When In Manila, It’s Time To Vote!
It’s your right. It’s your responsibility. It’s our collective action towards a brighter future.
Without further ado, here is When In Manila’s 2013 Midterm Election Primer.
The Philippine Senate comprises of 24 individuals that make up the highest legislative office of the land. Bills endorsed by the Congress moves up to the Senate, where the senators debate on whether the bill is sufficient as it is, revisions are to be made, or reject the bill altogether. Only then will a bill be passed as a law.
Aside from reviewing laws as a collective, the Senate is divided into 39 committees that have jurisdiction over distinct matters of the State. The number of committee members vary, but there can only be one Chair per committee and a Vice-Chair in some of the committees.
A seat in the Senate is therefore no walk in the park. This May 13, 2013, we are voting for 12 senators among 33 hopefuls (some of whom think that being in the Senate IS a walk in the park!) to serve our country for 6 years. The list of the 33 candidates are as follows:
Samson Savella Alcantara Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan
Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara Risa Hontiveros
Bam Aquino Loren Legarda
Greco Belgica Marwil Llasos
Nancy Binay Ernesto Maceda
Teodoro “Teddy” Casino Jamby Madrigal
Alan Peter Cayetano Mitos Magsaysay
Tingting Cojuangco Ramon Magsaysay, Jr.
Rizalito David Ramon Montano
John Carlos de los Reyes Ricardo Penson
JV Ejercito Aquilino “Coco” Pimentel III
Jack Enrile Grace Poe
Francis “Chiz” Escudero Christian Seneres
Baldomero Falcone Antonio Trillanes IV
Richard Gordon Eddie Villanueva
Edward Hagedorn Cynthia Villar
Juan Miguel Zubiri
Students from the University of the Philippines (halalan.up.edu.ph) made a tally of the senatoriables’ attendance in public debates and fora, organized by different institutions allowing candidates to share their platforms and thoughts on State matters. Here’s what they found:
When In Manila Asks: Who Are You Voting For?
Earlier this week, we asked When In Manila netizens to tell us their reasons for voting or not voting for some of these candidates. Here are some of their answers:
“Teddy Casiño is the only senatorial candidate I trust enough to vote for. He’s a leftist, and it’s high time we have a leftist in Senate to spice up the discussions and debates! He’s not just about chanting slogans but is fluent and smart as a lawmaker.” ~ Diwata Luna
“NOT Cynthia Villar – because unlike other people I still haven’t forgotten about what she said about nurses; plus it seems like her platform is purely for business and not for the people.” ~ Christine Rico Osorio
“Dick Gordon – when you look at Subic, what he did there is amazing. He picked it up from scratch and developed a city known not only for tourism but also a well-disciplined one. And he did it in less than a decade. Not all people could do that, he and Robredo are good prototypes that democracy really works. Also, he developed good projects on his stint as the chair of PNRC, so leadership and action is present on this man.” ~ Jason Ople
“NOT Nancy Binay – she even gave an advice to Hontiveros to do more motorcades. Seriously, what’s the connection of doing motorcades and being [a good senator]? Wala! For one to be a good public servant, he/she needs to be armed with a feasible and clear platform and to be able to materialize it. And when Binay was asked about being absent in those debate invitations, pag nanalo nalang daw siya sa Senate, doon daw siya makikipag-debate. Ano yun ginawang practice ground ang Senate!? EXPERIENCE in the political arena is very important for the public servant to become effective.” ~ A very adamant Loren Vicedo
“Definitely NOT Angara: Dynasties have made great opportunists pursue their expedient causes faster than an average person’s lfetime. I’m choosing with a mindset that dynasties have to be totally obliterated. If nepotism as a general rule is not allowed in businesses, then why allow ourselves to let these people protect their own backdoor interests? So no to Binay, Aquino, Enrile Jr. and the rest who bank on their family names. I’m trying to smartly bring new accomplished ones in.” ~ Leslie Anne Espejon
“NEVER gonna vote for NANCY BINAY– her reason for running is just to fulfill a favor from her father. Inexperienced. Ambitious. Nothing but false promises to the poor. NANAY SA SENADO? Magpapasuso ba siya ng bata sa Senado!?” ~ Jim Aranas
“Number one on my list is Hontiveros. She is so calm and soft-spoken but behind those femininity I find her so active in public service even before. I can also see a strong personality in her that whenever there is something she has to fight for she’ll do it the way she knows how to. I don’t know her personally but I’ve watched their senatorial candidate face-off and she’s one of the candidates I’ve been waiting for.” ~ Jay Avillanosa
“NOT Jack Enrile. For. Whatever position. If his alleged past crimes are to be believed (killers are a definite no-no for me and with so many supposed witnesses at that), I shouldn’t (nor should anyone) elect such a person to a high and respected position of authority in our government.” ~ “Iflip Over”
“Cayetano and Escudero – really good and experienced lawyers and legislators. I like how they both voted for the impeachment of Corona and both of them also supported the RH Bill. Escudero’s personality stood out when faced with that Heart issue where he stood up for what he thinks is right and what he wants, even If it means to go down on surveys. Personality plays an important role in elections for me.” ~ Jason Ople
You may agree with them or not, but that’s the thing about democracy. Seems like Nancy Binay is the unanimous winner for “Which candidate are you NOT voting for?” So why is she still No. 3 in the latest SWS Survey? Obviously, she’s a legacy (without any credential whatsoever) who banks on motorcades and her father’s name to win a seat in the Senate. This is the dark side of Philippine democracy: majority of the masses lack access to necessary information about the candidates, resulting in a reliance on the scarce information that they have. A family name. Posters and banners. And motorcades.
How can we educate our countrymen regarding the elections? Discuss. Discuss your choices with your friends. Discuss it with your family. If you’re commuting and you see someone you like, open up the conversation by saying, “So, who are you voting for?” Be active. And don’t lose hope on democracy.
2013 Election FAQ’s
Finally, before going to the precincts to vote, here are some frequently asked questions that you yourself might be asking (source: www.gmanetwork.com):
What time will voting precincts be open?
Is it necessary to have my voter’s ID on election day?
Can I bring kodigo inside the voting area?