kawawa kaming 110 million Filipinos na magsa-suffer sa kabobohan ninyo.”