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TO THE FILIPINO YOUTH

Mar Roxas: Vote, and Vote Wisely
SLF URGES YOUTH TO PROTECT VOTE
CJ Puno’s Advice to the Youth in the May Elections

MOCK-ELECTION RESULTS

University of the East (UE)
Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Sta. Mesa (PUP)
Bulacan State University (BSU)
National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) – UP Diliman
De La Salle University – Taft (DLSU)

Why Vote?
Benjamin S. Abalos Sr.
Rene V. Sarmiento
Resurreccion Z. Borra
Florentino A. Tuason Jr.


VOTER’S EDUCATION CAMPAIGN AD

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The Student Leaders’ Forum (SLF) has called on its fellow youth to not only cast their vote this coming May 14, but to also actively participate in the protection of their votes.

“It’s common to call on the youth to exercise their right to vote,” Ace Gomez, SLF President, said. “But this time, we want to ask our fellow youth to go beyond suffrage and actively protect their vote.” (More…)

Malacañang execs deny allegation
By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, Tetch Torres
INQUIRER.net
Last updated 10:36pm (Mla time) 04/20/2007

(UPDATE 2) MANILA, Philippines — There is a plan by Malacañang to campaign against anti-government partylist groups in the midterm elections to ensure that an impeachment move against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will not prosper, a militant leader said, quoting from a copy of an alleged document from within the Palace. (More on Inquirer)

Originally Posted at www.inquirer.net

Team Unity bets edged closer to the commanding lead of Genuine Opposition (GO) candidates during the 4th leg of the Mock Elections being held by the Student Leaders Forum (SLF).

With 278 students of the De La Salle University (DLSU) at Taft Ave., Manila, casting their “votes”, four Team Unity bets managed to make it into the top 12, with Sen. Ed Angara squeezing into No. 13 as two GO bets tied for eighth place.

Leading the pack was Rep. Chiz Escudero, with 212 of 278 votes, or 76.26% of all votes cast. Sen. Kiko Pangilinan was in second with 196 votes (70.50%), followed by Sen. Joker Arroyo, Sen. Pres. Manny Villar, Sen. Ping Lacson, and former Sen. Loren Legarda.
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Young national leaders continue their winning streak in the Mock Polls being conducted by the Student Leaders Forum (SLF).

Topping the Mock Elections held by SLF at the Bulacan State University was Rep. Chiz Escudero, with 378 of 445 votes, or 83.56% of respondents. He was followed by Sen. Pres. Manny Villar with 325 votes; Loren Legarda with 307 votes; Sen. Kiko Pangilinan with 3200 votes; Sen. Ralph Recto with 276 votes, and Sen. Ping Lacson with 261 votes.
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3 from Team Unity, 2 from Independents

The Genuine Opposition (GO) led the pack of Senatoriables during the first run of the Mock Elections of the Student Leader’s Forum (SLF), with seven of its candidates making it into the twelve slots for the Senate.

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Escudero, Pangilinan take lead in mock elections

Young lawmakers Francis Joseph “Chiz” Escudero and Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan continued to get the highest marks for election as Senator in the second installment of a poll-awareness campaign conducted by the Student Leaders’ Forum (SLF) held at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Sta. Mesa campus last 12 – 13 March 2007.
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The Kabataang Liberal ng Pilipinas (KALIPI) issued a call to young celebrities to encourage their fellow youth to participate in the elections this coming May. This call comes along with the launching of this weblog on voter’s education campaign.

“We all know the influence young celebrities have over their legions of fans,” Jan-Argy Tolentino, Secretary General and Spokesperson of KALIPI, said. “What we’re asking is that these teen idols encourage young people to vote this coming May.”

Tolentino emphasized that the youth – comprising somewhere between 30 – 40% of the country’s total population – could very well tip the balance in favor of more principled politics. “If the youth only voted as a bloc for politicians that could reform the political culture of the country, then people who truly mean well would be able to directly contribute to the betterment of the Philippines.”

“Active youth group like KALIPI should convince the youth to go out and vote, to exercise their right and responsibility to choose their leaders,” Eric Caliboso, Executive Director of Center for Liberal Leadership, said. “The problem is most young people think that voting is either a useless endeavor or don’t care at all. What they don’t know is their votes are statements for the kind of politics and leaders they want the country to have.”

Caliboso pointed out that it is here that young celebrities could use their influence over their fans to encourage voting on May. “The trust accorded to these celebrities by their fans should make them at least reconsider exercising their right to vote. If more young people participate in the elections this year, then that’s already a big step to reforming our political culture.” (end)

First posted 00:10:04 (Mla time) 2007-02-21
Amando Doronila
Inquirer

THE days of the Philippine Senate as the springboard to the presidency are numbered. The May 2007 elections will determine the validity of the conventional wisdom that senators have a natural right to the presidency because they have a “national constituency” that puts them on equal footing with the President of the Republic.

Senators have come to believe that because they are elected at large, they are “presidents in waiting.” This explains why there has always been a scramble for inclusion in senatorial tickets in past elections.

President Manuel L. Quezon started the precedent in 1916 when, under the Jones Law, the unicameral legislature was transformed into two chambers. Quezon was elected the first Filipino Senate president in the evolving experiment on self-government. Quezon’s election as Senate president represented his triumph over Speaker Sergio Osmeña of the unicameral legislature in their rivalry for dominance in Philippine politics. The Speaker then was the most powerful Filipino official, since the legislature was the people’s assembly and the upper body was the Philippine Commission controlled by the American colonial administration.

Thus, the establishment of the Senate marked the emergence of an autonomous all-Filipino legislature, and a historical benchmark for the development of a powerful counterfoil to the presidency. After Quezon, the Senate presidency has been fiercely coveted and contested as the shortest route to the presidency, aside from the vice presidency.

Senate President Manuel A. Roxas mounted his challenge for the presidency against Vice President Sergio Osmeña in 1946. Senate President Ferdinand Marcos successfully challenged President Diosdado Macapagal in the 1965 election from the Senate podium.

Since Quezon, a number of senators have launched presidential bids, using the Senate as their platforms. Although most have not been successful, senators have always believed that because they are in the Senate that puts them in line for recruitment to the presidency.

From 1916 until the replacement of the bicameral legislature by the unicameral National Assembly in 1935 (a scheme of Quezon), senators were elected according to senatorial districts, numbering 16 and representing regional constituencies and political bases. Despite this regional delineation, the notion gained currency that the Senate was a forum where national problems were debated by the “best and the brightest” of these regional representatives. The idea was that the Senate was the assembly of elected elder statesmen whose vision transcended parochial interests articulated by the members of the House of Representatives. This concept worked and did produce statesmen and heavyweight presidential timber, until “something funny happened on the way to the forum.”

Despite the regular replenishment of presidential aspirants in the Senate, other routes to Malacañang have opened, bypassing the Senate. Ramon Magsaysay sprang from the House, powered by his war record as guerrilla leader, to become a spectacular defense secretary who broke the back of the Huk rebellion. From his Cabinet base, Magsaysay routed President Elpidio Quirino in the 1953 election.

Diosdado Macapagal leapfrogged from the House to become vice president and went on to defeat Carlos P. Garcia in 1961. In 1994, Fidel Ramos took the presidency on the back of a non-legislative platform, which was the Edsa People Power constituency. In 1998, Vice President Joseph Estrada stormed into the presidency on the wave of a constituency based on show business, in a sweep that had nothing to do with his undistinguished record in the Senate.

All this has diminished the Senate as the traditional pathway to the presidency.

In the scramble for slots on the senatorial tickets of the Genuine Opposition (GO) and Team Unity for the May election, senators and ex-senators, using their Senate background as credentials for election, are over-represented as a recruitment category. Their Senate background is not a red-hot vote-getting asset anymore. There is no reason to believe that they are sure winners.

Even the value of the Senate and the Senate presidency as a shortcut to the presidency is uncertain. The performance of the Senate over the past few years has highlighted its investigative function, overshadowing its task as a consensus-building body on policy. It is a chamber of undisciplined members acting separately, not guided by party platforms, although nominally members claim party membership (such as the LDP, PDP-Laban, Liberal Party and Nacionalista Party). In voting on issues, senators have voted as individuals, claiming “independence.” They can’t even be categorized as pro-administration or anti-administration. On any issue, the vote is widely splintered by as many separate opinions as there are senators. With such fragmentation, no one in the present Senate, including re-electionists, can claim to speak on behalf of, or to represent, any constituency.

This individualistic splintering is reflected in the senatorial tickets whose candidates have been recruited from a medley of sectors and who do not represent a national constituency. When the next Senate is elected from this broad spectrum of disparate constituencies, none of its members can claim a vested right to be president on the grounds that he or she has been elected at large on the same basis as the president.

This is a spurious and delusional claim. The election results will show the extent of the erosion of the Senate as a recruitment ground for the presidency.

More Inquirer columns

Previous columns:
The power of patronage – 2/16/07
A first look at the senatorial lineups – 02/14/07
Madhouse – 02/09/07
Scorched Earth’s impact closer to home – 02/07/07
All for naught – 2/02/07

Y! POWER

This campaign is initiated by Student Leaders Forum (SLF), Kabataang Liberal ng Pilipinas (KALIPI), National Students League (NSL), and Center for Liberal Leadership (CLL)
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COMELEC Schedule

January 15, 2007 - Start of filing for Senatorial and Local Candidates --------------------------------------- February 12, 2007 - Deadline of filing for Senatorial Candidates --------------------------------------- February 13, 2007 - Start of Campaign for Senatorial Candidates --------------------------------------- March 29, 2007 - Deadline of filing for Local Candidates --------------------------------------- March 30, 2007 - Start of Campaign for Local Candidates --------------------------------------- May 14, 2007 - Election ---------------------------------------

Organizations Behind

Kabataang Liberal ng Pilipinas --------------------------------------- Center for Liberal Leadership --------------------------------------- Student's Leader Forum --------------------------------------- National Student's League ---------------------------------------

Bloggers

Concept and Project Director: Eric D. Caliboso --------------------------------------- Blog Master: Arlene C. Concepcion / Ivy Ganadillo --------------------------------------- Graphic Designer: Franz Robert dela Vega --------------------------------------- Writers: Reymundo de Guzman, Nysa Tolentino, Joenel Nudo, Shiella Poblete, Bless Alvero, Julie Turqueza, Rachel Bersamera, Francis Urduna, Kare Bernardo, Ace Gomez, Maricris Lorenzo, Fidel Esteban, Agape, Ivy Ganadillo, Alex Sevilla, Cecille Anyayahan, Mel Salise, Carla Vicente, Kathrina Manuel, Mark Anthony de Leon, Lawrence Villamar, RJ Rocks, Analyn Lopez, Donna Babadilla, Jhaecii Fajardo, Claudette Tolentino and Rob Ramos --------------------------------------- Spokesperson: Jan-Argy Y. Tolentino - (+63) 0917-526-2749 --------------------------------------- Contact Numbers: --------------------------------------- Smart No.: +63920 8213221 Globe No.: +63915 3152451 --------------------------------------- Landline Nos.: 7157040, 7158505 local 806 ---------------------------------------