I ADMIT I haven’t gone through the list of the candidates for senator in the May polls thoroughly as yet. I understand there are almost 60 of them vying for 12 slots available, or an excess of more than 40 candidates. That’s too many names to pay attention to as of this moment.

In Pulse Asia’s January 2010 Pre-Election Survey for the senatorial elections, popular “trapos” (traditional politicians) naturally led the race. How about Bong Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada? The two friends, who are not only politicians but also actors on the side (or is it the other way around?), topped a Social Weather Station Survey, too.

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In the top 12 are reelectionist senators like Pia Cayetano, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Manuel “Lito” Lapid. There are also the returnee candidates like Franklin Drilon, Ralph Recto, Sergio Osmeña III and Vicente “Tito” Sotto III. Interestingly, the former dictator’s namesake, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and the ex-House speaker’s namesake, Jose “Joey” de Venecia III, managed to wiggle into the probable winners’ list.

The survey results explain why the country’s politics has gone to the dogs, sort of. This is because I prefer to have progressives and not “trapos” to be in the Senate and in the process save the image of the said institution. Claro M. Recto, Jose W. Diokno, Lorenzo Tañada. Those were the progressives that made the term “senator” respectable in the past.

That’s why I am partial for Ka Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza of Makabayan even if I criticized the decision of their group to link up with Manny Villar. How can a progressive group be an ally of a C-5 scam-linked presidentiable, who in turn is an ally of the son of ex-dictator Marcos and possibly, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? But even then, Satur and Liza need to be in the Senate.

Risa Hontiveros Baraquel is your familiar pretty face, but if I got it right her name is actually Ana Theresia. She and JV Bautista should also be in the Senate. Alexander Lacson is author of the book “12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country” so he should be senator, too, together with principled military officers like Danny Lim and Ariel Querubin.

Finally, we have our own, Serge and Lito Osmeña and Regalado Maambong, Jr. They are not only from our province; they are also among the Cebuanos that are most qualified to dabble in national politics.

Of course, there are other highly qualified candidates out there. It’s just unfortunate that their candidacies are under the radar and may not go anywhere.

(khanwens@yahoo.com/ my blog: cebuanos.wordpress.com)