Choosing the candidates

By Jose C. Sison

There are 33 candidates for Senator this coming election, but up to now it seems to be so difficult to draw up a list of at least 12 who deserve our votes. Actually, the more I go over the list, the harder it becomes for me to come up with the names of 12 candidates worthy of seating in the same hallowed chamber occupied once upon a time by such great statesmen as Recto, Laurel, Tanada, Diokno, Rodriguez, Yulo, Sumulong, Padilla, Primicias, Puyat, Tolentino, Soc Rodrigo, Manglapus, Manahan, Ninoy Aquino and many others whose names escape me now but who likewise brought honor and prestige to that body aptly denominated as the “Upper House” of Congress.

This mid-term election is indeed one of the very few, if not the only election so far, where voters are advised not to vote for, instead of being just usually persuaded to vote for, certain candidates. The process of choosing seems to have been inverted. And obviously this is due not only to the dearth of worthy candidates for the various posts up for grabs but more importantly to the continuing control of our government by political parties or “teams” of elites that promote personal and special interests rather than the common good. Thus in the coming elections several issues influencing the choice of candidates have been brought up, particularly in the choice of candidates for Senators and Congressmen.

First and foremost of these issues is about the RH law and whether these candidates voted for or against, or would support or oppose, said law. Voters should be informed that as a matter of fact proven in other countries, and not only of religious belief, this RH law that subsidizes the use of artificial contraceptives by women who opt to limit the size of their family actually promote a mentality that eventually results in divorce, euthanasia, abortion, total birth control and homosexual union or the culture of death. Indeed the foreign groups that lobbied for the passage of this law are the foremost advocates of abortion in the USA where divorce, mercy killing, abortion, and gay marriages have been legalized.

The legislators who succumbed to the pressure of these foreign lobbyists certainly do not deserve our votes especially because some of them are trying to deceive us by insisting that the law only promotes the reproductive health of women and does not legalize abortion.

The fact however is that “reproductive health” connotes abortion as admitted by their advocates in the U.S. particularly, Hilary Clinton. So, as Filipino voters who want to preserve the culture of life against this creeping culture of death, we should not vote for Senators Cayetano, Escudero, and Legarda who are running for re-election.

Neither should we vote for Representatives Angara, Casino, Enrile, and ex-Representative Hontiveros who now want to become Senators. Other candidates for Senator who do not deserve our vote because of their known stand on this issue are Hagedorn who favors the legalization of divorce, and Madrigal, who supported the RH bill when she was a senator. Another burning issue that should influence our choice of candidates for senators is on political dynasty. Every one now knows that 80% of our country is now ruled by families who hold sway in their local domain for generations.

Even Congress and the Senate have been infested with dynasties where siblings, and father and son, may become colleagues in the same chamber or where a son or wife will succeed father or husband respectively or where a daughter of the Vice President may become a Senator.

Undoubtedly, dynasties deprive others who are more qualified or equally qualified, access to opportunities for public service. Hence it is even prohibited by our Constitution, although only on paper. Over and above this reason for prohibition however, political dynasties are also the main cause of continuing poverty in our land.

Dynasties promote their selfish interest and maintain their hold on power by ensuring that the people remain poor so as to be totally dependent on them. Hence until dynasties are totally and unconditionally dismantled, poverty will be with us. So we should not also vote for Aquino, Binay, Cayetano, Conjuangco, Ejercito-Estrada as senators or we will be further promoting political dynasties.

And for tolerating or not opposing political dynasties based on their expressed stand on this issue, Honasan and Trillanes also do not deserve our votes. Of course the other important factor that should influence us not to vote for some senatorial candidates is their track record of performance while in government service especially in connection with corrupt practices like the availment and use of the “pork barrel”.

Included in this category are of course incumbent and former legislators who obviously benefitted from it. They can easily be singled out from the list of aspirants. By process of elimination therefore, the remaining candidates for senators seem to be all neophytes and have no experience at all in matters of legislation and in the functioning of Congress. This is precisely my reason for saying at the start that the more I go over the list, the harder it becomes for me pick out 12 candidates for Senators I will vote for although I already know the ones I will not vote for.

As of now however, the candidates I will definitely vote for Senators are: Ramon Magsaysay Jr. Aquilino Pimentel III, Richard Gordon, Ma. Milagros Magsaysay, John Carlos De los Reyes, Rizalito David, Marwill Llasos, and Eddie Villanueva. The fact that some of them are not “win-able” as shown by the poll surveys will not deter me from voting for them.