Tough senatorial run for Casiño, Hontiveros-A A +A
Friday, February 8, 2013
AFTER the social Weather Station (SWS), it is Pulse Asia’s turn to release the result of its senatorial polls survey, this time conducted from Jan. 19 to 30 and involving 1,800 registered voter samples. Reelectionist senators and relatives of veteran politicians (translation: patriarchs of political dynasties) still crowd the top 12 slots.
Sens. Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero continue to have a firm grip of the top 2 slots (Legarda, 58 percent and Escudero, 54.3 percent). That is not surprising because even in 2010, the popularity of both gave them legitimate shots at higher posts. They were presidentiables until Escudero let go of his plans and Legarda ran for vice president, teaming up with Nacionalista Party bet Manuel Villar.
Another reelectionist senator, Alan Peter Cayetano, whose sister Pia already won reelection in 2010, is at third place. In fourth place is Nancy Binay, daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay (who incidentally is a former critic of political dynasties). Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito Estrada (former president Joseph Estrada’s son and brother of Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, reelected senator in 2010) is at fifth place.
Sharing sixth and seventh places are reelectionist senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III (son of former senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr.). At eighth place is Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile Jr., son of the current Senate president no less). He is followed at ninth place by Rep. Cynthia Villar (wife of Sen. Manuel Villar).
Miguel Zubiri, the senator who resigned from his post weeks before the Commission on Elections declared him a loser to Pimentel in the 2007 senatorial race, is at tenth place. Rounding up the top 12 are Rep. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara (son of outgoing senator Edgardo Angara) and reelectionist senator Gregorio Honasan.
As in the SWS survey results, I would say that if the elections were held today, we will end up with the same faces or family names in the Senate. Or to put it in another way, we will have more of the same Senate complexion. Pulse Asia indirectly offers an explanation to this trend. The survey result showed that only about a third of the Filipino electorate (34 percent) has a complete senatorial slate.
That means a majority of the voters nationwide either know already who the candidates are but are still undecided on whom to vote for or know only few of those who are in the hunt for a Senate seat and thus could not complete the needed senatorial slate of 12. That means a big chunk (more than 70 percent) of the electorate will be the main targets for wooing by senatorial bets once the campaign period opens next week.
So there’s still a chance for my bets, party-list Rep. Teddy Casiño of the Makabayan coalition and Risa Hontiveros of Akbayan. Risa is with the Liberal Party slate so she stands on a higher platform from which to woo voters. Casiño is with a minor group but can make it through if he is able to forge alliances with the political groups of his colleagues in the House and those who know his capabilities.
Of course, Casiño and Hontiveros have to contend with candidates with established family names like Grace Poe and Paolo Benigno Aquino IV and former senators Jamby Madrigal, Richard Gordon, Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and Ernesto Maceda. It’s a tough senate race for Teddy and Risa.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 09, 2013.