MANILA, Philippines – The election season begins next week, with the filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2013 midterm polls.
Leading the senatorial race are 6 reelectionists, with name recall and media visibility in their favor.
Ayee Macaraig reports.
They are the survey frontrunners, election veterans, and old-timers.
So if they’ve done it before, can they easily do it again?
Six senators are running for reelection in 2013, half of the 12 slots up for grabs.
They are Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero, Gregorio Honasan II, Loren Legarda, Aquilino Pimentel III, and Antonio Trillanes IV.
The group is a mixed bag, with different advocacies and experiences.
Legarda and Escudero are the most popular, likely to end up as guest candidates of both the Liberal Party and the United Nationalist Alliance.
Legarda is a two-term senator who authored environmental laws while Escudero filed bills on justice and the courts in his first term.
They say it doesn’t matter who among them clinches the top spot.
Kung inuugnay mo iyan sa 2016, wala pa maliban kay Pangulong Arroyo, na duda pa ako kung totoo iyon, ang nanalo sa pagkapresidente na nag-number 1 sa kung ano mang senatorial slate o eleksyon.
It’s never a walk in the park. I’m going to campaign like I’m going to campaign. I’m going to campaign like I’m 38 years old.
If Legarda and Escudero topped the 2007 polls, Cayetano and Pimentel had a hard time.
The two claimed they were victims of cheating, and have since pushed for electoral reforms.
The Minority Leader led corruption probes as former head of the Blue Ribbon Committee.
Pimentel is the newest senator, getting a term of just 1 year and 10 months after winning his election protest in 2011.
Honasan and Trillanes have even more colorful histories as former military officers, coup plotters and detainees.
Honasan is the most senior reelectionist, authoring laws on the environment, land reform and national security.
Yet it’s the youngest senator who is most controversial for taking on Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile over the division of Camarines Sur.
Enrile vows to campaign against Trillanes but the neophyte senator remains unfazed.
Despite their differences, the reelectionists agree unclear party distinctions will make 2013 unique.
AQUILINO PIMENTEL III
Automated na, popular ang president and then labo-labo. Siguro only in the Philippines ito or maybe after 2013, we should really now take a serious look in political party reform.
The senators will file their certificates of candidacy from October 1 to 5.
Traditionally, reelectionists are seen as a shoo-in, thanks to name recall and the so-called equity of the incumbent.
But even they call on voters to be more discerning, taking a look at what they’ve done with the taxpayers’ money and the people’s trust.
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler. – Rappler.com
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