Kenjie's choices (for senators)

I took time to check the list of senatoriables running in the Philippine 2010 Elections. From there, I studied each of my prospective candidates.

Here are the 12 senatorial candidates I am voting for. I noticed that most of them are from family of politicians (the only candidates without political history are Martin Bautista, a very impressive balikbayan doctor, and Yasmin Lao, a pro-women and Muslim welfare advocate).

There are other senatoriables who are 'winnable', but I just don’t feel they can do much in the Senate. Some have been given the chance to sit at the Senate. Well, they did nothing but that -- sit!

1. Susan Ople (Site)

Personally met her and discussed with her platforms. Pro-OFW/ Pro-Labors.

Susan Ople is a former Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) undersecretary and an advocate of Overseas Filipino Workers' (OFW) rights. She is the youngest daughter of the late Labor secretary and Senator Blas Ople. She has 16 years of honest service in government, including a stint as Undersecretary of the Department of Labor. She holds a master's degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University where she was given the Josephine Vernon Award for Excellence in Communication.

2. Adel Tamano (site)

Adel is a Filipino lawyer and politician. He is the spokesperson of the United Opposition and happens to be the youngest senatorial candidate with Pro-advocation advocacy. In June 2005, he matriculated in Harvard Law School's Master of Laws graduate program. He is the first Filipino Muslim to graduate from Harvard Law School.

3.Miriam Defensor Santiago (Site)

Miriam Defensor Santiago became globally famous with her courageous and brilliant crusade against corruption in the Philippines. As a result, at 43, she was given the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service (known as Asia's Nobel Prize). Her award citations reads: "for bold and moral leadership in cleaning up a graft-ridden government agency."

4.Ana Hontiveros Baraquel (Site)

I met her at PEBA Awarding. I like her performance as party list representative, hence, I’ll vote for her.

Popularly known as Risa Hontiveros, she is a staunch but principled opposition leader, an excellent and competent lawmaker, an award-winning broadcast journalist, and a dedicated single-parent. After being a member of the House of Representatives as Akbayan representative since 2004, she is now running for Senator under the slate of the Liberal Party.

5.Franklin Drilon (Site)

He is also a blogger. Drilon was formerly President of the Philippine Senate and the third highest ranking official of the country. He is currently the Chairman of the influential Liberal Party and a vocal critic of the Macapagal-Arroyo Administration, particularly in the areas of government transparency and judicial reform.

6.Yasmin Busran Lao (Site)

A professor from MSU, my alma-mater, she can represent Muslim and women. Yasmin is a peace and civil society advocate who seeks gender justice for Muslim women by founding the only institutional Muslim women NGO in the country, the Al-Mujadillah Development Foundation (AMDF). The US government conferred to Yasmin the Ninoy Aquino Public Service Award for her work in uplifting the plight of the marginalized.

7.Pia Cayetano (Site)

She is the youngest woman elected in the history of the Philippine Senate. A lawyer, triathlete and mother of two, Pia is constantly proving there's no limit to what Filipino women can set out to do and achieve. Pia was voted to the Senate in 2004 with an overwhelming mandate despite entering the political arena as a total neophyte. She ran on a platform promoting health, environment, youth and women's empowerment in a bid to continue the legacy of her father, the late Senator Compañero Rene L. Cayetano.

8.Gilbert Remulla (Site)

Gilbert ran in the Congressional elections of May 2001 and won convincingly against his veteran rivals. Being one of the youngest members of Congress of the Philippines, the time he has spent in office has been marked by comments about his relative youth in comparison to majority of the members of Congress. His legislative portfolios are the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and the Act Increasing the Penalty for the Illegal Numbers Game.

9.Ramon Mitra (Site)

A son of a former Speaker of the House of the Representatives Speaker Ramon Mitra Jr, Mon-Mon served in the military in the Marine Corps. He considers his heroes the the loyal men and women of his father’s organization and the farmers and fishermen, and the people of Palawan.

10.Gwen Pimentel (Site)

Her CHILDREN platform is making a lot of sense. I like it. Nacionalista Party (NP) senatorial candidate Atty Gwen Pimentel platform is focusing on children and empowerment of local government. She was a Chief of Staff of her father, Senate Minority leader Nene Pimentel. A solicitor general, she is a graduate of the University of the Philippines, and have a master’s degree in Public Administration.

11.Teofisto Guingona III (Site)

Beginning in 2004, he has been elected to two terms in the House of Representatives for the Second District of Bukidnon. Guingona III maintains an official blog, NAKUPO - Empowering the Filipino Consumer! It initially focused on the privatization of the National Power Corporation, but has expanded its scope to a general advocacy of Filipino consumer rights. The blog also tackles issues such as food security and bringing down the cost of telecommunications services.

12.Martin Bautista (Site)

Dr. 'Balikbayan' Bautista is a 47-year old Filipino physician who, after studying, training and running a successful medical practice for almost 20 years in the U.S., has now returned to his country to serve even for only a one year-term. He was featured in the US national television as the outstanding Asian on top of his profession.

So that’s my choice for the top 12 Senators for this year’s election. Have you not made your selection yet?

Photo credit: Rey Asis

Editor's note:

When I first saw Rey Asis' photograph on his site, I immediately requested him if we can make use of it in our journal. He readily acquiesced. Thank you, Rey.

This photo was taken during the OAV exercise in Hongkong.

Feel free to visit Rey's site and be amazed at his wonderful photographs.

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