Saturday, May 11, 2013


Exercising your right to vote is more than just an obligation but a privilege. Not all democracies get to vote for national leaders such as in countries with parliamentary form of government where the ruling party or coalition gets to pick the head of state and/or head of government. Others are just failed democracies with various factions fighting a bitter civil war against each other.

We’re just lucky to have this kind of electoral privilege. Hence, we shouldn’t waste it by being too lazy to think about the candidates we’re going to write on our ballots come May 13. Let’s not take it for granted in exchange for a temporary fill in our aching stomachs. Our vote will determine if our aching stomachs will be filled for the next three to six years. Do we want someone elect someone who can only temporarily fill our tummies? Moreover, are these candidates responsible for filling our hungry tummies in the first place? Think about it.

In Part One yesterday, I featured the first four candidates in the list of my senatorial bets, mainly Aquino, CasiƱo, Cayetano, and Escudero. These are relatively younger candidates. Let’s look into the the much older and more experienced candidates in my list.


Gordon is basically from a political dynasty in Olongapo City. I am surprised that after dissing former president Joseph Estrada over his dismissal as Chairman of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, he’s in good terms with him now—which I don’t appreciate at all (not a fan of the Estradas here). But I am willing to look beyond these things and focus on his legislative accomplishments when he was still senator.

He did a good job (and still doing a good job) lobbying in favor of election automation thru his sponsorship of the Automated Elections Act. He showed his commitment and desire to make tourism an important industry in our economy through his authorship of the National Tourism Policy Act of 2009. And he did a service to World War II veterans for authoring and lobbying the passage of the Veterans Pensions and Benefits Act of 2008.

I’ve listened to his radio program Aksyon Solusyon several times and have grown to admire his vision for the Philippines. I also admire his excellent record of management as current chairman of the Philippine Red Cross. I voted for him as president in 2010 and I have enough reasons to vote for his return to the Senate for another term.


Hagedorn is one of three senators in my wildcard picks, meaning, I wasn’t really keen on voting for them until after much consideration during these past few weeks. The reason for this is because I see Hagedorn more as an executive than a legislative official. He could’ve ran for governor of Palawan and won. Or he could have courted PNoy to appoint him as DILG or DENR secretary, which is a highly unlike thing to do now. We need to put this guy in national government! But how?

Looking at his track record of transforming Puerto Princesa City into one of the cleanest cities and one of the most sought after eco-tourism destinations in the country, I realized that maybe this guy can also translate the same transformation to the entire country if elected senator. He’s an executive official which makes him qualified to do legislative work being part of the Sangguniang Panlungsod and all that. And with a platform of environmental protection and sustainable development, who knows? Maybe we can we have better chances of achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 if he’s elected.


Hontiveros should have been in the Senate as early as 2010. But then again, you cannot remove the fact that majority of Filipinos are still conservative Catholics and won’t vote for a character that openly locks horns with the Catholic Church especially on the issue of the Reproductive Health Law.

Hence, I encourage voters (i.e. Catholic voters) to look beyond Hontiveros’ position on the RH Law and focus on her legislative work in the House of Representatives especially on women and workers’ rights. Apart from the RH Law, she is also one of the authors of the Cheaper Medicines Act and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program – Extension with Reforms or CARPER Law. She has authored bills such as the Anti-Prostitution Bill, Gender Balance Bill, and Students’ Rights and Welfare Bill.

Being from the socialist spectrum and with the type of activism and fervor she has, I think she will make things colorful in the Senate. She is the type of legislator the Senate and the country deserves to have rather than fatty, faded action stars and former soldiers-turned-rebels.


As much as she is branded as a political butterfly, Senator Loren Legarda’s legislative work especially on issues of women’s rights, health care, environment, and agriculture. Her portfolio is packed with laws such as the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, Cheaper Medicines Law, Expanded Senior Citizens Act, Climate Change Act, and the Magna Carta for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises.

She has previously passed laws which gained her popularity among women and environmentalists such as the Clean Air Act, Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act, Anti-Child Labor Act, and the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. Despite her notoriety for being a political butterfly, I only see such acts as strategies so she can continually serve and consistently pursue an agenda which is beneficial to most Filipinos. No wonder, from 1998 up to now, she still tops the surveys and gets the highest number of votes every time she runs. Nobody can beat experience and accomplishment like that of hers.

On Part Three: Llasos, Pimentel, Poe, and Villanueva

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“They say if you don't vote, you get the government you deserve, and if you do, you never get the results you expected.”
― E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

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