A recent survey on the various senatorial candidates for this year’s elections shows that there is something seriously wrong with Filipino voters.
Some of the probable winners cannot be questioned. Specifically, some re-electionists are expected to win because they are known to everybody and their reputations are generally intact.
The likes of Senators Cynthia Villar and Grace Poe are on top of the list because they are credible lawmakers who have not been involved in any scandal.
Others, however, should be rejected by the electorate but will probably win, led by the likes of Bong Revilla and the half brother siblings fathered by Manila Mayor Erap Estrada, JV Ejercito and Jinggoy Estrada.
Recall that in one of the oddest and most outlandish decisions ever issued by a court, the Sandiganbayan cleared Revilla of pocketing millions in kickbacks from his pork barrel but ordered him to return part of that loot.
In effect, the anti-graft court said, “we find you not guilty even if you’re really guilty.”
To add insult to injury, Revilla said that he had no intention of returning his extra unexplained wealth.
A return to the Senate will only mean that the once respected lawmaking body has completely lost what reputation it had in the past. I’m old enough to remember when the upper chamber of our bicameral Congress was populated with true legal and political titans, men and women who were not only brilliant but who were also incorruptible.
Electing incompetents is one thing, but crooks and scoundrels?
I may have been a kid back when the likes of Lorenzo Tanada, Jose W. Diokno and Claro M. Recto held sway in the Senate, but they left lasting impressions. Senators really were the best of the best back then.
Somewhere along the way, however, running for senator became joke, with candidates having to sing, dance and tell jokes in order to win. The political parties also started fielding the wrong kind of candidates, usually show biz figures and athletes.
To this day, no one can explain why the likes of LitoLapid, Ramon Revilla, Robert Jaworski, Freddie Webb, and Manny Pacquiao were able to win senate seats with zero background in lawmaking.
It was bad enough that family dynasties had near total control of local politics, but the time came when they could also guarantee themselves seats in the national scene. She may be a nice person but what qualifications did Nancy Binay have when she ran for senator and won?
As for Bongbong Marcos, can he honestly say that he can win any political post if he had a different surname? Sorry, but the same goes for re-electionist Senator Bam Aquino, although to be fair he has done his homework and tried to be at least an adequate lawmaker.
In a few months, a couple of bets who have no place in the Senate may climb the popularity ratings to the point that they may join the top 12. Former Philippine National Police chief Batodela Rosa and presidential gofer Bong Go have the full support of President Rodrigo Duterte, which means that the government machinery will be used to help them win.
We can at least expect a handful of deserving candidates to win in the May 2019 elections. He may not end up a topnotcher but Mar Roxas deserves a Senate seat. The latest survey shows that he is a likely winner.
But from the looks of things, a good number of parasites will be heading for the Philippine Senate this year because they will flood local media with commercials and advertisements during the campaign period showing that they are God-fearing populists who love the poor with all their hearts and souls.
Impossible promises will be made to go along with their motherhood statements, and when the dust clears the one dozen winners will heave a sigh of relief. Some of them – I don’t know how many – will then make plans on how they will recoup the millions of pesos they spent for their successful campaigns.
They may want to get some tips from Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada on how to get away with highway robbery. These two have the experience and the expertise to get away with plunder.