by Kathlyn dela Cruz, ABS-CBNnews.com | 02/22/2013 6:47 PM
MANILA -- Former Senate President Ernesto Maceda believes his age and experience are his biggest assets to his 2013 re-election bid.
The 77-year-old bet, who is a member of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) slate, said senior senators like him can craft laws better than the younger ones who have less experience.
Maceda has been elected three times to the Senate. He is also the only senator who has been appointed Philippine ambassador to the United States and the only Filipino who has held five Cabinet positions.
"In any profession or office, the principal thing that counts is background and experience... I think I have so much to offer and therefore can craft laws better than other people with less experience," Maceda told ANC's "Headstart" on Friday.
"I've authored so many bills. I've been elected in the Senate three times. I have been an ambassador. None of the candidates has become an ambassador. That's a different perspective," he added.
The veteran politician said he is again seeking a seat in the Senate to "vindicate" that he was cheated in the 2004 senatorial election when he ran under the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino.
"I am convinced that in 2004, lahat kami nina [Fernando Poe Jr.], na-dagdag bawas," Maceda said.
"Parang I just want vindication again and after all, I am still strong at my age and I feel I have so much to contribute in terms of my background and experience."
Senate needs veterans, not newbies
Maceda said he firmly believes what the Senate needs now are veteran politicians and not newbies, noting that the terms of senior senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Edgardo Angara, Joker Arroyo, Miriam Santiago and Manny Villar will soon end.
"I think there are five senior senators moving out because their terms are expiring. I think that's good reason to replace them with senior senators too."
"Compared to the senators of 'yesteryears', when people compare, they feel the present Senate does not compare well with previous senates," he said.
Maceda also said that with over 3,000 bills being studied in the Senate, those with less experience may have a hard time engaging themselves in debates.
"If you have experience like I do, then you will be able to intelligently study and debate all those bills without spending so much time on researching...[compared with] newcomers who, to begin with, will take at least one year to get used to the procedures in the Senate," he said.
He also said he has no fear of losing in the May polls even if majority of the voters are between 18 and 35 years old, noting that the youth now are more intelligent.
"Young voters now are more intelligent and up to date on current events and political issues. I think in the end, my experience would convince many of them that it would be good to send a veteran in the Senate," Maceda said.
'I authored 600 laws'
In the interview, the former Senate President also boasted of his track record of having authored or co-authored around 600 laws in his lifetime.
"I usually author about 500 bills every session... I checked the records a few months ago before I ran, I am author, co-author or sponsor of 600 laws," he said.
Maceda said out of all those laws, what he is very proud of is having authored Republic Act 6975 which created the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
He said the main purpose of the DILG is to supervise and monitor local government offices, and to oversee the activities of police.
However, he said "no DILG secretary so far has been able to keep the police clean."
On RH, divorce
The 77-year-old senatorial candidate also shared his opinion on the controversial reproductive health (RH) law and divorce bill.
Maceda said he is against RH and divorce.
"I don't believe the government has to distribute condoms and contraceptives. That should be left to [non-governmental organizations] and the private sector," he said.
As for divorce, he said he has observed Filipino couples in the US who get divorced have very "flimsy" reasons.
"Minsang mag-away sasabihin 'O, mag-divorce na lang tayo,'" he said.
PNoy 'too slow'
When asked to rate the current administration, Maceda gave President Benigno Aquino III a 7.4 out of 10.
He said that while Aquino is trying his best to solve the country's problems, six years will never be enough for him.
"Maybe he's not to blame. He inherited so many problems. He needs all the help he can get especially from seniors like us."
"Aquino is moving too slowly... He is trying his best but it's just the problems are really so big. Even six years will not be enough for him to eradicate corruption," Maceda said.