March 1, 2013

2013 Senate election primers

Much has been said about the 2013 elections' lack of party structure, political maturity and party switching that is endemic of Philippine politics since the Spanish were overthrown by the Americans. The politics of this country has been described as "clientelistic": a politician, or the "big man" is the provided of basic services to his constituents, not unlike feudalism of Europe in the Middle Ages.

In fact, voters have much to be blamed on the current mess that is called Philippine politics. Not only are the politicians benefiting from the current setup, but voters themselves are beneficiaries of this feudalism in the 21st century. Provide services, and we'd vote. Well of course, this shouldn't be the case, at least in legislative elections. Elections to legislature are meant to provide us a voice.

Which means that whomever you'd vote for in legislative elections isn't someone who'd give you favors for the next three years: it's someone you'd agree with on every issue you can think of. This is the purpose of these series of posts. Here, you'd see the voting records of senatorial candidates in the 15th Congress. Here, it is not what they'd promise they'd do, but what they actually did while in office. This avoids the ambiguity of motherhood statements that is predominantly used by politicians.

The websites of the Senate and the House of Representatives (aka "", even though both chambers is "the" Congress") provide the voting records of every member of Congress on every bill that has been tackled on the plenary floor. This means we can assign "votes" on every candidate that has served in the 15th Congress. There are usually 5 types of votes: for, against, abstentions, did not vote as a Speaker, and absent. In the lower house, in keeping with Speaker Denison's rule, the Speaker (or the presiding officer) is officially neutral and doesn't vote unless to break ties. I dunno if there had been any tied vote in the lower house, as most bills are passed unanimously (as you'd see below); this means the second part of Speaker Denison's rule, in which the speaker would vote against, has been tested. However, no senatorial candidate has sat as the presiding officer in the House of Representatives, so it is not listed here.

There are limitations, though: not all senatorial candidates have been members of the 15th Congress, or have been members of Congress at all. This means we'd only limit these voting records, on naturally, those who were able to vote in the 15th Congress. These are the following:

Team PNoy

  • Juan Edgardo Angara
  • Alan Peter Cayetano
  • Francis Escudero
  • Loren Legarda
  • Aquilino Pimentel III
  • Antonio Trillanes

  • JV Ejercito
  • Jack Enrile
  • Gregorio Honasan
  • Mitos Magsaysay
  • Juan Miguel Zubiri

Makabayan: Teddy CasiƱo

These will be the bills and laws that will be initially be under consideration. Additional bills and laws might be added upon popular demand.

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