MANILA, Philippines – Former Senate President Ernesto Maceda believes his age is not going to be detrimental to his re-election bid in the 2013 senatorial election.
After all, he said, voters can look to Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and see what knowledge and experience can accomplish in the Senate.
“I think under our Constitution, any citizen no matter how young or no matter how old should be willing to give his services to the country and I feel that with my 54 years of experience, I have a lot of experience and know-how to contribute, considering the wide range of problems we have now,” he said in an interview with ANC’s “Road to 2013.”
He added: “Just like Manong Johnny (Juan Ponce Enrile), I think my wide experience qualifies me to go back to the Senate. Thanks to Manong Johnny, I guess the question of age has not become an issue.”
Maceda is currently 77 years old.
Maceda, a member of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) Senate slate, has been elected 3 times in the Senate. He is a former head of the Ministry of Natural Resources under President Cory Aquino and was appointed Philippine Ambassador to the United States from 1998-2001.
He ran for senator in the 2004 elections under the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino but lost.
In the interview, Maceda said he is unfazed by a recent Pulse Asia survey that showed him at rank 19-22 among 36 possible senatorial bets. The former senator said he expects his numbers to get better now that he has formally announced his intention to run.
“A lot of people don’t know I am running. The formal announcement will boost me up. There are 9 months to go and it is better to start from the bottom, going up,” he said.
If elected, he said he wants to pass laws that will give increased care and assistance to senior citizens.
He said he will also push for increased public spending on infrastructure and the agriculture sectors in order to create 12-15 million jobs in the next 6 years.
He also said he is in favor of increased incentives in the form of tax holidays to companies that offer more jobs.
Maceda said he is also likely to revive his former “Mr. Exposé” image during the Ramos administration, especially since corruption has not been totally eliminated under the Aquino government.
“Despite President Aquino being an honest person and despite the matuwid na daan,
you have seen lately the corruption in the Bureau of Corrections and extortion in the Department of Justice, widespread smuggling in Customs and corruption in the Philippine National Police. The Senate must act as a watchdog and a deterrent factor against corruption and every senator should do that,” he said.