Angelhouser | A Journal By Angelica Bautista Viloria

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Should You Fill Up Your Ballot with 12 Names?

In the coming May 2007 Philippine elections, voters will need to choose 12 senatorial bets. I read a news item some days back that Mr. Bill Luz (of the Makati Business Club and NAMFREL) was urging voters to fill up all 12 spaces on their ballots. His statement, if he was quoted correctly was that "By abstaining, you're making it easier for other people to enter the Magic 12."

Why do people (like me) leave some spaces in their ballot blank or why do they just put a line across the blank spaces so that no one can write another name on it? There are not enough quality candidates, that's why. My vote is important and so I will not give it to someone just because I fear that a "lousy bet" will make it. It's not my fault that they won. It's the fault of the people who voted for them. That's why I don't think I will be forcing myself to fill up all the 12 spaces with the names of people I don't actually like. Why compromise?

So in the coming elections, vote for whom you like. I hope you like Dr. Martin Bautista, Sonia Roco, and Adrian Sison as I will be voting for them. Am still thinking if I will vote for Zosimo Paredes. If I do decide to vote for him, then I'll have four names on my ballot. As for the rest, am not particularly fond of politicians who have been around for so long and have shifted allegiances from here to there; who just seem to oppose anything and everything; who rely on "name recall;" and who have "super popular wives" to boost their political standing.

I am for people who are not typical politicians. For those who have not yet held any elective post but are not actors or actresses or sportspeople. I am for Kapatiran because they say they will work for the abolition of the pork barrel! Imagine that?

You still have more than a month to make up your mind. Please vote but please vote wisely.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Dr. Martin D. Bautista for Senator

So, have you decided on who will be in your list of 12 senators? I think I now have a list of 3 names.

I caught a show on ANC last night on Alternative Candidates. It featured Danton Remoto (didn't know he was running for Senator), Dr. Martin D. Bautista, and Zosimo Paredes. Dr. Bautista and Mr. Paredes are both with Kapatiran, a group committed to "put God in politics" by focusing on virtue, duty, transparency, public accountability, and good citizenship.

My favorite writer, Conrado de Quiros, has already come out strongly with two columns endorsing Dr. Martin D. Bautista. I am inclined to vote for him -- not because he is a Bautista (we are not related) and not because he is a U.P. graduate (well, that helps) but because he is a new name, a new face, with a good story.

Dr. Martin D. Bautista is a UP College of Medicine 1989 graduate and is a US-trained gastroenterologist. After years of living and working in the US, he came back to the Philippines with his wife, a US trained pulmonologist, and their four daughters.

At a time when most Filipinos would give anything to get out of the country, it is refreshing to see a doctor coming back and even trying to run for the Senate. Sure, you say, he's had his chance and is probably so comfortable financially that he can now afford to come back and live here in the Philippines again -- that is beside the point. I have had it with old names and the usual faces. It is time for non-politicians (and non showbiz and sports people too) to have a say in how this country is run.

Who are my candidates as of now? Dr. Martin Bautista, Danton Remoto (well his thrust is public education and his presence should make the Senate more interesting), and of course, Sonia Roco. Her thrust is also education and it is no secret that I voted for Raul Roco in the last election. She hasn't held any public position in the past and so that makes her a new face too.

So, will you let me know the candidates that you will be voting or not be voting for?