MANILA, Philippines – The youth of the Far Eastern University Institute of Technology (FEU-IT) want change, and they are willing to put new faces in the Senate to get it.
During Rappler’s third and last senatorial debate on April 22, students said they were pleased to hear what for them were solid plans from people who wanted real reforms.
The senatorial candidates who participated were:
- Former interior secretary Rafael Alunan
- Former Quezon City representative Dante Liban
- Labor lawyer Allan Montaño
- Former labor undersecretary and overseas Filipino workers’ (OFW) advocate Susan Ople
- Former police chief and member of the House of Representatives Samuel Pagdilao
- Former Philippine National Police officer and founder of the Young Officers’ Union Diosdado Valeroso
None of the candidates are part of the so-called winners’ circle in the nationwide surveys but the students did not seem to mind. Some even found the change refreshing.
“Masaya kami kasi hindi namin sila kilala pero binigay naman nila yung satisfaction sa ‘min sa mga inexplain nila sa’min,” said student Vina Rose Bonto.
(We’re happy because they’re not well-known but they explained their positions satisfactorily.)
Another student, Christian Philip Cayanan, found the debate enlightening, and said, “Nakakatuwa kasi kahit hindi sila kilala nabigyan sila ng pagkakataon to shine, at nabigyan sila ng pagkakataon na maipaliwanag yung side nila, and nabigyan din ng pagkakataon yung mga estudyante especially yung mga boboto.“
(It was nice because even though they were not well-known, they were given the chance to shine, and they were given the chance to explain their side, and students, especially those who will vote, got the opportunity [to listen to them].)
For them, the candidates’ relative anonymity on the campaign trail meant they could shift politics away from the old ways.
“We should not stick sa lumang politics kasi alam naman nating yung lumang politics punong-puno ng corruption (We should not stick to old politics because we know it’s so full of corruption),” said electronics engineering student Adrian Apacible.
“We really need change to start over again in our government,” he added.
Michael Angelo Daquioag also said he was tired of traditional politics, and would not mind fresh personalities in government as long as they had clear platforms.
“Very happy ako na may bagong faces, bagong pangalan. Maganda ‘yung gusto nilang ipanukala. Ang politics kasi natin ngayon masyado nang marumi. Tama ‘yung sinabi nilang ‘bago naman’,” he explained.
(I’m very happy that there are new faces, new names. Their proposals are good. Politics today is very dirty. They’re right – we need someone new.)
After the debate, the candidates held signs saying #BagoNaman, a slogan Ople used when asked how the candidates would introduce themselves to millennial voters.
Ople is not new to the senatorial campaign. She previously ran in 2010, but was 34th out of 61. Should she win, 2016 will be the start of her first term as senator.
The rest, however, are all first-timers in the senatorial race. Based on the surveys, however, none of the 6 candidates have broken into the Magic 12, with Montaño reaching the highest place at 21st in the Social Weather Station survey.
But with more than 1 in 3 registered voters for the 2016 elections under 35 years old, getting the youth’s vote may turn the tide for the new names. – with reports by Basil Mencias, Timothy Justin Emata, Abegail Llamanzares, and Aina Michaella Licodine/Rappler.com
Basil Mencias, Timothy Justin Emata, Abegail Llamanzares, and Aina Michaella Licodine are Rappler interns.
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