Same Old Story

Here’s a development that surprised few but disappointed many: The Makabayan Coalition, an alliance of progressive party-list organizations promising a new brand of politics, has admitted guest candidates to its slate.

None of them is a new name and Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño’s justification for the team-up is as old as Cebu Representative Pablo Garcia, who, at 86, is the oldest lawmaker in Congress.

Citing the principle of “politics is addition,” Casiño said he and the guest candidates would “mutually” benefit from the alliance.

Makabayan Coalition has thrown its support behind Senators Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda and Aquilino Pimentel III, former Las Piñas representative Cynthia Villar and former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chair Grace Poe Llamanzares, calling them, along with Casiño, the “Senate Champions.”

Escudero and Legarda are already old hands at the Senate while Pimentel is seeking his second term. Villar is the wife of Senator Manuel Villar Jr. and mother of Las Piñas Representative Mark Villar. Escudero, Pimentel, and Villar are from political families.

Escudero, Legarda, and Llamanzares are common candidates of the two big coalitions fielding candidates in the 2013 elections, the administration’s and the also-administration-but-not-as-much United Nationalist Alliance.

Villar is an official candidate of the administration coalition while Escudero and Pimentel are friendly to Malacañang. Casiño is not and has been critical of the Aquino administration, but that apparently doesn’t matter as long as everybody’s happy.

Casiño, before he officially filed his candidacy, promised an alternative to “basically the same names, faces and vested interests that have dominated Philippine politics for decades.” His challenge then: “Wala na bang iba?” Is there nobody else?

That question has apparently been answered.


  1. I think the question of “Is there anybody else?” is the wrong question to ask. What about novelty is so sound when it comes to leadership? When do we actually know that leadership needs “new blood”? Who gets to dictate that, for a whole nation to follow?

    Well, the voting people does, and not the opinionated few. The people who feel the need for new leadership, that they rise above adversity and say “I want to be the next senator.” An inspiring leader, who will not be overshadowed by sheer popularity, whose stand is much more inspiring that the number of years he/she has spend in the senate, will rise above, and a whole country will get behind him/her in a resounding chant of change.

    Well, we don’t see that happening anytime soon, now do we? I guess respite in this byzantine predicament is to just type in the words: “Is there anybody else?”, and hope that someone will finally make you believe that no, sir, there is nobody else. At least, not yet.

  2. Hi, Johanna

    It’s just disappointing that new blood, and Casiño does offer a different perspective on politics (although not a perspective we might agree with), has to use old methods to get some sort of “winnability.”

  3. The senate race has always been too dubious for me. It’s hard for the common folk to vote for any of the new names and faces to enter the senate because they don’t know many of them and that name recall is a big factor.

    The problem with voting for the seats in the senate is because they, if you think so too, lack constituents to represent. “The Filipino People” is now a generalized term and equally abused by “these people” for lack of a better word. It’s why I think that the senate seats should be voted per region. Like, for example, Gordon and Bam Aquino go head to head in Region III while Escuedero and Trillanes duke it out in Region IV-A or NCR.

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