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May 03

The Long View: The daring dozen

The Long View
The daring dozen
By Manuel L. Quezon III
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:45:00 05/02/2010

WHILE most people seem decided on their presidential and vice-presidential and even local choices, they seem less sure about their list for the Senate. Some people ask me who I have on my list, hence my sharing it with you today. But first, something on how these choices were arrived at.

First, the job of a senator is not just about legislation, it’s about oversight, with the latter being more relevant and required than the former. The House tends to be less focused on national concerns, and thus more parochial in its approach to laws, and generally more obliging of the chief executive. The Senate has to act as a foil to both the House and the chief executive not just in terms of laws, but also in appointments and the scrutiny of treaties. Yet it also needs to conduct its own business smoothly, while knowing when to be cooperative.

I have a preference for candidates with a secular orientation, and who have demonstrated opposition to the administration since 2005 or who took the step of breaking ties with it prior to the campaign. I also believe the Senate plays a crucial role in the success or failure of any administration and thus its coming composition needs to be considered.

A Liberal administration needs to elect five senators to have a solid basis for a majority. The composition of the Liberal group should also represent a balance between experience, new thought and ideas, as well as different backgrounds and regions: the Liberal senatorial slate, on the whole, struck the best balance while retaining a centrist perspective, allowing for the possibility of teamwork. Two non-Liberal candidates, however, are on my list too.

So here are those I intend to vote for, in the order in which their names will appear in the ballot.

1. ACOSTA, Jr. Nereus O. brings a keen environmental perspective to legislation, together with an academic’s appreciation for the importance of policy not just in terms of crafting legislation but in oversight. He also brings with him a firm grasp of the needs of Mindanao.

5. BAUTISTA, Martin D. has put scientific integrity above theology; he will bring much-needed expertise in terms of the legislation that may be needed to further reform and modernize public health throughout the country. He has also been a forceful exponent of good government and Social Justice.

7. BIAZON, Rozzano Rufino B. is better known to me as a blogger, and I for one believe he represents the effort of younger politicians to make their work and deliberations more transparent and accessible to the public.

12. DE VENECIA, Jose III P. gets my vote in recognition of his service to the country in exposing the NBN-ZTE scam, the grit he demonstrated during subsequent investigations and the persecution he endured which will make him a dedicated and competent legislator aware of how modernizing the country will need more than the old ways. His grasp of technological issues is much needed in the Senate.

14. DRILON, Franklin M. brings much-needed experience in marshaling legislative and political support necessary to achieve not only a mutually respectful relationship between House and Senate, but between the legislature and the bureaucracy and the chief executive as well; he would make a brisk yet consultative Senate president.

19. GUINGONA, Teofisto III D. Can be expected to take up where Benigno Aquino III left off: providing scrutiny of the budget at a time of fiscal stress. Together with his fellow graduates from the House, he will bring a familiarity with the legislative process to an institution where his own potential for national service can be further honed.

20. HONTIVEROS-BARAQUEL, Ana will bring a keen sense of Social Justice to the deliberations of the Senate, and will be a driving force for reform and democratization in the upper house. She can be expected to provide positive representation for the disadvantaged.

26. LAO, Yasmin B. is much-needed to provide voice and insight to legislation—and treaties, including peace agreements—from the perspective of women, Moros and Mindanao. Hers will be a powerful voice for these neglected constituencies and a valuable link to NGOs as they work to make citizen’s participation in government a reality.

40. OSMEÑA, Sergio III is not known for being a team player but is the kind of maverick the Senate has done well having in the past and should have again; he is conscientious about legislation and knows how to conduct investigations without being obnoxious.

48. RECTO, Ralph G. has tasted defeat, and this, together with his finally leaving the administration after it wouldn’t even let him do his job, may have tempered the more wheeling-dealing instincts of his past; a new mandate is his chance to achieve statesmanship and redemption.

51. ROCO, Sonia M. should have been elected in 2007 and will be a worthy torchbearer for her husband’s ideals in the Senate.

54. TAMANO, Adel A. gets my vote because he has come the closest to actually upholding the slogan of his party of Country Above All. He has come to demonstrate a fundamental decency and sobriety that, together with his legal and educator’s background, will serve the country well as a reasonable member of the Senate.

For Party-list: 58. AKBAYAN or 89. ANG LADLAD.

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  1. Benjamin Espina

    Manolo, Dr. Bautista is AGAINST the RH Bill – at least on the other interviews that I’ve seen early in the game. How can you say that he has “has put scientific integrity above theology”. This cannot be further from the truth, actually.

  2. mlq3

    You’re arguing from the point of view of total uncritical support of the bill. The proof is his parting ways with Ang Kapatiran because they found his views incompatible with theirs. His response to Antonio Montalvan is illuminating.

  3. leah

    Ruffy Biazon is in favor of mandatory ROTC and national ID.

    Ralph Recto=VAT increase

    Susan Ople or Gewn Pimentel would be far better.

  4. Carl Cid Inting

    Got to respect one’s choices, regardless if we don’t agree with all of them. Joey de Venecia, for example, is a jerk who only croaked because he and his dad got cut out of the deal. As for grasp of technology, any computer engineering student knows more than he does. What did this guy finish anyway? He was a drugee and a dropout who tried to use his dad’s influence to peddle his wares.

    Nevertheless, it’s a free country! 🙂

  5. mlq3

    National defense is `a citizen’s obligation: though I think the option of civil service instead of military service ought to be retained. And I’m in favor of a national I.D.

  6. SoP

    I have a solution to break the political impasse in implementing RH that impedes the likes of Bautista or any pro-choice candidate.

    The problem with politicians and the contraception issue is supporting a pro-choice stance would automatically mean being shunned by the Catholic vote, whether or not this exists.

    So no politician, especially one running for high stakes position, like presidentiables, would support it openly.

    In game theory, if one presidentiable supports pro-choice, he’s dead on the water. But if most of them support it, it would legitimize the issue and pro-choice won’t become a political advantage for those who are pro-life, as they are in the minority.

    When the electorate sees that most presidentiables are pro-choice, it would make the pro-choice presidentiable even weaker in the eyes of the electorate, as he is seen to be contrarian. And if there’s anything that Filipino voters hate, it’s the contrarian.

    So how do we go to a point where most candidates won’t be afraid to be openly pro-life? Here’s the solution:
    THERE’S SHOULD BE A GRASSROOTS EFFORT TO ASSOCIATE THE PEDOPHILIA CONTROVERSY SUFFERED BY THE VATICAN WITH THE PRO-POPULATION STANCE OF THE PHILIPPINE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. WE SHOULD MAKE IT A MEME. BLOGGERS LIKE MANOLO CAN ADVOCATE IT, OR AT LEAST, PRETEND TO DISCUSS IT, SO OTHER BLOGGER PERSONALITIES CAN GET ON THE DEBATE. THE END GAME IS TO GET THE MEDIA TALKING ABOUT IT, AND IMPRINT IT IN THE MINDS OF THE GENERAL POPULATION THAT THE PHILIPPINE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS ADVOCATING PRO-CHOICE TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF ORPHANS AND POOR CHILDREN, WHO ARE FODDER FOR PEDOPHILES COMING INTO OUR COUNTRY AS TOURIST, BUT REALLY ARE PREYING ON OUR POOR STREET CHILDREN.

    What do you think? It’s a simple message: The Philippine Catholic church, knowingly or unknowingly, are stooges to the Vatican’s agenda to increase the poor children the world over with their pro-choice, ergo, increased population position. Because more street children means easy pickings for pedophiles!

    Let’s spread the word bloggers! And together we can make this a meme to put the Philippine Roman Catholic Church on the defensive, and get our politicians to be braver with the pro-choice stance.

  7. SoP

    edit:
    When the electorate sees that most presidentiables are pro-choice, it would make the pro-life presidentiable even weaker in the eyes of the electorate, as he is seen to be contrarian. And if there’s anything that Filipino voters hate, it’s the contrarian.

    So how do we go to a point where most candidates won’t be afraid to be openly pro-choice? Here’s the solution:

  8. SoP

    fuck more edit:
    What do you think? It’s a simple message: The Philippine Catholic church, knowingly or unknowingly, are stooges to the Vatican’s agenda to increase the poor children the world over with their pro-life, ergo, increased population position. Because more street children means easy pickings for pedophiles!

  9. SoP

    ah fucking hell last edit!:
    THE PHILIPPINE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS ADVOCATING PRO-LIFE TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF ORPHANS AND POOR CHILDREN, WHO ARE FODDER FOR PEDOPHILES COMING INTO OUR COUNTRY AS TOURIST, BUT REALLY ARE PREYING ON OUR POOR STREET CHILDREN.

  10. UP n Grad

    It is Martin Bautista, right, who wants to cut the salaries of soldiers and police and also to reduce the amount spent on highways and airports?

  11. carlosvjugo

    IMO, good choices even if i did not vote for some of them.

  12. leah

    if Baustista wants to cut government spending he has my vote.
    also raise the retirement age?

  13. UP n Grad

    leah: I suspect you are working in USA (at least in an OECD country). Pinoys in Pinas are forced to retire at 50 so lower salaried younger workers can replace them.

  14. leah

    a retirement age of 50 or 60 is not economically sustainable, not when people live to 75 or 85. the solution is more economic growth. Greece has already had to cut government pay and pensions, and they are just the first.

    I saw the IMF wants the VAT hiked to 15%; no one ever says to cut this useless spending. any government office could eliminate 25% of their people, maybe more.

  15. Brian Brotarlo

    “National defense is `a citizen’s obligation: though I think the option of civil service instead of military service ought to be retained. And I’m in favor of a national I.D.”

    Agree. Also agree with most of your candidates except De Venecia. I once saw Acosta at a burger joint. Very small posse with me, just his wife, a driver and a couple young people. This was just last month. Now that you’re voting for him, I will, too.

    Why raise retirement age, when you have plenty of young people looking for jobs? Really old employees don’t do anything.

    I hope Hontiveros doesn’t turn into a Cayetano.

  16. Brian Brotarlo

    “The Philippine Catholic church, knowingly or unknowingly, are stooges to the Vatican’s agenda to increase the poor children the world over with their pro-choice, ergo, increased population position. Because more street children means easy pickings for pedophiles!”

    I think the middle class prefers this. Fewer street children mean lust would turn on their young ones.

  17. manuel

    Adel Tamano? Just because he spoke out against the fake psycho reports, what about his defense of C5 and everything else that Villar has done?

    Maybe in 2013 after he spends a few years in Purgatory

  18. leah

    I watched again the Biazon/Ople Square-off, and Biazon does not want NSTP/civilian option. For him its all military.

    The Catholic church wants a system with many poor because the poor are easier to control. same for our government.

    a bit off topic but is the Private Richard Gordon mentioned repeatedly in Michael Norman’s “Tears in the Darkness” any relation to Sen. Gordon?

  19. shamanofmalilipot

    Adel said he would resign from NP if he knew that the party engaged in black propaganda. He had admitted that the sham psych reports on Noynoy shame his party. How come he has not resigned? By not resigning, does it mean that he is now condoning them? I know that his late father was a Nacionalista stalwart, but I thought the country always trumps the party? Is it party uber alles for him, for the sake of his father’s memory? Where is now the moral courage to do what he has to do?

    And what about the character issues against Villar, backed up by a preponderance of genuine documentary evidence? How come he is still supporting this candidate with a questionable (to say the very least) character?

    As Danny Lim (who gets my vote) has said, dissent without action is consent.

  20. Benjamin Espina

    Manolo, thanks for sharing the link to Dr. Bautista’s post – it was very refreshing to read but what does it really mean at the end of the day? I remember reading his blog from the 2007 elections and he was singing a totally different tune. I would love to dig that up – I think was one of the few commenters that he had back then.

  21. Tina Cruz Mateo

    Why is it that you did not list Alex Lacson? He is definitely in my list! Do you sincerely think Joey de Venecia is worthy of our vote? I strongly agree with the comment of Mr Inting.

  22. mlq3

    I think his odyssey from Ang Kapatiran to the LP shows his more secular orientation. Evolution.

  23. mlq3

    It all depends on your views on NBN-ZTE, on the role whistleblowers play in society and how society should treat them. And whether you believe people can experience a kind of secular redemption. As I said, it took true grit to stick to his guns and make the expose. My vote for him is a vote against EO 464, all the acts of commission and omission since then, and a vote for the whistleblowers. If you think GMA was right all along then don’t vote for JDV3.

    I respect and admire Alex Lacson but there’s only 12 slots for the senator. And as I pointed out, a secular orientation was one of my considerations.

  24. alden40

    yeah Im having a hard time completing the twelve.
    I like list but I dont agree on all of them Sofar I have come up with:

    1. Miriam Defensor
    2. Nerius Acosta
    3. Anna Hontiveros Baraquel
    4. Ruffy Biazon
    5. Lao Yasmin
    6. Adel Tamano
    7. Martin Bautista
    8. Bong Bong Marcos
    9 Satur Ocampo
    10 Gwen Pimentel

  25. Carl Cid Inting

    Equating a vote for De Venecia as a vote against GMA is myopic. He only squealed because he and his father were cut out of the deal. If they had been in on the deal, they would have clammed up. His moral posturing is so phony. Besides, he has no noteworthy credentials, except for his name. Jun Lozada has better academic and professional credentials.

  26. shamanofmalilipot

    Manolo, I think it’s a little bit of a stretch to say that not to vote for JDV3 is to agree with GMA. I’m not voting for JDV3 and I hate GMA. They are not mutually exclusive.

    I’m not voting for Adel, either. The fact that he has not resigned from the NP as he promised means that it’s Party over Country for him, contrary to what you said. It means that he does not have the moral courage to do what he thinks is right. I don’t see him siding with a Liberal administration when the NP tells him to toe the party line. But, there’s still time for him to walk his talk. He can resign now and be an independent. He does that and I’m sure he’ll get the Aquino base to his side and ensure his victory.

    So, for now, I’m voting straight Liberal. Noynoy will need all the allies he can get in Congress to push forward his legislative agenda.

  27. Jao Romero

    remember to list their ballot numbers along with their names on your “kodigos” to make searching for their names in the ballot easier.

    Nerry Acosta – 1
    Martin Bautista – 5
    Drilon – 14
    Hontiveros-Baraquel – 20
    Danilo Lim – 28
    Lao – 26
    Liza Maza – 33
    Satur Ocampo – 37
    Querubin – 47
    Recto – 48
    Roco – 51
    Tatad – 57

    party-list: AKBAYAN

    btw, is the Jun Lozada listed in the ballot the NBN-ZTE whistleblower? if so, why is he not on your list? i thought Lozada more than JDV would have more weight as the better whistleblower if you have a thing for them.

  28. Carl Cid Inting

    Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada, Jr., the whistle-blower, isn’t a senatorial candidate. He deserves credit for not trying to “cash in” on his new-found fame, unlike Joey De Venecia.

    The “Jun Lozada” who is a candidate is Jose Apolinario “Jun” Lozada, Jr., a career diplomat who was a protégé of Leticia Ramos Shahani and who held several positions in the Aquino and Ramos governments. He also served as a Congressman from Negros Occidental for two terms. He is now running for senator under the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).

  29. mlq3

    Good points, shaman.

  30. ramrod

    So, for now, I’m voting straight Liberal. Noynoy will need all the allies he can get in Congress to push forward his legislative agenda.
    ——————————————

    Me too!

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