Every time an election approaches, most of us get stuck in the dilemma of choosing the right candidates to vote for. We don’t want to be putting inexperienced, indecisive, corrupt, and chauvinistic candidates in seats of power that’s why we try so much to learn about them in order to make an informed vote.
But after two months of watching numerous campaign ads on TV, attending local campaign sorties, and keeping tuned to senatorial debates in 24-hour news channels, it turns out that we are merely trying to inform ourselves as to which candidate is the lesser evil. Most candidates come from well-known and influential political families who are trying to expand their political clout in time for the 2016 elections. Some of them barely have political experience nor legislative or executive knowledge. A few don’t even have an informed stand on key social issues and don’t even want to appear on debates.
Here in The Social Scientist, I want to help you make an informed vote. Hence, I’ve listed the candidates I am voting for on May 13 and why I am voting for them. Consider this an endorsement, candidates. But I am writing this post not in support of any particular party or ticket but rather out of admiration for these candidates upon researching their background and following them for the past few months. This will be a three-part series, with each part featuring four candidates. Enjoy!
Ripe for public service: this is the best phrase to describe Bam Aquino, the cousin of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. At 35, Bam has the credentials to back him up in his bid for Senate—credentials that would make Nancy Binay’s face turn white—including being chairman of the National Youth Commission and recipient of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons in the World award.
I’ve seen Bam work when I was in college when he hosted a conference for PeaceTech Philippines, a youth organization promoting peace and understanding among Christian and Muslim youth which I was part of. I really saw in him that passion to bring youth-oriented issues to the limelight and addressing them, a passion which was even more evident in his hosting Breakfast and Y-Speak, two youth-oriented programs in Studio 23. I think he’s the right person to represent the growing number of youths in our country.
REP. TEODORO “TEDDY” CASIÑO
He’s a commie, alright. But why am I voting for Teddy Casiño even though I don’t really adhere to the principles of the extreme left to which his principles are aligned?
Simple. I am a strong believer in diversity in politics. It is for this principle that our currently multi-party political system is designed for—to prevent the dominance of only a few individuals, families, or political parties in politics. I would love to see a Senate that has a complete spectrum of political characters from the right, center, and left. By electing a commie to Senate, who knows? Maybe the CPP-NPA-NDF will stop their preposterous, protracted, armed struggle against our way of life and begin pursuing peaceful means to advance its agenda, if not change its agenda altogether.
Nevertheless, as for his legislative track record, Casiño has authored a number of laws which benefited workers and other marginalized sectors of our society including, the Public Attorneys Act of 2007, the Tax Relief Act of 2009, the Rent Control Act of 2009, and the Anti-Torture Act of 2009. He also endorsed a number of bills I am in favor of such as the Freedom of Information Bill, Anti-Dynasty Bill, and Anti-Epal Bill. Casiño has always been a critic of any administration and putting him in the Senate would make for great “check and balance” of our current administration.
SEN. ALLAN PETER CAYETANO
Cayetano has been consistent in stand against corruption and this is what I admire about him. He’s one of the congressional representatives who endorsed the impeachment complaint against former president Joseph Estrada and he fought the junking of the impeachment complaint against former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. More recently, he’s one of the staunch senators who questioned former Chief Justice Renato Corona’s Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) which led to his impeachment last year. We need more men like Cayetano who can consistently look into and expose corruption in the government.
Putting this aside, Cayetano has done some amazing legislative work including the passing of the Senate version of the Freedom of Information Bill, filing of amendments to the Anti-Cybercrime Law, and the passage of bills such as the Anti-Camcording Act, the University of the Philippines Charter, Expanded Senior Citizens Act, and the National Book Development Trust Fund Act.
While his political allegiance has changed from that of Estrada to that of Aquino, Escudero’s legislative achievements have always been consistent. With laws such as the Anti-Torture Act, Anti-Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances Act, and the Free Legal Assistance Act on his portfolio (plus open support for the Freedom of Information Bill and Reproductive Health Law), Escudero is without a doubt worth my vote. In 2007, he was the only Filipino named one of Asia’s Idols by the Asian News Network and was honored the following year as Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. While I do have reservations as to whether he can criticize the administration in the coming years, as far as legislative work is concerned, I think he deserves another term.
On Part Two: Gordon, Hagedorn, Hontiveros, and Legarda
Let us all make an informed vote on May 13. Research and weight you candidates' platform, track record, and work ethic well. Remember that our choices will affect us for the next three to six years.
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“A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.”
― Theodore Roosevelt