Pascual Racuyal

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Pascual Racuyal (1911-2004) was a Filipino aspirant for the Philippine presidency, whose perseverance despite total lack of success at that venture earned him folk status. Racuyal sought the presidency in every Philippine presidential election beginning in 1935 (against Manuel L. Quezon and Emilio Aguinaldo) until 1986 (against Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino).

He was declared a nuisance candidate in 1986 when he signed his certificate of candidacy with a quill and his blood as ink. There were questions as to Racuyal’s mental stability. Among his promises should he be elected to the presidency was to construct roads out of plastic to prevent their further deterioration. He also said that he would govern via remote control or satellite.

When he invited Manila Mayor Arsenio Lacson to be his running mate in the 1953 presidential elections, the latter called Racuyal “strictly fiction, utterly fantastic, and incredible”. Nonetheless, as time passed, his repeated candidacy provided for an amusing mild diversion to a frequently heated election atmosphere.

Unlike Harold Stassen, the former Minnesota governor whose repeated runs for the American presidency earned him renown of a similar nature, Racuyal, a mechanic by profession, was never a credible political figure at any point in his life. His final attempt at the presidency in 1986 was thwarted after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) disqualified him as a “nuisance candidate”.

Background

He grew up in Barangay Tinago, Cebu and worked as a mechanic at an early age. His fanaticism and will urged him to run for president and move to Manila. He even debated with some national politicians and became a comedian of sorts in every presidential election.

In 1969, he challenged President Marcos and Senator Sergio Osmeña to a 12-hour debate in Plaza Miranda. When he was ignored, he threatened to deliver a six-hour speech in the plaza.

His 10-point platform[1] was as follows:

  1. Application of naturo-therapy to solve the Hukbalahap problem.
  2. Introduction of Racuyal’s standard calendar of 30 days a month, 13 months a year, which if found imperfect could be corrected by an international conference of astronomers.
  3. Adoption of Jehovah for the 13th day of each month. No name for the 13th month supplied.
  4. Construction of a system of plastic roads throughout Mindanao.
  5. Abolition of floods in Central Luzon through a top secret system of dikes.
  6. Institution of a new monetary system with fireproof, waterproof and counterfeit proof plastic currency.
  7. Establishment of the seat of the UN Assembly in Baguio City.
  8. Use of an algebraic-geometric detection code for rooting out graft and corruption in government.
  9. Resort to surprise blitzkrieg helicopter raids all over the Philippines led by himself to combat racketeers, gangsters, etc.
  10. To solve the recurrent Mayor City Council disputes, he suggested abolition of the Municipal Council.

He added that if elected, he would travel all over the country and leave his vice president in Malacañang. He would have wanted to visit every corner of the country and send reports with recommendations to Manila.

He reared his family in Bulacan by being a mechanic and had never returned to Cebu ever since. After his defeat in the 1986 Presidential Elections, he decided to keep away from politics. It was believed that he died of an illness.

References

  • https://peoplepill.com/people/pascual-racuyal/ “Pascual Racuyal.” People Pill. July 11, 2020.
  • Ocampo, Ambeth R. https://opinion.inquirer.net/89633/president-pascual-racuyal “‘President’ Pascual Racuyal”. INQUIRER.net. July 11, 2020.
  • https://esquiremag.ph/long-reads/features/1935-presidential-elections-a2212-20190604-lfrm “A Look into the Most Consequential Election in our History: the 1935 Presidential Elections”. Esquire. July 11, 2020.
  • https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1985-12-12-8503260038-story.html “It’s Not Just a 2-Way Race”. Chicago Tribune.  July 11, 2020.

Categories

  • Filipino politicians
  • Philippine presidential candidates