It has already been less than 3 days because election day where registered electorates have to vote candidates for senators, party-lists, district representatives of a district, governor of a province, provincial board members of a district, city or municipal mayors, and city or municipal councilors. Election is the most important process in a typical democratic and republican countries like the Philippines as giving the electorate an upper-hand to vote for their candidates, whom they fell can improve their daily lives or the community, would give the sense of legitimacy among candidates once elected in their respective positions. The sanctity of our votes is very important so that at the end of the day, we will not going to regret the candidates we voted and those candidates elected but we never voted can enjoy our respect, therefore their legitimacy. However, elections in our country in particular have not been resulted to better well-being and stability we are aiming for many years because running a particular elected position need bulks of money just to win, no matter how mediocre your qualifications you have, as long as you have enough money from your financiers, you can win and later, swindle the taxpayer’s money to cover-up financial obligations to financiers and supporters during the campaign while neglecting the pressing problems in a community, let alone the whole country. Therefore, we have to vote for candidates who are sincere yet practical in their platforms.
Here, I am going to tell which senatorial candidates and a party-list I’m going to vote for this coming May 13 and hope that you will be guided what I am saying, however, it does not mean that you have to vote my senatorial candidates and a party-lists at all.
My first senatorial candidate is Richard Gordon. I believe our country needs to have a long-term vision for economic and political development and among senatorial candidates, he has for it as when he was the Subic Bay Metropolitan chairman, he was able to attract limit amount of foreign investments in Subic Bay that revitalized the Subic and Olongapo’s economy after the US Naval Base was closed and provided jobs to thousands in Subic Bay area. When he was the Tourism secretary, he was able to convince foreigners and overseas Filipinos that the Philippines is worthy for tourism through the “Wow Philippines” program of the Department of Tourism. He is also the chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross and already saved several lives during the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
My second senatorial candidate is Greco Belgica. I believe with his flat-tax platform that the government should collect taxes from individuals in a fixed proportional rate, not the current progressive taxation we have that those with high income or have businesses have to pay higher amount of taxes to the government and yet the money is going to be wasted for corruption while those with lower income cannot spend and save their already low salary due to unnecessary deductions like paying income tax every year.
My third senatorial candidate is Migz Zubiri. This time, I will going to vote for him, unlike six years ago due to my phobia to any candidates supported by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as when he was the congressman, he was advocating for more usage of biofuels for vehicles, which lessens pollution compared with conventional petroleum and was the author of the RA 9367 or the Biofuels Act of 2006, earning him the moniker Mr. Clean Energy. He also helped to pass the RA 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act in 2008.
My fourth senatorial candidate is Edward Hagedorn. He was the long-time mayor of Puerto Princesa and known for environmental advocacy. His platforms are for sustainable economic development in rural areas, decentralization of provincial or regional decision-making, and environmentally-friendly initiatives like eco-tourism. I want him to win because I want Palawan’s representation in national politics.
My fifth senatorial candidate is Mitos Magsaysay. I think she is far more qualified than expected winnable senatorial candidates. During her current congressional term, she has able to help her constituents through medical assistance, scholarships, and skills training despite of lacking PDAF or Pork Barrel as she is one of vocal critics of the Aquino administration. Her advocacies and platforms include health, taxation, transportation, housing, education, livelihood, and oil deregulation.
My sixth senatorial candidate is Gringo Honasan. Despite his numerous histories of destabilizing the government of Cory Aquino, the late mother of the current president, he was able to impress electorates for three elections: 1995, 2001, and 2007 like passing the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act during his first term as senator. He also passed the Solid Waste Management Act in 2000 where establishments, public or private, have to segregate their garbage to biodegradable, non-biodegradable, and recycled ones. He passed the National Security Policy, Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act. He has also advocating for the passage of the Freedom of Information bill, which enables the citizens to know government transactions, thus securing more transparency.
My seventh senatorial candidate is Christian Señeres. His platforms are for total overhaul of our entire political system by establishing a federal-parliamentary form of government and the adoption of a jury justice system through peaceful, grassroots campaign. He also support for reforming the economic system by amending the protectionist economic provisions of the 1987 constitution like the 60/40 to give elite-owned businesses a run of money. We need to vote for him if you want real change in our country.
My eighth senatorial candidate is Antonio Trillanes. Although I never supported his stunts before like 2003 Oakwood and 2007 Makati Peninsula coups to overthrow the then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, I will vote for him because of his stand, amend the protectionist economic provisions of the 1987 constitution like lifting the 60/40 forced equity sharing.
My ninth senatorial candidate is JV Ejercito. Although I am no fan of his father and himself, I will going to vote for him with the same reasons on why I will going to vote for Antonio Trillanes.
My tenth senatorial candidate is Ernesto Maceda. He is already an experienced senator and worth to bring him back to the Senate with his platform for more job creation for citizens within the country, increase in education facilities and scholarships available as well as assistance to poorer students and support for senior citizens with regards to discounts and costs of living, Also included are increased funds to local government units and providing clean and safe drinking water for every household in the country.
My eleventh senatorial candidate is Eddie Villanueva. Although in the matters of religion, I don’t adhere with him and never supported his previous presidential candidacies in 2004 and 2010, I think this time he should be elected as senator as one of his platforms is to assure protection those Filipino working abroad.
My twelfth and final senatorial candidate is Bal Falcone. Although he is not for 100% foreign corporate ownership for all economic sectors that I’m advocating for, nevertheless, he is for amending the protectionist economic provisions of the 1987 constitution and if his proposal for 51/49 in favor of local business ownership were to be realized, there will more room for allowing eventual 100% foreign corporate ownership.
My party-list that I’m going to vote is the Alliance of Advocates in Mining Advancement for National Progress (AAMA). I believe that mining, if properly done with strict environmental and safety standards, should be the key drivers for our future economic development as the emerging markets like China and India have increasing income, therefore, increasing appetite for luxury goods like automobiles, personal computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and many others. These goods would not be possible if not for mining and since we have largely untapped US$840 billion mineral reserves that need to be extracted to transform into finished products we consumed every day, we have to change our economic model from consumption-based BPO revenues and OFW remittances to investment-based mining, oil and gas. agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing economy that will give enormous job opportunities to millions of poor Filipinos in the countryside if these sectors were to be developed. I focused on mining because it has been the backbone of industrialization and manufacturing will not be possible if there’s no mining as raw materials to be processed in any manufacturing facilities come from mining.