LP member grumbles: Why can’t LP come up with young, promising slate?
By Leila B. Salaverria and Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
8:33 pm | Sunday, September 30th, 2012
MANILA, Philippines — Not all Liberal Party (LP) members are happy with the ruling coalition’s senatorial slate, which consists of only three LP members, two of them only recently sworn in.
Why could not the LP, President Benigno Aquino III’s party, field homegrown long-term members, complained some party members. Others defended the LP leadership’s decision, saying “winnability” was more important than tenure in the party.
Only three LP members made it to the administration coalition slate—former Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and newly sworn in members Jamby Madrigal, herself a former senator, and Paolo Benigno Aquino, the President’s cousin.
Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teddy Casiño derided the two rival coalitions for fielding old names and faces who are unlikely to bring a new vision to the Senate. “Is there no one else?” he asked in a statement.
“Same old, same old,” was the reaction of ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio.
Even Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. LP vice chair but who did not participate in the selection process, said: “One wishes there were more new faces.” “Unfortunately, name recognition and money will mainly determine this senatorial race. There are lots of good candidates out there who could win if voters were more informed and elections were not so expensive,” said Akbayan party-list Rep. Walden Bello.
Kabataan Rep. Raymond Palatino also lamented the preponderance of dynasties in the line-ups, specifically mentioning President Aquino’s cousin (Paolo Benigno Aquino) and aunt (former Tarlac Gov. Margarita Cojuangco), Sen. Manuel Villar’s wife (former Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar), Sen. Edgardo Angara’s son (Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara), former Speaker Jose de Venecia’s son (Joey de Venecia), Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s son (Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile) and former President Joseph Estrada’s son (San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito).
“What’s good for one family is not necessarily good for the whole country. What’s good for the family business can ruin the democratic promise of elections. Are we condemned to be hostaged witnesses to the waltzing and dancing of the same families on the political dance floor?” said Palatino.