As everyone is likely aware, mid-term elections will be held in 2013, and 12 Senate seats will be up for grabs. Pulse Asia recently conducted a survey of a limited number of people who tell them what they want to hear, and have published a list of the early favorites:
1. Francis G. “Chiz” Escudero: At one time Cheeze Whiz looked like a rising star in Philippine politics, making a name for himself as an opposition Congressman in the ultimately unsuccessful bid to impeach then-President Gloria Arroyo in 2005. That went out the window, however, when he made the genuinely retarded assertion during the 2010 Presidential campaign that courses such as Algebra, Trigonometry, and Calculus were not really necessary for daily life, and therefore, should be optional in the school curriculum. As disturbing at that was, it should have come as no surprise to anyone, since it is a point of view he’s held since he ran for Senate in the first place, back in 2007.
2. Loren Legarda: An advocate of environmental and women’s issues, Legarda is most noted for not having a silly nickname in quotation marks.
3. Manuel A. “Mar” Roxas II: Also known as “Mr. Palengke” for his politically-adept (at least for this country) way of sucking up to the underclasses, Roxas is presently the Secretary of Trade and Industry, his consolation prize for getting jacked out of his position as Noynoy Aquino’s running mate in favor of Jejomar Binay. Apart from holding an assigned seat on the short bus, Roxas is not actually a bad guy as Philippine politicians go. And his wife is pretty hot.
4. Alan Peter S. “Compañero” Cayetano: Along with Escudero, Cayetano rode his being a reasonably young, good-looking, noisy opposition Congressman into the Senate, where he is now the Minority Leader. In a legislative body that only has 24 members to begin with, that’s a lot like being the tail gunner on an ice cream truck.
5. Noli “Kabayan” DeCastro: Vice-President under Arroyo, DeCastro was a well-known and popular newscaster before becoming a politician, and went back to that after his term as VP ended. Best known for anchoring ABS-CBN’s nightly news broadcast (with Korina Sanchez, the aforementioned hot wife of Mar Roxas) USING THIS TONE OF VOICE! ALL THE TIME! NO MATTER WHAT HE’S TALKING ABOUT! Also, he dresses well.
6. Joseph Victor “JV Estrada” Ejercito: One of former action-movie star and President Joseph Estrada’s sons. Don’t know much about him, but given his parentage, I’d guess he probably knows how to handle himself at the sabong.
7. Gregorio B. “Gringo” Honasan: One of two former military men who led armed insurrections with a reasonable chance of being elected or reelected to the Senate, Honasan actually came within a whisker of knocking Cory Aquino out of the Presidency in the late 1980’s, which in hindsight might have been a good thing if it had worked. Honasan really hasn’t distinguished himself as a politician, other than to be a constant reminder to Sonny Trillanes of everything the latter is not.
8. Juan Ponce “Jack” Enrile, Jr.: Enrile is about 300 years old and has spent roughly two-thirds of that time in politics, thus making him one of the few politicians in the Philippines with legitimate experience in government and the ability to make sense when he talks. Case in point, his previous campaign slogan, “Gusto ko happy ka!” (“I like you to be happy!”) Only a guy who truly understands the saying “cut the crap” could have the balls to toss something like that to the voting public, because he knows he couldn’t have tapped the priorities of the average Filipino any more accurately if he’d used a laser.
9. Aquilino Martin “Koko” Pimentel III: The son of the former Senator and guy-you-don’t-want-to-screw-with of the same name, Pimentel claimed his present seat in the Senate only this past August when Migz Zubiri resigned under a cloud of accusations of poll fraud, about which Pimentel had been pursuing an electoral protest case for several years. Not as tough as his father, but probably could still kick your ass.
10. Leila A. De Lima: Currently the Justice Secretary and Noynoy’s legal hatchet man, if “hatchet” means the same thing as “pool noodle.” Incredibly, once served as the head of the Commission on Human Rights, which demonstrates just how meaningless that concept is in the Philippines. Unconfirmed reports are that she is actually that fat lady disguise Arnold Schwarzenegger wore in Total Recall, only now it’s being manned by Nathan Thurm.
11. Antonio F. “Sonny” Trillanes IV: Mortal enemy of the Makati hospitality industry, Trillanes has spent his career trying to make the “F.” in his name stand for “failed coup attempt.” His dedication to justice and moral right regardless of law or common sense has been rewarded, however, by his recent election as president of the Table Tennis Association of the Philippines.
12. Juan Manuel F. “Migz” Zubiri: Narrowly elected in 2007 ahead of Koko Pimentel, Zubiri resigned in August of this year after being hounded by allegations of vote-padding. Unfortunately, Zubiri is no relation to sexy actress Diana Zubiri, whose real name is Rosemarie Garcia. That factoid about sums up Zubiri’s political record as well.
Of course, the election is still more than a year away, but it’s never too early to learn about the candidates and start thinking about your choices. Remember, vote early and vote often.