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Sunday, February 10, 2019

CNN Philippines’ The Filipino Votes: Senatorial Forum Parts 1 and 2

I watched the 2 episodes of CNN Philippines’ The Filipino Votes: Senatorial Forum. I wanted to hear what the other candidates have to say about current issues.

Unfortunately, some of the popular candidates didn’t show up on the 2 episodes of The Filipino Votes. I would definitely not vote for those who are afraid for this type of forum, namely:

Freddie Aguilar (not voting for this guy) – relying on the President’s endorsement

Edgardo Sonny Angara – under consideration due to his good track record

Nancy Binay (not voting for this lady) -- MIA

Ramon Bong Revilla Jr (not voting for this guy) – relying on political ads

Pia Cayetano (not voting for this lady) – MIA [Edit: relying on political ads]

Bong Go (not voting for this guy) -- relying on political ads

Cynthia Villar (not voting for this lady) -- relying on political ads


The other candidates that I already decided to vote when I heard them on GMA’s Debate 2019 are:

  1. Raffy Alunan
  2. Neri Colmenares
  3. Samira Gutoc
  4. Erin Tanada
  5. Gary Alejano
  6. Chel Diokno
  7. JV Ejercito
  8. Romy Macalintal
  9. Ernesto Arellano


During the 2 episodes of CNN Philippines’ Senatorial Forum, I have heard from the other candidates and here’s why I’m voting for them:

  1. Benigno Bam Aquino – authored Go Negosyo among others. Voted NO to the Train Law and opposes the implementation of the Excise Tax in January 2019 and January 2020. He wanted to regulate the entry of Chinese workers in the country and wanted transparency in the country’s dealings with China.

I will vote for him because of his numerous authored bills that became laws as well as his desire for newly grads to have immediate jobs, lesser job mismatch, and his focus on the improvement of the education system in the country.

  1. Florin Hilbay – was a former Solicitor General. He’s a UP teacher and supports the RH Law, Coco Levy Fund, and is a member of the team behind the country’s success in the arbitration case vs China.

I will vote for him because he wants the 4Ps to be enacted as his first legislation: Pilo Para sa Pamilyang Pilipino as he refers to it. He also wanted to expand the 4Ps to include newly grads and jobless Pinoys. He promises to be a statesman who will not demean the status of the underprivilege in the country.

  1. Mar Roxas – was a former DILG Secretary. He’s the author of the Cheaper Medicine Law and removed the taxes for minimum wage earners. He’s among the personalities behind the success of the BPO industry and supports the current Juvenile Justice Law.

I will vote for him because he’s a believer in the rehabilitation of drug suspects and that the government should go after the importer of drugs. He also appeals on the removal of tax in oil products in the TRAIN Law, and opposes the Department of Finance’s suggestion to remove the incentives of the BPO Industry. He also wants the Internet in the country to be faster and better.


I WILL NOT VOTE FOR:

  1. Juan Ponce Enrile – opposes the Anti-Political Dynasty Bill saying it’s impractical to implement this provision in the Constitution. He’s Pro-China and said YES to a joint oil exploration with China.

He mentioned that he will review bills on taxes, will author bill on communications and ease of acquiring housing papers, increase foreign investments and improve the slow process of government transactions. These are bills that he could have authored in his days as senator.

  1. Serge Osmena – has authored 166 laws and had 3 terms as senator in the span of 18 years. He’s the author of the Solo Parents Act, an economist but also said YES to a joint oil exploration with China. He has no exact plans yet on how to end ENDO.

Thank you GMA 7 and CNN Philippines in helping me to draft my magic 12 for the upcoming senatorial elections.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Debate 2019: The GMA Senatorial Face-Off

Good job for GMA News and Public Affairs for coming up with Debate 2019: The GMA Senatorial Face-Off. It was a big help in trimming down my choices for Senators in the coming midterm elections.

It was a grueling 1 hour and 47 minutes replay on YouTube (no commercials) but it’s worth watching. Too bad there are a lot more candidates who didn’t make it but I’m hoping to hear from them in future debates. I will also watch the replay of CNN’s interview for these candidates.

So far, based on what the candidates said in the Debate 2019: The GMA Senatorial Face-Off, I was able to segredate them into two groups:

I WILL VOTE FOR:

  1. Raffy Alunan – Reform the criminal justice system. Favors local farmers in the issue of sugar importation. Former DILG Secretary who can’t give deadline to solve criminality in the country.

I will vote for him because he believes in anti-political dynasty as enshrined in the constitution. He believes that we should look into the general rule (not exeptional cases) of poorest provinces having the most political dynasty.

  1. Ernesto Arellano – Labor leader who doesn’t believe that there is shortage of skilled workers in the country. There were admin lapses in the influx of Chinese workers but believes in equal opportunity, Pinoy and foreigner. Believes in rallies but with restrictions.

I will vote for him because he believes in a divorce bill with stringent requirements. He also believes supporting children of these couples who would avail of it.

  1. JV Ejercito – Favors the Anti-Political Dynasty Bill although he’s a beneficiary of political dynasty. Supported the SK Reform Law and wants to enforce the true limit of political ads.

He is in favor of lowering the minimum age of criminal liability but he’s focus on penalizing the parents and adults in the crimes committed by children. I will vote for him for his support of the anti-polical dynasty bill.

  1. Samira Gutoc – against rape joke and martial law. She’s working for peace in Mindanao the past 21 years including anti-crime in Marawi. She’s also calling for the audit of the ARMM funds.

I will vote for her because she doesn’t believe that Operation Tokhang should continue. She stated an example in Cebu wherein 1,000 drug suspects surrendered without Tokhang. She believes that Tokhang is anti-poor and what is needed is strong accountability.

  1. Chel Diokno – part of Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG). Believes that Human Rights is also Human Lives and wants a lasting solution to the problems of our Justice System.

I will vote for him because he believes in the removal of term limits for Senators and Congressman stating the Martial Law years as example. He’s also in favor of the anti-political dynasty bill and that it should be extended to relatives. He believes that government posts are not properties of political clans.

  1. Gary Alejano – said that they faced the consequences of their acts of rebellion by being jailed for 7 years. He believes that rebellion is the right of the people.

I will vote for him because he’s against Federalism saying that it will cause imbalance of wealth and regionalism. He suggests strengthening the Local Governemt Code instead, for for authonomy of LGUs. He also believes in the ban for political dynasty and reform in the country’s political system.

  1. Neri Colmenares – is againsts all form of human rights violation whether it’s commited by the AFP or NPA. He mentioned that the problems of the countries include political dynasty, lack of farming lands, corruption, among others.

I will vote for him because he believes that we don’t need China to explore or drill for oil in our EEZ because it is ours by virtue of the case we won in The Hague. He commends Vietnam and Taiwan for their strong stand against China on their sovereign rights.

  1. Erin Tanada – believes that one of the mistakes of the Liberal Party is that the citizens doesn’t know the projects of the previous administration. He also believes that the issues of the farmers are not being talked about.

I will vote for him because he believes that the TRAIN Law should be suspended, being the cause of high inflation. He also believes it is anti-poor. He also believes that additional taxes is not the key to funding government projects but public-private partnership.

  1. Romy Macalintal – will champion counter-terror laws. His source of funding will be ex-deal from friends but he doesn’t believe this as conflict of interest. He believes that the issue of Political Dynasty can be resolved by Constitutional Change.

I will vote for him because he’s against the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao saying that there’s no rebellion or invasion that requires it. What Mindanao needs is economic activities so that senior citizens can enjoy their discounts.


I WILL NOT VOTE FOR:

  1. Agnes Escudero – member of Tribal Government of the Philippines. Wants to defend the ancestral lands and established ancestral home defense that was started in the time of Angelo Reyes. She wants to follow the unwritten messages and rituals of their ancestors.

I will not vote for her because she’s against the legalization of divorce saying that the Philippines is a good example (in spite of being the only country in the world, with Vatican, that has no divorce law).

  1. Leody de Guzman – wants an end to political dynasty and contractualization but doesn’t offer a new solution to the issue in spite of being in the labor scene for 35 years as member of Bukluran Manggagawang Pilipino.

Although he believes that the death penalty doesn’t resolved criminality and that there is a deeper root to the problem, I still will not vote for him because he didn’t provide any new solution to the problem of ENDO doesn’t quality him to be a senator.

  1. Melchor Chavez – will look into the land titling system in the country. Since 1992, he ran 8x as senator. He believes that he won’t win if he don’t run. A supporter of Digong.

I will not vote for him because the only reason why he’s against the lowering of the minimum age for criminal liability is a quote from Rizal: “ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan”.

  1. Dong Mangudadatu – Maguindanao is the 2nd poorest province in the country and has an issue of political dynasty. He doesn’t believe this and insist that the problem in Maguindanao is war. His networth is one of the highest yet his source of income is delivery of fresh water fishes.

I will not vote for him because he’s in favor of the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao even though there is no rebellion or invasion.

  1. Dado Padilla – reported ghost schools of TESDA as a way of fighting corruption.

I will not vote for him because he believes in a joint oil exploration between China and the Philippines. He didn’t gave a straight answer to the question whether China can be trusted.

  1. Willy Ong – wants to run as a senator to help more people. He’s a doctor but is against Dengvaxia. He said that his source of funds for campaigning will be through social media and guesting in mainstream media.

I will not vote for him because he doesn’t believe in the suspension of train law and he doesn’t know that the train law package 1 doesn’t include sin tax (as pointed out by Erin Tanada).

  1. Bato dela Rosa – Said that the sensationalized cases during Operation Tokhang are already solved and that the term neutralize doesn’t mean to kill.

I will not vote for him because he doesn’t believe in the Anti-Profanity Ordinace in Baguio and his way of consoling victims of Operation Tokhang (as collateral damage) is believing that there is justice in heaven if we didn’t receive justice here on earth. He’s also in favor of death penalty and lowering the age of criminals.

  1. Imee Marcos – didn’t answer the question regarding the ill gotten wealth issue in spite of the PCGG’s recovery of 170B+ from the Marcos family.

I will not vote for her because she doesn’t believe in the removal of term limits for Senators and Congressman.

  1. Jiggy Manicad – champions campus journalism as alternate to mainstream media. Questions the foreign funding of Rappler. Plans to trace the source of fake news with the help of Interpol and other foreign agencies.

I will not vote for him because he still thinks Rappler is a peddler of fake news and he also believes in mandatory drug test. He also believes in Federalism and didn’t answer the question if there is a study regarding the Local Fund under a Federal state.

  1. Koko Pimentel – former Senate president but is questioned for poor performance i.e. low turn out of bills turned laws. Said that the question of the panelist is wrong.

I will not vote for him because he believes in a joint oil exploration with China (same with Dado Padilla).

  1. Francisco Tolentino – wants to amend the MMDA law saying that it’s just a titular head with no real powers. Supports Duterte’s call for emergency power. Mentioned the computerization of the Land Registration Authority (LRA).

I will not vote for him because he doesn’t believe in Anti-Profanity Ordinance in Baguio. He also (somewhat) doesn’t believe in the anti-political dynasty bill and federalism.

  1. Larry Gadon – doesn’t believe that he deserves disbarment because of the controversies he’s into. He’s still mentioning SAF44, Yolanda Funds, Dengvaxia and questions the results of surveys saying it is prelude to cheating.

I will not vote for him because he still believes in the implementation of the death penalty for heinious crimes stating the case of Singapore and Saudi Arabia. He believes an eye for an eye and that rehabilitation is not effective for drug suspects.


Didn’t attend but is known anyway:

Freddie Aguilar

Edgardo Sonny Angara

Benigno Bam Aquino

Nancy Binay

Ramon Bong Revilla Jr

Pia Cayetano

Juan Ponce Enrile

Bong Go

Pilo Hilbay

Mar Roxas

Cynthia Villar

Serge Osmena

And a lot more candidates that are unknown. I will no longer consider them because they don’t seem to be interested in promoting themselves in mainstream media.

Hope to hear from these candidates in upcoming debates.

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