TSUKUBA, JAPAN (April 22, 2007) – Independent candidate Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan topped the mock senatorial elections held today in Tsukuba, Japan as part of the community forum dubbed “Hala! Halalan na! (Kapihan sa Tsukuba).” Around 50 Filipinos from Tokyo, Tsukuba and nearby communities participated in the afternoon-long event.
The other candidates who made it to the top twelve were Joker Arroyo (2nd), Loren Legarda (3rd), Manny Villar (4th), Francis Escudero (5th), Sonia Roco (6th), Benigno Aquino III (7th), Alan Peter Cayetano (8th), Ralph Recto (9th), Edgardo Angara (10th), and Antonio Trillanes IV (11th). Tied at 12th place were Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Jr., Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel and Juan Miguel Zubiri. Genuine Opposition candidates dominated the list by more than 2:1.
Consuls Eric Tamayo and Felipe Carino III of the Philippine Embassy in Japan led the powerhouse panel of discussants. The other speakers were Dr. Nathan Quimpo of the University of Tsukuba, Yuko Takei of the Philippine Women’s League, Tonton Hernandez, a leader of Filipino migrant workers in the Ibaraki region, and Prof. Cherry Ballescas of the University of the Philippines. Benigno Tutor, Jr. of Philippines Today Online and Uninetwork Inc. moderated the discussion.
The highly successful activity, which aimed to heighten the political awareness of Japan-based Filipinos, was organized by the Association of Filipino Scholars in Tsukuba led by University of Tsukuba graduate student Benjamin San Jose. ABS-CBN and KMC Magazine sponsored the event and provided t-shirts and telephone cards, respectively. *