Marwil Llasos: Crusading on real functions of a senator



LLASOS   Marwil Llasos: “We don’t want to be the dragons we want to slay.” CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Lawyer Marwil Llasos, a political newbie and one of the three senatorial candidates of the Kapatiran Party, admits that they could not match the electoral machinery of traditional politicians.

“Ours is not a well-entrenched political party, we don’t even have political ads. We don’t have the money and we are nameless, so to speak,” Llasos told the INQUIRER in an interview.

Llasos, who has taken to Twitter and Facebook to get mass mileage, said the Kapatiran candidates are not inclined to resort to dancing and singing during the campaign as other candidates do.

“We will not do that because we don’t want to be the dragons that we want to slay,” he said.

“What boosts my morale is the ground swell of support from the youth, the students who are the ones very active in social networking,” he said.

Llasos said he is doing well in the debates and fora he has been invited to and he could well give Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago a run for her money as campus darling.

Citing an instance, the 37-year-old Llasos said he ranked No. 2 in the mock poll that followed a forum he recently attended at the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

“I got a good ranking although I had no hakot (hauled-in) crowd, unlike (Bayan Muna candidate) Teddy Casiño who brought with him supporters carrying tarpaulins,” he said.

He noted how the low recognition rate he had before the forum was reversed after he spoke to the audience.

Good chance

“Only three to five people recognized me before I addressed the crowd. But when I went out of the hall after my speech, students mobbed me, asking for autographs or their pictures taken with me,” he said.

“This only shows that if people could get to know me and hear me speak, I have a good chance of winning,” said Llasos, a native of Daraga, Albay.

“I knew I had won the crowd and this was later on proven by the mock poll,” he added.

In his blog, Llasos narrated that during the forum, he told the students what he knew were the real function of a Senator—legislation, investigations in aid of legislation and education on issues.


Crusade vs pork barrel

“Because of my (and Kapatiran Party’s) crusade against the pork barrel system, I blasted the congressmen’s interest in public contracts due to their PDAF (priority development assistance fund) that they should no longer be called kongresista (congressmen) but kontratista (contractors),” he said, adding that his remark elicited laughter and applause from the audience.

A senator gets a PDAF of about P200 million each year, an amount that makes up a substantial amount of congressional allocations that lawmakers receive each year.

Llasos said the PDAF or pork barrel was among the reasons that motivated him to run.

“But it motivated me in a different way,” he said. “I want PDAF and other discretionary funds abolished. These funds are the root of graft and corruption.”

‘We have a message’

“Why don’t we just have a comprehensive system in responding to the development needs of the people? Why don’t we just put the fund to the General Appropriations Act instead of discretionary? We have the barangay development council, for instance. They know better, we don’t need a congressman for that,” he said.

What sets him apart from traditional politicians or idealistic candidates like him?

“(Kapatiran candidates) are different because we have a message and that is what the people are going to buy,” said Llasos, who used to work as corporate lawyer for a multinational casino company and as executive assistant at the Department of Agrarian Reform. “What traditional politicians say are all motherhood statements, they’re all about themselves, their families, their achievement and the people are left out in the process.”

Llasos admitted that he was initially reluctant to run for public office.

But he changed his mind after being challenged by something fellow Kapatiran senatorial candidate, sociologist-environmentalist Rizalito David, told him in the process of convincing him to run.

“He (David) told me that a lot of people were pushing him to run, to fight, but when he returned to them the challenge to join him in seeking public office, they all disappeared. So that struck me,” he said.



“The Bible says, ‘You will be measured in the same way you measure others.’ I felt that I’m using that measurement to others but when it was used against me … I don’t want to be weighed and found wanting,” he said.

“Self-credibility is very important to me,” Llasos, a commissioned lay preacher said. “It’s important that when I face people, I know what I say and walk the talk. So eventually I relented.”

He said he was commissioned a recognized preacher in 2006 by Bishop Antonio Tobias of Novaliches.

Apart from Church doctrines, Llasos said he also speaks about the social doctrines of the Church.

“(The issue) on environment may be a social or environmental issue but that is definitely a spiritual one, because it’s respect for God’s creation. Graft and corruption is a violation of the ‘Thou shall not steal’ commandment, isn’t it? Most of the things concerning the government has implication on morality,” he explained.”

Llasos said his life’s defining moment was when he passed the bar exams.

“I had no plan to be a lawyer but I became one. Initially, I also did not intend to run for the Senate. But for all you know, I may become a senator,” he said.

Llasos said his being religious stemmed from the influence of his grandmothers on both his parents’ side.

“They would rouse me from sleep early in the morning to pray in Latin,” he said.

Broken home

A product of a broken home, Llasos said that while he grew up in the care of his father’s family, he was single-handedly raised by his mother Marichu Nacor, a seamstress who used to work as an overseas Filipino worker.

His father, Wilson Llasos, was a witness in the Agrava Fact Finding Board, which investigated the Aquino-Galman double murder case in 1983.

A product of the public school system, Llasos, who finished cum laude with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at the Bicol University, said that if he wins, he would push for the strengthening of state universities and colleges (SUCs).

“I want to strengthen the SUCs chiefly by giving them fiscal autonomy just like the privilege given to the University of the Philippines and Mindanao State University,” he said.

Although Llasos is a perceived Catholic candidate, he said he enjoys strong support from the Muslim community, including the Ulama Association of the Philippines.

“That’s the body of Muslim bishops endorsing me. There are local leaders in Mindanao who also pledged to support me,” he added.

He admitted that he had encountered people who questioned his intentions for running considering that he was not as popular as the veteran politicians.

Why are you running?

“Others would tell us, ‘You have no money, why are you running?’ If that’s our mindset, we already condemn our country that only the rich and moneyed can rule,” Llasos added. “I tell them, I am poor, but you are also poor so let’s help each other.”

He explained that Kapatiran candidates do not accept contributions from donors.

“It is the party that accepts contributions so that the individual candidate would be spared from a debt of gratitude to the campaign donors,” he said, stressing the need for transparency in campaign contributions.

Llasos also said that Kapatiran candidates enjoy the backing of Catholic lay organizations.

“We do not actively seek the support of the Catholic bishops but if they do endorse us, we welcome it,” he said.

In the 2010 elections, Kapatiran obtained the endorsement of several Catholic bishops and leaders of lay groups and other churches.

Llasos said Kapatiran’s platform and issues—the prohibition of political dynasties, abolition of the pork barrel system, legislated gun control, passage of the freedom of information bill, opposition to the reproductive health bill—have not changed.

He also believed that the defeat of the Catholic church on the issue of reproductive health (RH) law is the party’s gain.

“I think when RH law was passed, the Catholic church was really hurt. But the defeat or loss in the RH law is our gain, politically speaking, because somehow it galvanizes the opinion of devout Catholics to really fight it, to really engage in this election by voting for those who parallel their religious beliefs and that is us,” he said.

Winning is a bonus

But to win in the elections is only a bonus, Llasos said.

“Other candidates are hard-sell, they have to win at all cost. If I win, that would be just a bonus. My experience during the campaign matters more, this is very educative for me,” he said.

“We are engaged in a crusade, we are engaged in political education and no matter what will be the outcome of the election is already irrelevant. What is important is that seeds have been planted. The elections come and go, politicians come and go, but the principles remain. And if we don’t succeed in this election, somehow the future generation of Filipinos will learn from our experience.”

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Carlos_Iho

    Good luck!

  • superpilipinas

    TOP of MY LIST. 




    It’s TIME to CHANGE for GOOD.

    NO TO TEAM PNOY, UNA, Lakas, KAMPI, NPC, NP, etc., ALL THOSE ARE TRAPOS, POLITICAL DYNASTIES, INCOMPETENT SHOWBIZ PERSONALITIES. They block FOI to remain in power or waste or steal our taxpayer money or to enrich themselves and their friends and relatives.

    • Danilo Navarro

      you just read it here know his histiry and backround this is what we called self boster if your unknown candidate strategy kuno gaya ka din ng ibang pilipino madaling maniwala kung sakali at manalo kaya ba niyang mawala ang pork barrell parang suntok sa buwan yan madamki sila sa senado at kongresso pwedi yung gumaya siya kay lacson ay joker pero yung aalisin ang pork barell napa ka imposible na mangyari

      • Pok2

         Di po sila trapo Sir at talagang may conviction sila for Social change.

    • Pok2

       I met him in San Marcelino Zambales yesteray and you will see their sincerity unlike others who will look at you in the eye and tell a lies.

      • Maria Retina Sarmiento

        matagal ko nang na meet si atty. and mabait talaga, maka Dios at may prinsipyo. I will pray to God he wins

  • Karabukov

    Internet campaigning via facebook, emails, youtube, twitter, google-friendly blogs and other web-based reach-out may yet be the political equalizer we’ve been hoping for all these years.

    Unknown authors can now self-publish, unknown composers and performers can now be seen and heard, unknown voices can now speak to all.

    Why not heretofore unknown leaders who have vision, ideas and ideals that resonate with the people?

    Why not, indeed.

    Go for it!

  • $14334231

    i tend to believe that your chances in winning is very slim…..but be that as it may…’s one vote for you!!!!…..many might say, “sayang lang ang boto mo, di naman ‘yan mananalo….but voting is almost akin to gambling….you win some, you lose some…..may your tribe increase!!!!

  • Beng Atibo

    List down the senatoriables who will renounce their pork barrels if elected. I will vote for them!!! 
    It is easy to say they will abolish the pork barrel when elected but would soon be forgotten when they sit in the senate. Saludo ako kay Ping Lacson and Joker Arroyo who have not used their pork barrels. If they could serve the people without pork barrels, so should the others.

    • kurakut


  • Danny

     Boboto ako sa iyo, at ikakampanya kita sa mga kamag-anak, kaibigan at network, ko Marwil Liasos

  • Mama Eli

    Count me in. ill vote this man.

  • abner

    wow I admire you sir, Llasos…I salute you sir…gustong gusto ko po kau supurtahan…nag uumapaw po sa tuwa ang aking pagkatao….thank you….sir.

  • arao_liwanag

    Puro din lang yan kahambugan. Magkayos ka na lang sa gadan.

  • coty

    Vote for the man who promises least; he’ll be the least disappointing.
    — Bernard M. Baruch


  • coty

    The political machine triumphs because it is a united minority acting against a divided majority.
    — Will Durant

  • Demy Angeles

    If you have 1000 devout supporters who will campaign for you in the net and each of this 1000 will win or convince 100 supporters and these 100 will do the same and so forth and so on, WOW, you will win

  • J

    Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge where there is no river.- Nikita Khrushchev

  • J

    More than 80% of the voters of this country believe in popularity of the candidate. They don’t think much who and what is the background of that guy is. Those 80%, whether you like or not are the king-makers and if they will not able to know you by any means and even how much you want to win to help change this country, you will see yourself as candidate again comes next election.

  • mike

    meron na rin nasa matataas na posisyon ngayon ang gusto ma-abolish ang pork barrel at kung ano-ano pang mga unnecessary sa government but they failed. maraming nagpapakain sa mga Dragon at Buwaya sa gobyerno mapa Private o Public at international pa.

  • Dennis

    I will vote for you. Country need more of CITIZENS like you.. Honestly i find it hard to choose, which candidate is really fit for the post. Now i found one.. 

  • unokritiko


  • pipsirho

     A non-PIGS who is a BETTER ALTERNATIVE to GREEDY DYNASTS salivating for SLOP in the STY.

    PIGS => Politicians Insatiably Gorging Slop; SLOP in the form of Power, Public Funds, Dirty Money, Graft, corruption, Influence Peddling, SHAMELESSNESS.

    STY => Senate Truly Yucky (YUCKY as in thoroughly unappetizing, disgusting, or repugnant)

  • Danilo Navarro

    lahat halos ng bagong kumakandidato ma kongressman ma senador laging sinasabi kaya sila kumandidato ay para mag silbi at gumawa ng bagong batas gusto nilang alisin ang pork barrell.alisin ang political dyanasty ang kung mag salita siguradong panalo sila susuportahan ang education hinde sila tumatanggap ng donation yung paty nila ang tumatanggap ..iisa din yun para sinabi ninyo ay hinde ko tatanggapin yan ayoko mag karoon ng utang na loob sa inyo taposmag rerekomenda kayo sa pwesto bigay ninyo na lang don sa party namin..he he he at kung mag buhat ng bangko sobra sobra  mahirap mag buhat ng sariling bangko baka mabali ang pang kayog ninyo.he he he

  • Horst Manure

    I would drop the liaryer part and claim you are a janitor that way you will have more creditability as the Dept of Jokes ( DOJ ) and judiciary are as good as a chocolate tea pot and run by people how can not arrange a two car parade.
     good luck if you do.

  • Rolly257

    A vote for a candidate other than the Team PNoy is a vote for UNA

  • Rolly257

    Si Marcos, simba ng simba, pero anong nangyari sa bansa. Si Gloria, ganoon din.

  • John

    i’ll vote for you…

  • Spike

    i hope you win and not casino 

    Casino is using his pork barrel to fund communist activities

  • basilionisisa

    panggulo lang ang mga kandidatong katulad nito, alam naman nilang hindi sila lalabas, MAHAHATI lang ang mga boto at baka manalo pa ang maraming UNA (tulad nina Nancy, JV, Jackie)…. remember nung presidential election? sa dami ng ‘maliliit’ na kandidato na alam namang di mananalo, nanggulo lang, nahati ang mga boto at muntik nang MANALO si ERAP! kung hindi nga lang nagsolid ang mga Noynoy voters, si Erap na naman sana ang nakaupo.

    Kaya matuto po sana tayo, kung alam po nating di mananalo at masasayang lang ang boto, huwag na nating iboto kahit malaki ang pagpapahalaga natin, (hindi nya pakikinabangan ang pagpapahalagang yon)… lalo na kung kandidato ng CBCP, isa lang ang layunin nila: ibagsak si PNoy, kahit pa ibig sabihin ay ibagsak ang kapakanan ng PILIPINAS!

    Iboto na lang po natin straight LIBERAL, para lang po maituloy at matapos ni PNoy ang kanyang naumpisahang KABUTIHAN para sa ating bansa!

  • sakinlang

    A good write up! Konti na lang at mauuto mo na kami!

    • Pok2

       Di po sila nang uuto, may prinsipyo po sila.

      • pedronimo

         Hindi kasi updated si Sakinlang sa mga election issues. “Sakanyalang” ang tunay na principio niyan. In simple terms:
         :egoist or self-centered or self-conceited ang comment niya.

      • Pok2

        Phrophetic ang pronouncements niya at talagang masasaktan ang mga corrupt at walang prinsipyo. GOD bless po.

    • Maria Retina Sarmiento

      hindi sya gaya ng mga trapo. mabuting tao yang si atty. llasos and I can vouch for it! kaya manahimik ka na kung wala kang sasabihing mabuti sa kanya!

  • Pok2

    A man of principle tulad ni Atty Llasos and the Kapatiran dapat na ang manalo. Tama na ang trapo. pahirap na ng pahirap and buhai sa pinas dahil sa corruption na mostly pinangungunahan ng Political Dynasties. Tama na, Sobra na, Pag bumoto ka ng mainstream politicians ngayon. Magsisisi ka. Jun Magsaysay is a fake and being portrayed as man of the masses. BS, I got all the evidence that he is not even Pnoy.

  • kartuthero

    maganda ang mga mithiin nito para sa bayan pero dahil bobo ang mga mayorya ng mga botante sayang at malabo kang manalo…

    kaya hindi pinauunlad ang edukasyon sa pinas dahil ayaw ng mga namumuno na tumalino ang mga mamamayan para manatili sila sa pwesto at ang kanilang mga pamilya.

    sa madali’t sabi…WALANG KWENTA ang sistema ng pulitika sa pinas.

  • pedronimo

    Kapatiran should pressure all these survey managers to poll the young varsity voters if only to find out who among the senators are winning the hearts and minds of the educated young voters. I suspect there’s a silent conspiracy to ignore the voice of the “Hope of the Fatherland”.

  • Pok2

    Manalo matalo, iboto natin alang alng sa prinsipyo at makita nila na may mga Pilipino pa rin na di corrupt.

  • Pok2

    To HELL with some Team Pnoy at lahat ng UNA. Mga corrupt din 

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos