Senate bets in UP: ’Tis the season for promises

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MANILA, Philippines—’Tis again the season for promises.

On Thursday night, most of the 14 senatorial wannabes wooed students of the University of the Philippines to vote for them with promises of more education and health reforms.

The candidates—both newbies and old-timers—tried their best to convince the students, some of whom will be voting for the first time in May, by dangling more scholarships and even universal health insurance coverage.

Even the issues of political dynasties, church and state separation and the controversial Reproductive Health law and the Cybercrime law found their way into “The Rundown 2013,” a forum organized by the UP Economic Society and its partners.

 

Policy position

“This is part of our efforts to promote honest and clean elections through voters’ education… We want voters to choose their candidates not because of ads, personality politics etc. but based on their analyses of problems, policy positions etc.,” said UP President Alfredo Pascual in his address.

Those who attended the forum were Representatives Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Mitos Magsaysay and JV Ejercito, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino, Christian Seneres, former Manila councilor Grego Belgica, Rizalito David and JC delos Reyes of the Ang Kapatiran Party, Baldomero Falcone of the Democratic Party of the Philippines, Risa Hontiveros of the Liberal Party, former Sen. Ernesto Maceda Jr.;

Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, and Eddie Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas.

The candidates were given only two minutes to discuss their platforms, and one and a half minutes to answer questions from panelists and the audience.

All of the candidates professed support for the Freedom of Information bill without the right of reply provision, while most were for the repeal of the Cybercrime Law.

Common platforms

Most of the common platforms, aside from health and educational reforms, were on peace and order, jobs creation and entrepreneurship opportunities for the poor.

Angara, for one, advocated an increased health insurance coverage especially for the poor and a unified health care system.

Belgica seconded this, saying the pork barrel could be diverted to health insurance for universal coverage for all.

Aquino, for his part, said health care reforms like insurance coverage and improvement of hospitals “should happen side by side.”

Meanwhile, Ejercito also stressed health insurance and housing as a means of improving the lives of underpaid teachers without having to go through the budget department.

The most applauded statements were quips to touchy issues, like political dynasties and reproductive health.

When asked if he would file an antipolitical dynasty bill, Aquino said it was “about time that it was defined.”

“Let’s define what a political dynasty is. Then we can see who can run and who cannot,” he said during the open forum.

Sex ed for HS only

Magsaysay, who has opposed the RH law in the past, reiterated her stand that more important than sex education in schools is values formation for students.

Meanwhile, Maceda opined that sex education should be “for high school seniors only” while Hontiveros pushed for sexuality education as “ignorance breeds illness and death.”

Most of the candidates like Poe and Trillanes opposed the right of reply provision.

Trillanes said he was opposing the right of reply provision “for it is simply not right.”

“It will hinder media men from expressing facts and opinions,” he said.

Poe meanwhile branded the right of reply provision as “tedious and unnecessary.”

She pointed out that this might lead to government “encroaching on how news is expressed.”

Panelist Carlos Celdran of “Damaso” fame posed a provocative question, asking for a “non secular answer” to the candidates’ views on divorce.

Empirical evidence

While Hontiveros said it was about time that the country talked about divorce, David countered the question by asking if America benefited from having divorce laws in place.

“Mr. Celdran, you should also know that the Church’s teachings are based on empirical evidence,” David told the panelist.

David also found an ally in Magsaysay, who urged the strengthening of marriages as a foundation.

The head of the UP student government, Heart Diño, asked some candidates on their views on church and state separation.

Villanueva noted that more important is moral leadership, adding that “no state religion should be established and that religious freedoms should be absolutely protected.”

On other hand, Delos Reyes advocated “the politics of conscience.”

“If society exists for the welfare of the people, then I believe in pushing for a politics of conscience,” he said.

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  • txtman

    ANO SABI NI COMMUNIST HONTIVEROZ?

    HOY, BAKEKANG

    WAG KANG MAG-ALALA

    MALAPIT NA RIN MAGKAKAROON

    NG VENDO MACHINE PILL SA MGA SCHOOLS

    SUSUNOD DYAN

    MAGBIBIGAY NA KAYO NG MGA PILLS

    SA MGA STUDENTS

    SUPER-SINUNGALING NA BAKEKANG
    .
    .
     OH, ANO SABI NG DOH

    ABOUT THEIR PROGRAMS SA SAMAR?

    WALA NAMAN CONDOMS & PILLS DOON

    TO DECREASE MATERNAL MORTALITY

    NAGPAPANIWAL KAYO KASI SA MAFIA

    NINA CABRAL – UP/PGH MAFIA

    PWE
    .
    .
    .
    ANO SABI NG USA ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE NG ASIA PACIFIC?

    VERY IMPORATNT DAW

    KASI

    DAHIL SA POPULATION SIZE NITO

    GETS MO?
    .
    .
    .

    BAKEKANG NA COMMUNIST

    PWE

    PWE

    PWE

    PWE

    PWE

    PWE

    PWE

    CONDOM SAGOT SA KAHIRAPAN DAW?

    PWE

    PITIFUL NA PWE!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RYJTO7WZU5UOBJZM4AX4WMOVH4 nayve

    JUST SEE THE LIFE IN THE COUNTRY SIDE  NO TO RE CYCLE SENATOR

  • http://www.facebook.com/beng.atibo.3 Beng Atibo

    The senatorial candidates will promise you the moon and the stars just to get your votes! Once elected, they would only pursue their personal interest. Voters beware. Study their tract records, and what they plan to do when elected. Do not be swayed by surveys, it is only self-serving to those who pay them. Trapos have been in senate but what really have they done. It’s time to inject newcomers ho can fulfill thier promise. Bewaare of candidates ho use the popularity of their family names. It does not add up when it comes to doing their job, except if they are clones hich they are not

  • No_U_Turn

    University of the Philippines – top producer of corrupt officials. Binay, Enrile, etc. to name a few.

  • Pok2

     Thanks to all candidates for supporting immediate approval the FAI (Fabunan
    Antiviral Injection), A breakthrough lifesaving invention for Dengue and
    AIDS as recorded at the UP Rundown 2013 Sen Forum last Feb 7. All
    components are FDA approved drugs. It’s a great gift for Juan de la Cruz. Despite the major media blackout about this incident, it was the highlight of the event with a grand applause,.

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