Miriam: Envy, suspicion await common bets

Posted at 09/28/2012 2:19 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Here's a tip from Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago: Expect envy, suspicion and not much support during the campaign if you're a common candidate of both the administration and opposition tickets.

Santiago was guest speaker at a business forum sponsored by the Banco De Oro at Bacolod City, on September 28.

Santiago said that if a senator in one ticket is adopted as a common candidate by the other ticket, usually the reaction of the other candidates in both tickets is envy and suspicion.

"In every election, the basic problem is how to convince every senator in the ticket to campaign for the whole ticket. Usually, a senatoriable ends up campaigning only for himself or his special friends," she said.

At least 2 senatorial bets are being eyed as possible common candidates in next year's polls: Sen. Francis Escudero and MTRCB Chairwoman Grace Poe.

Both have expressed appreciation for the support coming from the administration Liberal Party coalition and the United Nationalist Alliance.

Santiago said that in the last senatorial election, she filed her certificate of candidacy under her own People's Reform Party. At the same time, she was the common candidate of the Nacionalista Party under Sen. Manny Villar, the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino under former Pres. Joseph Estrada, and the Lakas-Kampi-CMD Party under former President Gloria Arroyo.

"The phenomenon of common candidates might indicate that the surveys rule the campaign. If a senatoriable does not rank high in the surveys, he is likely to be dropped and replaced with someone who is among the top 12 candidates," she said.

"In addition, the phenomenon of common candidates might be an indication that the public believes that the present crop of candidates do not leave up to the expectations of the electorate, such as academic and professional excellence," she added.

The senator said that the country might be at a transition period, and the old senators are considered overstaying, while the young senators are considered immature or incompetent.

"This gap between political generations seems to be the product of social media, which is now filtering down to the masses. People are no longer content with the old, but are not impressed by the young," she said.