First published in the Philippine Online Chronicles
He describes himself as the man who turned down the chance to be President of the Republic twice. True enough, former Vice President Noli de Castro successfully resisted pressures for him to take his one-shot journey in politics farther to the Palace. He did not budge at the height of the ouster movement that rocked soon to be Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He also did not run for president last elections despite leading in surveys at the onset.
But more than the temptations that he avoided, the public asks the more crucial question: what then, has Noli de Castro done?
For the most part, de Castro was silent in his nine years in public service, save for his anti-poor remarks after gracing an event in Laguna. He was almost invisible under media’s radar, despite being a former hit in households as a broadcast journalist in Lopez-owned ABS-CBN Corp.
If his Facebook page would be used as measure of how he is liked by the online public, ex-VP de Castro’s score would be relatively close to none. (But he ranks morally higher than Arroyo for having no Facebook hate page). His Wikipedia page would not tell much about his political career either, except for a number of less-talked about government positions he occupied.
This is despite the fact that he topped the senatorial race in 2001 with 15 million votes as independent, a feat considered a first in Philippine politics.