Picking The Next Senators
Filipinos are electing a new President.
It is all too easy to be fixated on this task that we should be reminded of an equally important job we, as the sovereign, need to consider: the election of twelve new senators, half of the 24 man ‘upper’ chamber that completes our bicameral legislature.
The House can lay claim to embodying the essence of local representation.
The Senate, while conceptually co-equal to the House of Representatives, is perceived to be clothed with immense power and prestige.
Not least among these is the responsibility of ratifying internal treaties entered into by the Republic.
Given the Philippines’ prominence in the ASEAN and the United Nations, our leaders have long talked about championing an independent foreign policy.
As we all realize, however, the reality is our long standing closeness, if not subservience to US policy interests in this part of the world, is a cornerstone of Philippine foreign policy.
Taking the two chambers together, their responsibility of crafting economic policy is crucial.
It has been observed that the matter of our economic policies being less than nationalistic, and undermined by powerful economies whose exports drown our local industries and discourage new investments inflows
It can even be said that we are our own worst enemies with our institutions’ effectiveness held hostage by inefficient and unresponsive governance, political patronage, and the worst scourge of all: corruption.
Focusing on the choices for our next Senators, it is vitally important for us to install independent and vision minded change agents in the Senate – new lawmakers who will infuse new ideas and youthful passion in their legislative work.
We must place equal value, of course, experience in State Affairs.
Thus, our choice’s should include those who’ve previously served with distinction.
The best argument for this, your Midfielder submits humbly, is the spectacle we were treated too recently with supposedly honorable men and women engaged in cheap name-calling and overall indecorous behavior that insulted the entire nation.
The foregoing considered, the candidates topping my own list are:
1. Joey De Venecia – Joey strongly advocates the enactment of a law protecting ‘whistle blowers’ – those who would truthfully reveal corruption in government and 100% access to the benefits of the Internet and other information technologies that drive progress, bring in foreign investments, and strengthen transparency in governance.
2. Teofisto ‘TG’ Guingona III – TG champions responsible public spending, of budgetary use that addresses needed social services and eliminates waste.
3. Susan ‘Toots’ Ople – Toots is the genuine champion of workers rights, seeks the elimination of contractualization, and the elimination of human trafficking.
4. Alexander ‘Pinoy’ Lacson – Alex epitomizes responsible citizenship, the respect for law and order, the celebration of all thing Pinoy.
5. Francisco ‘Kit’ Tatad – Kit is espousing the return of statesmanship in government, independent foreign policy, and the preservation of family values and the sanctity of human life.
6. Risa Hontiveros Baraquel – Risa is unerringly committed to the rest for human rights and governance anchored on integrity.
7. Satur Ocampo – Ka Satur is a patriot of the highest order and treasures Philippine sovereignty as second to none.
8. Franklin Drilon – Frank is a foremost exponent of the rule of law and responsive, responsible law making.
I hope that as the campaign period wear on, I’ll be able me to make the remaining 4 informed choices.
This list is certainly incomplete and even debatable.
These choices are mine alone.