Posted on Apr 28, 2010

Villar, Loren agree on physical, mental fitness of next president

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manny Villar and his running mate Loren Legarda said the next president should be physically and mentally "in shape" to accomplish many things in government with much more ease

"Definitely, it should be a given. The presidency is a position in which you will wake up to stressful situations every day," he told reporters.

"We all know that it is everyone's assumption that we (the candidates) are ready because you will be the one leading the country. You will be the commander in chief and it is necessary that we are physically and mentally prepared for the presidency," the former Senate president said.

Villar said the next president should always be ready to face pressing problems that will confront him "every day, every week, every month of the year."

His comments came following reports on the mental capability of his closest political opponent, Liberal Party's Noynoy Aquino.

New questions on Aquino's mental health cropped up Tuesday after a former president of the National Power Corp. released an alleged psychiatric evaluation of Aquino, which showed that the "patient" is "suffering from depression and melancholia."

Meanwhile, Legarda also echoed Villar's views on the importance of the mental fitness of the next president. She said the Philippines cannot afford to have a "mentally ill president" and "an anti-poor and elitist vice-president who cannot decide for himself."

"It will be a tragedy, a disaster for the Philippines," Legarda added.