Senatorial polls-A A +A
Friday, February 1, 2013
IN THE 2013 elections, Akbayan’s Risa Hontiveros almost won a Senate seat, trailing 12th placer Teofisto Guingona III by “only” around one million votes. If the next senatorial elections were held today, and if surveys are to be relied upon, it looks like Hontiveros still won’t make it to the top 12 slots. She is not even in the top 15, according to the Social Weather Station (SWS) survey last Jan. 17-19.
Hontiveros is tied with former senator and United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial bet Ernesto Maceda for the 18th and 19th slots. To get to the top 12, she has to pass former senators Jamby Madrigal and Ramon Magsaysay Jr., presidential cousin Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, former senator Richard Gordon and Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara.
My senatorial bet, party-list Rep. Teddy Casiño, fared even worse in the survey. He failed to land in the top 20. Which just shows how formidable the task of making it to the Senate is for progressives like Hontiveros and Casiño (okay, I am using the loose definition of “progressive,” thus Risa’s inclusion there).
The month of May is still far away, so expect changes in the ranking as weeks pass and especially after the campaign period for the national elections start this coming Feb. 12. The virtues of some senatorial bets are still to be presented in full, so they still could ease out the popular but less talented or less virtuous candidate.
That’s the hope. Because if the result of the 2010 elections were to be used as gauge, it looks like we will have more of the same old faces and family names in the Senate come June 30.
In the recent SWS survey, reelectionist senators Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero, Alan Peter Cayetano, Gregorio Honasan, Aquilino Pimentel III and Antonio Trillanes IV are in the top 12. That’s already six of the 12 slots available. Then you have Miguel Zubiri, who served the Senate for a few years until he was declared by the Commission on Elections as loser to Pimentel in the 2007 elections.
The newcomers in the top 12 are not really newcomers in the strict sense of the word because they are relatives of older politicians. You have, for example, Joseph Victor Ejercito, who has added the Estrada surname to his name to remind voters that he is the son of former president Joseph Estrada and brother of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada.
There’s Juan Ponce “Jack” Enrile Jr., son of you-know-who, and Ma. Lourdes “Nancy” Binay, daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay. Grace Poe-Llamanzares dropped the Llamanzares in her name to also remind voters that she is the daughter of losing (and cheated?) 2004 presidential bet Fernando Poe Jr. Finally you have Rep. Cynthia Villar, wife of senator and losing 2010 presidential bet Manuel Villar.
The same setup prevailed after the votes in the 2010 senatorial elections were counted. When the smoke of the electoral battle cleared, six reelectionists and four former senators made it to the top 12. Rounding it all up were two “newcomers” in Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of the real Macoy (former president Ferdinand Marcos) and Guingona, son of former senator Teofisto Guingona Jr.
There’s a pattern of winning in the senatorial polls, and it works against qualified newcomers and progressives.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 02, 2013.