Arnold makes some solid arguments for the merits of a De Castro presidency. His main points? Untainted reputation, not a traditional politician, public servant, and popular.
Please allow me to play devil's advocate to your devil's advocacy, Arnold. I know we can both discuss this with our pitchforks waving above us, but I'm sure it won't have to come to that. ;)
The potential for Noli de Castro to become corrupt is as open as any other person's, but Mr. De Castro and his handlers are just as crooked as anybody else out there. For instance, at the height of the Ozone Disco fiasco a few years back, the Magandang Gabi Bayan people made an "in-depth report" detailing the significant damage to the families who lost members and friends in the fire. However, they wouldn't make a similar report airing the Ozone owners' side until a fee of slightly less than a million pesos was made to De Castro and his handlers. The Ozone owners complained about it, but since media and De Castro's ABS-CBN in particular are so powerful, there's no chance their complaints would ever make it to public knowledge.
Yahoo! searches on extortion cases against Mr. De Castro may also be found here (Bagong Lahi Foundation) and here (Rafael Engle). An interesting comment on the Bagong Lahi case may be found here.
Mr. De Castro may not be a trapo in the strict sense of the word, but mark my words, there is much to be said for his "public service." For the most part, review the extent of his work in public service. He voices the news. Virtually every story aired on MGB has a segment producer, researcher, and other people working on it. It's not necessarily Mr. De Castro calling the shots. Neither is he listed as executive producer. In essence, with people working under him, he's pretty much like any other leader, but the cookie crumbles very differently in media. He's a broadcaster. He broadcasts. That's the extent of his work.
As broadcaster, he is more in touch with the issues of the nation. Being in touch is significantly different from having the skills to make an actual difference. Whether one likes it or not, one needs some semblance of leadership training to make a significant difference as head of a nation, and I seriously doubt Mr. De Castro has the kind of leadership skill necessary to inspire Filipinos to work together towards pulling the country out of this quagmire.
Additionally, the ouster of Presidents Marcos and Estrada depended critically on the support of two vital parts of society. The first? The middle class, obviously. The second? The military. I seriously doubt Mr. De Castro has the support of the military leadership necessary to see the ouster of President Arroyo through.
Ultimately, if De Castro is thrust into the presidency, like FPJ before him, he would have a significant amount of work to do before he can claim the auspicious place in society you map out for him. I hope he can earn my trust as he's obviously earned yours, Arnold. ;)
Update: Arnold posts a rejoinder, with the following points: 1) Panfilo Lacson supports a De Castro presidency in the event that President Arroyo resigns; 2) De Castro is innocent until proven guilty; 3) a good leader must pick the right people and (quoting from the late Ronald Reagan) see if people are following them.
Regarding #1, I've always said Lacson would've been a good president, and hidden agenda or none, his sober comment for constitutional legitimacy to take place is refreshing amidst all the mudslinging. While a De Castro presidency is inevitable should the Supreme Court (or whomever is to overside over this mess) effect and support the constitutional basis to the letter, it doesn't make the pill any easier to swallow.
Regarding #2, well, Lyra is just another of many people who've been affected negatively by De Castro. I've had goings-on with several politicians in the course of my work and family relationships, and safe to say, you can tell if a person exudes goodness out of him. If a person's intentions are really for good, you can sense it (some persons who are like that include CSB's Dong Fajardo, about whom I was just talking with Elsie Santos of CSB's Marketing and Communications Office - she's doing splendidly with CSB's marketing campaigns! Kudos!).
Regarding #3, being a good communicator doesn't necessarily guarantee people's following you. I agree with the Next Generation Leadership discussion we had last week at our professionals' support group: being a good leader entails the ability to inspire the people to do better, to make sacrifices, to take heart their leader will take them places. In fairness, I agree with Arnold that De Castro has the potential to become a good leader, but his mountain to climb is similar to that of Estrada's, and he has much to do if he's to even remotely come close to bridging the gap between rich and poor, in the process undoing what President Arroyo has so magnificently screwed up.